Canon EOS 60D First Impressions Review

The Canon EOS 60D represents a significant improvement over the 50D.

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Controls

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Manual Controls

 


Canon did not make significant changes to manual controls with the 60D. Everything can be altered using one of the camera's control dials and settings can be seen in the monochrome LCD on the top of the camera. The use of multiple dials lets you make easy changes to both aperture and shutter speed without having to toggle between the two in full manual mode.

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The monochrome panel up top keeps track of manual adjustments.

Focus


Manual focus depends on the lens you're using and is usually activated via a switch on the barrel. If you're using Live View to focus, there is an auto focus select button that enlarges the focus area to make it easier to manually focus.

There are three varieties of auto focus available in Live View: Live Mode (one-point contrast AF), Face Detection Live Mode (face detection contrast AF), and Quick Mode (nine-point phase detection AF). You can select different points when using Live Mode or different faces when using Face Detection Live Mode. These are all the same options that we saw on the 50D and, as we saw on the 50D, Quick Mode seems to be the most responsive of the three options.

In low lighting conditions, the 60D uses the built-in flash as an autofocus assist lamp. It's a lot brighter than a dedicated AF lamp, but also a lot more distracting if you're the photographee and not the photographer.

ISO


ISO options range from 100 to 6400 in 1/3-stop increments. There is also an extended ISO option that sets the camera to the ISO equivalent of 12800. (6400 was considered extended range on the 50D, but it is part of the normal ISO range on the 60D.)

White Balance


The 60D offers a healthy range of white balance presets, described in the table below:

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The custom white balance process mimics the approach that was used on previous Canon models, requiring you to have a photo of a white or gray object in the camera's memory in order to set the appropriate white balance. (Most DSLRs just let you point the camera at a white or gray object and set the white balance from that.)

A color temperature option lets you manually set the white balance from 2,500K to 10,000K, while a color shift option lets you set the white balance along a green/magenta or blue/amber spectrum. If you're not sure which setting to use, there is a white balance bracketing option.

Exposure & Metering


Control over exposure can be set in either Tv (shutter priority), Av (aperture priority), Manual, or A-DEP (automatic depth of field) modes. Exposure compensation can reach ±3 EV in either 1/3 or 1/2 steps. Auto exposure bracketing has the same range, but is limited to 1/3 steps only. The increased range up to ±3 EV is an improvement over the 50D's ±2 EV range.

Like the 50D before it, the 60D has a Highlight Tone Priority option, which is designed to optimize dynamic range. Auto Lighting Optimizer adjusts brightness and contrast of underexposed images.

The60D uses 35-zone TTL full-aperture metering. You have a choice of four different metering modes: evaluative (linked to any auto focus point); partial (approximately 9% of viewfinder at center); spot (approximately 3.8% of viewfinder at center) and center-weighted average.

Shutter Speed


The 60D has an impressive range of shutter speed options, ranging from 30 seconds to 1/8000 of a second. The bulb option allows the user to hold the shutter open for up to 30 seconds: the shutter will close whenever you release the shutter button.

Aperture


The available aperture range will depend on what lens you're using with the 60D. No matter which lens you use, there is a Depth of Field Preview button that can be used in conjunction with either the viewfinder or Live View.

The 60D continues the interesting A-DEP setting that we saw on the 50D. This is for automatic depth of field adjustment. While shooting in this mode, the entire focusing diamond is used and aperture is automatically set so that anything inside of those auto focus points is in focus, while objects further away are blurred.

Image Stabilization


Image stabilization is also dependent on the lens you use. Canon (like Nikon) has no in-camera stabilization, choosing instead to incorporate OIS into its lenses.

Picture Quality & Size Options


The 60D has numerous picture quality and size options, as outlined in the table below:

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Picture Effects


In addition to the Picture Style options (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, and Monochrome), Canon offers a handful of 'Ambiance' selections. Instead of manually altering color tone or exposure, you can suggest a mood for your scene and the camera will adjust acordingly. Options include Vivid, Soft, Warm, Intense, Cool, Brighter, Darker, and Monochrome.

Other Features


A minor but handy feature new to the 60D is an electronic level, which will help you take pictures—or hang them in your home. The level functions via an internal gyroscope, which only works when you hold the camera horizontally.

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The new level features is handy, if a bit gimmicky.

 

 

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Our First Take
  2. Product Tour
  3. Hardware
  4. Handling
  5. Modes
  6. Controls
  7. Conclusion

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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