Don’t forget, you can also watch the Canon 60D video review.
The Canon 60D is the latest in the line of Canon prosumer digital SLR cameras, launched in June 2010. The prosumer line has been very popular since the original Canon 10D hit the market in 2003 and updates have been announced at regular intervals. The 60D is somewhat different to its predecessors however with a number of changes made to its capabilities and body construction.
Canon 60D Specification
The Canon 60D has a resolution of 18 megapixels which is a 3 megapixel improvement over its predecessor, the Canon 50D. The body is constructed with a polycarbonate resin with glass fibre on aluminium chassis. This comes at a bit of a surprise as its predecessors came with a magnesium alloy body construction, which naturally made them more sturdy. The one advantage of this new construction is a slightly lighter camera by about 70g. The internal electronics have remained the same as the 60D uses a DIGIC 4 processor and the ISO range of the 60D is from 100-6400 with an optional expansion to 12800. When compared to previous models of the prosumer range, the button layout has changed quite significantly. Gone is the joystick for navigating around pictures, this has been replaced with a cursor system found within the navigation wheel on the back of the camera.
The on/off slider switch has been moved to the camera mode wheel at the top, and a new quick control ‘Q’ button has been added which provides immediate access to all the customisable photo settings. Gone is the white balance adjustment button from the top of the camera, and this can now be accessed by pressing ‘SET’ in the middle of the navigation wheel. Another feature of the Canon 60D is that of the live view shooting mode, first seen in the Canon 40D, and by pressing this button, the LCD screen then becomes the viewfinder. This button also doubles up as the record button for when shooting video.
The Canon 60D takes SD memory cards, a noticeable change from its predecessors as they used the larger Compact flash (CF) memory instead. Concealed behind the plastic flap to the side of the 60D are the HDMI and USB ports as well as sockets for connecting a microphone for video recording and a socket for connecting a remote control.
Canon 60D sample photos
Below are a few examples of photos taken with the Canon 60D using a Canon EF 18-55mm, Sigma AF 70-300mm and Canon EF 15mm Fisheye lens. These photos are un-edited and hopefully will provide a good idea of the sort of picture quality that can be expected when using this camera.
Buy Canon 60D or used Canon 40D
A new Canon 60D will cost in the region of £600 as of October 2011, whereas an older model, say the Canon 40D, can be purchased for about half the price, so its an interesting question to ask whether it is worth spending the extra money to buy the latest version.
The Canon 60D has the following advantages:
- Can shoot high definition video
- Higher resolution
- Greater ISO range
- Flip out LCD screen with live view
- Digic 4 processor
However, it also has the following disadvantages:
- Twice as expensive
- Build quality is inferior to previous models (which have a magnesium alloy body)
- Can shoot at only 5.3 fps as opposed to 6.3 on the 40D
The Canon 60D is no doubt a quality camera and for somebody who needs to record video or does extensive macro photography so can take advantage of the movable LCD screen, the Canon 60D would be a sensible choice. If however, this is not the case, then an older model such as the Canon 40D (or Canon 50D if the price is right) would be my preferred option.