I recently rediscovered an old hobby of photography and decided that i could afford to upgrade from the equipment that i had previously owned. This had been a minolta xgm and a couple of lenses and had provided not only a lot of enjoyment, but also, many fine pictures to look back on through the years. So, off i took myself to ebay and started looking. Pretty soon i had decided on a nikon, as the quality is usually so good. The F60 was the camera that i bid on and won, costing less than £150 with a sigma 28-200 mm zoom. The camera duly arrived and the very first thing i noticed about it was its reassuaring weight. The body is a metal construction, unlike many newer cameras that are very plasticky. Granted it makes it a heavier camera than many, but i kind of like that. Also noticeable was the looks of the camera. It is, after all, a fine looking instrument and looks every bit an expensive camea. Now, onto the goodies, the controld, buttons and knobs. If a complete amateur were to buy this camera, within five minutes, they would be able to take excellent looking pictures, the reason why?? Well nikon have included on their automatic programs a "green" mode, which basically turns the F60 into an excellent point and shoot camera. The autofocus system works wonderfully with the sigma lens (as well as with nikons own brand, tokina and tamron lenses). By lightly pressing down on the shutter release button enables the lens to focus on the target, viewed through a clear and bright viewfinder. The lcd display on the top of the camera is mirrored by one in the actual viewfinder itself, giving clear and concise information such as the shutter speed, the lens aperture and the need for a flash as well as a focus light that will flash if the subject is not in focus (more useful when the autofocus is disengaged and manual focus is selected). There are many program modes, included preset ones such as portrait, sport (where you can keep your finger on the button to take con
tinuos pictures as you pan and follow a subject)night time, macro (close-up) and landscape mode. The list of extras this camera boasts goes on, auto exposure lock, self timer etc. In short, enough features to keep an amateur more than happy as well as a more seasoned photographer. The flash (which pops out of the top of the camera) is worthy of note in that it has one of the most powerful guide numbers for a non dedicated flash (i.e. stuck on a camera rather than being a stand-alone flash gun). This, coupled with the autofocus system that will focus even in near pitch black conditions, ensure that it is as good in dark as it is in the day. Now, no review is ever fair untill it lists some disadvantages. I can only think of two, first that it can be a little heavy to lug about if out hillwalking etc. Secondly, it has no cable release (this enables the photographer to mount the camera on a tripod or flat surface and operate the shutter release without actually pushing down the button itself, thus creating camera shake and blurring a picture). The only way arond this is to use the self timer, which is a little slow. Other than that, it takes wonderful pictures, is simple to use straight out of the box and has enough advanced features to make it a camera that you can expand your hobby with over the years.