I haven’t handled either of these cameras, so this is not a review. I’ll be giving my point of view of these yet-to-be introduced entry level DSLRs from the perspective of a first time buyer for the purpose of travel and adventure photography. They are similar in many ways and I’ll point out the major considerations and differences that matter to me.
Portability is a major consideration if you are traveling or have to carry your camera on your back for miles. Both these cameras are among the lightest DSLRs available and are within a few grams of each other (475g for the XSi and 471g for the D60). It’s a tie.
When you are into your 2nd week of trekking or deep in the backcountry and unable to recharge your batteries, battery life determines how many spares you will need to carry. Both cameras use batteries that are light and have a decent rating of 500 shots per charge. It’s a tie.
This is what it’s going to cost you to replace one of these if you break it, sink it, get it stolen while passed out drunk in Morocco, etc. A quick check with Amazon shows prices for the XSi (body only) at $800, and the D60 at $623. The answer here isn’t so straightforward. You get what you pay for and the XSi’s feature set appears superior to that of the D60, perhaps justifying its significantly higher price. The D60 wins here because I think the XSi’s price may place it out of reach of many first time buyers.
To be continued with ergonomics…