Canon EOS 60D review

Is the 60D a successor to the 50D or big brother to the Canon 550D?

TODO alt text

With its similar 18Mp sensor, DIGIC 4 image processor and iFCL metering system (see below), you'd expect the 60D's image quality to be pretty much the same as from the cheaper 550D.

Indeed, we tested the 60D throughout a range of lighting conditions and found the results to be all but indistinguishable. The only notable difference was that the 60D produced slightly smoother, less noisy images at high ISO settings, albeit with slightly less fine detail.

Colour rendition is very accurate in the Standard picture style setting and pleasingly vibrant in Landscape mode, where blues and greens in particular are bumped up. Photos are sharp and crisp but there are question marks over the 17-85mm IS lens that's supplied as a kit lens option with the camera, as this suffers from very noticeable chromatic aberrations especially at the wide-angle end of the zoom range.

Canon eos 60d

Unlike most of Nikon's recent DSLRs, there's no in-camera processing to filter out chromatic aberration so the only workable solution is to shoot in RAW mode and make corrections in the Digital Photo Professional software that comes with the camera.

For controlling dynamic range, Canon's Auto Lighting Optimizer includes low, standard and strong options, or can be disabled altogether. In our tests, it did a good job of boosting shadows in high-contrast scenes but had a nasty habit of reducing contrast in general shots more than we would have liked. Nikon's Active D-Lighting works rather more effectively.

Metering is based on Canon's new iFCL (intelligent Focus Colour Luminance) system, which not only takes colour as well as luminance into the equation, but also biases exposure towards the active focus point, even in evaluative metering mode.

Canon eos 60d

It works very well for backlit portraits, where correct exposure of the face is much more important than what happens to the background. For high contrast scenes, however, even when multiple focus points lock on to bright and dark areas in the shot, the 60D often seems to expose for the shadows, making the overall shot far too bright and requiring -1EV or more of exposure compensation.

Again, compared with Nikon's current metering systems, the 60D gives much more inconsistent results and you really do need to keep an eye on exposure settings.

Like the 50D, autofocus is based on a 9-point system but each point is cross-type, so can resolve detail in both vertical and horizontal planes. The lack of fine-tuning for individual lenses aside (see previous page), we found autofocus to be highly accurate, even in very demanding low-light conditions.

An extra bonus is that the central AF point is extra-sensitive to take advantage of fast f/2.8 lenses. Overall, image quality is very good so long as you're prepared keep an eye on metering vagaries, but you need something better than the kit 17-85mm IS lens to make the most of the camera's prowess.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution18 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyEOS
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom5x
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesLive View, Face Detection, Aperture Priority, Manual White Balance, Manual Control
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)755 g
Maximum Image Resolution5184 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height105.8 mm
Width144.5 mm
Depth78.6 mm
Focal Length17 mm to 85 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product Model60D
Product NameEOS 60D Digital SLR Camera
Product LineEOS
Exposure Control
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number4460B054AA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Discover your creative side with the EOS 60D. Express yourself by producing stunning stills or Full HD Movies using the vari-angle LCD screen and the advanced creative features. Ideal for those who want to create large, poster-size prints - or crop images without losing any of the detail necessary for printing - EOS 60D's 18MP CMOS sensor is outstanding in low light, and produces images with incredibly low noise.

Package Contents
  • EOS 60D Digital SLR Camera
  • EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens
  • LP-E6 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
Limited Warranty1 Year