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Canon EOS 60D Review Diary

review diary by Uwe + Bettina Steinmueller


Note on image processing:

As usual we work only with raw files. All images were converted in Lightroom 3.x.

All images are also treated with our DOP Contrast Plus, DOP Highlight Resolver and DOP Optimal Sharp scripts.




11/13/2010 About the Canon EOS 60D

Disclosure: This review is based on a production EOS 60D loaner camera from Canon USA but we have our own 60D on order.

We were quite surprised when Canon launched the EOS 7D and put 18 Megapixels on an APS-C sized sensor. Overall we liked the 7D a lot and found the image quality (e.g. noise) very good for a non Full Frame camera. Then the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (550D) got about the same image quality as the 7D. As a camera the 7D is way more advanced but the Rebel T2i does the job. We bought one for our own work (we also own a Canon 5D Mark II and 1Ds Mark III, the 1Ds is rarely used because we like it as light as possible).

We won't talk much about the 60D image quality because the 60D shares the same type of sensor with the 7D and T2i. We always liked the results from both the 7D and T2i. Stepping up to the 5D Mark II provides smother and lower noise images. But we shot the 5D Mark II and the T2i often in parallel and got nice photos from both of them. We sometimes like the relative higher DOF we get from the T2i's cropped sensor. This article is about our personal take on the EOS 60D for our own work. A full featured technical review of the EOS 60D is available at DPReview.

So far we shot about 8,500 frames with the Rebel T2i and find it an excellent value for the money. But there are a few things we would like to see improved. The 60D fixes some of these issues:

  • Swivel LCD: We requested a swivel LCD for DSLRs since these cameras could do live view and even more with video. We hope all future Canon HDSLRs will feature such an LCD. We think the implementation of this new swivel LCD works great. For video and live view stills this feature alone is worth the price over the Rebel T2i.
  • Higher Frame Rate: We shoot a lot of handheld bracketed shots and the higher the frame rate the better. Both the Rebel T2i and the 5D Mark II are very much on the slow side (about 3 fps). The EOS 7D is much faster with about 7 fps. But also the 5 fps of the EOS 60D are a major step forward. We clearly feel the higher speed.
  • Larger Raw buffer: We often fill the buffer on the T2i and having a larger Raw buffer with the 60D helps. We never shoot JPEGs so the extended buffer here does no matter to us.
  • Larger Viewfinder Image: The 60D viewfinder is a major improvement over the Rebel T2i.
  • 1/3 EV Steps for ISO: We like to be able to adjust the ISO values in small 1/3 EV steps. The Rebel T2i did not allow this
  • Body feel: The 60D body is slightly larger and feels better in our hands (Bettina and me).
  • AF: We are not very demanding on the AF system. Both the Rebel T2i and the 60D just work fine for us.
  • Avoid "Auto Cancel" for Exposure Bracketing: This seems to be a minor point for many of you. But we shoot a lot in AEB mode. The T2i cancels the AEB settings if we turn the camera off. The 60D (like other more high end Canon DSLRs) has a setting to avoid this.

As you can see we like the improved features a lot and find the 60D to be a nice step up from the T2i. Would be these features worth the extra price for us? Absolutely! Will we replace the T2i with the 60D? Yes, we just ordered our own 60D.

What about the more plastic body?

We prefer metal bodies but don't care that much in practice. Just wanted to mention it here because there are lots of discussion about it. For us the camera feels very good and we try not to drop it :-).

What are we missing?

  • For a long time we complain that only expensive cameras allow to use more than 3 shots for bracketing (is true even for the Canon 5D Mark II). We don't like that this feature is crippled intentionally.

Early Conclusion

If we would look at the 7D, T2i and 60D we find a the 60D a good compromise in features and price. The swivel LCD makes it the best choice for video and live view.

Some Sample Photos

We posted a new EOS 60D sample gallery that will grow over the next weeks.






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