1. Computing

Canon EOS 60D DSLR Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

By

Canon EOS 60D Review

The Canon EOS 60D has been released to bridge the gap between Canon's Rebel T2i and 7D.

Jo Plumridge for About.com

The Bottom Line

Canon has been busy redesigning its range of cameras, now creating four distinct levels. The Rebel T2i is regarded as Canon's current amateur camera, the 7D is aimed at semi-pros, and cameras such as the 5D Mark II and 1DS Mark III are firmly aimed at professionals.

This has left a big gap though for enthusiastic amateurs looking to upgrade from an entry-level camera.

Enter the Canon EOS 60D DSLR to fill the gap. The 60D is even sized to fit firmly in-between the Rebel T2i and the 7D. So, the 60D shouldn't really be seen as a continuation of the 40/50D range, but rather as a "Super Rebel."

Description

  • Resolution: 18 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • ISO: ISO 100-6400, expandable to 12800, in 0.3 or 1.0 EV increments
  • Focusing: 9 AF points
  • Movie Mode: HD movie mode
  • Flash: Built-in popup flash
  • LCD Screen: 3-inch LCD panel, 1,040,000 pixels
  • Battery: LiIon LP-E6 rechargeable battery
  • Dimensions: 5.71 x 4.17 x 3.11 in. (145 x 106 x 79 mm)
  • Weight: 26.63 oz. (755 g) (including battery and memory card)
  • Maximum Image Size: 5184 x 3456 pixels (RAW and JPEG)

Pros

  • 18 megapixels
  • Good results at higher ISO settings
  • Full HD movie mode
  • Flip-out LCD screen

Cons

  • Some fiddly controls
  • Plastic body
  • Currently overpriced

Canon EOS 60D Review

Despite its name, the 60D is most definitely the Rebel T2i's big brother, rather than the successor to the 50D. This is a completely different beast.

The most obvious differences are that it's smaller than the 50D and is now made from a plastic shell, instead of a magnesium body. If you placed the Rebel T2i, the 60D, and the 7D side by side, you'd notice that the 60D is exactly halfway between the size of the other two models. The 60D is also Canon's first DSLR camera to feature a flip-out LCD screen, allowing you to view shots from different angles. This is particularly useful in video mode, as it means you no longer have to hold the camera out at arm's length.

It's a bold step by Canon, but has it paid off?

Well, yes and no. This camera will certainly appeal to those wanting to step up from the basic functions of the Rebel range of cameras. But, in my view, it is somewhat overpriced in comparison to the 7D. The price difference isn't wide enough. If I was upgrading from a Rebel series at present, I'd certainly look to try to find the extra $300 for a 7D.

Controls

While the 60D retains the comfortable hand grip of the 50D, many of its controls have been vastly revised. Users of the Rebel series cameras will be far more at home here than existing 50D users.

The 60D has benefited from the addition of the "Q" button. This allows users to navigate directly to the Q Menu screen, which lists the key shooting parameters. Unfortunately, the rest of the controls now seem somewhat fiddly. There's no joystick control anymore, just an inner dial within the rear control dial. This is undoubtedly a cost saving measure.

The camera has fewer buttons overall than the 50D, and the camera has fewer functions assigned to the buttons it does have. For instance, all of the buttons on the top row of the camera are now single function. Several of the buttons are customizable though, and the Q button helps to aid quick access to changes needed.

SD Cards and HD Movie Mode

Like its big brother (the 7D), the 60D can shoot in full HD movie mode (1920x1080 pixels), and it has full manual controls. This allows you to set both the aperture and shutter speed, and exert far more control over your movies. There's also an external stereo microphone terminal and the ability to adjust sound recording levels.

The 60D is Canon's first camera to use SD cards, as opposed to CF cards. It accepts a variety of SD cards, including SDXC memory cards, which provide up to 2TB of space. The idea is that this will allow photographers to store both video and still images without needing to change memory cards.

Flash

A useful feature of the 60D is that the integrated popup flash is also a dedicated Speedlite transmitter. This means that the camera will wirelessly control off camera flashes, by acting as a trigger light.

Image Quality

The 60D produces good smooth results at higher ISOs, with slightly less noisy images than one gets from the Rebel T2i. Like the 7D, the 60D has a tendency to overexpose in contrasty situations by often exposing for the shadows. This results in the need to shoot RAW in order to get the best results.

As with the Rebel, there is a marked difference from shooting in RAW to shooting in JPEG. But its color reproduction is pretty accurate, and the camera performs well in most lighting situations.

In Conclusion

Canon seem to be trying to carve out a new niche with the 60D. It has some clever features, such as a pivoting LCD, in-camera editing and rating facilities, wireless flash control, and full HD movie capture. But getting the best results takes a little more effort than it should, which could be a problem, considering that Canon is now aiming this camera at enthusiastic amateurs.

At least its image quality is really good and, considering that the camera is now made with a plastic shell, it still feels robust and well put together. If Canon would just lower the price by $150 or so, then I'd say this was an ideal upgrade to those users with a Rebel camera.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
60D Excels in Sport mode and for Macrophotography, Member azreax

After spending a couple weeks fiddling with this camera's features and menu, I can safely say this robust digital camera is a sound mixture of my old Canon SLR film (remember them?) camera and high end point-and-shoot digital cameras. I've been a novice/intermediate camera bug since the late 1960's, owning Alpa, Nikon, Canon, Minox and many more photo cameras. The lessons I learned with all that early age gear easily transfers to the Canon EOS 60D DSLR. In recent years I've owned just about every premium handy camera from all the leading producers - more than I can list. Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, Konica, Minolta, Canon, plus others. Many of the Canon EOS 60D's mechanical features lack the friendly touch and feel of early day film cameras. But the heft of the well sculptured mid-sized body helps stabilize an otherwise wieldy camera. It's right on the edge of too heavy, never-the-less a joy to handle. The sculptures grip fits the hand really well. This camera has a complex range of features buried inside a bewildering array of menu tabs. Thankfully, Canon has included a printed instruction manual along with a digital disk. The manual is too small but useful in the field. Mine is getting dog-eared already, and I've only learned about 20% of what's in there. But that's the good news . . . there's lots to learn about the 60D, many features I may never use. But, glad to know some folks do. The kit-included a 18-135mm Zoom lense which gives this camera a powerful street savvy, aided by a wonderful lense stabilizer system. The wide angle can grab a scene-gobbling single frame panorama. And the zoom is strong enough to reach out and snag just about anything of interest. It sure saves steps! The resulting photos are rich and bountiful. I've never had so much fun at an art fair! The sports action setting on the 60D produced some astonishing results. I'll admit to being disappointed with just about every other camera I've ever put to this test. But the 60D's continual shooting capacity allows a solid string of crystal clear action; easy for the eye to follow. I've always lived by the theory that ""if you take enough pictures, you're bound to get a good one very now and then."" This camera stopped my energized grandson in mid-dribble, mid-flight, and froze his famous follow-through pose. He uses the photos produced by the 60D on his Facebook, MySpace and more. I have him fooled - he thinks I'm a pretty good photographer! I've also put the 60D to task at macro photography with Canon's supreme 100mm macro. The lense is stupendous, with a super deep field of vision when shot at f32. I never dreamed I'd get such results. It has me ordering varitone backgrounds and specialized display accouterments so I can continue experimenting with the intriguing field of macro. The D60's huge digital capacity allows for some stunning RAW photo editing with Canon's included software. I never envisioned myself with this much control of a photo image. This software gives the users (you and me) a wide range of effective enhancement tools. It even allows users to copy an enhancement FORMULA from one photo to the next - magic! This adds a professional touch to illustrations for the photo-intense book I'm writing - it'll make me look like a genius! Overall, I think this camera will be a powerful tool. Thanks, Canon 60D! Now we're off to the gourd fair to see what this puppy can do next!

30 out of 32 people found this helpful.

  1. About.com
  2. Computing
  3. Digital Cameras
  4. Reviews
  5. Canon Camera Reviews
  6. Canon EOS 60D DSLR Review - A Review of the Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.