Canon EOS 60D: Hands-on Preview

A few weeks ago, Canon was gracious enough to allow me to spend and hour or so with a
prototype of the new Canon EOS 60D. Given all the rumors that have been circulating, it’s no big surprise that the 60D has appeared and that it fits neatly into the Canon DSLR lineup
between the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the Canon EOS 7D.

The Canon EOS 60D retains all the major features of the EOS 50D, plus it adds some  new features from the T2i and some from EOS 7D. Here are the main highlights, taken from both the Canon press release and one-on-one discussions with Canon.

Where to Buy

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Canon EOS 60D Features

  • An 18MP sensor with 4 channel readout. Very similar to the sensor found in the T2i and
    EOS 7D, though the 7D has 8 channel readout to speed up operation.
  • Full HD video at the same selectable resolutions and frame rates as the Rebel T2i/7D.
    Manual exposure setting is possible.
  • There is a "wind" filter which can be used when recording audio along with
    video. The built-in mic is mono, but there is a jack for a stereo mic. There is manual
    control over audio volume (64 steps), but changes cannot be made during shooting.
  • The AF system has the 9 points found in the Rebel T2i, but all are cross (dual axis) sensors
    as in the 50D. The 7D has a more advanced AF system with 19 cross type sensors.
  • 63 zone metering as in the Rebel T2i and 7D
  • The viewfinder has 96% coverage (the 7D is 100%).
  • The ISO range is 100-6400 plus "H" (12800), same as the T2i and 7D.
  • The EOS 60D now uses SD cards like the T2i. The 7D  uses CF cards.
  • Canon has abandoned the BP-511 battery of the 50D in favor of the LP-E6 which is used
    in the EOS 7D (and 5D MkII).
  • The maximum frame rate is 5.7 frames per second (fps), between the 3.7 fps of the T2i and the 8 fps of the 7D
  • The LCD has a 3:2 aspect ratio and Canon’s current (and excellent) anti reflection
    technology.
  • For the first time on any Canon DSLR, the EOS 60D has a tilt and swivel LCD. This
    doesn’t help much for conventional still photography, but it can be very useful in Live
    View mode and when shooting video.
  • The weathersealing is somewhere between that of the T2i and the EOS 7D. It’s not super
    weather sealed, and it’s not designed to be used in heavy rain, but it shouldn’t quit if
    it sees a little drizzle!
  • The shutter is good for 100,000 cycles. Max speed is 1/8000s and sync is 1/250s
  • There is an electronic level, but only for the horizontal axis. The 7D has both
    horizontal and vertical levels, the T2i has none.
  • There is a dedication position on the mode switch for video and a dedicated
    "start/stop" button. When not in video mode, the button starts and stops Live
    View.
  • The mode dial has a locking button in the center which must be pressed before rotating
    the dial to change modes. This makes it harder to nudge the dial and inadvertantly change
    modes.  Hopefully Canon learned their lesson with the A2, which had a similar, but
    notoriously fragile, mode change locking button.
  • The on/off switch is now directly below the mode control dial (as in the EOS 7D)
  • The buffer should be good for about 58 JPEGs or 16 RAW images. Better then the T2i, not
    quite as good as the EOS 7D for JPEGs.
  • The 4 way controller used for menu selection, AF zone selection etc. is now incorporated
    inside the rear QCD on the EOS 60D.
  • Last, but certainly not least is the EOS 60D list price of $1099!

You can look at the EOS 60D as a Rebel T2i but with a better viewfinder, better AF, higher frame rate, a tilt and swivel LCD, an electronic level, a rear QCD, a larger capacity battery and overall better ergonomics. Alternative you can look at the 60D as an EOS 7D, but with a less advanced AF system, less weather sealing, a slower frame rate, no vertical electronic level, a smaller JPEG buffer and using an SD card rather than CF. The unique feature of the EOS 60D is the tilt and swivel LCD screen.

Video

Here’s a sample video shot with a pre-production (beta) model of the EOS 60D.

Hands-on Assessment

Handling the pre-production model was a familiar experience with the typical Canon DSLR
user interface. The menus have changed from the 50D and the control buttons have a
different layout, but that’s just a matter of getting used to them. Once you become
familiar with them you may find them easier to use than was the case with the 50D. Video
is particularly easy to shoot since there’s a dedicated mode, a dedicated start/stop
button and a tilt and swivel LCD which makes aiming the camera much easier than using a
fixed LCD on the rear of the camera.

It’s hard to give a detailed assessment of image quality other than to say it looks very much like the image quality of the EOS 7D (and EOS T2i). This is pretty much what
you’d expect since they all use the same basic sensor. There may be very slight sensor
differences between the cameras, but nothing that appears to affect image quality. There’s
no reason why the resolution should be any different from that of the T2i and 7D.

I suspect that the EOS 60D might displace the EOS 5D MkII as the camera of choice for
impoverished videographers since it offers pretty much the same video features, but with a
tilt and swivel LCD and all at significantly less than 1/2 the cost of the 5D MkII ($1099 vs. around $2500)

Based on the brief time I had with the pre-production model, I’d say Canon certainly has another winner in the EOS 60D. It’s a very useful update of the 50D, adding
more pixels, HD video, a tilt and swivel LCD and lots of other small refinements. My
only complaint is that I think I’d rather have had CF card storage than SD card, simply
because I already have a large collection of CF cards that I use in my other Canon DSLR
bodies. The main advantage of SD cards over CF cards is that there are no pins in the
socket to bend. In that regard they may be a more robust solution in the hands of
consumers. The currently available SD cards aren’t as fast as the fastest CF cards at  the moment, but the 60D doesn’t need an ultra fast card. SD class 6 is recommended (and probably required for shooting longer 1080p HD video sequences). When I shot with the pre-production 60D I used an 8GB Kingston  class 6 card and I had no problem with 1080p HD video. Transcend 8GB class 6 SDHC cards can be found for as little as around $20 each, so even if, like me, you have a collection of CF cards, buying a few new SDHC cards won’t break the bank.

My collection of BP-511/512 batteries is also getting less useful! No current DSLR now
uses that battery size.  If you don’t mind using 3rd party batteries from China, you
can get spare LP-E6 batteries for around $8 each, so as with the SD memory cards, buying a
few spare batteries isn’t a big expense (unless you insist on genuine Canon batteries
which currently sell for $65-$70 each).

It’s interesting to note that all of Canon’s APS-C DSLRs now have much the same sensor
and display much the same image quality. They are differentiated by features, not by basic
image quality. The tilt and swivel LCD also looks like a winner and I’d expect to see it
as a feature on many future DSLRs from Canon. The only possible downside to it is that
under heavy use it might make the camera less durable. You could drop an EOS 1D series
body with no serious consequences, but if the LCD was folded out and you dropped it the
wrong way I’m not so sure it would survive intact. I’d certainly expect a tilt and swivel
LCD on the EOS 7D MkII and the EOS 5D MkIII, if and when they are released!

Are there any downsides to the 60D when compared with the 50D? Well, there are a few. The 60D has lost the AF microadjustment of the 50D and it no longer has a PC flash socket. However I suspect that not many owners of the 50D really use either of those features (though they are certainly nice to have and are used by some). The multi-axis controller in the QCD is arguably less easy to use than the separate “joystick” of the 50D. Inside the camera there is more plastic and less metal, though again that might be something the majority of users don’t really care about. I’m sure that for they typical customer the addition of HD video and a tilt and swivel LCD more than make up for the losses from the 50D. For 50D owners looking for a total upgrade, there’s always the EOS 7D, which is coming down in price now.

Sample EOS 60D Images

Here are some sample images. It’s important to note that all of these were taken with a
pre-production (beta test) camera, not a production sample.

Note: each thumbnail links to the full-size jpg of the image.

Full Canon Press Release

CANON’S NEW EOS 60D DIGITAL SLR CAMERA UNLEASHES THE CREATIVE POTENTIAL OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND EOS FULL HD VIDEO WITH NEW IN-CAMERA IMAGING FEATURES

New EOS 60D Offers a Vari-Angle LCD Screen, EOS Full HD Video Recording, In-Camera RAW Processing and Creative Filters and 18-Megapixel Resolution Among Class-Leading Specs

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., August 26, 2010 — High-quality digital capture and skillful post-processing go hand-in-hand for superior end results, and more control over in-camera image processing means less time editing and more time shooting. At the same time, the overwhelming popularity of Full HD video recording with other current EOS Digital SLRs has led to customer requests for more advanced features such as manual audio level control and flexible LCD screens. Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, delivers all of these features and more with the new EOS 60D Digital SLR Camera. For the first time on an EOS camera, the EOS 60D DSLR boasts a three-inch Vari-Angle Clear View LCD screen, EOS Full HD video recording with manual overrides including audio level control, and in-camera functionality for RAW image processing plus Creative Filters to manipulate images after taking them. Designed primarily for advanced amateurs, the EOS 60D replaces the EOS 50D and boasts a broad array of new features that make it easier for photographers to add personal creativity to their images. Whether it’s capturing an overhead shot on the Vari-Angle screen at a graduation ceremony, or converting a color image to black and white for a nostalgic look, Canon is delivering in-camera features and functions that empower advanced photographers to capture, display and print the images they want.

“The EOS 60D has been designed to offer the image-capture and the Full HD video features customers are looking for as they continue to expand their photographic skills. The exciting new features of the EOS 60D make using a DSLR camera more attractive and easier than ever before. We want everyone to experience the great image quality a Canon DSLR can offer with features and functions that they will appreciate and use,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

Exciting EOS “Firsts”

For the first time in the history of the Canon EOS System, the new 60D camera features a large Vari-Angle 3-inch Clear View LCD screen with 1,040,000 dot/VGA resolution plus anti-reflective and smudge-resistant coatings for bright clear viewing from any angle. The new LCD screen is ideal for composing low-angle or overhead shots whether capturing still images or Full HD video clips.

Another first for the EOS system is the EOS 60D camera’s new Multi-Control Dial, which places a Multi-Controller and Set button inside the Quick Control Dial. This new control layout streamlines camera navigation for vertical as well as horizontal shooting and enables a cleaner camera design. Responding to customer requests, the EOS 60D also features a locking mode dial, which makes camera operation more secure by preventing inadvertent changes to the photographer’s selected shooting mode.

While the photography mantra of “get it right in the camera” still stands true, Canon’s new EOS 60D gives advanced photographers an edge with new in-camera features that enable users to enhance their images without a computer even after they have been shot. For the first time ever in an EOS camera, the EOS 60D features in-camera processing of RAW image files, new reduced resolution image copies, and post-processing creative image filters for exceptional flexibility in digital image rendering.

In-camera RAW image processing features include Picture Style, White Balance (WB), Color Space, High-ISO Noise Reduction, Peripheral Illumination Correction, linear distortion correction and chromatic aberration correction. These powerful in-camera editing tools will allow photographers in the field to produce optimized images on the spot and generate JPEG files at various resolution and compression settings for immediate sharing, without affecting the original RAW data.

Another great new feature for photographers-on-the-go is Canon’s new image resizing function. After capturing full resolution or smaller JPEG images, the camera can generate lower-resolution copies using menu commands. New lower-resolution settings include 1920 × 1280 for optimal display on HD televisions, or 720 × 480, ideal for immediate uploading to social networking and other photo sharing web sites. The original high resolution files remain unaffected by the image resizing function.

Available for the first time in an EOS camera are Canon’s new creative image filters. Familiar to Canon PowerShot users, these fun photo effects help make a great image more dynamic, even after it has been shot. Canon provides four artistic filters that allow photographers to capture an image and then create and manipulate a digital copy of it.

  • The Soft Focus effect filter helps dramatize an image and smooth over shiny reflections.
  • The Grainy Black and White filter can give a different nostalgic perspective to any shot.
  • Canon’s “Toy Camera” filter deliberately adds vignetting and color shift for a creative option when shooting a colorful scene.
  • Users can also make a scene appear like a small-scale model, simulating the look from a tilt-shift lens, with Canon’s Miniature Effect filter, great when shooting any scene from a high vantage point.

Each of these filters can be applied to a captured still image in-camera to create a second “filtered” JPEG version, leaving the original RAW or JPEG file unaffected.

Another addition to the camera’s Live View function is Canon’s new Aspect Ratio feature whereby the Live View screen can display cropping lines for 1:1, 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios in addition to the standard 3:2 ratio. These cropping lines make it easier to compose images in Live View, and they can help to expedite printing when using Canon’s supplied Digital Photo Professional software. Custom aspect ratios are also applied to JPEG images whether captured directly in-camera or created with the EOS 60D’s in-camera RAW image processing function.

EOS HD Video: Continuing the Video Paradigm Shift

In addition to its new still capture capabilities, the EOS 60D features Full HD video capture at 1920 × 1080 resolution with selectable frame rates of 24p, 25p or 30p. Native 24p recording helps videographers achieve a more cinema-style look for their footage without the need for post-processing. The EOS 60D builds upon the great video capabilities Canon has introduced in recent DSLR cameras and packs them into a camera photo enthusiasts will love. Full HD video capture, along with selectable cinematic frame rates for both NTSC (National Television System Committee) and PAL (Phase Altering Line) standards, will help the EOS 60D to be the camera of choice among film students and photography students alike.

The new EOS 60D camera’s movie mode also includes manual controls for exposure as well as manual audio levels in 64 steps, much like the latest firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark II HD-SLR. Users can set audio levels on the rear menu screen before shooting begins; once recording is initialized, audio adjustments are not possible. In addition, Canon has added an electronic Wind Filter to the audio controls within the movie shooting menu.

Canon has also included an in-camera movie editing feature, allowing users to shorten a video file by clipping segments from the beginning or the end, removing unwanted portions without outside software. This feature can dramatically accelerate workflow by reducing the time needed to upload video clips to a computer for further editing and assembly. The EOS 60D also includes Canon’s Movie Crop mode, which allows users to achieve 7x magnification when shooting SD video. Unlike the digital zoom feature found in many compact digital cameras, Canon’s Movie Crop mode crops the image directly from the CMOS sensor at full SD resolution to preserve image quality and still provide additional telephoto power.

Providing access to the right lens for any given shooting scenario, the EOS 60D DSLR camera is compatible with more than 60 Canon EF and EF-S lenses. The EOS 60D DSLR’s video functions are supported by two key proprietary Canon technologies, a DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor and a large APS-C-sized CMOS sensor capturing fine detail and color with an amazing cinematic depth of field. The Canon EOS 60D allows for three video recording modes — Full HD and HD in a 16:9 aspect ratio and Standard Definition (SD) in a 4:3 aspect ratio, all at selectable frame rates. The EOS 60D Digital SLR camera will record Full HD at 1920 × 1080 pixels in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); 720p HD recording at 50p or 60p (59.94) and SD video at frame rates of 50p or 60p (59.94). The EOS 60D features a dedicated button to initiate live view for both video and still shooting. Once engaged, the same dedicated button will start and stop video recording.

Valuable Additional Features

Along with the adjustable LCD screen, the new EOS 60D DSLR features a class-leading 18-megapixel Canon CMOS sensor, a proprietary DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor, a 9-point Autofocus system and Canon’s exclusive iFCL Metering System (Intelligent Focus, Color, Luminance) giving it the power of a professional-level camera. Capable of capturing fast action, the 60D DSLR can shoot full resolution still images up to 5.3-frames per second (fps). The EOS 60D records its images and video clips to the photographer’s choice of SD, SDHC or new extended capacity SDXC memory cards.

The 9-point AF system on the new EOS 60D features f/5.6-sensitive cross-type focusing on all nine focusing points. Like the EOS 7D, the center AF point is a hybrid of standard cross-type and special diagonally-shaped “X” cross, with high-precision sensitivity for f/2.8 and larger aperture lenses. Complementing the AF system, Canon’s iFCL metering system, identical to that on the EOS 7D and Rebel T2i, takes color information into account and includes a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor that reads both illumination and color for consistent results in all lighting conditions, keeping exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes.

Photographers will enjoy shooting in low light thanks to the EOS 60D DSLR’s wide ISO range from 100-6400 (adjustable in 1/3-step increments from ISO 100-6400 and expandable to 12,800) allowing it to capture beautiful images without flash during family milestone events such as wedding ceremonies, while still being equipped with a built-in pop-up flash for shooting the cake cutting ceremony and reception. The EOS 60D’s pop-up flash features a built-in Integrated Speedlite Transmitter for control of up to two groups of off-camera EOS Speedlites without the need for an external transmitter, providing an economical solution for multi-flash shoots.

Making accurate composition more convenient, the EOS 60D’s optical viewfinder provides 96 percent coverage along with Canon’s built-in single axis Electronic Level Display, which utilizes the exposure level scale below the picture area to let the photographer know when the camera is level. The Electronic Level Display is also visible on the camera’s LCD screen in both Live View and Movie modes. An artificial horizon display illustrates horizontal roll, allowing the photographer to know when the camera is in a fixed level position. The entire camera has been durability-tested to 100,000 exposures making the EOS 60D a reliable as well as a powerful imaging tool.

Where to Buy

Photo.net’s partners have the Canon EOS 60D available in a few different options. Their prices are fair and you help to support photo.net.

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    • And now for the bad news - it's plastic.

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    • What did you want? Wood? Gold?

      Crash helmets are made of plastic. They seem to stand up to significant abuse. Unless you intend to use the camera as a hammer to pound in nails or as a weapon, "plastic" is just fine.

      The rebel series bodies are also mostly plastic and I've yet to hear significant complaints resulting from the construction material.

      The 60D. like the T2i, does have a steel chassis with a plastic covering (and a plastic mirror box I believe).

      I'm sure the vast majority of users won't care whether or not it has a magnesium alloy subframe and mirror box as long as the price is low and it's loaded with features.

      For $1099 it packs more of a punch than any previous EOS camera at or near this price point.

      For another $400 or so you can have a magnesium alloy frame, a better AF system, better weathersealing and a few more bells and whistles from the EOS 7D

      I suspect that Canon tried their best to keep the price as low as possible on the 60D while retaining most of the features that users have come to expect from the xxD series cameras.

       

       

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    • Will hang on to my 10D for a little while longer. 

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    • My Holga is also plastic. To put things in perspective. (I meant that in a positive manner. For what it is, the Holga does nice work.)
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    • I'm really grateful you've provided the comparisons to the 50d and 7d and your summary is excellent.  I will use this reference when I decide to upgrade.

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    • Thanks Bob, for the heads up!

      Wish it had ECF, just like my "plastic" 10 year old EOS 3 does.

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    • Bob:

       

      How does the viewfinder compare to the 7D?  I rely heavily on a great viewfinder for composing and my eye sight not being as good as it once was, I need a big bright one...like the 7D and 5D Mark II. I'm debating 60D vs 7D with the moveable LCD less important to me.

       

      Thanks.

       

      Mark

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    • You should clarify that "update of the 50D, adding a larger sensor" means larger in terms of mega-pixels, not physical size.

       

      [Thanks for pointing that out. Now corrected]

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    • Great early preview/review, and much appreciated.

      For me the flip lcd is something I've wanted in a dslr, so its one more positive factor in whether to upgrade from my 30D.  I was relieved to see it seems to have lost just one dedicated button ('Jump') in making room for this.

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    • Buttons are more crowded because of the articulated lcd

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    • Bob

      I have used a bunch of plastic rebels and they are fine for what they are, as an entry level camera to be upgraded every couple of years.  But the plastic invariably shows bad signs of wear within this time frame - worse than any metal skinned P&S.

      Sure I'd be the first to admit that this doesn't affect the image quality but it does affect the feel of the camera and photography for me is also a tactile hobby. Canon spends a lot of money on styling and making their L lenses feel and look nice just that reason.

      I have a 35 year old  metal Pentax MX that has aged gracefully and still feels and looks good despite some wear. This is unlike any plastic camera I have owned.

      I would have been happy with a metal top and front plate over a plastic body like the old Elan 7n, which to me has a nice feel about it.

      If I am investing in a mid range body, I'd like to think I'd get 5 years of use out of it and over that time it would age well.

       

       

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    • Bob, you are being plain silly. Wood and gold are not alternative materials for modern DSLR camera bodies. Crash helmets are designed for very different requiremens - are we to expect similar tolerances and precision in 70D as we see today in crash helmets? DSLRs which use magnesium alloy construction use it not to allow them to be hammers to pound in nails or as a weapons. Of course "plastic" is just fine, and so is the body which (as opposed to 50D) does not use sealing any more. One needs to be a bit more objective - it does not matter how you twist the truth, 60D build quality is below that of 50D. Is 60D a bad camera? No. Is the body build a bit better then 50D? No. Is 60D a bit less expensive because of that? Probably, but with modern technologies the difference in price is (if any) is very, very small. Just marketting decision to separate 60D and 7D by a bit larger gap.

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    • A Canon rep not long ago told me the wave of the future for Canon DSLR's is toward video use, and the 60D bears this out. This is fine; no doubt it is based on solid market research, focus groups, etc. But I care nothing about video and am unlikely to any time soon. So I balk a little at paying the price of amortizing the video R&D that goes into these new cameras, and of the circuity/hardware price of the video features. Although I used to upgrade through the xxD line pretty regularly, I'll hang onto my 50D for quite some time, I think.

      BTW, we have come full-circle in a way. My first DSLR was the Canon D60. What do you suppose they are worth today?

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    • [[But the plastic invariably shows bad signs of wear within this time frame - worse than any metal skinned P&S.]]

       

      Good lord.  Camera Equipment measurbation has dropped to a new low.  "My camera wears in a distinctly artful fashion so it's better!"

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    • Yes indeed. I just don't hear of even digital rebels falling apart or being unusable because of their mainly plastic construction.

      Yes, the body construction is "inferior" to that of the 50D, though I'm not quite sure in what way that "inferiority" is likely to show itself.

      I guess people are disappointed because Canon didn't announce a camera that was as solidly built as the 5D, but had more features, more pixels and HD video. Well....Canon already made that one. It's called the EOS 7D.

      If you want a camera between the T2i and the EOS 7D, just what did you expect Canon to put in it and what to leave out? The mid price point between the street price of the T2i and 7D is around $1150 and the 60D will sell for $1100 initially and probably be down below $1000 in 6-12 months.

      Canon have put so much into the T2i and EOS 7D that there just isn't room anymore for a 50D clone, but with 18MP, HD video and the other new bells and whistles shoehorned into that body maintaining all the features of the current 50D and costing $1150.

      I think the 60D is an excellent camera that will be a great buy for lots of photographers. If it's not enough camera for the purists or professionals that really need all the advanced features, then there's the 7D.

      The 60D isn't "just a rebadged Rebel". It has a larger viewfinder, a top deck LCD, a rear QCD and a high capacity battery - all the features that the xxD series have and the xxxD series don't. Plus it has a tilt and swivel LCD to make it much more friendly for video shooting.

      I think it is true that Canon have defined their new "mid range" APS-C format cameras. The current positioning is mid way between the rebel series and the 7D (series, since at some point I suspect we will see and EOS 7D MkII). The xxD series used to be Canon's "top of the line" APS-C cameras - and the 50D was the top of the line until the 7D appeared. Now the xxD cameras are mid range and the 7D sells for close to what the 20D, 30D, 40D and 50D sold for when first introduced.

      I don't know about the weathersealing of the 60D. Someone above claimed it didn't have any. During my meeting with Canon I did ask about this and I was told that the weathersealing was somewhere between that of the T2i and 7D. It has some seals against dust and moisture, but it's not as well sealed as the 7D, which in turn is not as well sealed as the 1D MkIV. That's pretty much what you'd expect.

       

       

       

       

       

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    • Good lord, so a product which used to be magnesium alloy construction is now replaced by one which is plastic, and people who are unhappy about it bring equipment measurbation to a new low? What next: paper-mache is also prety strong and even lighter :)


      "Someone above" claimed that during his meeting with Canon he was told that the weathersealing was somewhere between that of the T2i and 7D. Actually, old chap, pretty much what you'd expect would be that this information should be included in the official Canon Press release - it is not there. One needs to wonder why.


      BTW, "someone above" who claimed that "Unless you intend to use the camera as a hammer to pound in nails or as a weapon, "plastic" is just fine." should really think again before saying such silly things. Are those really the reasons why 7D, 1D, and many other cameras use magnesium alloy construction?


      cheers, "someone above", who actually has name: Derek Bem (and who happens to hold PhD in engineering - you are welcome to contact me off line to confirm that).

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    • Good review Bob. It is very helpful. Can you please elaborate on the flash transmitter capabilities. I believe that could be very useful for people using the canon EX series of flashes.

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    • Hi Derek,

      I think you need to cool down a bit.

      Bob has a great review here and he's been doing reviews for more than a decade now. Honestly, calling him silly is a bit disrespectful after all what he has done for photo.net.

      It does not matter if we have PhDs or not, or if we can prove it or not. What matters the most is that we must all have some degree of restraint here, so we can all learn and have fun. I think that you would agree with me that this website is not a war zone.

      That being said, I think it would be fair too to say that Bob should have not used that "someone above" to refer to you, but again you must not forget that you have started it in the first place.

      I honestly believe you should apologize, that would be a sign of good gesture. Our ability to face ourselves and apologize when we make mistakes is a sign of brave spirit and good conduct. Its more important than PhD degrees I think.

      Now,Bob has a good point here, and even if you don not agree with it I think you may try to understand it. Not every DSLR should have a magnesium alloy body to be a good camera. The 60D is not a simple upgrade to the 50D. The xxD is now repositioned and moved to target those willing to upgrade from their Rebe but cant afford to buy the 7D. The xxD is not a semi pro anymore, instead, it targets enthusiast photographers on a budget, its nothing but a super Rebel.

      I am not crazy about the 60D, I think the 550D has a much better value for money. But wait, Canon has been in this game for a very very long time. They have their marking teams and they must know what they are doing. We cant judge a camera by our own personal standards. When you write a review you have to be very objective. I think that "plastic" debate is very subjective. You may not like plastic cameras, but someone else might be OK with that. And that is a subjective opinion, or in marketing terminologies its called a feature. Their are main features and secondary features. For a $1100 Camera the magnesium alloy body is indeed a luxury feature. Good thing is that If you cant stand plastic cameras, there is the 7D for you, and If you do not have that extra $400, you have the 60D. Cheer up man, this is good news after all. 

      What Bob was trying to explain here is that only when you start comparing the price tag to the features, then you can see the bigger image. My dream has always been a full frame DSLR for less than a $1000. But thats not yet possible, simply because the market is not yet ready for that move. And yes, the market is not ready for a camera that has all the features of the 7D for a $1100. You have to cut off on something, and that was the body,the AF system , and the few bells and whistles.

      I hope that dose make sense to you now.

      One must understand that the introduction of the 7D and the D5000 forced both Canon and Nikon to reposition their products in the market.  The 60D is not the predecessor of the 50D. Canon has switched gears.

      If this is the best plastic camera then its a the best in its class, please stop comparing it to a full frame, or 8fps camera.

      You cant get a Porsche for the price of a Honda. Its that simple!

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    • P.S. I think we are so lucky to live in a time where we have all of these options from one manufacturer!  

      1000D, 550D, 60D, 7D, 5DMK2, 1D MK4

      I think we must be tankful.

      Cheer up guys! 

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    • Well....Canon already made that one. It's called the EOS 7D.

      Thats what I call good logic.

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    • Hi Heider, I have to respectfully disagree. Before commenting who started being disrespectful you would be well adviced to read the very first response from Bob (the second comment from the top). Saying "silly" when referring to silly comments is appropriate, and not offensive. I appreciate that Bob is doing reviews for over a decade now - this does not mean that he is beyond criticism. As it happens, I have been designing somewhat similar equipment (not the cameras) for over three decades now. I do not believe that I am beyond criticism.

      Various materials described by a generic term "plastics" are not always used where they belong. Often it is very difficult to justify why is that so (the $$ savings are sometimes small). If consumers accept it without questioning, and reviewers say 'this is fine choice of material, it is not to be used as a hammer, crash helmets are also plastic' etc, etc what hapens is... well, we will be getting more and more cheap, plastic toys (not that 60D is that cheap). There are tools, and there are toys, and they both have their place. 60D is a very good camera. Analyze it, test it, review it, and say what is good, but also be critical. Being critical does not stop progress. It keeps the manufacurers honest. Keep it real.

      Just my 2c. I let others to express their opinion.

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    • I did not say that Bob's review is beyond criticism, go ahead and criticize everyone here, but please calling people names is offensive no matter however you justify it. Because then you are not criticizing the logic, you are criticizing the person. 


      Bob's review is very critical, he made it clear that :


      You can look at the EOS 60D as a Rebel T2i but with a better viewfinder, better AF, higher frame rate, a tilt and swivel LCD, an electronic level, a rear QCD, a larger capacity battery and overall better ergonomics. Alternative you can look at the 60D as an EOS 7D, but with a less advanced AF system, less weather sealing, a slower frame rate, no vertical electronic level, a smaller JPEG buffer and using an SD(HC) card rather than CF


      If that is not objective enough for you then you can go ahead write your own objective review on this page. I think you will find it difficult to add anything new if any.


      Now, costumers have all the right to question products. And they also have the right to have some degree of choice here. Canon has the 1000D, the 550D and the 60D with plastic bodies and great value for money. And for those who need durability and some extra functionality there is the 7D, the 5DMK2 and the 1DMK4.


      We do not live in the 60's anymore. Cameras are not built to withstand 30 years of wear and tear, because simply within 6 years today's technology is going to be so obsolete.

      Why design a camera that will last 25 years if you know that most probably you are going to replace it after 8 years or so?

       
      Plastic cameras are great cameras. They take great photos, and are now packed with many good features. My five years old 350D is alive and kicking, I have used it extensively.

      Plastic cameras from Canon and Nikon are not toy cameras, they have great value for money and they have revolutionized digital photography. I am so happy that canon decided some years ago to cut on coast and build the worlds first DSLR under a $1000. 
      Calling budget DSLRS from Canon and Nikon "Toys" is a huge understatement. If its plastic it does not mean its necessarily a toy. I know people who won photography competitions and they only used the plastic 1000D with the plastic kit lens.


      I think Bob's comment of using the camera as a hammer is not silly, nor disrespectful, but sarcastic, ironic and very humorous and funny. It forces you to think whether you really need that extra durability. And yes, if you are not going to use your camera as a hammer, most probably you won't need that extra durability. A hammer here is a figure of speech dear Derek. 


      Cheer up man. Its not wise at all to use your camera as a hammer, but its very funny to imagine that. Just take it easy.

       
      Take care and enjoy your weekend.
      Regards 

       

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    • I like 60D. Pretty good preview, Bob, thank you.

      For almost 10 years from time to time I kept sending letters to Canon explaining that for some technical applications and for people with certain style of work (specially for those who used waist level finders) a DSLR without vari-angle LCD is close to useless - specially if alternatives can be found. Canon kept ignoring my notes despite good reasons being given. At one stage Canon wanted to introduce a Rebel with vari-angle (I believe this can be disclosed now), but eventually decided not to. A few days ago Canon suddenly discovered that vari-angle LCD is "providing added flexibility" - hooray! they finally understood it! ...but - wasn't that obvious and easy to implement long, long time ago? Wasn't it done by others... for years? For some 7D IS NOT a more expensive alternative to 60D (because of fixed LCD), despite overall being a bit more "pro". For some users plastic body is not acceptable. Call it anyway you like, but some photographers also care about how tools feel in their hands (I know, some don't, and care about IQ only). Obviously, Canon also knows that there are reasons why some bodies should not be plastic, and using your camera as a hammer is most likely not the reason.

      = = =

      Heider, please balance this:

      * I said: "Bob, you are being plain silly" (you found his remarks humorous, I found them silly)
      * Bob referred to one of my observations: "someone above claimed...".  I registered with my correct name, which this list clearly shows. I did not "claimed" anything: Canon did not say anything about weathersealing in their Press Release, and I noticed that.

      All that triggered your reaction that I "should apologize"?! With all respect, I think that you are being a bit silly (no disrespect, "silly" is not an offensive word).

      BTW, dear Heider, I get it now: "a hammer" here is a figure of speech. I presume so is "a weapon" and "a crash helmet".

      Cheers, Derek. 'ave a good one.

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    • Call me when they make a good replacement for EOS 20D that does not have Video in it:

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    • You mean something like the 50D? It's already here....didn't you get the call?

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    • Bob, your reviews are always welcomed by many of us. I like the tilt and swivel monitor and was actually researching Olympus for a project I am planning which requires a lot of ground level shooting. The 60D will allow me to stick with Canon so I can utilize the host of lenses and accessories already in my inventory.

      Can you say if autofocus is possible during live view shooting using the monitor?

      I am of the view that the way of the future will continue to be plastic type bodies; maybe better resins and plastics will make it wiser to move from metal as time goes by. Also, high res video is the way of the future. We will be able to extract the required still frames from video and the res will be so high that very good prints can be obtained.

      Still photographers of today should better start learning video so as to make life easier in the future. Many photographers got left behind by refusing to transition to digital a decade ago. We, digital photographers, should learn video to avoid the same problem.

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    • Autofocus in live view is like on previous models (e.g. T2i and 7D). You can have contrast detection AF which is rather slow and tends to overshoot sometimes, or you can have fast and accurate phase detection AF but it requires a momentary interruption while the reflex mirror drops and focus is acquired. Both modes are also available in video, though the best solution there is to focus on your subject before starting the video and then use manual focus to track while shooting.

      Possibly the best way of focusing in live view is manual focus with the screen set to 10x magnification, but the AF methods do work.

      It's worth noting that professional videography and cinematography almost always use manual focus tracking.

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    • I'm still using 10D classic :) But i think 60D fits my choice in term of price point and features. I like the idea of recording HD video and i can take advantage of EOS lens.  I bet the price will be lower than 1K during holiday season. It's time for me to upgrade.

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    • I don't know if the price will drop over the Xmas season. The camera will still be pretty new to get discounted. The T2i is still holding it's full price even though it was announce back in February of 2010. I suspect the 60D will also hold it's price pretty well for while. It depends somewhat on when it starts to ship and in what quantity. If it's hard to find in stock anywhere, the price will not drop.

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    • As I wrote in this post on my blog, in my opinion the release of the 60D and some of the recent cameras from Nikon shows that the current DSLR technology revolution that went on for the past 2-3 years is clearly over.  We'll have to wait for the technology storm to occur again some time in the future.

       

      People will poke left and right at these new 2010 cameras with opinions and that's all fine, but to me there are two key places where the manufacturers can continue to improve that would be of real benefit to photographers:  1) Improve the integration and functionality of DSLR video to make it easier to use, 2) Continue to improve image quality at all non full frame sensor sizes.  FF image quality is already outstanding!  :-)

       

      John (www.johnolszewski.com)

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    • Various materials described by a generic term "plastics" are not always used where they belong.

       

      ...and of course, Canon knows nothing about building cameras.

       

      Those of you complaining about 'plastic' bodies

       

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1tTBncIsm8

       

       

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    • good article - useful comparisons

      the articulating LCD is a good idea - I miss the one on my S3 whan I use my 450D - maybe time to upgrade

      would certainly upgrade if I didn't have to pay for the video I won't use

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    • I have owned the Rebel 350, 400, 450 and 7D...What I can tell you about all these cameras is that image quality is almost identical in all of them...It's the lens that changes the perspective...Extra features are nice, but when it comes to my primary motivation for buying a camera, it's image quality that matters the most.  It has taken me over 20 years to realize that I won't upgrade again until technology makes radical advances...To me, Canon Rebels are the best cameras in the world and yes I have used others.

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    • Good review... 

      However I just don't see the why photography industry has to force themselves to make a big deal out of some non-major improvements once in a while.

      Maybe is us the consumers that shape the industries over years.  I believe cranking all the features into one specialized tool has become more of distraction than support. 

      My subjective 2-cent view still think that a tool should be specialize at its best - not to pay too much attention on the video feature and leave it to beginner level SLR or camcorder.

      Over all the camera I used, the same fundamental skill and the effort to take good picture is always needed.  I take better photos with my Nikon 4500 than friends with Rebel who don't use their brand to think about composition and lightning.  I also feel a bit technically distracted when I got my first DSLR 7D.

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    • I've been waiting & waiting for Canon to finally introduce a DSLR with a vari-angle viewfinder and video capability! I'm over the moon with anticipation for this baby!! I have a question though Bob. Does this camera support time lapse photography? I will be demolishing and rebuilding my workshop and I'd like to chronicle the lengthy process in a time lapsed video. Thanks for the great review! p.s. What are your thoughts about the re-sale value of my mint condition Canon EOS 10s film camera? If it's worth a decent price as a collector's piece the proceeds could help fund purchasing the new 60.
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    • In days gone past, ultimately a camera was nothing but a light tight box for a roll of film, as wonderful as technology progress's I find that a number of generations have to pass before the advantage of constant upgrades really do have an advantage Vs the dollar outlayed  I'm astounded with the later generations of digital imaging, 40 - 50d I'll wait for an 80d until then nobody will pick the difference in my image quality. I wonder how many photographers really do use the functions now built in, my old school pro mates all use 1d3 etc and still go manual so now we must say that ultimately the camera is nothing but a light tight box for a digital sensor. No substitute for skill and creativity.

       

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    • did you happen to notice there was no pc connection for external flash heads?

      oh well guess canon doesn't want us to use them.

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    • Why 18 MP? Eighteen MP are not needed unless extreme cropping is done. The more MP, the greater the chance of noise at higher ISOs.

       

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    • The 16.2 MP Nikon d7000 is now released and, although I am a Canon Boy, but i have to admit it: The d7000 is much more superior. The d7000 focusing and metering systems are way more advanced. 39 AF +  9 Cross +  2016p RGB metering screen! I think for the extra $300 it is really a great camera, much better than the 60D indeed. I've always wished that Canon will  be more generous and give us a decent AF system. The release of the 5D MK2 with its 9 points was a bit disappointing, The 19 points in the 7D is acceptable but not so great. Honestly, the 60d should have inherited the 19 AF points from the 7D. I think that the d 7000 is a great competitor when compared to the 7D. Aside from the extra 2MP and the extra 2fps they are pretty much the same camera. The AF system on the d7000 is really interesting, lets see how that works.

      Canon, you must work on your AF system, and please make us a FF body under 1000 :) That would be the real next rebel! 

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    • All I know is that I love my  50D and see nothing in this camera that makes me want to run out and get it. The quality of materials used in construction is not nearly as good and while it may be better than a Rebel, its not worth the extra money.

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    • The tilt screen is useful for much more than video. Very handy for shooting high (over crowds) and shooting low and up (flowers, trees etc). My AS650 IS had this feature and makes the 60D an attractive proposition. I just hope it does not feel too heavy. My 5D is a bit heavy with the 24-105 L lens to use as a walk around so I would like a 60D with a Tamron 18-270 for that purpose. The rebel would also do but is a little small to hold and doesn't have the 'wheel' or the tilt screen. Plastic, magnesium – as long as it holds up I don't care. Thanks for the review Bob. By the way isn't one of the main differences of the 7d it's dual processors and also it's fast burst rate. It is no lightweight, that's for sure even with the mag body.

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    • My 10 and 30Ds have articulated viewfinders, its amazing I can take hold of the camera and point it anywhere I want to. A Viewfinder is Liveview. I would like a decent compact but the only thing putting me off is the lack of a usable viewfinder, the LCDs are useless in daylight.

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    • I handled the 60D today for the first time and it didn't feel cheap. Really not far off from my 50D. What also impressed me was the build quality of the 18-135 kit lens. A huge improvement over the wobbly 28-135 and the toy 18-55. Don't know how it is optically but operates very smooth for a consumer lens.

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