Body elements

The 600D's mode dial hosts a brand new icon - 'A+' for 'Scene Intelligent Auto'. Otherwise we're looking at the same set of options as before, although Creative Auto has been moved next to the scene modes, presumably to encourage beginners to experiment with it.

The A-DEP mode analyses data from all of the camera's AF points, and attempts to set a focus distance and aperture to ensure everything will be in focus.
There's also a new button on the top-plate. Marked 'DISP.', it's used to turn the LCD screen on and off while you're shooting. In movie mode it's used in conjunction with the two buttons on the camera's right shoulder to operate the digital zoom (when enabled).
The 600D uses the same LP-E8 battery pack as the 550D, which as usual clips into place behind a door on the base of the camera.
The memory card slot is on the grip side of the camera, and takes SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.
The 600D's various connectors are hidden under rubber flaps on the other side of the body. Towards the front we have sockets for the optional RS-60E3 wired remote control, and a stereo microphone for recording sound while shooting movies.
The camera's 'digital' connectors sit under another flap next door. There's a combined USB and AV out socket, plus mini-HDMI for playing back images and movies on your HD TV.
The camera uses Canon's well-established 18Mp CMOS sensor (as also seen in the 7D, 60D and 550D), which has a 1.6x 'crop factor' meaning that an 18mm lens offers a similar angle of view to a 29mm lens on the 35mm 'full frame' format.

The 600D accepts Canon's full range of EF and EF-S lenses, plus of course third party alternatives.
The pop-up flash is the same as on previous cameras in the range. With a guide number of 13 it's got a reasonable amount of power for social shooting or a blip of fill-flash, and lifts high above the mount to minimize shadowing with larger lenses.

One welcome new trick, compared to the 550D, is the ability to wirelessly control Speedlites off-camera, including the new 270EX II and 320EX models.
Of course the 600D also sports Canon's usual dedicated hot shoe that's compatible with appropriate flash units.