This might be a little late for a Canon EOS 60D review but seriously, who cares? 🙂 I just got my unit in January (got delayed by a month or so) but it’s all good.
Nevertheless, here’s my own feedback about the camera.
I’ll skip the details on features and go right into the user experience part.
I think the first thing you guys want to know is NOISE control performance.
Here it is, 100% crop from 18MP JPG file. For the curious soul out there, the subject is Canon’s lens box.
Canon 430EX II was used to light the subject, using 60D’s wireless transmitter to control the power level of the output to attain similar brightness across the tests from ISO 800 to ISO 12800.
Just as with the 550D and 7D, 60D’s noise control is superb. I see no issue on why people would be picking on the noise level of these cameras.
Let’s start off with the Vari-Angle LCD – if you’ve been on forums, you’ll see many individual going about “oh neat, I can go odd angles to shoot.” Ironically it seems quite often people who post such comments are people who yet own a DSLR. 😛 I don’t know about you guys but I rarely have a need to go really awkward angles to begin with. It is helpful if you’re covering an even and have a few rows of media mob in front of you.
When it comes to doing commercial work, the Vari-Angle LCD is really a superb feature. I had an assignment in January this year so I though it’s a good time to test the EOS 60D. I really fell in love with the Vari-Angle LCD because it made my life so much easier when photographing food.
Prior to introduction of Live View, what we had to do was to arrange, then go back to the viewfinder. Not good? Back to the food, adjust, back to the viewfinder again. Rinse and repeat until you get it right. With Live View it was easier, you still go back to the camera but need not stuck your face to it.
With the Vari-Angle LCD screen, I could just angle the screen to the front and along with Live View, I could just adjust to my heart’s content while seeing the subject being framed on the LCD. It really spares me A LOT of time, we got the whole thing done so much faster than before. 🙂
Another thing that helped a lot with the assignment was the wireless transmitter. Sure, it’s not a Pocket Wizard or Radio Popper, it’s not an ST-E2 either but it works really well. Overall the 60D is great and maintains the great IQ we’ve seen so far on 550D and 7D. Below is a 50% zoom of the above photo.
For more of those photos, you can view them at Jombali. Check out their menu, try figuring out which one was taken by the 60D and which one was taken with a Hasselblad. 😀
As for the features like creative filters and whatever image processing in camera – those are plus points but something I don’t touch at all since I prefer to have more control in processing work via the computer and whatever software I have.
The buttons / ergonomics of the EOS 60D is good. I like the dial and directional pad combo.
I didn’t like that they placed the DELETE (trash) button on the upper left side (under the mode dial) instead of it being near the play button like the 550D. As for the mode dial lock, I didn’t like it when I previewed it but after a while I got used to it. I don’t change mode that often, it’s still a hassle but I’m fine with it.
The EOS 60D also sports a very good AF (auto-focus) system. From the feedback of friends, it seems that bodies like the 50D and 60D are still faster than the 5D Mark II but as for comparison against 550D and 7D – I’ve not come by any, nor do I have a chance to test out both bodies under such conditions.
While the EOS 60D’s AF system is great, I find that being paired with non-USM lenses reduces its performance potential. Ironically all 3 kit lenses for the EOS 60D are non-USM lenses. The EF-S 18-55 IS, the EF-S 18-135 IS and the EF-S 18-200 IS. If ever you do buy an EOS 60D – I suggest pairing it with something with Canon’s lenses with USM to get the best out of the AF system.
I didn’t even bother to use the EF-S 18-55 IS that came with my kit. My primary workhorse lenses with the 60D are the EF 50mm f1.4 USM and the EF-S 15-85 IS USM (kit lens for the EOS 7D).
Here’s a photo I took using the 60D and the 15-85 IS.
link (more photos there)
Another nice touch to the 60D is that it uses the same battery as the 7D and 5D Mark II, so it makes it a great backup or secondary body.
Here’s a video taken with the 60D. Great audio recording as usual, at 0:18 you’ll hear my flash knock on the stairs. 😛
You could use the dial to adjust exposure during video recording but the mic does record the click click sound of it. 🙂
Size and weight wise the EOS 60D sits between the 550D and 7D, it’s sturdy and well built in my book, but is this the camera for you?
Is the Canon EOS 60D a good choice?
550D vs 60D : IF you have the funds to go for a 60D – I’d say just go for it. The 60D is just about RM 800 extra but it comes with better ergonomics, wireless flash control, Vari-Angle LCD, Kelvin white balance control, ISO in 1/3 stops, creative filters, faster burst mode, audio recording volume control for video mode and so on so forth.
If you just want to take photos and you’re not interested in any of the above, or have no clue of most part of what I just mentioned – perhaps 550D is right for you, you could even settle with the 500D. 🙂 On the other hand you could just get the 60D and IF you actually do advance in your photography hobby, you could actually appreciate the features instead of dwelling in regret on not spending more.
You could also wait for the 600D to be released as it was announced just a few days back. By then the 550D’s price should be lower. It’s then a toss between 600D vs 60D but we’ll not go into that now because it really complicates matters.
*As if advising people on 500D vs 550D wasn’t tough enough, and then we had the 550D vs 60D and 60D vs 7D. 600D aka mini-60D just makes it more messy.
60D vs 7D : They’re similar in so many ways, the 7D has better AF system but as to how much better – I don’t know, and I’ve not seen anyone being able to quantify it as well. The 7D has faster burst mode and what I like is that it’s easier to access video recording with the button near the viewfinder. Both of them are able to control flash wirelessly but the 60D has Vari-Angle LCD and more controls in video mode. The 7D uses CF card instead of SDHC like the 60D. There are a bunch of other difference in features but that’s for you to find out (homework).
If you’re into shooting sports or events with fast movements and such, both of them would work fine but the 7D gives you a slight edge.