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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2010
    Long Branch, New Jersey, United States

    Worth the Purchase; used Nikon D60?


    For a few years now I have been learning all I can about photography using my Canon Powershot Sx10is, which is really wonderful, with 20x zoom and 10 mega pixels. I now want to move up to DSLR photography, and I understand the general reasons why I should do so. But I have an extremely limited budget. Here's my question:

    My friend has a 2 year-old D60 that she is willing to sell to me at 1/2 the price she paid, along with the book by Busch. She let me try it out for two weeks to decide if I want to buy it from her. The pictures I've taken so far are not as good as those I've taken with my powershot, and I'm assuming this is just because I do not yet know how to get the most out of an SLR. I also assume that if I'm able to purchase a better flash and a new prime lens the picture quality will improve beyond that which I'm able to achieve with the point-and-shoot. Are these safe assumptions? Am I really going "up" if I make this purchase?


  2. #2
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Paris, France

    Re: Worth the Purchase; used Nikon D60?

    We are having the same discussion in the Digital Cameras - General forum. A DSLR will not automatically give you better pictures than a point-and-shoot. If you learn how to use it and perhaps get the accessories you need like an external flash then yes it should give you better pictures than a point-and-shoot - if you look closely at the results.

    So - in what way are the pictures you just did with the D60 not as good as with the point-and-shoot? Could you maybe post some examples so that we can get a get a clear idea?

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  3. #3
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: Worth the Purchase; used Nikon D60?

    DSLR's are going to be PICKIER with image quality than a point and shoot. Being off the mark a bit in one way or another in your photography technique has a more significant effect with DSLR than P&S, primarily due to the greater focal plane of SLR, and the resulting difference in aperture and even shutter. The benefit is more in opening up some limitation. For some things, the powershot would be every bit as fine. Prime lens has some characteristics that are desirable for image quality. well controlled distortion, good contrast, sharp, perhaps most of all is they are FAST, and can pass a lot of light onto the sensor, allowing much better shutter speed overhead. You'll use flash a lot less often with a fast prime (50mm f/1.7/1.8).

    Go to DSLR IF and only if you are willing to learn the function of metering, thoroughly. Otherwise, it would be silly to go "up" to a DSLR if you are just keeping it in automatic mode. If you want to keep it simple and auto, keep with your powershot.

    *edit - although, you will probably figure this out in a trial run with a DSLR anyway. My brother wanted a DSLR, so I let him borrow mine to try it out, he doesn't want one any more, haha!

  4. #4
    drg is offline
    la recherche de trolls drg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Route 66

    Re: Worth the Purchase; used Nikon D60?

    $300-400 for a good condition D60 is about the top reasonable price. The quality used vendors (i.e. KEH) are selling the bodies in this price range. You didn't mention what lens is being included(?) and that can make a huge difference in cost with this level of DSLR as the lens may multiply the cost 2 times or more.

    Financially you are most likely not going 'up' unless it is really a bargain and the D60 and lens are in great shape.

    As already mentioned a DSLR will not give you better photographs all by itself. The pictures may be marginally better initially technically. Less noise, better overall exposure, etc. Your composition and selection skills will still be the same.

    Keep in mind that a new Nikon D3000 with a 18-55mm lens is currently selling for $500. A new D5000, which includes 720p video capability, is selling for around $700 with a VR (Vibration Reduction) lens.

    There is Photo John's Best Entry-Level Digital SLR Guide to use as a resource. Several suggestions in this article about options and consideration in buying a DSLR camera.

    If the photo bug has really caught you, or you take a lot of family photographs or are going on a really special vacation trip/tour, consider investing in a new DSLR. A current entry level DSLR is capable of better quality images than all but a handful of what are considered Point and Shoot cameras.

    Do keep in mind that the DSLR is rarely as convenient to carry/use for most people. They are bigger and bulkier and can as easily screw up a photo as not when used carelessly. After all, its the camera that you want to use that will ultimately take the most photos you will keep.
    CDPrice 'drg'
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