Why so many people hate the upcoming 60D...

Started Jan 26, 2009 | Discussions thread
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ADWyatt Regular Member • Posts: 100
Why so many people hate the upcoming 60D...

May, 2010

Canon's newest release in the 1.6 crop line of amateur camera bodies, the 60D, has been on the market now for several weeks, and has developed a suprising hate-following among Canon photo enthusiasts, despite the fact that reviewers have claimed that the new camera is substantially improved over previous XXD bodies.

Much of the reason for customer dissatisfaction may be found in Canon's announcement that the 18.0MP sensor of the 60D would be the final resolution upgrade for the XXD line of bodies. Concern has been growing on internet forums that Canon is abandoning the 1.6 format, making customer investment in EF-S lenses a financial liability. In a public statement, Canon assured its customer base that commitment to the XXD line of bodies would remain strong, and that future improvements would continue to be made, in terms of build quality and feature set. Many posters however, in this forum and others, are expressing concern that Canon's dedication to this particular customer group may be short-lived.

Certainly, the feature set of the 60D would seem to enforce Canon's stated commitment to customer satisfaction, but even the evolutionary, and revolutionary, improvements have their detractors.

Chief among them is the new QF (QuickFocus) 1080p video capability of the 60D. Its critics point out that the maximum exposure time frame is only ten minutes, and that focus does not work adequately beyond ISO 3200. Of greatest concern, though, is the apparent fact that focus-lock (similar to the 50D's facial-exposure feature) is sluggish even in brightly-lit conditions.

Most surprising, however, is the level of criticism among early adopters that the noise issue has not been addressed properly in the 60D. In-depth tests, at DPR and other sites, has clearly shown that noise levels all along the ISO range (increased in the 60D to a range of 50 to 25,600) have been improved dramatically with the new Digic 5 processor to the point that they surpass the noise-reduction levels of the old 5DMkII. This is very good indeed for an amateur camera body, but the fact that Nikon's noise-reduction process is marginally more effective has caused a number of Canon advocates to consider switching allegiance. Their claim is that Canon clearly does not care for customer concerns.

As we've come to expect, the resolution increase of the 60D over the 50D is not that great, thanks to noise-reduction techniques. However, the image quality step-up from the 40D is very apparent, and may tempt these owners to spend the street price of $1,299 for the upgrade. As mentioned before, Canon will no longer increase MP resolution, but may choose to increase detail through new noise-reduction techniques, and perhaps through increased dynamic-range technology. 50D owners, particularly those who are disappointed with the improvements of the 60D, may decide to wait until November, 2011, to upgrade to the expected 70D.

Other improvements in the 60D are less awe-inspiring, and there is some criticism among Canon customers that needs are not being met in these areas. Testing has shown Auto-ISO to be reliable to 6400, but not beyond. Auto-bracketing, used for HDR imaging, has been increased to a nine-frame range, with a + - spread of 4, but this compares unfavorably with Nikon's 12-exposure + - 5 range. The 95% area viewfinder has been improved with a new 16-point focus screen, and several screens are optionally available. Sensor-cleaning technology has been improved yet again over previous models, auto-focus is noticably faster and more reliable, weather-sealing is more widespread and tighter, and dynamic range has been increased. However, the LCD display has not been improved over the 50D.

The improvements found in the 60D might have been substantial had this camera been released at the end of 2008, long before the gobal economy had begun to recover. The performance and feature-set in today's market, however, only make it middle-of-the-road. When combined with Canon's announcement that there will be no further MP increases for this style of body, one might easily understand why this camera has come in for more than its share of criticism.

On a personal level, I am finding myself in the same situation as at least a few other 50D owners. If I sell for about $700, will the few upgrades be worth an additional $600? Do I keep the 50D and spend thirteen-hundred dollars just so I can have the 50D as a backup? Either way, we're talking a lot of money here, and the decision on what to do won't be easy.

If you own the 50D, or even the 40D, what do you plan on doing? Your opinion, and any advice, will be much appreciated.

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