My first experience with the EOS 60D

Started Dec 13, 2010 | Discussions thread
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dopravopat Senior Member • Posts: 1,177
My first experience with the EOS 60D

OK folks, yesterday I finally got my hands on a new EOS 60D (firmware 1.0.5) with the 17-55 f2.8 lens and palyed with it for about an hour.

Coming from the EOS 30D I had little problems when operating the camera or "browsing" the camera menus (inspite being totally different than what the EOS 30D has). However, there are some major changes in handling. The only button that can be operated by the left hand is the delete button, so the right one has a lot more work.

I had most problems when setting ISO and drive, becouse my EOS 30D has them both on one button and I either turn with the index finger or with my thumb. I ended up turing the rear dial with my thumb when trying to change the ISO. But that is not a tragedy, I could get used to the EOS 60D layout, but I think that if the button has only one function, then it should be irrelevant which dial you turn (or at least a custom function). I had no EOS 60D manual so I could not look it up.

I am somewhat dissapointed that the left hand has only one button to press, I would really like to have also the menu and info button somewhere on the left (info being more important). I feel that there is place for another button for the left hand (maybe I will see it on the EOS 70D?). I also had a hard time browsing through taken images, as the thumb moves by 10 images and the index by one (I would like it the opposite way - maybe it can be set somewhere).

I did not miss the joystick of the EOS 30D at all, the new multi way controller did the job fine. Sometimes I accidently pressed the "SET" button when trying to move around a zoomed image, but with a little practice it would be OK. Overall the handling of the new EOS 60D was much better than the xxxD line (which I also had a few times in my hand), but it is partially new to xxD users, yet familiar.

I tested three of my four Sigma lenses and all of them focused spot-on, so no MFA was needed. I did tests under very low artificial light (in a restaurant), so the AF really got some work to do. AF was faster with all my tested Sigma lenses compared to the 30D (I did not test the 10-20 as I use it in MF).

What I have been mostly looking forward to is the new video feature. I must say that I am very dissapointed by Canon, becouse they put only a MicroSD adapter and some pretty lowcost MicroSD card in the camera, so HD video recording stopped after 4 seconds (both 1080p and 720p) becouse the write speed of the card was poor. I could not test the HD video modes.

Manual focusing on close focus distances (below 0,5 meters) during video with my Sigma 30mm f1.4 was very delicate. I was shooting in very low light wide open - to 640 x 480, becouse of the card. Exposure was set to to f1.4, 1/60 sec at ISO 3200. I find it very nice to be able to change both the aperture and shutter speed during video capture (not tested in HD modes though).

If I had to shoot some more serious video, I would attach one of my good old MF M42 lenses (and I have much to choose from: 20, 29, 35, 50, 80, 135, 200, 300 mm), as they are a joy to focus manually, with a long turning angle of the focusing ring from MFD to infinity, where they stop (not like todays AF lenses that pass well beyound infinity). Also I can remove the spring and ball in the aperture ring of my old M42 lenses to have a steppless apreture.

The other thing necessary for video is a good LCD loupe that attaches on the LCD. A full time semi-transparent small luminance histogram somewhere in the corner would be also very nice to have (maybe Magic Lantern FW has it). I wonder if the resolution of the LCD is enough to confirm focus even in full HD when doing MF. I might build some DIY loupe from old parts I have at home (probably from some old 6x6 camera if I find any). Also some sorf of rig might be very useful, but that can be easily build if you have the material, tools and skills (or bought from the price of another EOS 60D body).

Manual audio levels are very welcome. I was surprised by the quality of the sound. I also tested my Sigma 530 DG Super flash, worked flawlessly.

The 17-55 f2.8 lens was somewhat dissapointing. It did not feel as solid as my old Sigma 18-50 f2.8 (non macro). IS was useless, as I was shooting people, who could not stand still (that si why I do not feel the need for IS lenses). I was very surprised that my old Sigma 18-50 was equally sharp wide open at f2.8 (at least in the centre of the frame). I expected that the 18 MP sensor will show some blurred image from the oldes constant f2.8 zoom when wide opened and compared to the 17-55 from Canon. Overall I did not like the 17-55 lens, its build quality could be better considering its price. Also Canon has the guts to ask another 30 € for a piece of plastic (hood) which should be sold with any lens automatically, as lens caps.

So in the end the 60D was nice to play with. I admit that I might buy one, but not sooner than in spring 2011. I still hope that there is some way to configure the dials - what does what. Maybe some FW upted will do it. The EOS 7D is nice but I really do not need the AF or burst it can provide and am not willing to pay for these features just to get a slightly better handling (and loose the swivel LCD).

 dopravopat's gear list:dopravopat's gear list
Canon EOS 30D Canon EOS 60D Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM +9 more
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