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Canon EOS 60D Review

I have to say there was a lot of murmuring just before this model landed, plus quite a deal of heated expectation.

And, on arrival, the Canon EOS 60D didn’t disappoint.

Canon EOS 60D.jpg

Canon EOS 60D Features

With a memory card, the lithium ion battery and f3.5/15-85mm review lens tacked on, the final kit weighs 1.3kg, so this gear is not for the dabbler; it’s sufficiently bulky to make getting around a fairly major exercise. With the magnesium alloy bodied EOS 60D over the shoulder, you’re definitely shootin’ — not struttin’!

Canon EOS 60D-1.jpg

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However, there are some pretty nice attractions to consider with this gear, replacing the EOS 50D and sited between EOS 550D and EOS 7D models.

The 18 megapixel CMOS has the ability to capture a maximum image size of 5184×3456 pixels and to make a 44x29cm print.
Following the Canon tradition of frightening the hell out of broadcast video camera makers (and its own video division), the EOS 60D can shoot Full HD video of 1920×1080 pixel resolution at 25/50/30/60 fps (PAL/NTSC) using MPEG4 encoding. Audio is captured with a tiny onboard mic or via a miniplug input for an external microphone.

Canon EOS 60D-2.jpg

The turret finder is of course an optical one, so traditional shooters will enjoy precise, bright, framing and focusing; added to this, a new swing out/swing down, vari-angle 7.6cm LCD screen makes life ultra easy, thanks to Live View.

Fans of creative filters will enjoy a bundle of new ones: toy camera (read ‘Diana plastic snapper’); miniature effect; soft focus; grainy black and white. These are applied to saved images, then written to the memory card as a new image.

Continuous shooting can be made at a rate of 5.3 images/second, up to a total of 58 shots in JPEG Large/Fine quality or 16 RAW shots.

The ISO range is wide: from 100 to 6400 and a step up to ISO 12,800.

Canon EOS 60D ISO Tests

Canon EOS 60D ISO 100 f10 1.8 second.JPG

Canon EOS 60D ISO 400 f10 1.32 second.JPG

Canon EOS 60D ISO 800 f10 1.64 second.JPG

Canon EOS 60D ISO 1600 f10 1.125 second.JPG

Images above are shot at ISO 100, 400, 800 and 1600 – all showed excellent definition, accurate colour and no noise.

Canon EOS 60D ISO 3200 f10 1.250 second.JPG

Only when we reached ISO 3200 was there a sign of noise; other aspects were unaffected.

Canon EOS 60D ISO 6400 f10 1.500 second.JPG

Canon EOS 60D ISO 12800 f10 1.640 second.JPG

When we reach ISO 6400 and 12,800, I consider the settings still useable, in spite of some noise and lack of definition.

Parking station ISO 12800 1.JPG

A real world shot made at ISO 12,800. Lens: f8; 1/125 second. In this magnified section, notice the noise build up.


With the review f3.5/15-85mm lens attached there was some barrel and pincushion distortion evident at the wide/tele (respectively) ends of the zoom.


Quality: A top performer, in the colour and resolution departments.

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Why you would buy the Canon EOS 60D: you can see the benefit of a vari-angle finder on a high level DSLR yet appreciate the vast benefits of a pentaprism viewfinder; you want enormous picture control; you want to make big, big prints of top quality.

Why you wouldn’t: weight is a deterrent; you want fast lenses but don’t have a fat wallet; complexity is a major factor.

Some notes: I was a bit fazed by the rear button serving double duty as ‘movie record’ and the Live View trigger. I guess familiarity would remove this foible.

Which brings me to another comment about the number of external control points: 25 in all. Viewfinder menu options total many more.

I enjoyed the movie function in the camera; the pictures were sharp and clear with excellent colour rendition. The auto exposure worked well, as did the stabiliser. Pity the auto focus was inactive.

The situation is that, the basic body price for the EOS 60D is not in the stratosphere, so you could take on a body with kit lens and avoid burning a nasty hole in your credit card. However … remember, that the kit lenses top out at a maximum aperture of f3.5. If you hunger for a bigger aperture lens, say an f2.8, a single, mid zoom optic could cost more the body price!

However, make no mistake, this is a superior camera. Well thought out, with admirable image control features. Shooting with it was a dream … I have rarely had so much fun and captured great shots with precision. I want one!

Canon EOS 60D Specifications

Image Sensor: 18.0 million effective pixels.
Metering: Evaluative, partial, centre-weighted metering and spot.
Effective Sensor Size: 22.3×14.9mm CMOS.
A/D processing: 14-bit.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 1:6x.
Compatible lenses: Canon EF, EF-S mount.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Shutter Speed: Bulb, 30 to 1/8000 second, Bulb. Flash sync: 1/250 sec.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards; minimum Class 6 recommended for movie shooting.
Image Sizes (pixels): 5184×3456 to 640×480. Movies: 1920×1080 to 640×480 at 24/25/30/50/60fps.
Viewfinders: Eye level pentaprism, 7.6cm LCD (1.04 million pixels).
File Formats: RAW, RAW+JPEG, MPEG4.
Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 12,800.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI mini, DC input, PC terminal, mic input.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, AC adaptor.
Dimensions: 144.5×105.8×78.6 WHDmm.
Weight: Approx. 755 g (body only).
Price: Get a price at Amazon on the Canon EOS 60D Body onlywith a 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD Standard Zoom Lenswith a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens & EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lenswith a EF-S 18-135mm IS Lens & 75-300mm III Lens.

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Barrie Smith
Barrie Smith

is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

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