Something Ken Rockwell said.
In Ken Rockwell's review of the D60, he kept saying that because of having more pixels, the D60 was not as fast or good in low light as the D40. Would shooting the D60 at 6mp solve that, or is the D40 just faster and better in low light? Any opinions on this?
#14. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 1
WillyPete Registered since 09th Feb 2006Sat 14-Jun-08 07:43 PM
>Take was Ken says with a large pinch of salt.
A lot of what he says is correct in the context of what he is discussing but NOT in general.
I'll agree with his opnions on saving money, get the simplest gear for your needs and get out there and shoot.
In this his case, his logic is flawed.
Using the same logic and applying it to other cameras, you can see this.
The D2x has more pixels than the D1x. Does it have worse low light abilities?
Is the D3 worse than the D2H?
The D300 worse than the D70 in low light?
#2. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 0
A higher megapixel camera is just as "fast" as one with fewer pixels. The D60 has a lower base ISO (100 instead of 200 as on the D40), and that would affect its low light ability, but you can change it to 200, or higher, so it makes no difference.
#3. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 0
So you think they perform equally? I was leaning toward the D60 just because it's 2 years newer than the D40. I just really need something thats good in low light and fast for kids sporting events. I'm getting the 55-200 VR lens regardless of which camera I buy, so that's not really a factor in my decision.
#4. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 3
ruca2k8 Registered since 27th Feb 2008Fri 13-Jun-08 02:13 PM
I'll start by "ditto"ing what Hedley said.
For Ken, the D40 is perfect. Others, like myself, prefer D4 my case) or D60 - long discussions all over the place about that war, and I'm not bringing it back
My reasons for posting: if you need low-light capabilities, I don't think the 55-200 will please you very much, especially low-light sports.
I'd suggest you look into faster lenses, starting at f2.8 and moving to f1.8 and f1.4.
Good luck and regardless of camera chosen, show a few pics and have fun.
#5. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 0
First word of advice, be wary of that site. Often grains of truth are mixed with intentionally controversial opinions, which seems to generate "buzz" and drive hits back to his site. "Reviews" there are often opinions written without ever touching the equipment, based off a spec sheet, press release, or pre-conceived notions. Be wary of any review that doesn't have any test data or pictures to back up the claims, and even if it does, then try to corroborate any test with one from another site, because often test data can be skewed to match the reviewer's opinion.
Rockwell's advice here, at least the grain of truth, seems to be aimed at "best bang for the buck" for people shooting snapshots for posting web sized or printing 4x6 prints, which is perhaps what a large % of DSLR purchasers do. In this respect, the D40 is better because it's cheaper and it will do those things equally well, because in both those examples you're throwing away 75% of your pixels on the 6MP camera.
The higher pixel density of the D60 will help you if you want to print really big (bigger than 12x18") or if you shoot distant objects (wildlife/sports) and find yourself needing to crop.
The general rule is that higher pixel density cameras have more noise, which means the D40 should be better at high ISO (low light) but the D60 is newer tech and has the image processing chip introduced with the D3 & D300, so general rules won't necessarily apply. If D60 noise performance is anything like D300 then it's a wash or edge to D60. For this info, I suggest you dig up an actual review.
The "faster" could only apply to flash sync speed, where the D40 can sync with the flash at a faster shutter. This may be a concern if you plan to do a lot of flash photography of moving objects. The base ISO of 100 on D60 vs. 200 on D40 doesn't mean anything with respect to speed or noise. The D40 can't be faster than D60 at ISO 200 because the D60 shoots ISO 200 as well. Higher ISO always introduces more noise, but the comparison is only relevant comparing ISO levels on the same camera. A different camera will have a different noise floor so you can make no correlation whatsoever between ISO and noise.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery
#6. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 5
Sat 14-Jun-08 12:21 AM
I saw Rockwell's site mentioned quite a few times since I joined here, so I assumed he was "The Guru." I totally based my decision on his review - so thanks for the heads up. I'm sure there have been MANY debates on which is better and I certainly wasn't trying to start one. That being said, here's my take on that and please tell me if I'm wrong. First of all, I don't feel I can go wrong with either one - I just thought that the D40 is already 2 yrs. old. (I'm not sure if that matters or not.) When you print out the side-by side comparisons, there really aren't a whole lot of differences. Which is why I was surprised when Ken said the D40 was alot faster. The camera stores are recommending the D60, but I wonder if that's just because it costs more?
#7. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 6
MotoMannequin Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Sat 14-Jun-08 06:20 AM | edited Sat 14-Jun-08 06:28 AM by MotoMannequin
I wouldn't worry about store salesperson recommendations. Do you have any idea the experience level of the person giving the advice? It could be that he or she is making a better commission off the D60. Or maybe an honest opinion. I'd give personal preference to the D60 but that would be for my needs and my budget, not yours. You've gotten some pretty balanced opinions here on the primary differences between the 2 cameras, read that over again and make the call for yourself.
Regarding Rockwell, it seems every week there's someone totally new to this site and to DSLRs who chimes in with advice for another newbie to go read that site (you did it yourself in another thread). The official policy here is that we don't criticize other sites, so you get a one-sided bias of recommendations, while the more experienced members hush up in fear of a smackdown from the moderators. I think this is a real problem for the integrity of the information on this site, but it is what it is. IMO to be fair to Ken, we should either allow criticism or disallow all recommendations completely. Rockwell can be entertaining, and there's usually a grain of truth to anything he writes, and that makes his writing compelling. Problem is, until you have some experience, it's difficult to separate the good info from the bad.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery
#9. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 7
Sat 14-Jun-08 08:14 AM
LOL - I know, I feel stupid now for have recommending that site now! Sorry about that - I sure didn't mean to cause any problems for anybody. Like I said, I saw him recommended by someone else and mentioned a couple other times, so I assumed..... (my mistake)
I thought the same thing about the sales people. The commission part, I mean. I thought they all had some sort of knowledge or experience because they worked there. How naive of me.
At this point in the game either camera will exceed my skill level:)
#8. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 6
fdh Registered since 14th Dec 2005Sat 14-Jun-08 06:26 AM
It's well known that all other things being equal (a big if!) fewer pixels on the same size sensor usually results in higher quality of pixels noise wise. This becomes more important with those small, compact p/s cameras with very small sensors. In the case of the d40 vs d60 whether it will result in one stop better low light performance (or even any difference in performance) on the d40 as I believe Ken Rockwell implies is something I don't really know. If this is really important to you I'd suggest looking elsewhere for more reviews on the cameras (there are a number of sites that I believe do measurements and such so you could find numbers). And, yes, the d60 is newer and might or might not be better for your needs. I believe it's an "incremental" upgrade, without any major technological breakthroughs. And current d40s are perfectly good, worthy and not obsolete cameras. But if available light photography is what you want/need I'd follow suggestions given above and try to pick up an f1.8 or f1.4 lens. The choice I've been thinking of for myself is the sigma 30mm f1.4 lens as it will be able to focus automatically with either of these cameras, whereas many of the "fast" lenses, including Nikon offerings don't because they don't have a built in motor. The sigma at f1.4 if very fast, indeed, and very well suited to low light situation. If you saved a hundred or even two hundred dollars getting a d40 over a d60 and applied that money to the 400 dollars for this lens, you'd have an awesome low light camera lens combination. It would also be a great learning experience, I'm sure. You might want to check out that option before making any decision. Of course, there are other options and paths, but this one seems to stand out to me. good luck and have fun.
#10. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 8
Sat 14-Jun-08 08:26 AM
My first SLR was terrible as far as lighting goes. I always had to lug out my external flash, even just for indoor shots. Now I'm sure part of that was my inexperience, but I would buy higher ISO film speeds, and back then I always shot on auto.
I guess it's not that I'm in lowlight so much as I don't want to have use an external flash all the time. Now that I'm learning (a little) about exposure, it might not be so bad. And the digital sure helps that way because you can see that you need to adjust right away.
#11. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said - but was it right?" | In response to Reply # 0
- occasionally Ken is right, but he has a reputation for being closer to 90% wrong. I think this negative reputation is fair.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
#12. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said - but was it right?" | In response to Reply # 11
lkmstone Registered since 21st Feb 2008Sat 14-Jun-08 02:11 PM
I have a D60. I have shot volleyball and basketball with it. The problem is NOT the camera, its the lens speed in these gyms that have terrible lighting. You will not go wrong with either camera. However, the 55-200 lens will frustrate you. Find a way to get at least an F/4 lens but preferably a F/2.8. At that you will be cranked up to the highest ISO to shoot at 1/250 sec. hope this helps
#13. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said - but was it right?" | In response to Reply # 12
Sat 14-Jun-08 02:39 PM | edited Sat 14-Jun-08 02:40 PM by LMagee
OMG- I just read something about Pentax's kit lenses being poor. I bet a hundred bucks that was my problem with my pentax! (my first SLR) I was always so frustrated and thought it was the camera!
Anyway, I spent about 2 hours this morning reading the D60 reviews and low-light tests, and it actually did very well. And now that I know about the effect the lenses have on that stuff, I'm sure if I have a lighting problem, that's the way I'll resolve it. Thanks so much for your input!
#15. "LRE: Something Ken Rockwell said - but was it right?" | In response to Reply # 13
fdh Registered since 14th Dec 2005Sat 14-Jun-08 07:50 PM
Great! Very glad that you took the time to do the research. It's almost always available if you do a few searches on the web. Some of it is, of course, a little questionable, but when you look at multiple reviews and find a consensus, it becomes very helpful. The D60 is very nice and you'll be very happy with it. If you can pick up the 18-55 VR kit lens with it (it usually has that model as the kit lens) it will help in low light situations. Also, if you can get a bundle at a good price with the 55-200 VR (be sure it's VR!!!) you will have added value, as usually the price with that lens in a bundle is quite a bit better than the normal kit plus the price of buying that lens individually. Again, the VR will help give you maybe two extra stops of lower light performance in many situations.
With the kit lens, if you want low light performance, you can always open the zoom to it's widest (18mm) as the maximum aperture is larger at that zoom level than at the narrower fields of view. Also, you can shoot at lower shutter speeds at wider angles without blur due to hand shake. That, plus setting the ISO to it's maximum value should give you pretty reasonable low light performance. Later, if you want better low light capabilities, you can pick up a fast prime lens and have even more fun. And, oh yes. These cameras do have a built in flash that pops up when you tell it to (or when it wants to depending on the setting on the big round dial on top!). You are going to have some fun!
#16. "LRE: Something Ken Rockwell said - but was it right?" | In response to Reply # 15
Sun 13-Jul-08 09:23 PM | edited Mon 14-Jul-08 10:21 AM by OrlandoRealtor
Lisa, The picture below was taken in low light, automatic setting Nikon D60, 55-200vr zoom about 25 feet from the stage with just the in-camera flash, Friday at Universal Orlando when Brendan Fraser was there. I think the d60 does ok with low light. Jerry
#17. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 0
The OP asked a question that nobody has addressed. I don't know the answer. But the question is: Will you get better low-light results from a D60 if you set it to 6mp? (Obviously, this only applies to jpg photos, but still a good question.)
#18. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 17
mtpenmaker Registered since 23rd Aug 2007Sun 13-Jul-08 11:47 PM
The answer is no, because you can't set the D60 to 6 megapixels. It has a 10 megapixel sensor and that's what determines everything else including the amount of noise at high ISO. Setting it to produce a smaller size JPG file doesn't change the properties of the sensor.
As is often the case, KR said one thing,but actually meant something else. The D40 and D60 can both be set for ISO 1600, so the D40 is not faster. He should have just said that, in his opinion, the D40 has better high ISO performance.
D40, F4, FM2n, N90s and not enough glass
#19. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 18
Sun 13-Jul-08 11:52 PM
Thanks Gerry, That makes sense. This is only Ken Rockwell's opinion, I seem to get good pictures from my D60 in low light situations and happy with the results. Jerry
#21. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 19
jpgolf14 Registered since 28th Sep 2007Mon 14-Jul-08 08:12 PM | edited Mon 14-Jul-08 08:13 PM by jpgolf14
>Thanks Gerry, That makes sense. This is only Ken Rockwell's
>opinion, I seem to get good pictures from my D60 in low light
>situations and happy with the results. Jerry
Please note that when one talks about low light performance they are typically talking about available light photography (no flash). So we are really talking about ISO or noise performance, when we say low light performance.
It would interesting to see a side by side D40 vs D40x vs D60 night picture at the same settings starting at base ISO and moving up from there. I would expect all three to look the same to the average eye.
What are the details of that photo you posted, ISO? f-stop? shutter?
#23. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 21
Tue 15-Jul-08 01:53 AM | edited Tue 15-Jul-08 07:06 PM by OrlandoRealtor
Picture I posted was hand held in a dark room with low lights on the stage about 25 feet from the stage 55-200vr lens Auto Mode with in-camera flash. Info from Opanda below picture link, Jerry
Make = NIKON CORPORATION
Model = NIKON D60
Orientation = top/left
Software = Capture NX 2.0.0 W
Date Time = 2008-07-12 06:10:48
Exposure Time = 1/60"
F Number = F5.6
Exposure Program = Not defined
ISO Speed Ratings = 900
Exif Version = Version 2.21
Date Time Original = 2008-07-11 16:10:34
Date Time Digitized = 2008-07-11 16:10:34
Exposure Bias Value = ±0EV
Max Aperture Value = F5.66
Metering Mode = Pattern
Light Source = unknown
Flash = Flash fired, auto mode, return light detected
Focal Length = 200mm
Maker Note = 3069 Byte
Subsec Time = 0.60"
Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
Color Space = sRGB
Exif Image Width = 3872
Exif Image Height = 2592
Sensing Method = One-chip color area sensor
File Source = DSC
Scene Type = A directly photographed image
Custom Rendered = Normal process
Exposure Mode = Auto exposure
White Balance = Auto white balance
Digital Zoom Ratio = 1x
Focal Length In 35mm Film = 300mm
Scene Capture Type = Normal
Gain Control = High gain up
Contrast = Normal
Saturation = Normal
Sharpness = Normal
Subject Distance Range = unknown
>>Thanks Gerry, That makes sense. This is only Ken
>>opinion, I seem to get good pictures from my D60 in low
>>situations and happy with the results. Jerry
>Please note that when one talks about low light performance
>they are typically talking about available light photography
>(no flash). So we are really talking about ISO or noise
>performance, when we say low light performance.
>It would interesting to see a side by side D40 vs D40x vs D60
>night picture at the same settings starting at base ISO and
>moving up from there. I would expect all three to look the
>same to the average eye.
>What are the details of that photo you posted, ISO? f-stop?
#22. "RE: Something Ken Rockwell said." | In response to Reply # 0
If someone would do the Dynamic Range Collaboration under Collaborations at my site then we would have hard numbers to compare the D60 against other Nikon DSLRs.
The D60 is the only current Nikon model for which I have no data.
Visit me at My site