By Elias Plastiras PC World Australia | on November 30, 2010
Pros: Fast burst mode, excellent high ISO performance, hinged LCD screen, full HD video recording.
Cons: 8-way control button feels terrible and doesn’t always respond.
The EOS 60D sits between the EOS 50D and the EOS 7D in Canon’s mid-range digital SLR offerings. It’s fast, has a vari-angle LCD screen, shoots high-definition video, and has useful built-in image processing. So far, so good.
The 60D boasts the same APS-C sized, 18-megapixel sensor as the 7D, but despite not having dual processors like the latter, performs very fast. It’s said to shoot 5.3 frames per second in high-quality Jpeg mode – the 7D can do 8fps. Encouragingly, we actually achieved 5.5fps in our burst mode tests, and were able to shoot more than 100 frames in a row, meaning it’s a great camera for action photography.
The 60D also possesses an excellent high ISO capability. You could easily shoot at ISO 6400 without noticing much discolouration and noise in your photos, even if you crop them. That’s really handy for night-time shooting using a lens without a wide aperture.
The EOS 60D can produce incredible shots, even with lots of fast motion (1) or low lighting (2).
The body of the 60D is similar to the 50D’s, but there are plenty of layout differences and improvements to the control system. The shutter button has more of a contour around it and is very comfortable to use; the power switch resides on the left side of the body just under the program dial; and the program dial itself has a lock on it that prevents you from inadvertently changing mode. This is now done by holding down the central button, and turning the dial.
The other big difference is the addition of a hinged LCD screen. You can swing it out towards the left of the body, say, for self-portraits and taking photos at awkward angles. The screen is bright, although it can be hard to see your scene on it on a sunny day.
Dedicated buttons allow you to quickly change ISO speed, drive mode, metering and focus modes, and more settings can be used by pressing the Q-menu button. There’s an info button at the back of the camera that when pressed, gives you a glimpse of settings such as colour temperature, bracketing information, and ISO noise reduction. These are additional details to the main exposure and drive settings that can be found on the screen on top of the camera body.
Levelling the land
One useful feature in the Q-menu is the electronic level, but it can’t be overlayed on top of the scene you’re shooting in Live View mode. Instead, it’s a tool that’s useful for landscape photography, when you’re using a tripod without a built-in spirit level.
While the 60D’s body feels sturdy, most of the buttons feel spongy. We had trouble using the 8-way control button to move towards the right in a menu or setting. We also didn’t like the ‘unlock’ button, which replaces the three-position on-switch on the 50D.
Canon’s EOS 60D offers vast improvements over the EOS 50D – buttons aside. Not only does it produce bigger images, it also has a more contoured body and plenty of great new features, such as the hinged LCD screen. It performs exceptionally at night, is great for capturing sporting events, and can be set up precisely to capture landscapes.