All things considered, the Canon 7D seems to have stolen the Canon 60D's thunder as a sophisticated successor to the Canon 50D. The Canon 60D itself feels more like a camera designed to bridge the gap between the relatively simple EOS 550D and the more advanced EOS 7D, as if it's trying to carve out a new niche in the market. As such, it falls slightly short of serious, semi-pro requirements but should satisfy most amateur enthusiasts.
Picture quality is almost identical to the EOS 550D, apart from being slightly less noisy at high ISO settings. However, compared with the dependability of Nikon's current metering and Active D-Lighting systems, the Canon 60D's iFCL metering and Auto Lighting Optimizer often produce inconsistent results, so getting great shots needs a little more intervention. It also places more reliance on shooting in RAW mode, even though RAW files weigh in at around 25MB each, just so that you can tweak shooting parameters at the editing stage.
Stand-out features include a pivoting LCD, in-camera editing and rating facilities, wireless flash control and Full HD movie capture. However, other features present on the older 50D, like autofocus fine-tuning and a PC socket, are strangely absent.
Build Quality 3/5
The plastic shell is a bit of a disappointment and some of the switches and controls are a bit fiddly, like the concentric arrangement of the Set button, 8-way multi-control pad and quick control dial. Even so, the Canon 60D feels reasonably robust and well put together.
With the current Canon 60D best price on the street at around £1,000 for just the body, the EOS 60D doesn't look particularly good value when compared with cameras like the Nikon D300s or the Canon 7D. Prices will have to drop a fair bit after the initial flurry of excitement to make the Canon 60D a really attractive proposition.
Image quality is very good for both stills and HD movie capture. Colour rendition is accurate in Standard mode and vibrant in the Landscape setting. At high ISO settings, image noise is impressively low.
The Canon 60D has some smart features and handling is good overall, but getting the best results can take more effort than it should. Be prepared to interact with exposure compensation and auto lighting optimization settings fairly frequently.