Canon EOS 60D Digital Camera Review$1,099.00
Lens & Sensor
The 60D is sold as a kit with an 18-135mm, and the zoom examples shown below are taken with this lens.
The 60D is built around an APS-C sized CMOS sensor, which measures 0.88 by 0.59 inches (22.3 by 14.9mm). This is the same image sensor that is used in the Canon T2i and the 7D, and it captures 18 megapixel images with a maximum resolution of 5200 by 3462 pixels or Full HD video at 1920 by 1080 pixels at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second. It is actually a 19 megapixel sensor with a resolution of 5432 by 3492 pixels: the extra pixels are used in the image stabilization system.
This sensor is twinned with a Digic 4 image processor chip, and this is one of the areas where the otherwise similar Canon 7D has an advantage: the more expensive 7D has two image processing chips, making it quicker to process and save images.
Like all SLRs, the 60D offers an optical viewfinder that shows the through the lens image, so you can see exactly what the image sensor will be seeing. At the bottom of the frame is a small LCD strip that show shooting information such as the shutter speed, aperture, ISO setting, etc.
When the 60D is shooting images, the viewfinder goes momentarily blank as the mirror flips up to allow the light to pass through to the image sensor. The 60D also offers a live view mode that shows a live preview of this captured image on the LCD screen (see below).
The LCD screen is one of the major upgrades from the 50D: the 60D offers a 3-inch, 1004k pixel LCD screen that is very clear and bright, showing a great level of detail for both captured images and the live view preview. This screen is also articulated: a pivot on the side of the LCD screen allows it to flip out to the left of the camera body and to rotate180 degrees up or 90 degrees down. What this means is that it can be flipped and rotated so you can see the screen from in front, above or below the camera for self portraits or shooting from above or below.
This hinged arrangement feels very tough: the LCD hinge and pivot is unlikely to break without severe force. And it also allows the LCD screen to be folded flat against the camera body, where it is protected from damage from bumps and knocks when stored in a camera bag.
The 60D also offers a secondary LCD screen on the top of the camera body which shows shooting information such as the current mode, aperture and shutter speed, white balance setting, etc. The page from the manual that shows the full information is below.
UPDATE: Due to a production error, a previous version of this review contained incorrect information on the secondary screen. This has been corrected.
The 60D has two flash options: a small built-in flash, or a hot shoe that allows you to attach a more powerful external flash. the built-in flash is a small pop-up device that is built into the housing for the viewfinder. This automatically pops up when needed in full auto modes, or it can be activated by pressing the button on the left side of the camera body, near the lens mount. We found that this flash unit was fine for very basic shots and for acting as a fill-in flash, but wasn't powerful enough to illuminate more than a few feet into the darkness.
The other option is to add an external flash onto the hot shoe. Unlike certain other manufacturers (I'm looking at you, Sony), Canon has stuck with the standard hot shoe that allows any standard flash gun to connect. Of course, if you use one of Canon's own Speedlite EX-series flash guns, you get some extra features, such as TTL (Through The Lens ) metering and flash compensation. With other flash units, the synch speed can be adjusted to between 1/30 to 1/250 of a second.
The 60D has a number of ports under a rubber panel on the left side of the camera body. From the top, we have a microphone input, a mini HDMI port, a USB port and a wired remote port. The USB port also doubles as an analog video & audio output with the included cables. Missing from the 7D is an external flash trigger.
The 60D is powered by a large battery that fits into the camera grip. This battery (the LP-E6) holds up to 1800 mAh of charge, and Canon claims that this will last an impressive 1600 shots with no flash or 1100 shots with. This is an ambitious claim, but it seems to be borne out: we were able to go through several days of intense shooting during our testing without having to recharge the battery.
The battery is charged in the included charger: there is no way to charge the battery within the camera itself.
The 60D has a memory card slot which supports SD, SDHC and the newer SDXC memory cards. This is one of the differences between the 60D and the more expensive 7D, which uses the larger CompactFlash memory cards.