Canon 60D vs Nikon D7000

canon 60d vs nikon d7000Digital camera specs are changing these days like the meter of a NY cab. It seems only yesterday that Nikon introduced the D7000 and Canon the 60D. Both semi-professional models with crop sensors wooing the enthusiast market. Today, however, both these semi-professional models have been replaced by their respective smarter cousins, the D7100 and the 70D. But still, in spite of all the changes and upgrades that the new cameras boast, both Nikon and Canon have persisted with these two older models. They still remain a formidable pair of semi-professional cameras in the market.

A head to head between the Canon 60D and the D7000 will be an interesting one. Please note, that only the top features of both the cameras are discussed here. If you are looking for some more insights into buying a DSLR or for that matter any camera, you may want to look into this camera-buying course.

Sensor Size and Crop Factor

22.3mm x 14.9mm (Canon 60D) vs 23.6mm x 15.6mm (D7000). Both are technically APS-C cameras or in other words they both feature ‘crop’ sensors. Crop sensors are smaller than full-frame sensors. But in spite of them being the same nomenclature the crop factor is slightly different. The Canon 60D has a crop factor of 1.6x and the Nikon D7000 has a 1.5x crop factor. Meaning, the focal length of a 50mm lens mounted on the 60D will give a 35mm equivalent focal length of 80mm while a similar lens when mounted on the D7000 will give a 35mm equivalent focal length of 75mm.

Megapixels

The battle here is 18 megapixels vs 16.2 megapixels. Though the Nikon lags just behind the Canon in terms of resolution, two megapixels is not going to make a world of difference in the ultimate results. For those who are only going to share what they shoot on social networking sites and or via emails, both cameras are more than enough. For those who are planning to print billboard sizes though, depending on the dpi (dots per inch) that your printer is going to use, a 16 megapixel camera may still be enough.

The 60D’s slightly higher megapixel number, however, scores in one area and that is the maximum image size that you can shoot with it. While the largest fine JPEG size that you can shoot with the 60D is 5184 x 3456 pixels, with the D7000 you can only shoot at 4928 x 3264 pixels.

Body and Dimension

There is no such thing as the best DSLR camera. In fact there is no such thing as the best camera period. What you prefer, based on looks, ergonomics, features and ease of use may not be the preference of someone else and vice versa. When choosing a DSLR, it is thus recommended that you pick it up, feel it, smell it (yes some photographers are paranoid about their equipment) and get a first-hand idea of the ergonomics.

That being said, the 60D is slightly bigger compared to the D7000 all around. It measures 144.5mm x 105.8mm x 78.6mm. Compared to it the D7000 measures 132mm x 103mm x 77mm. While some photographers with larger hands will feel the larger camera fitting perfectly, others, with smaller hands will say it is the D7000 which is more practical. As already stated above, it is all a matter of personal choice.

Storage

Both cameras can use all versions of SD cards namely, SD, SDHC and SDXC. While the Canon 60D has single memory card slot, the D7000 has twin card slots. The advantage of twin card slots is that you can use your each card for different purposes. You could chose to use on for storing JPEGs and the other for RAW, or use one as a backup for the other, simultaneously recording what you shoot in both cards (makes sense when you are shooting weddings and you don’t want to take a chance) or alternatively use one as a memory overrun for the other. The D7000 has a major upper hand over the 60D in this department.

Viewfinder

Both cameras use eye-level Pentaprism, which are better when compared to the cheaper pentamirror used in entry level DSLRs. Resultantly, the image coming out of the viewfinder is brighter and clearer. The real advantage is when you are framing in darker conditions. If the auto-focus gives up in such situations, manual focusing is the only way forward. You will bless your stars that you picked a DSLR with Pentaprism viewfinder and not pentamirror because you can pick and focus on your subjects better in such low light conditions.

The Monitor

Both the 60D and the D7000 has a 3” LCD monitor that offers a clear bright view in both live view mode and when shooting videos. The 60D, however, boasts a 1,040,000 dots display while the D7000 boasts only 921,000 dots. The most distinguishing feature is, however, that the monitor of the 60D tilts and swivels in any direction you choose to, even when the camera is mounted on a tripod. This probably is one of the areas where the D7000 truly lags behind, which has a non-articulating monitor.

Frame Coverage

While the 60D offers only a 95% frame coverage, the D7000 gives a 100% coverage. Composing and taking pictures using the D7000 is thus much more precise. You get only what you have framed for in the final picture. With the 60D, framing and composing is okay but unless you are careful about what else is there in the immediate vicinity of the frame you may end up with bit of a surprise when you review the images on your computer. Speaking of framing and composing if you have been wondering about some pointers, this course can help you with that.

Shutter Speed

A fast shutter speed is imperative when you are photographing fidgety subjects or when you need great Bokeh in your photos. Of course for both you need fast lenses. Primes are better suited for shooting at high shutter speeds as they tend to offer large apertures in affordable package. If you want more information on choosing the right lenses for your DSLR do take a look at this course. Okay, that being said, both the 60D and the D7000 share the same fast shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second. So, honors even!

Frame Rate

This is one of the favorite topics for a lot of professionals. Frame rate or burst rate or drive rate is the number of shots that a DSLR camera can take in every second. The D7000 shoots at a maximum of 6 frames per second (fps). On the other hand the Canon shoots at a comparable 5.3 fps. If you are planning to photograph birds, or fast action or may be sports, please note that none of these two cameras will give you superlative results. You can spray and pray (that’s what some photographers call this when they use the continuous shooting mode) that some of the shots will work out. But really, at tops 6 fps you are about 4-5 frames shy of a realistic chance of getting some usable keepers.

Closing Up

In a lot of ways these two cameras have been neck and neck in terms of their features and their comparative performances. Really, there are probably one or two features that you could put your finger on and say, aha! You wouldn’t be blamed for choosing either one over the other. Plus, being older, tried and tested models (and now being replaced by better machines) they are available for a much cheaper price than they used to when first launched. If you are a beginner photographer, slowly getting into the world of DSLR photography, it is recommended that you invest in some good lenses and pick any one of the above models. You may also want to check out some very important basic photography concepts. This course might just help you with that.