Canon EOS 60D

Provided you don't need ultra-fast shooting speed or a tough chassis, the 60D is ideal for anyone looking for a video-enabled SLR. Just don't expect a true successor to the 50D.


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Design and features

The 60D marks the biggest shift in design from the previous xxD models in Canon's prosumer SLR range, sharing more in common with the 7D than any other model. It's there in the textured plastic that flanks the outside of the body, the more streamlined back panel that eschews the flat surface favoured on the 50D, and the repositioning of the power switch.

The mode dial too has been tweaked so it now has a button that needs to be pressed in order to make the dial rotate — a feature that Canon assures us was a result of user feedback about the mode dial slipping too freely. In use though, we feel it is a bit counter-intuitive, either requiring two hands to coordinate the unlocking motion or moving the camera down to see which menu option to choose.

Canon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60D

Click through for a complete photo gallery. (Credit: Canon)

New features from the 50D include high-definition video recording (of course), at 1080p with selectable frame rates. There's also an articulating, flip-out LCD screen that can be positioned facing in to the camera body for optical viewfinder-only shooting, or out facing the photographer for conventional LCD screen use. In use, it's the best LCD screen on a digital SLR we've seen yet; at 1.04 million dots, everything is bright and sharp. The APS-C-sized sensor now has 18 megapixels and the native ISO range sits at 100-6400, with the option to extend it to 12,800.

One thing the 60D does lose from previous versions is its magnesium alloy body. Instead, that's reserved for the higher-end 7D, whereas the 60D has to make do with a plastic construction, more like an upscale 550D. There's also now SD card support as opposed to the larger Compact Flash cards used on the 50D.

Canon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60DCanon EOS 60D

Click through for our hands-on gallery with images taken on the 60D. (Credit: CBSi)

The 60D also inherits the same exposure value compensation as the 550D before it, +/-5EV, but loses the control joystick found on the 50D and 5D Mark II. Instead, the control wheel is flanked by the standard dial and an inlaid directional pad to shift between menu options.

Creative filters, first popularised by Olympus under the Art Filter guise, appear on the 60D in four styles: toy camera, miniature effect, soft focus and grainy black-and-white. They can only be applied in post-processing on the camera, rather than being displayed in real time using Live View.

Creative filters Canon 60D

The original image (left), toy camera (middle) and grainy black-and-white (right).(Credit: CBSi)

Compared to

The 60D's closest direct competitor is Nikon's D7000. While we haven't tested that camera yet, here is how the two stack up in terms of specifications.

60D vs. D7000
Canon 60D Nikon D7000
18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor (22x14mm) 16.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor (23x15mm)
3-inch, 1.04 million-dot articulating LCD screen 3-inch, 921,000-dot fixed LCD screen
5.3fps 6fps
Full HD video (1080p, 30/25/24fps) Full HD video (1080p, 25/24fps)
AU$1699 body only TBA

In terms of other cameras in the Canon range, many will be tossing up between the 60D and the 550D, or the 60D and the 7D. If price is a big consideration and you need the cheapest kit possible, the 550D is the option to go for. It's also lighter and offers most of the features of the 60D, apart from the flip-out screen and fast shooting speed. Bear in mind the 550D doesn't have selectable RAW sizes (the 60D does).

The 7D, given its magnesium alloy body, is a lot more resistant to the elements, delivers faster performance than the 60D, an improved AF system (19-point rather than 9-point) and a different shooting experience for Live View users given the screen is fixed at the rear of the camera.

Performance

General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • RAW shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag
  • Canon 60D0.30.40.40.1
  • Canon 550D0.30.60.60.2

Continuous shooting speed (longer bars indicate better performance)

  • Canon 60D5.3
  • Canon 550D3.4

The 60D wasn't the most spectacular camera we've used in terms of quick autofocus during Live View or video mode; though this is as much to do with the specific lens as the body itself. Canon has indicated it is working towards video-friendly lenses, and we can't wait.

Image quality

As with most other Canon SLRs we've tested, the 60D produces good JPEGs straight out of the box. Colours are accurate, without any real tendency to oversaturate, though tweakers are catered for with the accompanying picture styles and creative filters.

The Digic 4 processor did an excellent job of keeping noise to a minimum at high ISO levels (the 60D can hit 12,800 through the Hi settings, or 6400 native). Automatic white balance was generally on the money, and again given the similarities between this camera and both the 550D/7D, there were no real surprises here.

We tested the 60D with a variety of lenses, including a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6, but our main testing was conducted using the kit lens supplied with the camera, the 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6. A separate review of this lens will follow.

RAW vs. JPEG comparison

RAW images were converted using Adobe DNG Converter and saved using Photoshop's Save For Web settings at 80 per cent quality. JPEG images were taken on default settings and saved in the same manner as the RAW files.

RAW vs. JPEG 60D

(Credit: CBSi)

Exposure: 1/160, ISO 160, f/5.6

Video quality

The 60D comes complete with most tools for any budding videographer; HDMI output, a 3.5mm jack for an external microphone and a number of selectable frame rates. Exposure can be set to automatic or manual settings, plus there's a wind filter that can be enabled.

Quality is pretty much the same as found on the 7D — with no real additions to the functionality, and the sensor being similar (though not identical) to the more advanced camera, this came as no surprise. You can also watch our review video (above at the top of the page) which was shot on the 60D.

Image samples

Click each image below for JPEGs straight from the 60D. No post-processing has been done to alter these photos.

Exposure: 1/100, f/7.1, ISO 100

Exposure: 1/12, f/5.7, ISO 6400

Exposure: 1/64, f/5.7, ISO 6400

Exposure: 1/160, f/7.1, ISO 100

(Credit: CBSi)

Conclusion

The 60D is ideal for anyone looking for a video-enabled SLR who wasn't familiar with the 50D or earlier line of cameras. But if you were looking for an upgrade you might be left wondering what Canon did to your faithful product line and why this camera feels a bit like a souped-up 550D, or a stripped-down 7D.

While fun to use, the creative filters seem a bit out of place on a camera that's supposedly targeted towards advanced shooters and those looking for a step-up camera from the 500D/550D. We're sure that the next update for those cameras will include trickle-down features from the 60D. It will retail for AU$1699 for body only, AU$1849 with an 18-55mm lens, AU$2699 with the 15-85mm lens, AU$2299 with the 18-125mm lens, and AU$2499 with the 18-200mm lens.

Canon also announced a range of new lenses at the same time as the 60D, including an EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM, EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 500mm f4L IS II USM and EF 600mm f4L IS II USM, EF 8-15mm f/4L fisheye and two EF extenders.

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SteveW4 Facebook
1
Rating
 

"Poor build, main processor board failed after 14 months of light use"

SteveW4 posted a review   

The Good:image quality

The Bad:poor build quality, clunky controls and over priced

FAILED big time, Canon, think my 450D was a better camera after all - shouldn't have traded it in for the upgrade

 

SteveW4 posted a comment   

This camera sucks big time.... poor controls, clunky and plastic feel. Image quality is OK but much over rated for the price. Build quality is absolutely BAD. My 60D failed after 14 months of light use, main circuit board failure. Canon u suck

 

DirkN posted a comment   

New short film shot on the Canon 60D-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJCT6-HcUxg

sad tomato
10
Rating
 

sad tomato posted a review   

The Good:excellent battery life, well placed controls, variable screen!

The Bad:menus can be tricky - this is being pedantic.

the 60D is totally awesome! the variable screen means it can be protected when not needed. this by itself is a winner for me. i have been amazed by the picture quality. i thought 18mp was a tad excessive but i have taken most of my landscape shots using this setting. this camera makes me look good.
build quality is excellent, yep, it's plastic but the camera withstood my 6 day trek on the Rees-Dart Track in New Zealand no worries.

 

Thinking hard. posted a comment   

The Good:?

The Bad:?

Considering buying this camera,
But not sure yet, any opinion on which is better, the Nikon D7000 or Canon EOS 60D??

Any suggestions would be much appreciated, thank you :)

readyfire
10
Rating
 

"60D For Now"

readyfire posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Excellent ergonomics, beautiful LCD screen

The Bad:Only 9 point AF

Moving up a notch from my old Kiss X3, I can say that my choice of selecting the 60D has been made with absolutely no regrets. This is an excellent fully featured camera which - as stated in the review - shares many of the features offered in the 7D. It is ideal for those who have become acquainted with the DSLR world but not fully fluent or confident in the use and operation of the more professional 7D and above models. This is also supported by the value-for-money factor (provided you know where to purchase it from). Lastly, no doubt further improvements will be reflected in upcoming models but this 50D replacement is definitely worth the money. I love my new 60D!

 

ivy posted a comment   

60D with 18-135mm IS lens.. is it a good combination, which lens would be better, for photographs of parties, familys, weddings, concerts?

Legitimate FIlms
8
Rating
 

Legitimate FIlms posted a review   

The Good:Loving the video functionality

The Bad:Sound still a bit iffy

The 60D has become our go to camera. Knowing it's limitations and abilities (like any camera) is super important, but in this case we've been amazed more frequently than we've been disappointed.
Having shot extensively with the 7D before getting a 60D we often questioned the ability of DSLR to be useful in an observational documentary shoot. They always shot beautiful interviews - but what about when you're in the trenches needing to shoot highly varying footage on the fly. The 60D's handy flip out screen has pretty much solved this problem for us, allowing ease of monitoring without the need for cumbersome extra rigs. The additional battery pack has proved to be a wonderful accessory also, helping fit nicely into the hand supplying extra weight for stability.
The sound capabilities are still left wanting (but what did we expect - it is after all a still camera). None the less with a camera mounted mic and the manual volume control set to minimum it still manages to be an improvement on the 7D. I wouldn't want to rely on it for more than background sound though and the occasional vox pop.
Having now used the camera on a very observational and highly demanding doco shoot I would happily do it again.

LEGITIMATE FILMS 60D camera test (dated 26/1/11)
www.legitimatefilms.com.au/news_2.html

www.legitimatefilms.com.au

BizBaz
10
Rating
 

BizBaz posted a review   

The Good:18mp, 1080p HD movie, Rotating screen, Top Info Screen, Solid Body

The Bad:Slow auto foucs in live mode, only 5.3fps, Still same sensor as 550D

I really like this camera, I had a canon 550D and sold it just to get the rotating screen for my video and much better quality built camera. Other wise i felt that it didn't have that much extra from the 550D and the quality of the pictures are the same. I Really recommend this camera if you want a camera that dose the best for its price. Its perfectly seated in the middle of all canons other models.

Matt
10
Rating
 

Matt posted a review   

The Good:Excellent picture quality, very fast shots

The Bad:Complex menu system

Well i upgraded from a 300d to 1000d didn't like it so i bought the 60D fantastic choice

great battery life no need to buy an additional pack, photos are incredibly sharp and great photo quality!

many more features and light to carry around. glad i went this over the 550d and was cheaper too!

lots of features and it really deserves more credit!

ys
10
Rating
 

ys posted a review   

The Good:perfect mixture

The Bad:slow AF in live view

Just bought a 60D 2 months ago for a family trip to NZ. Excellent Video and photos quality. Love the "plastic" body- light yet robust, can't thing of a better design! :)


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User Reviews / Comments  Canon EOS 60D

  • SteveW4

    SteveW4

    Rating1

    "FAILED big time, Canon, think my 450D was a better camera after all - shouldn't have traded it in for the upgrade"

  • SteveW4

    SteveW4

    "This camera sucks big time.... poor controls, clunky and plastic feel. Image quality is OK but much over rated for the price. Build quality is absolutely BAD. My 60D failed after 14 months of li..."

  • DirkN

    DirkN

    "New short film shot on the Canon 60D-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJCT6-HcUxg"

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