Canon EOS 600D

This is a superb example of a consumer-level digital SLR that gets its video implementation right first time. We're sure that all users, regardless of skill level or interest in videography or stills photography, will appreciate it.


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When Canon released the 550D we thought there was little more the company could do to improve it, apart from increasing the size of the viewfinder and giving photographers selectable RAW sizes. The 600D is almost a carbon copy of the earlier award-winning camera with the addition of a flip-out LCD screen, wireless flash control and creative filters. But, as we'll see, these similarities actually make for a better camera as a result.

Design and features

Shaped in the same vein as all other baby Canon SLRs that have come before, the 600D sits comfortably in the hand with all main controls within easy reach. The button configuration hasn't really changed at all from the 550D, with the same four-way directional pad, playback and quick function access buttons there as well as the dual-purpose Live View/record button. The only real difference is the display button which has migrated just above the mode dial, replacing the sensor that flicked the LCD display on and off underneath the viewfinder.

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Click through for images taken on the 600D. (Credit: CBSi)

Elsewhere, the 600D also gets an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor and the Digic 4 image processor, the same as the 550D. Full HD video recording at 30, 25 and 24fps is almost Canon standard now, and the 600D also comes with video snapshot mode, which borrows elements from the company's camcorder range. It lets photographers take a small snippet of footage (two/four/eight seconds) and piece together the clips in a montage with background music if desired.

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Click through for a complete photo gallery of the 1100D and 600D. (Credit: CBSi)

The 600D is simple enough for beginners to use with the inclusion of scene intelligent auto, which determines the best settings for focus, brightness, flash and colour tone according to the shooting situations. This is on top of the regular Creative auto mode on recent Canon SLRs that helps newbies get to grips with adjusting settings like background blur and colour mode. Of course, there's the standard portrait, landscape, macro and sports modes on the dial too.

Like the 60D, the 600D also has creative filters that apply different effects to images after shooting, including grainy black-and-white, toy camera and fish-eye.

600D creative filters

From top: black-and-white, fish-eye, toy camera, miniature.
(Credit: CBSi)

Where the 600D really starts to leap ahead of other competing SLRs is in its video implementation. While the 550D provided full manual controls for videographers, the 600D couples this with an articulating LCD screen at 1.04 million dots and the inclusion of what Canon is calling "digital zoom". Rather than mounting an extensive telephoto lens on the front of the camera, or if you're stuck in situations where you are unable to use a longer lens, you can turn on the digital zoom, which provides an extra 3-10x equivalent length. It samples the centre portion of what the image sensor sees and uses that to crop in on the image. This is possible as the full resolution of the 18-megapixel sensor exceeds the dimensions of full HD so the camera can crop in to the centre portion at 1920x1080 pixels. A full assessment of this feature can be found further down in this review.

Connectivity is similar to the 550D with an external microphone input (3.5mm), mini-HDMI, remote control and an AV/Digital out port. The 600D is slightly heavier than the 550D, by about 50 grams.

Compared to

D5100 vs.
Nikon D5100 Canon EOS 600D Nikon D7000
16.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS 16.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS
3.0-inch, 921,000-dot articulating LCD screen 3.0-inch, 1,04K-dot articulating LCD screen 3.0-inch, 921,000-dot fixed LCD screen
Full HD video (1080p, 24/25fps) Full HD video (1080p, 24/25/30fps) Full HD video (1080p, 24/25fps)
No wireless flash control Wireless flash control Wireless flash control

Performance

General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • RAW shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag
  • Canon 600D0.20.40.70.1
  • Nikon D70000.30.20.30.1
  • Canon 60D0.30.40.40.1
  • Canon 550D0.30.60.60.2

Continuous shooting speed (longer bars indicate better performance)

  • Nikon D70006
  • Canon 60D5.3
  • Canon 600D3.7
  • Canon 550D3.4

Image quality

We tested the 600D primarily with the kit 18-135mm lens but it also comes in a range of other kit configurations including a more standard 18-55mm.

As the sensor and image processor of the 550D and 600D is identical, image quality is exactly the same. What this means to photographers who haven't experienced the 550D is excellent colour rendition and noise control at high ISO levels.

Dynamic range is very good, though there can be some highlight clipping in contrasty situations when using automatic exposures. JPEG processing is very good through most ISO levels. ISO 3200 and 6400 (the highest of the native ISO range) produce acceptable levels of noise for reduced or web resolution use. Colour noise at full magnification is quite pronounced though.

RAW vs. JPEG comparison

600D RAW JPEG

A comparison of the RAW and JPEG files produced by the 600D, 100 per cent crop inset at ISO 6400.
(Credit: CBSi)

Wireless flash control is an excellent addition to this camera, which lets the 600D control a number of external flashes. At the time the 600D was launched, Canon also introduced two lower-end speedlights, the 270EX II and 320 EX, though the feature also works with the existing 430 EX and 580 EX II flashes.

To activate it, turn the mode dial into one of the PASM options and press the Q button until the wireless flash control setting is selected. You can set the option to easy wireless shooting or custom shooting. A full video tutorial on how to use this feature will follow this review soon.

Video quality

Video quality, as with the 550D, is excellent. It's simply the best you can get on any SLR in this particular price bracket. Colour rendition is superb and the video image is smooth. Even the internal microphone seems to produce better audio than on the 550D. The 600D also gets manual audio levels (though still no method to monitor the audio before recording apart from referring to the visual meter).

The digital zoom feature is actually really useful for obtaining just that little bit of extra focal length when filming video. At 3x zoom the image is clear, as it's sampling the true 1080p resolution of the sensor. When zooming in any further, you can see a degradation in quality which is brought about by the interpolation. There's some artefacts present, particularly at the furthest extent of the zoom. See our video below for an example of the digital zoom in action. Note: these sample videos were shot on the 600D with the 10-22mm EF-S lens.

Image samples

Exposure: 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 125

Exposure: 1/200, f/9, ISO 100

Exposure: 1/400, f/5.6, ISO 125

Exposure: 1/30, f/5.6, ISO 1600

(Credit: CBSi)

Conclusion

When we first saw the specifications of the 600D we were underwhelmed by the overall similarities to the 550D, which snagged an Editors' Choice award. But, when we put the 600D through its paces, we found these extra features like wireless flash control and an articulating screen to be excellent additions to an already-great formula.

This is a superb example of a consumer-level digital SLR that gets its video implementation right first time. We're sure that all users, regardless of skill level or interest in videography or stills photography, will appreciate it.

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AnneR1 Facebook
2
Rating
 

"Rusted"

AnneR1 posted a review   

The Good:Easy to use

The Bad:Rusts under normal use

We have had a similar problem to Spanner! Just wondering if ayone else has?

We bought the camera just before going away on holidys to Darwin. A week into the trip the camera stopped working. On return we took it back to the retailer. They said the battery had gone completely flat and the camera just needed to be reset.

We put the camera in the cupboard and about a month later used it again. Once again it just stopped working. This time the retailer could not get it to work so our 3 month old camera was sent back to Canon.

Canon advised us that there was water damage, resulting in rust, and therefore the repair was NOT covered by warranty. Our camera had not been wet or exposed to drink or rain! The repair cost was more than half the value of a new Camera.

Could there be a quality/manufactuing issue? I find it hard to believe that our Canon 600D camera has rusted so quickly after normal use.

Spanner
3
Rating
 

"overal easy to use"

Spanner posted a review   
Australia

The Good:large LCD screen

The Bad:poor quality

Initially I was generally pleased with the performance of the camera however if you plan to use it in any form of 'moisture' such as humidity or damp days I would rethink the purchase as I have only had my camera for 5 months and it was sent back when it wasnt working anymore and then after 5 weeks it was finally sent back and deemed unusable due to liquid penetration... I have not spillt anything on it or dropped it in water) I can only think the camera is made poorly if the humidity/moisture can so easily effect it.... poor customer service..... poor communication..... I now have a nikon!!

 

AmardeepS posted a comment   

Is "Canon EOS 600D" supports external mike?

 

DenysS posted a reply   

Yes it has Stereo External Support

MattM4 Facebook
8
Rating
 

"Almost there..."

MattM4 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Battery Life, Flip out display, shortcut buttons

The Bad:Slow autofocus, no mini HDMI cable.

I purchased this camera last month, and have been surprised with its performance, the 600d produces crisp images, is easy to use and produces beautiful 1080p video.

gln2d3
10
Rating
 

"Overall this is a great DSLR, though the AF in live mode is a bit slow."

gln2d3 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Great image and video quality, lots of manual settings also.

The Bad:Slow autofocus in live view mode.

This is my first DSLR camera and I have to say, the quality is amazing! I like the flip out lcd on it too. I purchased it with the 18-55mm and 55-250mm kit lenses. So far, it's really awesome. I think this will be a great camera to enable me to learn more about photography and I would definitely recommend it.

 

gln2d3 posted a reply   
Australia

The slow AF in live view doesn't matter that much, since it's super quick in the viewfinder.

mjyoungman
9
Rating
 

"Great Beginners Camera"

mjyoungman posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Number of Features for Price

The Bad:Would have like mini HDMI cable with camera

This purchase was my first DSLR, so I don't have a depth of knowledge to compare with. I can say that I'm really loving the camera. It's relatively easy to use and takes great photo's and video. I bought the twin lens kit and in retrospect would probably have bought an 18-200 lens and a 50mm prime lens (I ended up buying the 50mm prime later...it was only $127!).

I've also now bought a tripod and 320ex flash unit and am really enjoying getting to know my camera. Luckily there are a lot of you tube clips out there for beginners on things like aperature, shutter speed and ISO settings etc, so you can soon start using this camera off of manual settings and seeing the difference it can make.

My only small gripe is that it doesn't include a mini HDMI cable to play your high def video, but that's pretty normal these days for any electronic device.

I've found the flip out screen really useful, especially when shooting video, and the different shooting modes also are cool to play around with.

All in all a great camera for the price...

 

"Genuine items"

AsimZ posted a comment   
Australia

Is this cameraparadise.com is an autentic website to buy from?? i means do yo they have genuine items???

bobstha
8
Rating
 

bobstha posted a review   
Australia

I am planing to buy the canon EOS 600D but I am quite confuse between Canon EOS 600D and Canon EOS Kiss X5 600D.Are they same? I would be very thankful if some one can help me to make me clear between this. Thxs

 

narissa posted a reply   
Australia

they are identical and the differentiating names are purely for marketing. the rebel t3i and kiss x5 and cannon 600d are all the same camera with the exact same specs etcetera.

 

rosie27 posted a comment   
Australia

I am looking for a trusty site that sells the Canon 600d in red. Anyone know where I can find it?

Philosophy
10
Rating
 

Philosophy posted a review   

The Good:No AGC

The Bad:No audio monitoring prior to record

Beautiful camera. I got the super kit (18-135) with a circular polariser, a lens hood and a 16GB card from TopBuy for under $1400.

The quality of the articulating screen is brilliant.

Having the ability to turn off the AGC is great but I already use a Zoom H4n and a Rode NTG2... but now I can just get a Rode Videomic for simple field work.


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User Reviews / Comments  Canon EOS 600D

  • AnneR1

    AnneR1

    Rating2

    "We have had a similar problem to Spanner! Just wondering if ayone else has?

    We bought the camera just before going away on holidys to Darwin. A week into the trip the camera stopped w..."

  • Spanner

    Spanner

    Rating3

    "Initially I was generally pleased with the performance of the camera however if you plan to use it in any form of 'moisture' such as humidity or damp days I would rethink the purchase as I have onl..."

  • AmardeepS

    AmardeepS

    "Is "Canon EOS 600D" supports external mike?"

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