Champaign Gold

    After dreaming for a camera for quite some time, finally I have my first camera, Nikon F60D! This is the first time I have ever spend so much money for myself for such a hobby...but I have never regret it!


I bought my F60D on the 29th March 2000. It actually took me some time to consider before committing myself into such a big spend. I bought this camera during a promotion where I was able to get a good deal out of it. I have to admit that Nikon is not my original interest. I was looking for a Canon EOS camera (EOS 500N) in the first place with budget around RM1300 (US$342) (ha! Later, I spend more than I have expected!). Canon camera has more features compares to Nikon, but that's another story...


Along with this camera, there is a Nikkor Zoom 28-80mm AF D lens. While I bought this camera, there is a promotion going on where I add RM400 (US$106) for another Nikkor Zoom 75-240mm AF D lens. Good bargain and good move by Nikon! Nikon F60D is a good camera for beginner (updated 25th September 2000: I think F80 is a better choice nowadays, or the newly announced F65). I am a beginner so I don't mind having it. This is a very attractive camera, has good design, nice looking champaign colour, easy and ergonomic button, and a powerful built in flash GN 15 (ISO 100 m). The most powerful built in flash in Nikon camera lines up.  In Malaysia, my local camera store told me that Shriro only imports F60D version with date function film cover. I can't find a black colour F60D, so I suppose they only import the champaign colour version too (updated: someone is selling a black F60D in the net in Malaysia...).


Why I say F60D is a beginner camera because there is not much function inside the camera. Lack of multiple exposure, mirror lock up, no custom function, no manual ISO setting, and no spot metering...etc. This is a camera you will quickly outgrow if you are serious in photography. If you think you want to get serious in photography, come out with another few hundred Ringgit, and go for the F80.

I waste many valuable memories by adjusting the wrong speed on this camera. When using the flash, Nikon F60 will automatically set the shutter speed to 1/125 second. In low light situation, this is definitely too fast and will create underexposure results. The shutter speed can only be changed in the M (manual) and S (shutter priority) mode. I use A (aperture priority) when taking photos (stupid...) and end up all my photos come out too dark...underexposed. Not Nikon faults, but mine... 

I bought a Nikon CF-49 case for my F60D after a few weeks getting my F60D. This case was originally meant for Nikon F50, but Nikon makes the size of F60 similar to F50, so they recommended this case for F60 too. Sincerely, this is not a very protective case, and costs me RM180 (US$50). The case is made of ... (not sure about the material) but definitely not leather. Not a very worth buying case, and this model can't fit my 28-80mm lens nicely (I can't get the camera + lens out without unbutton all the 3 buttons). I supposed I should have gone for the CF-50 (but that would cost me more...), or get a Lowerpro bag indeed...However, if someone want to travel light with only one camera and lens, then I would say this is still a good option that will make you look nice and protect your camera from direct expose to dust/sunlight. Despite all the complaint, I have to say that I am satisfied though with this case as I always carry my F60D with it when I bring my camera outdoor.

    In conclusion, I would still recommend this camera to anyone who is budget conscious but want a camera that can mount on Nikkor lens. At price lower than Nikon F70 or F80, plus a free Nikkor Zoom 28-80mm AF D, this camera is still a good buy. Although F60 is not the ultimate camera in Nikon lines up, it can still perform well and give satisfying results. Camera is just a tool, once you understand and have familiarized with it, you will be able to get good quality photos from it. Save the money for a better lens though.



Updated 1st Dec 2000: I have recently acquire two SB-26 speedlights, and I found that Nikon F60 camera is too limited for this flash...or...the flash is too complicated for this camera. I notice that the flash will not auto zoom when mounting on F60, thus, if you are using wide angle lenses (e.g.:.24mm), but accidentally set the flash to zoom at 85mm, then you might get your photo dark on the edges. F80 will auto zoom with SB-26...I have tried, what is the best flash for F60? Ha...I would say...the built in flash! Seriously, SB-22s might be a good choice to consider. Cheap (RM400), not too bulky, but yet deliver enough power...have the tilt ability but can't sway.


I end my F60D review with the pictures of my F60D:

(Nikon new F55 model has many plastic compare to the F60)





14th Dec 2004: This evening I bought myself another F60, after selling off my 1st and 2nd F60 (or 3rd?). This time it is a BLACK F60D, which I personally feel is much nicer than the champaign colour F60. Black looks more professional, although might not be as fashion or trendy as the champaign gold colour. When I bought my first F60 new in shop, I remember there is a Black Colour version, but I choose the champaign one as it looks nicer to me at that time. After these years, I now much prefer black body than any other colour bodies. Maybe it is partly due to all professional Nikon bodies are in black, and maybe black doesn't look as much attention tracking as shiny champagne.


One thing special about the black F60D that I bought is that it has the PANAROMA mode. At the bottom of the camera, there is a button to slide left and right to activate and deactivate the panaroma mode of the camera. In the viewfinder, the screen as two lines on top and bottom showing the crop during panaroma mode. Though I might not use this function at all, but still it is nice to have something extra unexpected. I was told that this black F60 was initially meant for Japanese market only.


Here's some photos of my nice "new" black F60D:


Front and Back view of the Black F60D. Note the PANAROMA wording on the back.

Flash guide number of F60D is among the highest in Nikon cameras with built in flash at the moment.

Measuring 14GN at ISO100 50mm setting.

F60D with my favorite Tokina ATX PRO 28-80mm f/2.8 lens


Focus assist light and flash in action

Note the differences on the shutter blade with Panaroma ON (left) and OFF (right)