on September 20, 2010
This addition to Canon's XXD line might initially seem like a minor downgrade to the previous XXD cameras, but several new capabilities actually help make this a nice, well-featured camera that will appeal to many people who don't get caught up in whether or not this is a better camera than it's predecessor. Canon certainly made this camera for the price point and was careful to add just enough features to make it desirable over the T2i, but not desirable enough to compete with the 7D. In some respects though, it seems like a beefed-up version of the Rebel line (a "Super-Rebel") instead of a new addition to the XXD line.
As someone who has now had the opportunity to use all three of Canon's mid-range lineup (the T2i, 60D, and 7D), I have to say that I really like the feel of the 60D. Even though it no longer has the magnesium alloy body, it feels solid. In no way does it feel cheap. I have fairly small hands and the 60D feels like it was made for me. It's significantly lighter than the 7D and feels like it would be much more friendly on long hikes. The 7D feels much more robust; however, the 60D feels much more "comfy". It is definitely bigger in size than the T2i, but the angles and design of the camera have a nicely updated feel to them that makes it seem like you are getting a much more substantial camera. The articulating screen was also done very well. My initial worries that the screen would feel cheap and break easily were immediately relieved after using it. The hinges are very solid and feel almost stiff to the point where you are comfortable with it staying right where you want it. It also is very flush with the rest of the body and offers little space in between.
Aside from the feel, the camera takes beautiful pictures. Quality-wise, there is very little difference between the pictures that come out of the T2i, 60D, and 7D. ISO performance is very similar and therefore can not be much of a deciding factor between the models. Most of the decision factors really will focus on which user interface and camera system best appeals to your type and level of photography. Each of Canon's mid-range models has it's own pros and cons, and while there are MANY differences between each camera, these are the main points I considered when deciding between cameras to purchase (hopefully it helps those going through the same decision I did):
60D vs. 50D:
(+) New Sensor - the same 18MP sensor that the 7D and T2i have, better ISO coverage/performance
(+) 63 zone dual-layer metering
(+) Better viewfinder - 96% coverage vs 95% coverage
(+) Articulating screen
(+) Wireless flash control
(+) Horizontal electronic level
(+) In camera processing (new RAW processing feature and in camera filter effects)
(+) Control over max auto-ISO
(+) Eye-Fi wifi file transfer functions
(-) The magnesium alloy body of the 50D has been replaced with a polycarbonate body
(-) 6.3 fps shooting is down to 5.3 fps
(-) No lens microadjustment in 60D
(+/-) Compact flash card slot has been changed to a SD card slot
(+/-) Joystick replaced by directional pad
60D vs. T2i
(+) 9 all cross-type AF points vs T2i's 9 points w/ 1 center cross-type
(+) 96%, .95 magnification pentaprism viewfinder vs T2i's 95%, .87 magnification pentamirror viewfinder
(+) Articulating screen
(+) Wireless flash control
(+) Horizontal electronic level
(+) In camera processing (new RAW processing feature and in camera filter effects)
(+) Top LCD screen
(+) 5.3 fps vs 3.7 fps
(+) Built in adjustable audio level capability in video
60D vs. 7D
(+) Articulating screen
(+) In camera processing (new RAW processing feature and in camera filter effects)
(+) Control over max auto-ISO
(+) Eye-Fi wifi file transfer functions
(+) Built in adjustable audio level capability in video
(-) 9 all cross-type AF points vs 7D's 19 all cross-type points
(-) Less AF features (such as Zone AF and Point Expansion)
(-) Polycarbonate body vs 7D's magnesium alloy
(-) 96%, .95 magnification pentaprism viewfinder vs 7D's 100%, 1.0x magnification pentaprism viewfinder
(-) Transmissive LCD screen on focus screen on 7D
(-) Only horizontal electronic level vs both horizontal and vertical level on 7D
(-) 5.3 fps vs 7D's 8 fps
(-) No lens microadjustment in 60D
(-) Shutter life of 100,000 vs 7D's 150,000
(-) Dual DIGIC 4 processors in 7D
(-) 3 custom settings in 7D; 1 custom settings in 60D
(-) No PC Sync in 60D
By comparing these features, it's easy to see that the 60D fits well in the price point directly between the T2i and 7D, but of course, a large segment of previous 40D and 50D owners hoping for a true successor that isn't watered down to a certain price point will still undoubtedly be disappointed. It's easy to see in comparing the 60D to the 7D and also to Nikon's newest offerings that Canon chose to limit functionality merely so that 60D sales didn't interfere with the 7D. In fact, if you are not completely entrenched in the Canon camp, I would also suggest looking at the new Nikon D7000. It looks like a spectacular camera for not much more than the 60D. I have not used it nor will I, so I can't comment on whether it's a better choice or not.
Even so, the quality of the 60D and new functionality offer enough new aspects that many customers will surely be happy with it. The articulating screen offers a way to attain tough shots that would have previously demanded extra equipment or odd contortions to reach. It also gives a great new avenue for video capture. Eye-fi wireless transfers work well and help out on those lazy days where you just want to set your camera down and have the work of transferring photos be done for you. Much of the in camera post-production comes off as being a little "gimmicky" to me, but having the option to add effects and process photos definitely doesn't detract from the camera. And many people who don't do much of their own post-processing after transfer to a computer will probably find the in camera RAW conversion and creative effects to be a nice addition.
To me, it really came down to one major factor though: autofocus. I tend to do a lot of shooting involving fast moving subjects, so autofocus for my photography is key. The T1i and T2i were disappointing in this respect. 9 points with one cross-type in the T1i/T2i is respectable, but I found that I really could only rely on using the center point in AI servo mode to get many speedy subjects in focus. I purchased a 7D later, and was blown away by the accuracy. The options of using extra points for expansion, using autofocus zones, having 19 full cross-type points, superior subject tracking, and even the option for narrowing the points in spot autofocus really opened up new areas of photography for me. I get about 10x the amount of usable shots than I would with the T1i and T2i. The 60D isn't THAT good, but it is still much better than the T1i/T2i. In fact, just like with almost everything else about the camera, it's just about right in between the T2i and 7D. Autofocus is fast and accurate, but there are still moments where subjects just move too fast and unfortunately, the 60D doesn't have the capabilities of the 7D. If you are deciding between the 7D and 60D, this is the area you should really look at, because this is the real difference between the 2 cameras. I chose the 7D, and then decided to give the 60D a try just to see if I made the right decision. I am happy with my 7D, but the 60D was no slouch.
In my honest opinion, I think this is a huge sticking point for 40D and 50D owners though. The autofocus system needed to be updated from the previous 2 XXD editions. It has the same 9 cross-type points as the 40D and 50D did before it, and same functionality. To be a good upgrade for previous XXD users, it didn't have to be as good or better than the 7D, but it would have been nice for it to be better than the previous 2 models. Removing the magnesium alloy body and lens microadjustment really comes across as a slap in the face to some users who valued those aspects. I have to say that the body is much lighter, doesn't feel significantly less sturdy (even though it probably is less sturdy), and I've never needed to use lens microadjustment though, so I'm not overly upset about those aspects. I am not thrilled about the "non-update" of the autofocus system though.
Now that I have handled and used all 3 cameras currently in Canon's mid-range lineup, I can definitively say that they are all stellar cameras, but just made for different segments of the market. The T2i is an amazing starter camera and takes great photos for those who want to save a little extra money by going without some of the features they might not use. It might be the best budget option for those who don't take many action shots. For an extra few hundred dollars, the 60D adds some intriguing new features and seems to be aimed at the people who want a slightly higher-end camera than the T2i, but aren't ready to shell out the money for the 7D. It's a great compromise, and to me, the main thing you are missing out on is superior autofocus capabilities. The 7D is more aimed towards the pro-sumer market who want/need a faster autofocus and overall faster, more rugged camera. It's hard to go wrong with any of them, but the 60D offers a great blend of features from both the T2i and 7D along with new features of it's own for a price that won't completely break the bank. It seems to have accomplished everything it needed to do, except for one: giving the 40D and 50D owners an option for upgrade aside from the expensive 7D. If the 60D had kept the magnesium alloy body, lens microadjustment, or even just had a slightly better AF system compared to the 50D, I could easily give this camera 5 stars. As it is, I can only give it 4 stars because it's a wonderful camera for a certain segment of customers looking for a new camera, but completely isolates another loyal customer base looking for their beloved XXD line to continue.
Update: With the release of the T4i, Canon's camera playing field has certainly changed. The minor changes to the T3i didn't warrant much more discussion on the 60D vs Rebel DSLR's than was already posted with the T2i, but the T4i brings some new interesting features to the table, puts picture quality and capture characteristics on par with the 60D, and in some respects ends up being a more appealing camera.
Perhaps the most interesting new features on the T4i are that it now has autofocus during video while using Canon's new STM lenses and has a touchscreen display. For those who want or need autofocus while shooting video, this is a big selling point for the new Rebel instead of the 60D. Granted, it's not going to live up to the snappy autofocus you get when not using live-view mode or that when using specialized video camera's, but Canon did a great job with it over all. In my mind, it is a desirable feature to have access to even if you prefer to manual focus video most of the time.
The T4i also upped the Rebel line's bar to include the 5 fps and 9 cross type autofocus points already found on the 60D.
So back to the question at hand though: If you are choosing between the 60D and the T4i, which one do you go for? The 60D still has some major advantages in my opinion, and it really comes down to the better camera body of the 60D vs. the new video features of the T4i. With the 60D, you get the large dial on the back of the camera for rotating through images and selections and you also get the top LCD. The 60D still has a better, brighter viewfinder and can shoot at 1/8000 of a second opposed to the max 1/4000 of a second that the T4i can do. If those aspects don't concern you and you desperately want video autofocus, go for the T4i instead. It's a great camera. If, on the other hand, you would like a slightly more professional body and can live without video autofocus, the 60D is a great choice too. My personal choice still goes to the 7D if you can afford the upgrade though - the autofocus and 8 fps on it really put it in another level.
on September 20, 2010
The three dSLRs in the Canon consumer line-up (60D, 7D, T2i) all share a number of specifications and features, a similar exposure metering system, as well as an image sensor that is very similar, and all with 18 megapixels. Due to this, the image quality and ISO performance of these three cameras will be nearly identical, and all are capable of taking high quality images. So why choose the 60D over the T2i (550D) or the 7D?
-Exterior buttons and controls: Greater ease and control of changing camera settings as you work vs. the T2i. The 60D has nearly every control one needs on the exterior of the camera and it has the rear dial and top LCD display screen that are not on the T2i. Any other controls can be easily accessed with the Q button and menu or in the other menus on the rear LCD monitor. The top buttons of the 60D set only one setting each, so this is less complicated than the multiple-setting buttons of the 7D. Canon has removed the WB button that the 7D and 50D have, but that isn't a big deal - use the Q Menu. Another change is that the Multi-controller has been moved from the thumb joystick like the 7D and 50D and placed in the middle of the rear Quick-control dial. This doesn't change how it functions, and should just be a matter of getting used to the difference.
-Menus and custom functions: Greater control over customizing how the camera functions vs. the T2i. The 60D has many more Menu and Custom Function settings than the T2i and nearly as many as the 7D. These settings allow you to customize the operation, function, and controls of the 60D to work how you want them to, including things like exposure increments, peripheral illuminations correction for lenses (fixes dark corners) and customizing which button does what.
-Auto focus systems: The 60D shares a similar autofocus system to the T2i and the previous 50D, with 9 focus points and three auto focusing modes. However the 9 AF points of the 60D are more sensitive than those of the T2i: all are cross-type in the 60D, only the center is cross-type in the T2i. The 60D autofocus system is much less complex than the sophisticated AF system of the 7D with its 19 AF point system and its additional Zone, Spot, and Expansion focus modes - not to mention the custom settings of the 7D which will allow one to customize how the AF system works. However, if you are not an avid sports photographer, a wildlife shooter, or someone who understands, needs, and will use the elaborate features of the 7D AF system, then this shouldn't dissuade you from the 60D.
-Exposure Metering: The three cameras all share the latest 63-zone exposure metering system and 4 metering modes. That means they will all determine the exposure virtually identically and enable you to take properly exposed photos in most every situation, including difficult back-lit scenes. The size of the areas metered for Partial and Spot metering vary slightly between the cameras, but that isn't anything critical.
-ISO: Since the 60D shares a very similar sensor with the other two cameras, its ISO sensitivity and performance at high ISO settings is virtually the same. But don't take my word for it, don't be swayed by pixel peepers on forums, instead check out the camera sensor tests at dxomark to verify this.
-Continuous Shooting Speed: While the 60D can't shoot a blazing 8 frames per second like the 7D, it can shoot a respectable 5.3 fps which is generally a more useful rate, and is a higher rate than the T2i rate of 3 fps.
-Size and Weight: The 60D is larger and heavier than the T2i but smaller and lighter than the 7D. It is a very nice size, weight, feel, and design that should be comfortable for most users.
-Construction: The 60 has relatively strong construction of aluminum and polycarbonate. It is better built than the T2i but not as strong as the 7D's magnesium alloy frame. The 60D also has some amount of weather sealing - more than the T2i, less than the 7D. But for most users, including even those using the camera daily or in travel situations, the construction of the 60D is far more than good enough, strong enough, durable enough, and weather resistant enough.
-Articulating Rear LCD Screen: The 60D is the only current Canon dSLR with this handy feature. This may prove useful for videographers, as well as for setting up compositions while the camera is on a tripod, for macro use, or for using it from unusually low or high vantage points. There is also an electronic level, visible in the viewfinder, rear LCD, or top LCD.
-Viewfinder: The 60D has a large, bright viewfinder with 96% coverage of the actual resulting image, a tiny bit better than the T2i but not quite as nice as the nearly 100% view of the 7D.
-Wireless Flash: Like the 7D, the 60D incorporates wireless flash triggering. It allows you to trigger multiple off camera flashes at different output levels. The T2i does not have this feature.
-Battery: The 60D has a larger batter vs. the T2i, thus allowing longer periods of shooting before having to recharge. The 60D uses the LP-E6 battery like the 7D, which is a nice feature as this battery can often last through a full day of shooting.
-Processor: The 60D shares the same Digic 4 processor as the T2i. The 7D has dual Digic 4 processors. However, for most general or even demanding photography needs, the single processor is more than sufficient.
-Memory Card: The 60D uses the SD memory card like the T2i, not the CF card of the 7D. This doesn't affect anything except perhaps your collection of CF cards.
-Additional processing features: The 60D has added features such as the creative filters (toy camera, miniature tilt-shift effect) and internal file processing capabilities (RAW image processing, image resizing) that the other two cameras do not have. This is not critical as these operations can typically be more easily done in batches on a computer.
-Lack of AF Microadjustment: Many are disappointed that the 60D does not include the ability to micro-adjust the focus so that each lens is completely accurate. However, if you have a focus issue, send your camera and/ or lenses to Canon while under warranty and ask them to calibrate them. The 7D has this feature, the T2i does not.
-Locking Mode Dial: This is a new feature for a Canon dSLR that keeps the Mode dial from accidentally rotating. A nice touch only on the 60D.
-Full HD Video: And of course the 60D has full HD video, just like the other two cameras.
-A Note to Strobists: The 60D does not have a PC sync flash socket to plug in PC sync cords. The 7D has this, the T2i does not.
-Ease of operation: While beginners may find all the buttons, controls, and menus of any dSLR difficult and confusing at first, the controls and menus of the 60D are all quite intelligently designed and straightforward for the advanced user. If you'd like to get up and running with the 60D quickly and competently be sure to check out a PDF eBook I put together called Your World 60D on the "Picturing Change" blog or the Kindle version here: Your World 60D - The Photographer's Guide to Operation and Image Creation with the Canon 60D. It describes how to set up the Menu settings and Custom Function settings, and explains how, when, and why to use the settings, controls, and features of the 60D in everyday still photography use, including aperture priority and shutter priority modes. Plus it has information on exposure, composition, using depth of field, and basic video settings. It should help you get the most out of the 60D.
The 60D is an excellent camera for those wanting to upgrade from the Rebel line, for the advanced dSLR user who wishes to take advantage of all the features and customizations options of the 60D, and for the first-time dSLR buyer who is knowledgeable of camera controls or eager to learn. Its size, durability, and features will suit those who wish to use it for both general use and for travel, and its image quality and performance is exceptional for a camera at this price.
on October 5, 2010
I've taken photos and video most of my life, now I am the typical father paparazzi, my subjects are my family, with some nature landscapes and city architecture mixed in.
First this camera replaced my original capture the moment kit, which included a Nikon D80 DLSR and a Samsung HD-1010 Digital Video Camera. I sold them both after owning this for a week. They are simply not needed anymore. It's very nice to be able to go to my kid's soccer games and not look like I am bringing a production crew. One camera for killer photos and video. I use this camera 70/30 photos/video, and it is just a pleasure to work with.
What I like for photography:
Excellent pictures - Even with the stock 18-135 lens, solid photos, great details, and very very crop-able. Yes this is not an L Lens but it is still very good
Low light performance - The ISO high iso speeds work well when you can't use a flash, there is still some noise but its manageable, the default setting for upper end iso is 3200, so that tells you how confident Canon is with its camera's ability to handle noise.
Solid camera (my friend has the 7D, there is a difference when handling them, but not much, all the talk of metal vs. plastic frame I think is overrated)
Very fast focus, yes its not the 32 point next gen autofocus, but in all my tests when not using live view it does just fine transitioning between focus points.
Fast shooting speed almost 6 fps is very good, and thought 3 fps was good. (I also like the 2 settings for shooting speed, normal and high speed)
Built in Wireless flash control. I also bought the 430EX II, and 3 button pushes later I had the speed light firing while it sat off camera behind the subject, and that is very cool
Great Canon Software (I use a Mac, and I love the USB interface software, you can completely control the camera from your computer
Custom Shooting mode - Exact what it sounds like, its nice touch
The flip out rotating screen is very sharp, probably one of the best I've seen on a DSLR. I don't shoot much live view though.
It uses SD, only because I had plenty of SD cards from my last two devices.
What I don't like photography:
The lock button on the mode selector, it turns changing the shoot mode into a 2 handed operation
The lack of dedicated buttons - I know they had to save space when they added the vari-screen, but I liked having quick one touch access to bracketing on my Nikon
This isn't a "don't like" it's more "I could do without" all the preset modes on the wheel. People who are going to spend $1000+ on a camera most likely don't need a preset called landscape or portrait. Maybe they were trying to fill the space on the wheel?
Also all this hupla about in camera processing and special effects, it seems a bit gimmicky to me. I have a plenty of Macs with big beautiful screens to do this, heck I could do it with an iPad now if I really wanted to. I can't see someone trying to color correct on the camera especially since it's not like you could transmit the edited file directly from the camera, it still has to go through a computer somewhere along the line. These might be useful if my camera came with built-in 3G or something, otherwise not so much.
What I like video:
Video performance is excellent, head over to vimeo.com and look at all the sample footage, it is just astounding. I've experimented with the 50/1.8 lens and wow the DoF is crisp in the video. You would need some expensive lens adapters to get these results with a camcorder.
The flip out screen! This is main reason I bought this camera, It never made sense to me how I could shoot proper video without those expensive view finder liveview converter things. Plus I thought they looked silly. Now with this, I hold the camera at just above waist level close to my body with the screen flipped out and up, it makes for stable video and relatively easy manual focus if you want to use it.
Manual controls are also very useful for video, you can control everything from the image to the audio via manual controls
What I don't like video:
Noise at high ISO - With the stock lens 18-135 IS I do not recommend low light shooting, it will work, but its very noisy - just like photography better lenes with lower F-stops = better output.
Autofocus is a bit slow (I try not use the autofocus when actually recording, I usually shoot video with manual focus, its not that hard when you get the hang of it)
So that's it, a solid DSLR with a solid video camera built in, I would recommend this camera to people like me, who understand and love photography and also love shooting video. People who can use manual controls but you don't mind throwing it in program mode for the quick shots and you can't justify spending the extra money on a 7D. I am very very happy with this camera!
on November 5, 2010
Quick 1-sentence review: The 60D's image quality (IQ), features and ergonomics are just as good as the 7D that will undoubtly stay in kit for a long time.
I come from an entry-level DSLR background and have never owned anything about the Rebel Series. However, I have played with my friend's 40Ds, 50D's, 7D's, 5D's and 5dMkII's a lot. My style is a photo journalistic style, where I follow people and take candid pictures or posed pictures. I take pictures of children and at times, just still subjects like food products or decorations. I have previously taken a lot of photos from my old Canon S400 and SD800IS point and shoot cameras. My XSi was and still is a wonderful camera. I still find myself bringing the XSi for trips, so I don't have to worry too much about the body. I've probably taken at least 20,000 pictures on it already. I have done some event photography as well for friends or friends of friends.
I was hesitant to purchase the 60D because of all the flak and hate people were throwing at it. Some of the complaints I heard were:
(-) A Polycarbonate aluminum chassis - a downgrade from the Magnesium alloy
(-) 5.3 fps - decreased from 6.3fps
(-) lack of lens microadjustment - only the 50D had this in the xxD line as I recall.
(-) SD cards - used to use CF cards
(-) Bad product direction seen in the xxD line - Seems like they are going to dumb it down for noobs.
I'll try to address these separately, but won't go really deep in them.
Polycarbonate Aluminum Chassis
The change back to a "Plastic" casing has quickly gotten the label of being cheap, less-durable and unprofessional. Cheap, it does seem cheaper, I will agree with that. Metal is more expensive. Less-durable? I don't know about this. Plastics nowadays are so strong that could withstand a good fall on the floor, water damage and maybe even some fire. [...]. In my hand, the 60D feels very comfortable. It has weight and heft to not make it feel like a smaller cheaper camera. The feel is important here, because this is what you are feeling when you grip your hand to shoot photos. I think the 60D is almost at the borderline of being just large enough to fit fully and comfortably in one hand, meaning, don't be smaller than the 60D in the future or else it might as well be a Rebel. As for being unprofessional. This is the one that I find that ego and pride get in the way of logic making it irrational. No one in their right mind is going to say you are unprofessional just because it isn't build like a tank. How often are you going to drop your camera? I bet less than you drop your phone by a long shot. The only impact I get from my camera is knocking into walls or tables. It doesn't do a thing. Thus, watch the video on durability on the plastics even on the Rebel series that I have already put a link to in this paragraph.
5.3fps - Slower than 6.3
This one is the case of losing something that has been in the xxD line for 2 generations. The 40D had 6.5fps, the 50D had 6.3fps. Now the 60D is only 5.3fps. I see how people are disgruntled here. Losing that extra frame sucks. I won't argue that maybe that extra frame could have been the right frame. In some way, this is an argument of numbers. Mind you, if a photographer wanted to do some highspeed photography like sports, they probably wouldn't have looked at the xxD line of products anyway. The would have looked at the xD (1Ds or 7Ds). Oh, also, did you notice that the 5Dmkii only has 3.9 fps? That is a professional Full Frame camera. Do people complain? yes they do. Should you worry about it? I don't think so. Some people (not all people) just like to see higher fps numbers, but almost never use it. And when they do use it, it isn't going to be the life saver they may think it is. I had shot with my 3.5 fps with the XSi and that was very good already. It is more about photography technique, and not the numbers and capabilities of the camera. So is it a huge loss of 1fps? Not a huge loss. I agree that is sucks and is a downside, but it is not a deal breaker at all.
Lack of lens microadjustment
Like the previous 5.3fps argument. This one is more of a case of been given something and then taken away right away. Only the 50D had this function. The 40D didn't have the Lens microadjustment. Once again, it would be nice to have when you need it for sure. But once again, is it necessary to take good shots? No it isn't. People can still take wonderful shots with the 30D or 40D and they didn't have this functionality. When it is needed though, it is super helpful to adjust the lens for the body. Most of the time, you won't have to worry about this. If you really really need it done, get the lens calibrated, hopefully that helps.
SD cards coming from CF cards for xxD line
Some will like and some will hate. Personally, I like this approach for Canon. SD cards, are smaller, cheaper but not as fast. But what I love about having SD cards is that i don't have to carry an extra card reader to transfer to my laptop. All new laptops have SD card slots, so I never have to worry about forgetting a card reader. The SD card in the xxD line also helps reduce a small amount of bulk on the side of the camera. Sure the writing speeds aren't as good, but the future is looking great for SD cards and SDXC. If I had to choose to carry SD cards or CF cards around on a trip or event, SD cards. I can just keep them in my pocket and never have to worry about the pins inside the camera from becoming bent and damaged.
Bad product direction for the xxD line
This is where a lot of other arguments get merged into. Because the xxD is now in between the xxxD and xD line (Rebel and 7D line of products), it has to be able to make itself distinct enough to be deemed a separate line of family. It has to take the some of the good features from both lines and bring them together and also add new things to it to make it useful. Is the xxD line going in the wrong direction? I don't know actually, this is the first time the xxD line has been quite different from the previous generation, aka the 50D. What many don't realize is that the 60D has gained some really good characteristics from the 7D, namely the wireless flash control. Thank goodness for this. But at the same time, lost the PC sync. Hmm, maybe Canon has something else planned for the future of this wireless flash control that would make the PC sync obsolete in the future? We don't know. Many people attribute the 18MP sensor to the T2i. But please remind yourself that the 18MP sensor came from the 7D. So instead of "losing" to the T2i. The xxD line has gained from the 7D line. Same goes with the 63-zone metering system, it is more gained from the 7D and then put into the 60D. Video capability from the 7D, which is also shared by the T2i. Horizontal Electronic Level, this is useful for tripod shots or even some hand held. But I see the value for the tripod just as a final check.
The increase of the Auto modes is kind of stupid. I know why Canon might have put it in, but it would have been way better to just remove it altogether. Video mode should have been put on the creative auto portion of the mode dial with M, Av and Tv. It really is a pain to move there. Speaking of mode dial, this is one that many people are very split on. I really like it. When I was using the XSi, I was consistently changing the mode without realizing until I after I had taken the shot. And the mode dial wasn't even hanging out on the side of the camera. So the locking mechanism for the mode dial is something I like in the 60D and new to the xxD line.
I don't blame people for being very demanding and have high expectations of cameras from Canon, but one should be reasonable. It would be very unlikely that the 60D would gain a ton of features from the 7D. If it did, the 7D would instead be the one that could not be distinct. I believe that if the 7D came out, then the 60D then the T2i, the complaints would be different. I could even foresee people complain if the order of release was T2i, 60D and 7D, with the same features set. I can see how people would argue differently and maybe have praised the 60D. To me, the 60D is just an evolution of the product line and not a revolution like the 40D was to the 30D. Does it make it a bad product? Not at all. It takes marginally better pictures than the 50D and is at least at par with the 7D and T2i. Oh one more thing I really like in this new product line. They use the same LP-E6 batteries as 7D and 5Dmkii. YAY!!! I can share batteries with my friends. This is great because more commonality between these lines is not a burden, but a great plus.
D7000 vs 60D battle (not a war) is like a battle of pride with no substance.
Another BIG BIG argument in the world of DSLRs now is the whole D7000 vs 60D argument. Many people love this argument because it is time for Nikon fans (not going to say they are fanboys, because I know there are some Canon fanboys too) to really blow their horns and tout superiority by numbers. Once again, I'll repeat, superiority by numbers. Why do mention this? It is because people allow numbers, specs and math to determine why they like a camera or system. Some people will argue that because the D7000 is a better specced camera, therefore, by transitivity, the D7000 will take better pictures by a long shot. What do the results show? Marginally better, is the probably the common thing noticed if anything is ever noticed between the photos. The D7000 has everything the 60D doesn't have and improves on it is another one I have heard several times that have caused Canon users to think, "Oh Nikon has a wonderful D7000, I think it is time to jump boat". I won't prevent them from doing so. But this argument is similar to that of girlfriends almost. Oh, that girlfriend has better "specs" that my current one, I think I will just dump this "system" and go to the Nikon. The word I would use to describe this is "Brand" insecurity. It isn't wrong to change systems. But the reasoning behind it needs to be thought over. I am afraid that some people are just insecure about their purchase that they need to be able to walk around town, events or show others to match the level of pride they have.
Back to this D7000 and 60D battle. Who is going to win? I actually wouldn't look it in that way. I would say, the D7000 and the 60D are both wonderful systems and both have proven to take wonderful pictures, hold up to weather effects, is durable (mind you, D7000 has magnesium alloy, but it isn't the entire body, only partial, its marketing getting to your head.), great ergonomics, has video capability, etc. There isn't a battle at all actually. It is just a bunch nerd battles like D&D with their character sheets. My camera has more strength and dexterity while the Canon has more charisma and constitution. See how irrelevant this argument and so called battle is? It is down to numbers and pride. The seaweed is always greener, in somebody else's lake.
Oh. Let's also put it this way. As I had mentioned about the order of being released. If the order of release was like 7D, 60D and T2i (equivalent) for the Nikon camp, the story and arguments would be just like canon's. D400, then D7000 and lastly D5000. People would have said, why doesn't the D7000 act more like the D400. That is my point.
The actual review of the 60D without trying to compare too much.
I have had the 60D for 2.5 weeks and have taken some videos and pictures with it at some events and some portraits. Some at low ISO and some at high ISO (3200 and 6400). Compared to the XSi, the pictures were better, but not immensely better. What was more important was the technique in taking the photo that made more of a difference. The 60D, with its better size and ergonomics (compared to Rebel series) really helped me to keep my hands steady and to choose the properly settings to get the pictures looking really nice without any post processing. I have used the remote flash trigger with great results and I really really like the camera. The price point now is just amazing for the 60D. And when the camera is put with the 24-70mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.4, the images are loved by all who I take a photo for. Is it because the camera that made the huge difference? No. But it did help me as a photographer to take better pictures.
The better photos at high ISO is attributed to Canon's research in sensors that they have put into the 7D. The images continue to look great even at high ISO. The articulated screen helps me take ninja candid shots without people noticing and that is something I wouldn't be able to get in T2i or the 7D. Some clients love this type of photography even though they don't like to be taken pictures of. I don't have to worry too much about the high ISO when taking these shots now as I can trust the 60D to resolve good photos in the end as long as I did my part as a photographer to keep the camera steady.
The price point of the camera with such good features is actually great. At $999 at the time of posting, is the even cheaper than the 50D when it came out. So if you are in the area and are looking to get th 60D, buy it, because you won't be disappointed as long as you don't feel insecure. The camera takes absolutely wonderful pictures indoor and outdoor. Videos are good and the same as the 7D and T2i. It is rugged, as mentioned by digital rev. I can't say much more to praise the camera. Buy it, don't look back and take photos. You by a camera to shoot photos, not so you can bring it to a party and compare specs and see who is better? Canon 60D, 4 stars, 1 star left so they can improve.
on April 6, 2011
This is a fantastic camera, and a great first DSLR. I say that because if it is your first, you will not be comparing the control layout with your old XXD or XXXD, and that seems to be an issue with some.
Most of my shooting is in M or Av mode. I find the controls easy to work with, and use the top LED and control buttons almost exclusively, but now and then I'll use the q-menu. Over all, I find the controls easy to use.
The 18-200 kit lens is useful for outdoor shooting, but for indoor stuff you will want a better prime. I went with an older version of the "nifty fifty" with the metal mount and range meter. Since this is a crop sensor camera, a 50mm lens behaves like an 80mm, so I find myself needing to back away from my subject often. I think a prime in the 20-30mm range and f/1.4 would be useful in a lot of situations. In general, you should determine why you are buying the camera. If you want to take lots of outdoor shots (birds, wildlife etc) get the body only and buy a nice 300M zoom. If you are going to take lots of indoor shots (family gatherings, baby etc) get the body only and a wide aperture prime in the 20-50MM range (a wide aperture lets more light in so you don't need a flash as often, and yields that nice soft focus "bokeh" effect). If you want to be ready to shoot a variety of situations right out of the box and don't mind using the flash indoors, then pick a kit lens and go with it. I would not recommend the 18-55 kit lens though...you will bump against its limitations very quickly, even if you are a beginner like me.
Video on this thing is amazing, and I didn't even consider that when I bought the camera! Beware file size though. 2 minutes of 1080 @ 30FPS left me with an 800+meg .mov file. I think there is a 4 GB limit on video file size, so figure you will get 5 minutes of continuous shooting at that definition and frame rate. That will be enough for most applications, unless you are filming a wedding or childbirth and don't want to stop shooting, in which case you could film at 720p or standard definition.
Playback through the included cable is so so, so get yourself a mini HDMI to HDMI cable on Amazon or Monoprice (should cost $5-$10) and prepare yourself to be amazed by the resolution and image quality. I would also recommend a program called Any Video Converter, which enables you to change the resolution and format of your video to suit different hardware (iphones, droids, youtube etc). Imagine uploading a 4GB file to YouTube, for example. You can download the program for free, and then pay $40 bucks to be able to use the full menu set.
The only negative about this camera is that the auto focus in video mode and live view mode is borderline useless. In live view mode, it is so slow that everyone else would have got the shot with their point and shoot cameras before the 60D settles down and takes the picture. As for Video, I don't think AF works once you start shooting, so if you zoom or your subject moves, you have to stay on top of it. I don't shoot in live view mode and I am getting the hang of manual focus during Video (it is actually a creative outlet) so I'm fine with these shortcomings. From what I can tell, they are software based and related to the video codec...so it is possible that a firmware upgrade will address these issues.
on November 6, 2010
I'm in love with photography in general. I always have a camera with me and started shooting when I was seven years old. Nature, scenics, portraits, anything that is beautiful or touches me in some unexpected and magical way ends up in my camera. Along the way people noticed my pictures, asked me to take them for their special events, and since then I've been shooting portraits and weddings mostly for the sheer joy of it, having the good fortune of a day job that pays the bills.
For years I was committed to Olympus, and had a complete two camera, two wireless flash outfit with quite a few of their high grade lenses. But Olympus' recent focus on micro four thirds, a form factor that I cannot stomach and will therefore never own, their continued mediocre low light performance compared to APS-C sensors, and their announcement to the effect that they will not pursue any more mid-level 4/3rds camera bodies, pushed me over the edge and I started looking elsewhere.
So I went to a few camera stores and handled many different models.
I do not buy pro bodies, since I don't need anything that rugged and would rather buy the same sensor in a cheaper camera and spend the money an top-quality glass and flash units. I only had one pro body in my life, a Nikon F series back in ye olde film days, and it was also the ONLY camera that ever failed outright , something that dozens of cheaper Minolta, Pentax and Olympus cameras have not once done, even after having been handled rougher than the Nikon ever was. That was a lesson I haven't forgotten, and I've since not bought a pro body OR a Nikon ever again.
I'm not going to let the AF select what to focus on, so even a 2,000 - point sensor won't excite me. I just need one good, reliable, fast focus point in the middle, and then I do the old "lock focus and AE and recompose" routine which takes no time at all, certainly less than selecting an alternate focus point. The 60D has nicely lit, unobtrusive focus points, not the garish, semi-permanent black rectangles of the 7D. The focus is absolutely accurate and I have had hundreds of wonderful, sharp pictures in the month I've owned the camera.
I take the occasional picture and video from odd angles, so the articulating monitor - which is a thing of beauty, firm and solid and gorgeously clear - is wonderful for me. Again, a perfect "10" for the 60D.
I don't need 7 or 8 fps since I rarely shoot sporting events or wildlife that moves THAT fast. When I do, the 60D's 5.3 fps have so far been more than enough.
The out-of-camera JPEG's are great. I don't for a moment deny the usefulness of RAW, but again, I'd rather be out shooting pictures than post processing in the computer. The 60D gives me consistently pleasing, well exposed photos IF I've taken the time to adjust the metering and white balance according to the situation at hand. Auto white balance is fairly accurate but manual tweaking always renders better results, regardless of which camera one uses.
The viewfinder, especially coming from the 4/3rd format, is brilliantly bright and clear and easy to compose shots in even with glasses. I can see all the information and all of the screen.
The top deck controls are much better, in my own humble opinion and for my own personal use, than the dual-function buttons of the more advanced 7D, which I was initially set on buying before those same buttons turned me off. I want one button to do one thing, period. I enjoy photography, not rote memorization of multiple button press functions.
The grip and the texture are wonderful, for someone who when shopping for gloves usually gets the XL sizes. The controls are grouped sensibly, the menu structure is instantly recognizable even though I've never owned a Canon DSLR before, and it just makes sense.
Battery life is so good that this may just be the first camera where I can make it through an average day/shoot without having to worry about spares. Mind you, I do 90% stills and 10% video, and of the stills less than 5% are live view. So far, the claimed battery life of 1,000 plus shots seems entirely realistic. I've shot for several days and taken hundreds of images and it's not even half empty yet. WOW!
The built-in flash is excellent. It is more powerful and exposes subjects spot on at a much higher percentage of the time than I am used to seeing. Remember that if you're shooting in P/Tv/Av/M , you need to manually adjust the metering area, or you'll have some unexpected over or -underexposure. Which leads me to the intuitiveness of the Quick menu on the back panel, where things such as flash compensation can be quickly adjusted, a feature that I believe Olympus first introduced on the Evolt 500. I was very glad to find it here. Even so, next on my shopping list is one of the wonderful Speedlight units.
The thing I was most worried about when making the switch was whether I was going from a company with excellent high-grade lenses ( Olympus ) to one where all but the "L" series lenses were mediocre. I needn't have worried. I see no discernible difference between the vaunted Olympus high-grade glass I own and the 18-135 Canon IS lens, in most day to day shooting. Any differences there are won't be visible with the most minimal cropping in prints. I will, soon, add the 10-22 EF-S for wide angle shots, and trust it will also perform admirably.
When all is said and done, if you know yourself well enough to know what you realistically will do with a camera, and what the bare minimum requirements of a camera should be to allow you to do so without having to worry whether you're pushing the envelope, than you'll know if this camera is right for you.
The 60D just feels as if it is part of me. I understand it, and it does not get in the way of my taking the pictures I want to take. To me, that's what an excellent camera is all about.
on September 25, 2010
This review isn't a listing of all the features of this camera. You've just scrolled past those. But it's my impression of the ones that make the most difference and to compare it with my prior experiences. Anyone who knows Canon will know it's better than the T2i and not as good as the 7D which is what the comparative reviews are saying.
This is my 1st XXD series camera so many of my comments are going to be based on my past experiences with the Canon Powershot S series (Of which this camera is a love child) and my experiences with my 3 Rebels (XTi, XSi, and T1i which I always carry). This product will not be purchase verified or whatever that is called because I have WAITED for Amazon.com to sell this kit but my local retailer came out with it first.
Why does it take this many years to get a camera with an articulated LCD? Nikon offered this a year or so ago on the entry level Nikon d5000 DSLR much the same way Nikon had to force Canon to give Canon users Image Stabilization on the entry level lenses only after Nikon started to offer it's VR system on it's entry level lenses. CANON! STOP LETTING NIKON DICTATE YOUR CAMERA DEVELOPMENT! DO IT FOR US! Like us! Please? Just a little?? The variangle LCD was the strength of the Canon point and shoots, particularly of the Canon PowerShot S series, whose users will possibly be this camera's biggest fans. The best thing about this window is that you can protect the screen from scratches and although Canon claims it will help you get shots from other angels and enhance the live view, it's still slightly more awkward to use than on the Powershot series because you could one zoom one handed with the switch, instead to having to manually twist the lens.
The electronic levels is REALLY great and though images can be straightened in post processing, it helps to have the level. Again, this will make a little more sense of the softball shaped rebels which are harder to FEEL level, this larger 60D almost feels self leveling with its nice size and great grip. I never minded the grip on the Rebels but now that I see the difference I'm slightly less satisfied with those and feel this is far superior. But all the XXD series have this.
This camera is also surprisingly light compared to the 50D which means its also surprisingly plastic. I don't mind plastic. I don't want to carry around a bunch of have metal framed cameras for the one time I need it to defelct a bullet. If I am finally getting shot at for taking photos someplace I'm not supposed to be, maybe it's my time. I like the weight and feel of this.
In camera processing has already been mocked by my friends and as much as I like it, it seems like a silly thing to put on the XXD series. It will seem less so on the Canon T3i, as will the variangle window. Maybe one day I will be processing all my photos in camera, why, I have no idea, but why not just give us that software on a disk? Maybe they have. I haven't checked the disk yet. If they have? Awesome. If not, Canon why do you still hate us so?? For that matter, why can't Canon put some cool Hipstamatic-like software in there? It works on a damned phone and costs 99 cents.
It has a 49 shot buffer which I am BARELY able to big down even at the highest burst mode settings. NICELY DONE, Canon.
The battery life is spectacular and this kit lens, the Canon 18-135 1:3.5-5.6 IS is a REALLY, REALLY great lens which is going to be vilified because it's the kit lens. I also really liked the 18-55 IS. (KIT SNOBS!) As anyone who has tried to replace the 18mm wide end of the range with a different lens, you will have seen that it isn't cheap, Ringo. Do not let kit lens snobs, or Canon, ruin your love for this lens. It's that same cheap plasticy built as the old kits and the 55-250 (another great lens). You can read the reviews for this lens on its own page and you can see how highly it is rated by other users if not by people who do nothing but photograph grids all day. This lens does not have a zoom lock but neither did that monstrous Canon 28-135 which slides open as soon as it falls below horizonal, but the 18-135 stays put.
The XXD series has the faster shutterspeed of 1/8000 which will allow me to use the Canon 50 1.8 outdoors without a ND filter (which works but makes it harder to see out the viewfinder) OR if you accidentally leave it in the nearly noise free iso1600 you can now still get great shots. Same as the 50D but stilla step up from the Rebel's 1/4000 limit.
I can't speak for the video because I have barely used it on my T1i or on this camera. I'm sure it may be great but I don't use it. I found myself having the same difficult as using the variangle window, in that it takes the other hand to zoom and that shakes the camera and although Canon seemed to indicate someplace that it was for 'moving stills' or something like that, I'd have gladly passed up this feature for a couple hundred bucks off. Isn't a FLIP HD camera like a hundred bucks or something?
So to sum it up, if my biggest complaint with this camera is that Canon has made us wait for some really great features then they have done a great job. The price point is fair.
I will update this review with edits the second I find fault with this camera under this line but as yet, have not found any.
Update: No complaints but I do have additional praise. This Canon has 2 burst mode settings a high and a low. ESSENTIAL when shooting people and very nice to have it adjustable.
The Live View has a greatly improved autofocus now which makes shooting from the hip with the very large variangle window REALLY great. I appreciate it more already then when I mentioned it at the beginning of this review.
This camera is also an ergonomic dream, the buttons feel great. I have small hands and have always resisted the XXD series thinking It would be a nuisance to hold it and operate the buttons. Canon really did a great job with this design. The buttons are well places and DEEP so you KNOW you are pressing them, not just tapping a little nub. I'm increasingly pleased every time I use this camera.
I took this camera to New York this weekend. At over 1800 (no flash) shots the battery still held 62% of it's charge. FAR in excess of Canon's reported specs. You will have a hard time draining this battery in 2 days of shooting.
If I had not already bought this camera, I would have bought it again.
on July 15, 2011
I'm pleased to say that the Canon 60D is a worthy investment for those upgrading from the Canon T2i. I had the great opportunity to own both cameras and see in-hand the differences between the two, and the differences are enough to warrant the extra hundred dollars, maybe more. First of all, I know that they share the same sensor and light metering so pretty much pictures under the same conditions turn out the same - high ISO noise control, color rendition, resolution. But take note that A LOT of how a picture turns out depends on the User and how they compose the shot, and thats where the 60D significantly differs...in handling and performance.
The most glaring difference not easily seen in online reviews is the increase in viewfinder size. The brightness and larger size is like upgrading from a 21-inch lcd monitor to a 23-inch one. At first, I never knew or cared for this increase in spec, but seeing it first hand changed what I wanted in a camera. After all, you spend most of your time viewing through it and it definitely helps to see more of your shot before you take it. Next is the increase in build quality and hand grip size. Yes, its still not magnesium alloy but it feels much more sturdy than the T2i. Weight-wise the 60D is about one kit lens heavier (~200g) which does better balancing heavier lenses like the L series. That's what this camera promotes, a good upgradeable path to handle better lenses. The hand grip is much more filling in my hand. Despite the increase in weight, the ease of holding the camera and preventing strain actually depends more on how your hands hold in position. Another feature is the 9 cross-type AF sensors (T2i has only 1 in center) which allow better focusing in continuous shooting and low-light conditions. One example where I noticed the difference is indoor lighting. After taking random shots, the 60D just feels a little "smarter" on how it chooses the main focus points. Battery life is the next big difference for me. The 60D actually uses the same battery as the Canon 5D Mark II so you know its serious stuff. During one photo trip, one charge lasted over 1,000 photos with about 50% of them using liveview. The included battery charger is very fast too, and it has a retractable built-in prongs..none of that separate cord nonsense you get with the T2i charger. Take note that Maximal Power on Amazon has 3rd party batteries for cheap that works just like the original.
Obviously there are blatant differences too. The swivel screen is great for self-portraits handheld in front of you because you can compose the picture instead of guessing the angle. My gf loves this feature the most for couple shots, and it makes us less relying on unsuspecting passerby's to take our photo. It does inspire creativity when using liveview to compose your shots as well since you dont have to strain your neck or pull a back muscle trying to bend down to take low-to-the-ground photos or over peoples gigantic heads. I haven't tried, but it turning the screen around would be useful for people doing self videos for youtube. The top lcd screen is also great for quick access for basic information, plus it saves battery life and it looks pro. You can basically use this top screen while having your main lcd screen inverted backwards for protection and compose your shots. The faster continuous burst rate of 5.3 vs 3.7 fps is noticeable, but the main difference is that the buffer size for the 60D is much bigger than the T2i to increase your chances of getting that perfect shot. Couple this with the better autofocus system and you can see what I mean about handling and performance. If you like to take shots of your kids running around in the house or fast dogs playing in the yard, then I would highly recommend the 60D over the T2i.
Other difference in features that I haven't tried: horizontal virtual level, wireless flash control, and control over audio levels in movie mode.
Dont get me wrong though, the T2i is a very good camera and probably more popular than the 60D. It has in its favor a lighter body, easier learning curve, and lower price. However, if you are just starting with DSLR's, I would highly recommend getting the T3i instead. Prices are almost the same as the T2i, and its more user friendly with the enhanced Auto mode. Plus it has the swivel screen!
Everything is not mind-blowing with the 60D though. CONS include the same irritable custom white balance implementation and heavy orange-cast under tungsten lighting. The directional pad within the circular control wheel is almost flush and does not have distinct clicks to let you know if you sucessfully pressed it. Contrast liveview is still slow.
Either way, all these cameras are great choices that will not let you down. This review includes my purchase with the 18-200mm lens. The lens is a little better than the 18-135mm version because it has a little more reach and magnification for close-up shots (.25x vs .21x) but comparing their prices I do not think its worth upgrading to the 18-200mm. Resolution, contrast, color and sharpness is about the same, but the 18-135mm is much cheaper and the difference between 135mm and 200mm is not significant.
A handy tip if you want to take your camera to the next level is a hack called Magic Lantern orginally started as a videographer tool. It safely adds more features like trap focus, zebra control, plus much more. Please proceed at your own risk though. Hope this review helps!
UPDATE 7.24.11 ********
Came back from a trip from Niagara Falls, which also has fireworks every Friday. FYI, the 60D doesnt have more of the beginner, user-friendly mode scenes like fireworks apart from the basic portrait, night, landscape, sports, and flower mode. Another thought is that I wished the top lcd screen showed what PASM mode I'm in, as I often found myself struggling to see the setting of my mode dial in the dark. Granted, one can press the Info button to bring up the main screen, but then whats the purpose of the top lcd screen then?
Despite its shortcomings, I am starting to really like this camera. The auto focus is fast and did fairly well in very dark conditions (without flash assist). Taking self-portraits (with the gf) using the swivel screen takes the guesswork out and was enjoyable, since the optional contrast-detect was much faster than phase-detect (plus it chooses the focus points for you). Let me tell you, being able to compose your shot for a self-portrait is great. Couple this with the 15-85mm lens (which I recommend) and you get great background coverage holding the camera in front of you. The camera body itself handled the humid, misty conditions of the majestic waterfalls no problem. And being able to adjust exposure on the fly with the rear wheel dial was convenient.
On a side note, the camera strap itself comes custom made with "Canon 60D" in big bold, stitching. Hope this info helps some of you.
UPDATE 8.3.11 ***********
Bought the new 270EX II external flash to compliment the 60D. Its great! I previously owned the original 270ex (non-wireless version) so I knew its capabilities. Let me tell you, the new one really opens up a world of possibilities with the 60D since the 60D is capable of controlling groups of external flashes (or one in my case). When taking pictures, I was able to fire both my built-in flash and the 270EX II (off the camera) at the same time plus control the ratio of flash intensity between the two. I think flash photography is yet another upgrade path the 60D allows you to partake.
I also just discovered that the 60D is the only Canon body in its class to allow interchangeable focus screens! I recommend the EF-D focus screen made for the 40D..it fits the 60D perfectly and helps compose your shots dramatically. Hope this helps.
UPDATE 8.31.11 ***********
AHHH!!! I just dropped my 60D and 15-85mm lens on the floor today. It fell from a countertop to hard-wood floor with a heart-stopping thud sound. My heart was palpitating too fast to remember which part of the camera hit first, but upon inspection I coulnd't see any damage. My lens had stabilization on and still works so maybe not the lens. I'm so glad the body and intricate internals withstood the fall. My bad 60D, forgive me baby?
On another note, I got the EF-D focus screen easily installed and it works and fits perfectly. The laser-etched marks are thin and greatly help straighten your shots in the viewfinder. Too bad they're not exactly one thirds division. Remember to change focus screen setup in the custom menu.
UPDATE 9.19.11 ***********
Two words... Picture Styles. Learn it, love it, live it. I recently been playing with this feature, at the beginning just adjusting on-camera contrast, sharpness, etc., but now ventured into the more involved software customization of Picture Styles. Its great! First of all, Canon has on their website (if you google "Canon Picture Styles"), that you can download free Official Canon custom picture styles and port it into your 60D (which has 3 user-defined spots) using the EOS Utility software and usb cable. One Picture Style dubbed "Autumn Hues" optimizes color to enhance pictures of vibrant leaves of Fall, as an example. My recent idea was to desaturate all colors except Red hues, similar to Selective Color that Nikon and Pentax have, but only for one color (per picture style). Of course, you can customize to whatever style of picture you like and recomemend checking it out. Unfortunately, I have to say for a CON is that the software (Picture Style Editor) is not very user-friendly and somewhat technical. See my uploaded "red rose" picture for an example of a un-edited jpeg.
UPDATE 10.2.11 ***********
As a regular user, there's some more "room for improvement" or cons that I want to point out with the 60D. While it doesn't effect functionality, the 8-way controller pad on the back is starting to "creak" in certain conditions...just plain sounds cheap to me. In Creative Auto mode, while very useful for beginners, it doesn't save the settings when you change modes or turn off the camera...which is annoying to me since I like to use the Vivid setting on there (since its not found anywhere else on the camera). The mode dial, with its lock button, is okay to turn one-handed but I really wish they left it out. Never once have I accidently knock the mode dial out of position on my other DSLR's with mode dials. On the 60D, it only exacerbates the problem of turning the knob all the way around to get to the movie mode (if you are on the PASM modes) since the mode dial does not turn continuously in a 360 degree fashion (more like 320 degrees). Everything else handles like a dream for me..and its still my favorite DSLR.
Trick or treat! Since my last update I got to know the 60D a little better and took it for a spin at a Halloween costume party over the weekend. It performed splendidly, almost second-nature in my hand. Here are some more pro/con observations:
Trick: A bit irritated by the AWB performance in tungsten lighting. Even the tunsgten setting doesn't get it right. Kelvin adjustment might get it, but takes time doing guesswork and might as well go through the cumbsersome Custom white balance setting instead. Using flash helps. One can always post-process as well.
Trick: AI focus and AI servo are weird to me. One mode doesn't show focus indicators and the other does. They do not wait until focus is achieved before capturing the shot during burst mode (at least to my knowledge). My Pentax system has focus-priority and speed-priority as an option.
Trick: Video mode is great but has a serious moire problem with uniformly fine patterns (ie: the weave pattern of a gray mens suit).
Treat: I can use the Custom User mode to save it as an "Indoor" setting for easy tungsten lighting balance. The 60D has 1 such setting on the Mode dial just beyond Bulb mode. It performs just like Program mode. In it, I can save fine-tune white balance adjustment and custom white balance settings independently from the other PASM modes.
Treat: Holding down the AF-ON button instantly turns my USM lens into manual focus mode, not requiring a focus lock when I fullly press the shutter. This is different from using AF to focus then manually adjusting while holding half-press shutter. It also wakes up the metering system without having to press the shutter. You can also make it "stop" the metering system. The T3i does not have this button and is different from AE/FE * button.
Treat: I love the way most of the buttons are on the right side of the camera, especially four buttons in particular: Menu, Info Q, and Set. Right now, I have this setup for quick access to everything during capture mode: Menu = straight into My custom functions, which includes external flash settings. Info = straight into Virtual Horizon level. Q = straight into on-screen settings, and finally Set = straight into WB balance menu.
In all, the 60D was a treat to use that supresses my urge to upgrade to anything else because it simply does wonders once you learn it. No tricks.
on December 10, 2010
All the Canon XXD camera reviews quickly devolve into a criticism of the compromises Canon makes for the price point and the intended market. The 60D is no exception, perhaps more so with the 60D. I recall all the bad press and angry reviews the 50D and even the 40D got when they first came out, always whining about missing features, arguments over the pixel count, is it a real semi-pro camera or not, etc. It's a tough spot to satisfy a tough crowd. Clearly Canon is repositioning the XXD line with the 60D. This line of Cameras has always been in an odd space, stuck between the Rebels and higher end Pro Cameras. It appeals to those that want a pro camera but don't want to spend the money to get a real pro camera like the 5 or 1 Series cameras and those that wouldn't be caught dead with a lowly Rebel, the camera snobs. This crowd often wants more than it is paying for.
Perhaps it will help to compare what you get to a Rebel to see how Canon is positioning this Camera.
- For starters it is a larger more ergonomic body, a pleasure to hold and use. The Rebels were always too small for me, especially the grip. The 60D has a larger grip that feels much nicer in your hands. It is poly carbonate over metal but still feels strong and sturdy although I'm not willing to try it with mine it feels like it will take some knocks pretty well, it's not cheap feeling like some of the Rebels. Try it you may find you really like it.
- It has a built in flash transmitter, I've already use this s couple of times, you won't find this on any Rebel, it's cool and useful.
- Better metering, it now uses color to help meter exposure not just luminance, this will give a more accurate reading and better exposure especially in scenes with bright reds; you won't find this on any Rebel.
- Same 9 point focus system, but they are all cross type which are more sensitive than the older 9 point system that only had the center as a cross type. Now better than any Rebel.
- Shutter to 1/8000 sec vs. 1/4000 sec for the Rebels
- Better battery life, the 60D's uses the same battery as the 7D and 5D 2, giving you about twice the battery life of a Rebel, tell me you don't want that.
- Flash Sync at 1/250th vs. 1/200 for the Rebel.
- Built in horizontal level, not on any Rebel, great for landscape shooters.
- 5.3 FPS vs. 3.7 FPS. OK this is down from the old 50D's 6.3, although the 50D never really did shoot as fast as advertised whereas the 60D does, the difference between the two cameras is really only about .8 FPS, still far better than any Rebel. It also has a high and low speed continuous shooting rate, nice to have that option, the Rebels are not fast enough for this to make any sense.
- Articulating screen: the only Canon DSLR that has it and it is a wonderful addition and very useful, it WILL without a doubt help you take better pictures. No Rebel has it.
- Picture quality: The T2i and the 60D are using the same sensor and Digic 4 processor so picture quality and noise are about the same, any differences are very minor so a wash here.
- Movie mode: The 60D is perhaps the best APS-C movie camera on the market, period. It offers multiple frame rates and sizes and stereo audio control as well as an external stereo mic jack. Comparable Nikons don't have this. Yes the new Nikons have auto focus while shooting movies but it does not work very well, is not reliable and fails to auto focus much of the time so I don't count it as a serious feature, it's no more than a feature bullet point, totally dismissible. The 60D's articulating screen is also a huge plus for shooting movies. If you care about movies the 60D may be the best APS-C camera out there right now.
Another small but useful feature is a locking mode dial, if like me, you have ever accidentally changed modes while the camera was swinging at your hip you'll appreciate this feature. So if you look at this as the next step up from a Rebel the 60D starts to make a lot more sense.
In short you get a bevy of upgrades and new features with the 60D over any of the Rebels for about $370. Might some of these features be on the next Rebel? Probably, but not all but you can get them now with the 60D.
Compared to the higher end 7D there are some features missing such as the lens micro-adjustment which many photographers never user use, none the less it was on the 50D so this is a step back. The 7D is capable of up to 8FPS due to its dual Digic 4s compared to 5.3 FPS for the 60D. The 7D has a 100% view finder compared to the 60D's 96%. The Auto Focus system on the 7D is the newer 19 Point AF system which is superior to the 60D's older 9 Point. The 7D also has a flash port which is important for some types of studio work, this was something that was on earlier XXDs but has now been removed. The 7D also has a Magnesium alloy body so if you are very rough with your camera this might be a consideration although the 60D looks like it is pretty solid despite the gripes you read. You also pay a heavy price in weight and cost with the 7D so if the 7D has more features then you need and you don't want to drive in nails with your camera the 60D may have everything you need and then some.
It is not a slam on the 60D to say you need the 7D or that the T2i is good enough. Canon is giving us a choice of features and functions at varying price points. You get considerably more for you money with the 60D over the T2i but not as much with Pro oriented 7D. One thing all three of these cameras have in common is excellent image quality, very good noise performance, and very good movie modes.
Canon has finally placed the XXD series in a place where it is starting to make sense. Whereas in the past the series was often up-staged by cheaper Rebels in features, like the 40D and 50D were. The 60D is finally is starting to look like a natural progression in features, performance and price. The Rebels are the entry level, the 60D the enthusiast camera and the 7D is the Pro or semi-pro camera. We get to pick the camera that best suits our needs. I think that's a good thing.
The light weight is also a plus for some one that wants a light but strong body for field work or for dragging into the back country where weight counts. Strongly recommended for the photographer that has out grown a Rebel or wants a mid-level camera that can make large prints and shoot in low light.
on July 15, 2013
I'm an experienced amateur photographer who does professional video work. Last year, I purchased a Rebel T3i to use for both photography and video. After doing some research, I decided that the T3i was probably the best value in DSLR video and I was (and still am) very happy with that camera. However, the recent price drops on the 60D (due to the announcement of the 70D) inspired me to trade in my T3i and upgrade from the "Rebel" line of DSLRs. I'm incredibly happy I did so and would whole-heartedly recommend the 60D to anyone serious about photography or DSLR video.
It's important to remember that the 60D has the exact same cropped sensor as the T2i, T3i, T4i, and T5i Rebel cameras. That means that the quality of photos and videos produced by the cameras will be virtually identical – and very good. In the right hands, any one of those cameras can capture stunning photos and HD video. The difference is largely in the quality and layout of the body, as well as the smarter, faster focusing system in the 60D. The 60D feels great in the hands and – although it isn't advertised – there is apparently much better weather-sealing in the 60D than there is in the Rebels. It has an articulating LCD screen, like the T3i (a real plus for video work), but it lacks the touch functionality of the T4i and T5i.
Where the 60D really shines is in its manual controls. Instead of having to hunt through menus or use combo-button presses, the 60D puts a ton of controls right at your fingertips. The buttons are laid out in a fairly logical way and I became familiar with the workings of the camera pretty quickly. The 60D is a camera that really wants to be used in "manual" mode. If you're the kind of photographer that sticks mostly to automatic settings – which is fine! – this might not be the camera for you.
I actually love having the digital readout on the top of the camera, which displays the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and more. Having that info on the top of the camera means that the rear LCD screen can remain off until you want to use the menus, check the electronic level (which is kind of rad), or review your pics. This saves battery life (at least in photo mode) and is great for sunny conditions that make LCD screens tough to see. Speaking of battery life, the 60D uses higher capacity batteries than the Rebel line. They're a little heavier and a little pricier, but at nearly double the battery life, this is well worth it.
I have a few nitpicks with the camera, although nothing very substantial. It lacks some of the features, particularly for video, introduced into some of the more recent Rebels. It doesn't have electronic video zoom (introduced in the T3i) and it can't autofocus during video recording (introduced in the T4i). As I mentioned earlier, the LCD screen is touch-free. Probably my biggest gripe is that it is weirdly inconvenient to switch the camera from photo-mode to video-mode. Video mode is down at the very bottom of the mode dial, below all the "creative" modes (Sports! Face! Flower!) that I frankly wish weren't even there. Going from "M" manual photo mode to video mode requires you to depress the dial lock and turn the thing almost completely around. The T4i switches into video mode from the power switch, instead of the mode dial, which just makes so much more sense. It's a tiny gripe, but a persistent one. I also desperately wish that Canon would make a headphone jack standard issue on their video-equipped DSLRs for audio monitoring, but this is apparently wishful thinking. There's one on the 5D Mark III, but right now that's five times the price of the 60D.
Going from the T3i to the 60D has felt like switching from a consumer-grade camera to a professional one. While I don't expect it to capture drastically better images, it has absolutely encouraged me to take ownership of the camera's manual controls and become a better, more knowledgeable photographer. Now that the 60D's successor, the 70D, has been announced, I'm sure that many people are wondering if the 60D is still worth it. The 70D will have an improved sensor (the first new Canon ASP-C sensor in years), and more video features, such as autofocus and digital zoom (still no headphone jack, though). However, the 70D will also sell for around double what the 60D is currently selling for. As far as I'm concerned, as a photographer and video user on a budget, that means that there has never been a better time to pick up a 60D.