Nikon D40x vs. Nikon D60: Deja Vu All Over Again

If you follow Nikon, you know that the newly released D60 entry-level DSLR is really just a refresh of the popular D40x. As you can see above, the only thing that looks different head-on is the tag in the upper left corner of the body identifying the camera model itself. But as you can see below, in addition to some small cosmetic changes, there are new yet subtle hardware benefits, plus a stop-motion video treat that's mostly novelty, but as easy as it gets.

Like I said, the differences are subtle, but you can spot them if you look carefully. The rubber hood around the viewfinder has been flared out for more protection, and the selector wheel is now flat and made from metal, not plastic.There are, of course, some nice hardware improvements here. For starters, not enough of a noise was made about the fact that the US$750 kit comes with a vibration-reduction VR lens. The lens is otherwise the same specification as the D40x's 18mm-55mm lens, but it's a nice boost. Like Olympus and others, the D60 adds an Image Sensor Cleaning system, which alerts you to its activity with a little animation at start-up and shut-down. The third hardware upgrade is an internal incline sensor that tells the "visually intuitive" display which way to orient itself.The standard info display now has a bit more animation, too: when you turn the selector wheel on the top of the camera, you see the options roll on the screen.When it comes to handling, there's not much difference between the two cameras. Also, unlike most other major entry-level DSLRs, Nikon's update did not include a "live view" LCD video viewfinder feature. Still, there are some tricks that make it a fun—though by no means necessary—step up.

Mainly, I'm talking about the stop-motion feature. Shoot all you want, drop into the menus and select the Stop Motion option, and choose your start image and stop image. The camera processes the rest in seconds, and when you look at your memory card, there's a nice, universally accessible AVI, ready to go. This one below was a quickie—let's just call it a 30-second proof of concept. [D60 on Giz]

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