When the Canon 550D was released earlier this year I wrote a post comparing the Canon 550D and Canon 7D. Now Canon has just released a new DSLR, the Canon 60D, which sits right between the Canon 550D and 7D in its specifications and price.
Digital Photography Review has a hands-on preview of the 60D which gives a good look at what the camera has to offer. The most interesting new feature that hasn’t been seen on a Canon DSLR before is the fold out LCD screen. It won’t necessarily appeal to everyone, but it would be very useful for shooting video or taking a shot above your head in a crowd. I would be a little concerned about the potential for it to break, but I guess 95% of the time the screen would be folded away out of danger.
The 18 megapixel sensor is the same as the one in the 7D and 550D. Image quality is likely to be very similar between these cameras. The real difference is in a range of other specifications.
The buzz on various photography forums seems to be that the 60D is a dissapointment. I think this largely comes from owners of the 40D or 50D who had been waiting for the 60D as an upgrade. In some specifications the 60D is not as good as the 50D. For example, the 60D has no auto-focus micro-adjust, a plastic body compared with a magnesium body on the 50D and a slightly slower frames per second (5.3 fps vs 6.3 fps). The 60D takes SD memory cards compared with CF cards on the 60D. It seems that CF cards are now only for professional models with all lower priced cameras having SD cards.
On the other hand the 60D has some features that are not found in the 50D. For example, the 60D has a wireless flash control and can capture 1080p video. The plastic body also makes 60D a bit lighter than the 50D and it is also slightly smaller. Overall the basic design of the 60D is much like the 50D with an LCD on the top and scroll wheel on the back.
One interesting feature is the in-camera RAW conversion. While I wouldn’t necessarily use this a lot it would be useful in situations where you didn’t have access to a computer with the necessary software for RAW conversion and post-processing. There are also JPEG “creative filters” which in my opinion are a bit of a gimmick. It is also possible to give photos a rating from one to five in camera. This can be used for slide shows in the camera and is retained in the metadata after downloading. This would be great for quickly finding your best shots after you have downloaded the photos.
Overall the 60D looks like a very interesting camera and is well placed between the 7D and the 550D. The professional or user upgrading a 40D or 50D might be better served by the 7D. However, for anyone who owns one of the Canon Rebel series (400D/450D/500D/550D) then the 60D looks like a significant upgrade with much better ergonomics and some great features like the wireless flash control. I will certainly strongly consider buying a Canon 60D when the time comes to replace the 400D I am currently using.
Update: Bob Atkins has compiled a very useful table comparing the Canon 60D with the 50D, 7D and 550D. The Phoblographer compares the 60D, 7D and 550D. A video from DigitalRevCom on YouTube asks which of the Canon 60D, 7D and 550D is better?