Excellent balance; great choice of lenses; superb video capabilities.
Only nine focus points; obtuse UI.
At first blush, you’d think the EOS 60D would be more capable than the older EOS 50D. That’s only partially true. It’s got more pixels and a more sophisticated metering engine, but it lacks the metal body and has a lower maximum continuous shooting speed. Making those changes allowed Canon to lower the price a bit: the EOS 60D body can be found for less than $1,000, while the kit with the 18–135mm IS lens is about $1,200.
Like the lower-end T3i, the EOS 60D offers a fully articulating LCD screen. Stepping up to the EOS 60D gives you a pentaprism-equipped viewfinder. Using a pentaprism increases the bulk of the camera slightly, but the viewfinder is brighter, making manual focus a bit easier. The EOS 60D feels beefier and more solid than the T3i, and its balance in the hand when using larger lenses is better.
The EOS 60D’s user interface is similar to the T3i’s, which means a fair amount of menu hunting. If you want to change any settings for video, you first need to select video with the mode dial. It’s logical, given the dense structure of Canon’s menus. Having the main dial vertically mounted directly behind the shutter button is a bit awkward. Also, nesting a D-pad inside the quick control dial on the back of the unit is a bit much. One nifty feature is a fully working artificial horizon visible on the LCD, which makes adjusting the relative tilt of the camera easy.
You have easy control over picking your focus point, which makes selective focus easy. But this also makes you realize how limited nine autofocus points are, though all are cross type at higher f-stops. Autofocus is fast, with little hunting in low light. Auto white-balance performance is pretty good, too, though with the usual limits, depending on lighting conditions.
The EOS 60D can shoot up to 16 shots in raw mode before the buffer fills, but that buffer takes a whopping 17 seconds to empty. Shooting at the full 5.3fps makes shooting action a real pleasure, but you need to shoot in relatively short bursts to manage the buffer in raw or switch to JPEG.
Interestingly, high-ISO shooting (ISO 3200 and 6400) seems to generate images slightly softer than the T3i. As with the T3i, if you push to ISO 12800, you start to see a lot of chromatic noise. Still, high ISO performance is pretty good overall.
Like the T3i, the EOS 60D supports full HD resolutions, including 1080/30. (None of the DSLRs tested here support interlaced resolutions, however.) Video quality is good, and shooting video is easy and straightforward, although autofocus performance is limited.
The EOS 60D costs a pretty penny, but you’ll be rewarded with fine handling, Canon’s superb selection of lenses, and excellent video capabilities. We wish the user interface was a little less awkward and some of the key features present in the older 50D had been retained, but you’ll get great photos and videos with the EOS 60D.
$1,000 for body (online), $1200 w/18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, Canon.com
|Sensor||18MP CMOS AP-C|
|Maximum Photo Size ||5184x3456|
|Autofocus||9-point (cross type)|
|File Format ||CR2 (raw), JPEG, and M-RAW|
|Storage ||1 SD slot, SDXC capable|
|Viewfinder||Pentaprism (96 percent coverage)|
|Shutter-Speed Range ||1/8000-30 sec|
|Flash Sync ||1/250|
|Maximum Continuous Shooting Speed||5.3fps|
|Scene Modes||5 (portrait, landscape, close-up, night portrait, moving subjects)|
|Maximum ISO||6400 (can push to 12800)|
|Shots with Battery Charge||1,600|