I've done it. After thinking about a new camera for some time, comparing them on-line and talking to folks about the merits of one versus the other, I have finally made the purchase.
My new toy (well, one the them anyway, more on that later) is shown above.
After all the research I bought a Nikon D60.
The Nikon D60 is a compact 10.2 megapixel digital SLR camera with great technical specifications and wide range of accessories. Brilliant image quality, amazing performance and outstanding design are just three of the many benefits of this perfect digital device.
Nikon D60 Digital SLR Highlights . . .
Nikon Integrated Dust Reduction System Dust in front of your camera sensor can mean distracting spots on your pictures. That’s why Nikon does everything to ensure clear pictures, including minimizing the build-up and appearance of dust. Nikon’s exclusive Airflow Control System is one of the two main protections against dust. It leads air within the mirror box towards small ducts near the base, preventing internal dust from settling in front of the image sensor. The D60’s second form of defense is the Imaging Sensor Cleaning function, which was originally built for the D300. Every time you turn the camera on or off, this function uses vibrations to steer dust away from the optical low-pass filter in front of the sensor (deactivation and manual activation are also possible). Nikon engineers have also dealt with dust and other tiny particles in many other ways to prevent such image degrading material from attaching to the filter or being seen by the sensor when you are taking pictures. With all these measures in place, you can concentrate on getting the shot while exploring the wide array of Nikkor interchangeable lenses that a Nikon digital SLR opens up to you.
Rich, Smooth Detail with Active D-Lighting 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. But with Nikon’s Active D-Lighting, the D60 can correct these exposure issues instantly and automatically, while you shoot. Simply set Active D-Lighting before you start shooting. Active D-Lighting is available when "Matrix" is selected for metering.
Eye Sensor The Eye Sensor activates every time you look through the viewfinder, turning off the information display on the LCD for comfortable shooting.
Compact, Light and Comfortable The D60 is compact, light and ready to go wherever life takes you. The D60’s size is not the only factor to consider; its shape is ergonomically designed to fit in your hand naturally and comfortably. Nikon’s experienced engineers know that operating a camera shouldn’t distract you. That’s why each button and texture on the camera’s exterior has been carefully considered for the most efficient and fluid operation possible.
The D60’s bright, clear optical viewfinder is also designed with the user in mind, its helpful indicators and intuitive icons helping you achieve ideal composition with the optimal settings.
Nikon’s Intelligent Built-in Flash -- Simply Brilliant Proper flash lighting used to require skill, time and patience. With the D60, however, flash photography is simple, instant and accurate. Thanks to Nikon’s cutting-edge i-TTL flash technology, all the complicated calculations happen automatically, giving you balanced flash illumination under almost any conditions, even difficult lighting situations such as backlit subjects. With Auto mode, you just point, shoot and let the camera do the rest. It’s that simple.
Display Format Options The information display in the 2.5-inch LCD monitor lets you check essential camera information quickly and easily. Choose whatever display format fits your taste best: each of the Graphic and Classic formats have three color variations to suit your preferences, while Wallpaper uses one of your own pictures as the background. Graphic format uses visual displays to show shutter speed and aperture, as well as the mode dial every time you turn it to a new setting. The D60 even recognizes whether you are holding the camera horizontally or vertically, and then automatically displays camera information on the LCD monitor accordingly.
Intuitive Menu Navigation The D60 lets you alter settings and functions in many ways. For all the choices it offers, the menu is still amazingly simple and intuitive, with navigation made easy thanks to a carefully considered design. If you are ever unsure about a specific feature or function, simply press the O button for detailed information. It’s like having an onboard instructor to answer your questions. The D60’s convenient assist images help you select appropriate camera settings. These useful reference images help explain the effect that each function has on your photos -- very helpful for exploring new features and making the most of the camera.
Creative shooting is just a quick turn away With the D60, you will always be prepared to shoot a wide variety of subject matter. Just turn the mode dial to fit your shooting situation and beautiful results are yours instantly.
Quick responses, captured moments Amazing moments can pass by quickly, but the D60’s fast 0.19-second startup, split-second shooting time lag and fast, accurate autofocus capture more of these moments with precision. The camera’s high-speed continuous shooting also helps capture fast-moving action at up to 3 pictures per second for as many as 100 (JPEG) pictures.
Lord - that is a lot of features. now I have to figure out how to use them before we get to Italy!