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Nikon D60 versus Canon Rebel XS / 1000D
SLR Camera Side by Side Comparison Review


Nikon D60 compared to the Canon Rebel XS aka EOS 1000D

December 6th, 2008

If you are looking for a new entry level type of digital SLR camera there are certainly a number of good choices available on the market. Two of the more popular models are the Nikon D60 and the Canon Digital Rebel XS (named EOS 1000D in some countries). Both cameras feature 10 megapixel resolution.

In terms of size and features the Nikon D60 and Canon Rebel XS are similar in many respects, and both have the ability to offer a satisfying user experience. With little difference in price points, differentiating between the two models comes down to a question of performance and underlying technologies that are unique to each of the cameras.

Clearly existing owners of Canon or Nikon equipment will have a strong predetermined brand preference. For those trying to decide which camera system to buy however, we have completed a side by side comparison between the Nikon D60 versus the Canon Digital Rebel XS / 1000D.

We focused our attention on testing the cameras with their respective standard kit lenses which tends to be the most popular configuration among buyers. We used the Nikon D60 with the AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR zoom lens and the Canon EOS Rebel XS with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens.

First we look at the major features of the Nikon D60 compared to the Canon Rebel XS digital SLR. We have also noted some specific observations from our tests further below and highlighted the respective advantages of each camera.


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Nikon D60 versus the Canon Rebel XS / EOS 1000D Side by Side Comparison
Model Nikon D60 Canon Rebel XS / EOS 1000D
Resolution 10.2 million pixels (MP) 10.1 million pixels (MP)
Sensor Type and Size CCD
23.6 15.8mm
CMOS
22.2 x 14.8mm
Standard Kit Lens

Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR zoom lens

Incorporates Nikon's Silent Wave Lens Motor (SVM), offers faster AF and quieter performance

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens

No Ultrasonic motor (USM) as found on higher priced Canon EF lenses

Picture angle Equivalent in 35mm format is approximately 1.5 times lens focal length Equivalent in 35mm format is approximately 1.6 times lens focal length
Start Up Speed 0.18 seconds 0.10 seconds
Shutter Release Time Lag 100 milliseconds 80 milliseconds
Viewfinder Type Penta-mirror type Penta-mirror type
Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment Built-in viewfinder diopter adjustment -1.6 to + 0.5 Built-in viewfinder diopter adjustment -3 to +1
Eye Sensor Automatically turns LCD display off when the camera is brought up to the photographer's eye No
Viewfinder Coverage 95% coverage and 18mm eyepoint 95% and 21mm eyepoint
Viewfinder Magnification 0.8x 0.81x
Dust Reduction

Airflow Control System used in the D60 leads air within the mirror box towards small ducts near the base, directing dust away from the image sensor.

The Optical Low Pass Filter has an antistatic design to prevent static electricity from attracting dust and foreign matter to its surface

Self Cleaning Sensor Unit designed to eliminate larger types of dust.

The Optical Low Pass Filter has an antistatic design to prevent static electricity from attracting dust and foreign matter to its surface

Self Cleaning Sensor Unit designed to eliminate larger types of dust.

Image Size and Quality Settings

3872 x 2592
2896 x 1944
1936 x 1296

Quality: Fine, Normal, Basic

3888 x 2592
2816 x 1880
1936 x 1288

Quality:Fine, Normal

Continuous Shooting Speed 3 frames per second 3 frames per second
ISO Sensitivity 100 -1600 ISO, Hi 1 (3200 ISO) Auto: 200 IS0 to 1600 ISO 100 -1600 ISO
Auto: 100 IS0 to 800 ISO
ISO Control Button No, changed using camera Menu Yes on top of camera
Color Mode sRGB Ia, Adobe RGB, sRGB IIa sRGB, Adobe RGB
White Balance 1) Auto (TTL white balance with 420-pixel RGB sensor)
2) Six (6) manual modes with fine-tuning
3) Preset Custom WB
4) White balance bracketing
1) Auto WB Control
2) Six (6) manual modes
3) Preset Custom WB
4) White balance bracketing
LCD Information Panel Yes, on back of camera Yes, on back of camera
LCD monitor 2.5 " TFT 230,000 pixels with brightness adjustment and wide viewing angle 2.5 " TFT 230,000 pixels with brightness adjustment and wide viewing angle
Live View No

Yes. Works in P,S,A,M exposure control modes. Displays the scene as a smooth, 30fps video feed on the LCD. Optional grid line and histogram can be selected to help with composition and exposure

Two Live View Modes:

Quick AF: flips mirror to engage the AF sensor

Live AF: Uses contrast information for compact camera-style focusing

Metering system

TTL full aperture exposure metering

 

1) 420-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter II
2) Center-Weighted
3) Spot: Meters 3.5mm diameter circle (approx.2.5% of frame) centered on active focus area

TTL full aperture exposure metering

(1) 35 Point Evaluative (linked to all AF points)

(2) Partial metering at centre (approx. 9% of viewfinder)

(3) Centre Weighted

Metering Range EV 0 to 20 EV 1 to 20
Dynamic Range Optimization Technology Designed to balance exposure between highlight and shadow areas of the image (brighten up darker parts of the image)

Active D-Lighting: activated with dedicated On/Off button on top of camera.

Also Nikon's 'D-Lighting' feature can be applied after the image is taken (using D60 Retouch Menu)

Canon's Auto Lighting Optimizer feature is designed to brighten the shadow areas of an image.

Auto Lighting Optimizer: set to Enable (default) or Disable in Custom Function menu II-5

Focus Points 3 point wide area AF 7 point with cross type at center
AF Detection EV -1 to 19 EV EV -0.5 to 18 EV
Focus Modes Selectable: 1) Single Area AF 2) Dynamic Area AF 3) Closest Subject Priority Dynamic Area AF Selectable: 1) AI Focus AF 2) One shot AF 3) AI Servo AF
Depth of Field Preview Button No Yes
Processing Parameters

Optimize Image Settings
Six preset Optimize Image settings.
One Custom Control setting available

Normal (default): Recommended for most situations

Softer: Softens outlines. Use to ensure smooth, natural looking skin tones in portraits

Vivid: Enhances saturation, contrast and sharpness to produce vivid images with vibrant reds, greens and blues

More Vivid: Maximizes saturation, contrast and sharpness to produce images with sharper outlines

Portrait: Lowers contrast and softens background details

Landscape: Enhances saturation and sharpness to produce landscapes with vibrant greens and blues

Custom: The parameters for; Sharpening, Contrast (Tone), Colour Reproduction, Saturation, and Hue, can all be adjusted by selecting Custom mode in the "Optimize Image" menu.

Custom Parameter Adjustment Settings:

Sharpness: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2
Tone Contrast: -2, -1, 0, +1, +2

Color Mode: IA, IIa, IIIa
Saturation: Auto, -, 0, +
Hue Adjustment: +/- 9 degrees (6 steps)

Picture Style Settings
Six preset Picture Style settings, T
hree Custom Picture Style Settings are available. Canon offers additional downloadable "Picture Style Files".

Standard: Vivid, sharp images; usable in a wide variety of conditions; optimal for direct printing without post-processing

Portrait: Warmer
skin tones, with slight increases in contrast and sharpening

Landscape: Extremely bright, saturated and sharpened images, with emphasis on blue and green color saturation.

Neutral: Low sharpening, contrast and saturation: the ideal starting point for image-editing in the computer

Faithful: Accurate
reproduction of the subject's colors based on colorimetric data; assumes 5500K light source.

Monochrome: Black & White images; adjustable contrast, sharpening, as well as color
toning and effects of traditional color filters.

Custom 1
Custom 2
Custom 3

Custom Parameter Adjustment Settings:

Sharpness: 0 to 7
Contrast: -4 to +4
Saturation: -4 to +4
Color tone: -4 to +4
B&W filter: None, Yellow, Orange,
  Red, Green
B&W tone: None, Sepia, Blue,
  Purple, Green

Recording Format JPEG, RAW, JPEG Basic + RAW JPEG, RAW, JPEG Large + RAW
Colour Mode IA (sRGB), IIa (RGB), IIIa (sRGB) sRGB, Adobe RGB
Exposure Shooting Modes

Auto
(P) Flexible Program auto
(S) Shutter-priority auto
(A) Aperture priority auto
(M) Manual

Portrait
Landscape

Child Mode
Sports
Close-up
Night portrait
Flash Off

Auto
(P) Program AE
(Tv) Shutter priority AE
(Av) Aperture priority AE
(M) Manual
Auto depth-of-field
Portrait
Landscape
Close-up
Sports
Night portrait
Flash Off
In Camera Image Editing with Retouch Menu 1) D-lighting
2) Red-eye Correction
3) Image Trimming
4) Image Overlay
5) Monochrome
6) Filter Effects: digital cross filter, colour intensifying filters
7) Small Picture (resize copy)
8) NEF (RAW) Processing: Post process in camera and save as JPEG copy.
9) Stop Motion Movie
10) Quick Re-Touch
No
Shutter Speed 30 to 1/4,000 sec + Bulb 30 sec to 1/4000 sec + Bulb
Exposure Compensation +5.0 to -5.0EV +2.0 to -2.0EV
Flash sync 1/200 sec 1/200 sec
Built-in flash Guide Number (ISO 100, meters) 12 13
Flash Modes Auto, Fill-in flash, Redeye Reduction, Redeye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync, Rear-Curtain Sync, Off Auto, On, Off, Redeye reduction
Red Eye Reduction System Beam from lamp Multi-Strobe from speedlight flash. Flash must be up
High Speed Sync Yes, with compatible external flash units Yes, with compatible external flash units
Flash Compensation 3 to +1 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments +/- 2 stops in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments
Flash Type i-TTL + Wireless Creative Lighting System Support E-TTL II with EX series Speedlites
Lens Compatibility All functions possible with all AF-S and AF-I NIKKOR lenses. All functions except AF with all other G or D type AF-NIKKOR lenses. Canon EF and EF-S : All functions supported
ISO Noise Reduction Yes Fast two stage process. Select Off/On in the Nikon D60 Shooting Menu High ISO speed noise reduction: Activated using Custom Function II-4. Select from Off (default) / On
Interface USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Custom Functions 25 Custom Functions 12 Custom Functions
Mirror Lock Up Feature Only for sensor cleaning Mirror can be locked up to 30 sec. Activated by using Custom function C. FnIII-8
Vertical Image Rotation Yes Yes
Direct Print Support Yes PictBridge Direct Print Compliant with PictBridge Printers, DPOF Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers, Bubble Jet Printers with the direct print function and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge, DPOF
Accessory vertical battery grip Not available Canon BG-E5 Battery Grip for Canon XS / XSi Digital SLR: able to take 6 AA batteries or two of the LP-E5 batteries. Provides a shutter button and control dial along with AE/FE Lock, exposure compensation and AF point selection buttons.
Bundled Software Nikon Picture Project, The 123 of Digital Imaging ebook Standard Edition, Optional Nikon Capture NX2 RAW / NEF Editing Software ZoomBrowser EX, Digital Photo Professional RAW editing software, Photo Stitch, EOS Utility (Remote Capture)
Memory Type Secure Digital (SD) and SDHC cards Secure Digital (SD) and SDHC cards
Optional Remote Wireless ML-L3 remote Cable remote RS-60E3 or Wireless RC-1
Power Source EN-EL9 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery and charger supplied Li-Ion rechargeable LP-E5 battery and charger supplied
Approx. number of shots per battery charge Approximately 500 shots 450 - 600 shots
Manufacturer's Warranty Two Year In Canada One Year
Included Accessories Camera Strap AN-DC1
USB Cable UC-E4
Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL9
Quick Charger MH-23
Software Suite CD-ROM and
Instruction Manuals
Wide Strap EW-100D
Video Cable VC-100
USB Interface Cable IFC-200U
Battery Pack LP-E5
Battery Charger LC-E5
EOS Digital Solution Disk and Instruction Manuals
Dimensions
(W x H x D)
126 x 94 x 64 mm 126 x 98 x 62 mm
Weight w/o battery 495 grams 502 grams


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Nikon D60 versus Canon Rebel XS DSLR Comparison Observations

Nikon D60 compared to the Canon Rebel XS kit with lens top view

In terms of general features the Nikon D60 and Canon Rebel XS digital SLR kits share many similarities as can be seen in the comparison chart above. From our tests however, there are two advantages that give the Nikon D60 kit with the AF-S DX 18-55mm VR lens an edge over the Canon Rebel XS SLR kit with EF-S 18-55mm IS zoom lens in terms of overall image quality. The first relates to Nikon's Active D-Lighting technology and the other to the kit zoom lens.

Nikon D60 Active D-Lighting compared to Canon Rebel XS Auto Lighting Optimizer technology

Sometimes, even a perfectly exposed scene will not render an ideal photograph. With difficult lighting conditions, important details can be lost in the highlights and shadows. The D60 can correct these exposures instantly and automatically when you shoot with the cameras 'Active D-Lighting' feature enabled.

The Canon Rebel XS does feature Canon's "Auto Lighting Optimizer" which is billed as being a similar technology to Active D-lighting. In our tests we saw little improvement when using the "Auto Lighting Optimizer" function compared to the vast improvement seen with Active D-Lighting on the D60 as shown in the sample shots below.


Above image taken with the Nikon D60 and AFS DX 18-55mm VR zoom lens with Active D-Lighting enabled


Above image taken with the Canon Rebel XS and EF-S 18-55mm IS lens with 'Auto Lighting Optimizer' enabled.

Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm VR compared to Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS zoom kit lens

In our tests, although the Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS lens actually performed quite well in terms of sharpness and in our image stabilizer tests, the main issue that we have with this lens is that it has a higher occurrence of flaring compared to the Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm VR.

Lens flare can easily ruin a shot as shown below. This would be more of an issue when shooting on a bright sunny day, or near a strong side light source. Using a lens hood would help.



The image on the left captured with the Canon Rebel XS with 18-55mm IS kit lens shows a higher incidence of flare compared to the image on the right taken with the Nikon D60 with the AF-S DX 18-55 VR zoom kit lens.

In the test we angled each camera at the time of shooting to get the maximum amount of visible flare. Although the Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR did exhibit some signs of flare, it is much better controlled than with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS zoom lens.

Below is a real world test under very bright conditions were the Canon Rebel XS image (left) was affected by lens flare (very noticeable in top right corner). Although the two images were taken a minute apart with some variance in brightness levels, as our first test shows, the Nikon D60 kit lens holds up better overall.

Both cameras were set to fully automatic mode for this test. Active D-Lighting was enabled in the Nikon D60 and Auto Lighting Optimizer was enabled on the Rebel XS.

Canon Rebel XS with EF-S 18-55mm IS lens compared to Nikon D60 with AF-S DX 18-55mm VR lens

The Canon Rebel XS SLR offers a 7 point AF coverage system compared to 3 point AF coverage on the D60. As a result the popular assumption would be that the Canon Rebel XS / EOS 1000D SLR with lens kit offers the better focusing capability compared to the Nikon D60 combo kit.

The noticeable difference with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens is that it does not feature Canon's ultrasonic motor (USM) focus technology found on more expensive Canon zoom lenses.

The Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR zoom does incorporate Nikon's exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology which allows the lens to focus faster and quieter compared to the Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS lens. We also found that the Nikon D60 can lock focus on and track the subject more effectively compared to the Rebel XS.

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Nikon D60 versus the Canon EOS Rebel XS SLR: AF Assist and Red Eye Reduction Technology



One other difference that we noticed with the Nikon D60 compared to the Canon Rebel XS relates to the cameras' low light AF assist and red eye reduction technology.

The Nikon D60 uses a beam provided by a lamp located on the front of the camera to help the camera achieve focus under low light conditions and for red eye reduction.

The Canon Rebel XS uses a strobe flash emitted from the built-in flash. Flash must be up for low light AF assist to work. The flash strobe effect can cause subjects to blink before the actual flash fires.


Nikon D60 Compared to the Canon Rebel XS / EOS 1000D Side by Side



Advantages of Nikon D60 SLR Kit

  • Nikon's AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens performs better than the Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS zoom in terms of minimizing flare.


  • The Nikon kit lens incorporates an AF-S motor for fast and quiet focusing (The Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS lens does not have a USM motor which affects its performance)
  • An eye sensor automatically turns LCD display off when the camera is brought up to the photographer's eye (so not to interfere when looking through the camera viewfinder)


  • Dust reduction air flow control system ducts direct dust away from the sensor


  • ISO boost setting up to 3200 ISO (Hi1) compared to 1600 ISO on the Canon Rebel XS


  • Higher precision 420-segment 3D colour matrix metering delivers more consistent results compared to 35-segment Evaluative metering


  • The Nikon D60 will meter down to 0 EV compared to 1EV light levels on the Rebel XS


  • The D60 offers Spot Metering for accurate pin point metering (this feature is found on the Rebel XSi although is not available on the Rebel XS)

  • Active D-Lighting is designed to balance exposure between highlight and shadow areas of the image before capture (acts to brighten up darker parts of the image).


  • D-lighting can also be applied (Retouch Menu) after the picture is taken. The adjusted image is saved as a copy leaving the original intact


  • More consistent focusing accuracy when using Auto area AF compared to the occasional out of focus image from the Rebel XS

  • Broader AF detection range from -1EV to 19 EV compared to -0.5 EV to 18 EV with Rebel XS


  • Low light AF assist and Red Eye Reduction beam provided by lamp located on the front side of the Nikon D60.

    Rebel XS uses strobe flash from the built-in flash so the flash must be in the up position for low light AF assist to function.
    Red eye reduction beam is easier for subjects to distinguish from actual flash firing. (Less eye blinking effect)

  • In-Camera Image Editing with handy Retouch Menu. Remove red eye, crop, resize, in-camera RAW to JPEG conversion and editing, creative filter effects, create Black and White copy of original image, Stop Motion Movie animation and more


  • 25 Custom Function compared to 12 on the Canon Rebel XS

  • Exposure compensation +/- 5 EV compared to +/- 2 EV


  • Two year warranty in Canada compared to one year for the Canon Rebel XS SLR camera
  •  

    Advantages of Canon Rebel XS Kit

  • The Rebel XS / 1000D offers overall better High ISO performance showing less noise (800 ISO and above). An advantage when shooting under low light conditions.


  • The Canon Rebel XS offers faster start up and shorter shutter lag than the Nikon D60


  • All functions supported with Canon EF and EF-S lenses compared to Nikon D60 were all functions are supported with AF-S Nikkor lenses. ( The D60 is compatible with older non AF-S lenses although no AF function)


  • Dedicated ISO control button conveniently accessible on top of the camera


  • The built-in flash on the Rebel XS sits higher in the up position (helps minimize red eye) and is a little more powerful than the D60.


  • The Live View (LV) LCD monitor feature on the Canon Rebel XS is supposed to be an advantage although we feel this is a fairly useless feature in real world applications due to the poor implementation of Live View in the Rebel XS.


  • Live View AF on the Rebel XS is painfully slow and only works in the manual override exposure control modes (P,S,A,M). LV does not activate in automatic Creative Scene modes. If Live View is an important component for your style of shooting we would recommend looking at other SLR cameras. (EOS 40D, EOS 50D)


  • 7 point Auto Focus (AF) with one cross sensor provides an AF coverage advantage particularly for vertically composed shots


  • Six preset 'Picture Style' settings for selecting the look of an image. Three Custom Picture Style Settings are available compared to one Custom setting on the D60. Canon offers additional downloadable "Picture Style Files"

  • Convenient Depth-of-field AE (A-DEP) on mode control dial and dedicated depth of field preview button

  • Mirror Lock Up feature for close up work up to 30 seconds

  • Optional Canon BG-E5 Battery Grip: able to take 6 AA batteries or two of the LP-E5 batteries.

    Provides a shutter button and control dial along with AE/FE Lock, exposure compensation and AF point selection buttons


  • Additional software bundled with the Rebel XS:

    Canon ZoomBrowser EX 6.1
    , Canon PhotoStitch 3.1, Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.4 allows for RAW editing and conversion, Picture Style Editor 1.3 allows you to create and manage your custom Picture Styles

  • Compatible with Canon Direct Print printers, including SELPHY compact photo printers


  • The Canon Digital Rebel XS / EOS 1000D camera kit is available in either black or silver

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    Nikon D60 compared to the Canon Rebel XS / EOS 1000D kit: Conclusion

    Based on our tests between the Nikon D60 and the Canon Rebel XS digital SLR we would say that in general you can't go wrong with either camera. Both the Nikon D60 and the Canon Rebel XS are capable of delivering very good output with accurate colour and sharp results. Both cameras offer user friendly operation with a range of manual features and overrides if so desired.

    The Canon Rebel XS would have had an edge over the Nikon D60 with its Live View feature, although as stated above the Live View function in the Rebel XS is so poorly implemented that we feel it offers no practical benefit. Seems like a feature that was simply added at the request of the marketing department.

    Taking into account the advantages offered by the Nikon D60 SLR with lens kit, including; the better AF-S DX 18-55mm VR Nikkor zoom lens, Nikon's Active D-lighting technology and the in-camera Retouch Menu options, coupled with the D60's more reliable auto focus subject lock on and tracking system, we personally feel the Nikon D60 SLR with AF-S DX 18-55mm VR lens kit offers the best option. In the end, the choice is yours.

     

    Similar Cameras:

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