Monday, December 13, 2010

EOS 60D Hands-on Impressions

Tried the 60D twice just because wanted to buy it, below are some brief impressions of mine:-

1. The 60D is still somehow big and bulkier. It is not felt much smaller than my 5D, especially when a larger lens like the EF-S 18-135 lens is mounted.

2. The plastic out-shell of the 60D, which is made of the same plastic material and with the same texture as that of the 550D, felt really cheap! :-( Frankly, the black coloured Pentax K-r yet feels better!

3. The AF speed with the 18-135 lens is not really that fast, or it should be called slow by EOS or Canon's common standard!

4. The viewfinder is larger and bright and is easier to view than that of the 550D. Red illumination indication is also brighter and easier to view than the 550. The viewfinder is much sensitive to smaller aperture, though. Just say, when zooming the kit lens to 135 (i.e., at f/5.6), the finder image will noticeably be darker.

5. The operation and user-friendliness is in general acceptable. But it is not as intitiative as that of all those Pentax DSLRs and I think it is not better than the 550D in general (first putting aside the added direct keys for some control functions). I just could not figure out how to change the exposure compensation directly but resorted to change it inside the menu afterall! :-( Anyway, maybe it's me for overlooking something but this is NG for its user-friendliness, especially when it doesn't work out directly even for an experienced DSLR user like me!

6. The highlight headroom of the 60D is nearly non-existent. Just say if just +1.0 EV is added to deliberately overexpose the picture a bit, many of the highlights are clipped and destroyed.

7. Nevertheless, the IQ and resolution of the images are good for JPEGs directly out of the camera. Colours are good and the per pixel sharpness is good, too.

8. The mirror slap of the 60D is just a joke! It is clunky and the shutter lag is noticeable. It is no better than that of the entry level 550D! Or, the 550D is just better in this department! In fact, the 550D's mirror action is more Pentax MZ-S/*ist D alike whilst the 60D is more *ist DS like, if I had to compare.. I am sure that Canon has sucked some good quality from the 60D for what were originally there inside its predecessors like the 40D or even the 30D, of which more smooth/silent/faster mirror slap could be detected!

9. The articulated and rotatable monitor of the 60D is a joy to use, which really help composition for difficult angles when the camera is used in conjunction with LiveView mode. And it opens up more creativity afterall, as Canon markets. The monitor is sharp and with saturated colours, although it tends to be a bit too cold (blueish) to my like (I guess it is the same one used in the 550D anyway).

10. AF accuracy seems to be good for both units I tried with the 18-135 and then another two different EF 50/1.8 lenses. Exposure accuracy could be called good and bright pictures are usually re-produced despite that highlights are easily clipped (even with no exposure compensation). AWB is reliable with ambient atmosphere preserved well without major annoying colour cast no matter under what light sources including natural daylight, fluorescent or tungsten.

11. The built-in flash of the 60D is with a larger area than that of the 550D and with a nice diffuser that produce softer picture than harsh one. It is bright enough for casual shooting and the coverage is good without any noticeable vignetting found.

12. There is a mode dial release lock which should be pressed before the mode dial can be turned. Whilst it is centred like the design of the K-5/K-7, it is actually not a button that is clearly isolated and requires deep press. It is just a membrane button which requires a very light touch afterall. Whether you like it or not would boil down to a matter of personal preference then.

After all, I've decided NOT to buy the 60D as it just fails my basic requirements for a DSLR with better build and performance and to be smaller. Indeed, I believe that the 550D is a better DSLR overall, as it is smaller/lighter and sold cheaper, and the mirror slap is gentler as well. IQ wise, both 60D and 550D is more or less the same. So, I would better to save my bucks for the upcoming 5D MkIII, which according to my sources, should come in early next year of the 2011, possibly not later than Easter.

Read Also:-

550D Full Review, Tips and Tricks

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