Ahad, 7 November 2010

For those looking to upgrade from an entry-level camera, the Canon EOS 60D has a lot to offer.
THE Canon EOS 60D is the camera maker's latest DSLR camera that sits in between the entry-level EOS 550D and high-end EOS 7D.
The EOS 60D, which will replace the 50D, ups the ante for medium-range DSLR camera. It should appeal to users who want more advanced features than what is offered by entry-level cameras.
This is because the EOS 60D is endowed with a host of updated features that include a large 18-megapixel sensor, articulated LCD screen and 1080p HD video recording.
Lots of changes
The EOS 60D has a plastic body which is normal for camera of this class. Also, even though it's made from plastic, the build quality is still solid.
The camera is also now lighter and smaller that its predecessor. Even though it's smaller, a big rubber grip provides ample traction for holding the camera firmly.
Physically, the 60D has undergone dramatic changes especially in terms of the button layout. The power switch has been moved up and it now sits right beneath the mode dial.
Also, many of the settings buttons have been moved around to various parts of the camera to make room for the large 3in articulated LCD screen.

LOCK IT TIGHT: To prevent accidental mode switching the mode dial now has a lock that requires you to press and hold it before you can twist to switch modes.
The mode dial also has a lock that requires you to press and hold it before you can twist it to switch modes.
This is to help prevent from accidentally switching modes but it also makes it difficult to switch between creative shooting modes and the dedicated video record mode on the other end of the dial.
For a camera that's big on HD video recording, this feature makes it frustrating and inconvenient to acces it. It would have been more convenient if the video mode was located closer to the creative shooting modes.
The EOS 60D's high resolution screen is incredibly sharp with very rich colours, and is great for reviewing and framing pictures in live view mode.
The screen's brightness is adjustable and can be bumped up to make it easier to view it outdoors.
Also, the articulated screen is versatile and flexible. You can, for example, flip it around for taking self-portrait shots or flip it out to get a better view of an overhead shot.
USEFUL: The 60D's swivel LCD screen makes it great for creative compositions.
When not in use, the screen can be flipped around to be stowed and protect it from being scratched.
Also, there's now a dedicated live view button that switches on Live view mode and doubles as the record button when in video record mode.
The joystick has also been removed in favour of a directional pad nested between the camera's control dial. The d-pad is definitely a big improvement over the joystick, and it's more comfortable to use and conveniently located for making quick AF point selections.
The settings buttons located above the secondary monochrome LCD screen have been reduced to performing a single function per button.
This allows quicker access to some functions but limits the number of features you can access.
Strangely though even with all the buttons, the EOS 60D is missing a dedicated button for white balance.
Although you can set a custom button for this purpose, it is strange to find that it lacks a button for such a frequently used setting.
Another big change is that the camera now accepts SD cards, so you're going to have to trade your CF cards if you're moving up from a 50D.
We used the EOS 60D extensively for a few weeks using the 18-55mm kit lens provided.
We snapped photos at various events and the camera performed well. The camera is quick to start up, powering up in less than a second and it's ready for action.
The camera's autofocus served us well as we often needed to capture images under low-light conditions during events and we got many good shots.
Like the EOS 50D before it, the 60D has Live View mode and it works well on the camera's 3in LCD.
There's a slight delay in focusing speed when using the Live View mode to take photos. There are three focus modes to choose from - Live, Live Face Detection and Quick modes.
Both Live and Live Face Detection mode uses contrast-detect autofocus to operate - it is slower to focus and needs sufficient contrast in a scene to achieve focus lock.
As the name suggests, Live Face Detection differentiates itself by detecting and focusing on faces in the frame.
Although slower, it is more accurate and offers uninterrupted Live View feed unlike the Quick mode.
INSERT HERE: The EOS 60D now accepts standard SD memory cards instead of CF cards.
The main drawback is the slow speed when focusing on moving subjects as you may miss the moment.
Quick mode offers a speedier autofocusing though it momentarily interrupts the live view feed to drop the mirror down to use phase-detect in order to focus.
This mode should be the preferred one to capture non-stationary subjects and for hectic events.
In terms of image quality, the camera produced fine, crisp images both in JPEG and RAW formats under good sunny conditions.
We managed to get some pretty good shots both with the kit lens and a Sigma 90mm macro lens.
The images shot in RAW format was noticeably sharper and better even when we cranked up the ISO level.
The EOS 60D's extended ISO 6,400 levels make it more effective at taking pictures under low-light conditions.
For the most part, the camera's solid ISO performance impressed us as images captured at ISO 1,600 were still usable and retained enough detail even for large prints.
Images only started to appear soft and slightly saturated as we dialled the ISO levels up to 6,400.
There's also the option to boost the ISO levels up to 12,800 although images appear far too grainy to be usable.
The EOS 60D can also apply Creative Filters - Canon's version of Scene modes - on any picture. However, the selection is quite limited and is better left to an image editing software.
Despite the many improvements made to the EOS 60D, it has a slower burst shooting speed of 5.3fps (frames per second) compared to its predecessor's 6.3fps.
Home videos
HD video recording is one of the main highlights of the EOS 60D. For HD recordings, the camera records 1080p videos at 25fps and 720p at 60fps.
The video quality was great overall. The quality was good even when recording indoors or in low-light conditions. The boosted ISO levels impacted the video in terms of noise but it still looked good during playback.
The 1080p resolution videos looked impressive and detailed on a large screen. The 720p videos, of course, looked less detailed but they make for it with a higher frame rate that - the videos looked silky smooth even when capturing action shots.
FEATURE PACKED: HD video recording is one of the main highlights of the EOS 60D.
The camera's audio recording function was also good at picking up voices even in areas with lots of ambient noise. We recorded statements from a person in a busy a convention centre and his voice was captured clearly.
Again, the articulated screen also helps here - allowing us to view and record high and low angle shots.
The only thing the camera lacks is a dedicated video recording button.
The Canon EOS 60D is great for anyone looking for a mid-range camera. It isn't as powerful as the high-end EOS 7D but the 60D shoots great pictures even at ISO levels as high as 1,600.
Autofocus in generally fast although it is a tad slower in Live View mode. The swivel LCD screen is a great addition and the reworked control scheme with the d-pad in the centre of the mode dial works great.
Full HD video recording is an added bonus and we loved how it was able to take vivid and sharp videos with decent audio performance.
All in all, the Canon EOS 60D is a great camera for anyone looking to move up from an entry-level DSLR.
Pros: Good picture quality; decent ISO performance; HD video recording; articulated LCD screen.
Cons: Lacks dedicated video recording button; slow autofocus speed in Live View mode; slow burst shooting mode.
SENSOR: 18-megapixels (5,184 x 3,456-pixels)
VIEWFINDER: Eye-level pentraprism, 3in LCD (1.04 million dots)
LENS: EF-S 18-55mm (35mm equivalent) f/3.5 (wide) - f/5.6 (telephoto)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/8,000sec – 1/60sec
ISO RANGE: 100 to 6,400, ISO expansion to 12,800
SHOOTING MODES: Auto, Program, Aperture and Shutter Priority, Manual, Bulb exposure
VIDEO MODE FORMAT: MPEG4, H.264; 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps
BATTERY: Lithium-ion
INTERFACE: USB 2.0, HDMI mini out, video output (PAL/NTSC), external microphone (3.5mm stereo mini jack)
OTHER FEATURES: Creative filters, Auto Correction of Lens Peripheral illumination, RAW image processing
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D): 144.5 x 105.8 x 78.6mm
WEIGHT: 675g (body only)