Canon EOS 60D… first impressions…
Lucky me was one of 21 to be chosen by Canon to give the new 60D a test run. Me & my dad took a slow drive on Saturday morning towards Kuala Lumpur… also got a chance to see my sister & her husband since we were there.
The very next day, found myself at One World Hotel, next to 1-Utama. Checked myself in & got my bag of goodies. Thanks to my friend Xavier who is with Canon… if not I’d be stuck with an S size T-Shirt lol! Best effort was an L sized one… well I’m not going to be able to fit in that but at least I can give it someone.
The whole idea is that each of us were given a 60D, use it… thoroughly… then review it on our blogs. Later we can either return it, or purchase it at a special discount if we really like it. I was expecting to get just the 60D body, but the organizers let us draw from 3 available kit lenses which will be bundled with the 60D when it’s ready to ship later this month. I wasn’t expecting this so it kinda saves me the trouble of having to look for an EF-S lens for this unit.
So I waited for my turn & drew the one with an 18-135mm kit lens. This lens was with a variable f/3.5-5.6 with an Image Stabilizer. The last time I used something with a stabilizer was my old 18-200mm VR lens by Nikon. The one thing about this Canon kit lens is, when the IS kicks in, you hardly notice that it’s activated! Nice.
Overall look & feel
I know it’s hardly an appropriate comparison, since the 5Dmk2 was my first Canon DSLR…..well the 60D is noticeably smaller than the full frame counterpart obviously. But it fit in my hand quite comfortably. I have relatively short fingers but a medium large palm, so the 60D fit quite nicely.
What was the 1st visible difference between this DSLR & the others that Canon previously marketed was the articulated LCD screen. This would undoubtedly make this camera more usable in especially low or high angles. You don’t need to scrub your face on the floor when you want to take low down angles with this camera. You can also shoot portraits of yourself… just get something that focuses <0.45m. I found it extremely difficult to shoot yourself without contorting yourself or flexing like plastic man to get the shot lol!
If you’d compare this to the 50D, the 60D feels a little more plasticky since this new replacement is not made out of magnesium alloy. Even so the camera feels solid but light at the same time. Due to the new screen, the buttons have been moved over to the right side of the body. Gets a little getting used to but at the same time, made more sense. Like the 7D, there is a dedicated liveview button & the power switch which is under the mode dial knob. There is also a mode dial lock button to prevent users from accidentally turning the dial. This can happen especially when getting the camera in & out of your bag.
Missing is the mini-joystick, replaced by a multi-controller which is located on the quick control dial. My only gripe with this design is that Canon could have moved the dial a little bit to the right, because when I try to quick dial a full 360 degrees, my finger jams on the articulated screen when placed flat on the camera body.
Buttons like the AF, Drive, ISO & metering controls are where you’d expect them to be on a Canon DSLR… but the thing is, the dual function that these buttons used to have now can only do 1 single function. Example if you are used to being able to control your ISO & your flash compensation on a previous model, you can’t do it on the 60D. You need to find your flash compensation within the menu system. This presents itself with somewhat of a problem! Gone are the buttons that let you control your picture style & WB directly. You will need to either program your SET button to do this, or use the My Menu settings to get to them quickly. Sorry but this is bad news for some of us… Canon seems to have taken the 60D backwards several steps in this regards!?
Ok so much for what I didn’t like about the 60D. From here onwards… I’m going to talk about what gets the 60D going.
Canon should have thought about this a long time ago. Finally we get to see it in the form of the new 60D!
Damn… this thing focuses quicker than my 5Dmk2! I tested both cameras on the same lens & the 60D outperforms the 5Dmk2 by a split second. It also seems to lock focus better in low light.
Slightly more neutral Auto White Balance
Shot under the same lighting conditions, the 60D is a tad more neutral than previous models of Canon DSLRs (that I know of). I need to compare with the 7D & a couple of other older Canon DSLR to confirm this.
Good low light shooting capabilities
Without pixel peeping, I can say that this camera produces very usable images at ISO3200. I need to use the 60D more to be able to comment more on this, but initial tests shows very controlled noise levels.
Wireless flash controls
Like the 7D, the 60D is able to control external flash units with its built-in wireless flash control. Major selling point this one especially folks who do a lot of studio work.
Creative image filters
You get to perform some cool image enhancements in-camera like Grainy B&W, soft focus (see example before & after soft focus effect), toy camera & miniature camera effects.
Light weight & ergonomics
Thumbs up in this department. The light weight body & design works well for folks with medium small hands.
Stay tuned for more write-ups on the 60D as I will be taking it for a spin for the next 2 weeks together with the bundled 18-135mm kit lens…