Customer Review

163 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Know thyself, November 6, 2010
This review is from: Canon EOS 60D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD Lens (Camera)
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.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 12, 2011 6:34:46 PM PDT
Fast Eddie says:
Well said, I am also a covert from Oly! I can say that 60d is an excellent camera better than the Olympus E-5 at a lower price. However, I do miss the Zuiko lenses.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2011 4:04:38 AM PST
Acontius says:
I've just read your 13 month old review. Very, very nicely done, with lots of insights to help me choose the right model--60D or 7D.

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 12:29:35 PM PST
Now I want to put my T2i as the #2 body and get the 60D.

Posted on Aug 16, 2012 10:17:02 PM PDT
M. Ilagan says:
"I'd rather be out shooting pictures than post processing in the computer"

These JPEG vs RAW argument is overrated nowadays. With just a little more effort than you already do to upload your JPEGs onto your computer, sorting them into folders (+/- renaming), and deleting bad shots --> basic, batch post-processing can be automated into that process seamlessly with programs such as Lightroom, and done quickly with modern hardware (note: if you're using computers 3+ years old then this is less of a viable option for you). Also, by shooting in RAW you get a lot of flexibility later on, meaning if you find yourself with a particularly good shot that you DO want to spend a little more effort processing, you are able to (unlike with JPEG).
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