Canon EOS 60D Digital SLR Review

The Canon EOS 60D digital SLR is the successor to the EOS 50D released in 2008. It adds an articulating display, enhanced image processor, and a 18 megapixel sensor. With the increasing popularity of digital SLR video, the 60D also includes the EOS HD Video mode for recording up to 1080p video. How does the EOS 60D perform and is it worth the cost? Find out after the jump.

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Product At-a-Glance

Pros
  • Great photo and video quality
  • Articulating display
  • Microphone input
Cons
  • No continous autofocus for video
  • Awkward mode dial lock placement
  • Display gets easily washed out in sunlight
Summary

The Canon EOS 60D is an excellent enthusiast-level camera that offers a variety of new features over its predecessor and excellent image and video quality.

The Canon EOS 60D digital SLR is the successor to the EOS 50D released in 2008. It adds an articulating display, enhanced image processor, and a 18 megapixel sensor. With the increasing popularity of digital SLR video, the 60D also includes the EOS HD Video mode for recording up to 1080p video. How does the EOS 60D perform and is it worth the cost? Find out after the jump.

The 60D body design doesn’t stray too far from its predecessors or any other model on Canon’s lineup, but it combines the newest features from the consumer T2i and prosumer 7D models to create an enthusiast-level model.

On the back are the normal camera controls you’d find on a typical Canon digital SLR: the delete, live view/record, autofocus and zoom buttons along the top and the menu, info, playback, scroll wheel and setting buttons along the bottom right corner. On the right side of the body is the SD card slot that supports SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards for storing up to 128 GB of images and video. On the left side is the external microphone input, mini HDMI output, USB and video out, and a remote control input. The 60D also has a locking mode dial, a feature that is somewhat new to the EOS lineup, but placing the lock button in the center of the dial is cumbersome and awkward.

Spec wise, the 60D can take photos at up to ISO 6400 (and even further up to ISO 12800, but the usability of these photos is questionable) with the DIGIC 4 processor and has the ability to take photos at up to 5.3 frames per second, so you’ll always be ready to capture the action. On the back is a large three-inch LCD that complements the secondary information display on the top right of the body. The camera also adds some functionality for in-camera editing from the PowerShot line of point-and-shoot cameras including a tilt-shift and toy camera effects.

The image quality from the EOS 60D is excellent in both JPEG and RAW modes, though we’d recommend staying away from taking photos at ISO 3200 and up in JPEG-only mode. In RAW, it’s possible to clean some of this noise out in post by using the Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop or Lightroom.

In terms of video quality, we were very satisfied when testing out the mode with the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L lens. In video mode, you can shoot at 1920 x 1080 at 30, 24 and 25 frames per second, and 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480 at up to 60 frames per second. We didn’t even notice any rolling shutter effect in our test captures, unlike earlier video-capable digital SLRs. In a step up in functionality over the T2i, the 60D has a microphone input jack for plugging in a shotgun or lavalier microphone, even though the built-in microphone sounds decent if you’re in a rush to get a shoot done. You can use either auto or manual input level settings with up to 64 levels. The articulating display did come in handy while shooting video but it did become washed out in bright sunlight while outdoors.

Canon’s user interface hasn’t changed considerably for a long time and is still relatively easy to use (even for a Nikon shooter like myself). However, the large scroll wheel and four-way joystick on the back of the camera has been replaced by a smaller wheel that doesn’t offer as much tactile feedback.

Overall, the EOS 60D from Canon is a great choice for the photographer looking for the next step up from their entry-level digital SLR. It has great photo and video quality and an excellent feature set.

The Canon EOS 60D digital SLR is available as a body only for $899.99 and with a 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens for $1199 at Amazon.com.

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