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Canon EOS 60D

Review Date: Jun 24, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $899.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compared to Rebels: faster FPS, faster buffer, longer life battery, better AF, pentaprism instead of mirror, top deck LCD, QCD, back mount control wheel, metal reinforced body, cost - within $100 of a T3i. Uses SD cards.
Larger and heavier than Rebels, little more cost, dumb mode lock.

This review is more of an overview than a technical report. Having just purchased a 60D, I have to say it's easy to become buried in comparative product details and miss the forest for the trees. Here's my purchasing reasoning.

I come to the Canon 60D having recently owned both a Rebel T1i and a 5D Mark II. It's Goldilocks all over again. The T1i was too small and simple, the 5D2 was too big and complicated (and expensive). The 60D is just right. It has most of the 5D2 features I find most useful. It is lacking the 5D2's full frame size, 3 megapixels, the micro adjustment, and some convenient features - especially the 3 customizable settings on the mode dial. And I like the protruding joystick on the 5D2 and 7D better than the 6D's wheel. But the 60D is a great performing value - the 5D2 is nearly 3x the coin.

My favorite 60 D features: The alignment of button controls with their corresponding displays in the top mount LCD is intuitive. While more options are menu driven rather than dual purpose buttons, the learning curve of which is where is shortened with this arrangement. It makes sense. The articulated LCD is a big advantage in awkward shooting positions - neither the 7D or 5D2 have it. Being able to activate an off camera flash means no additional actuating device necessary - anyone with a separate flash now has two synchronized light sources. How easy is that? The SD cards are cheap, direct HDMI connection eliminates an adapter, and who doesn't love a long lasting battery?

So it isn't a full frame and doesn't have blazing speed. It's faster than the Rebels, and has a better AF system. It isn't built with magnesium alloy like the 50D, 7D and 5D's, or quite as weather sealed. Unlike the Rebels it has a metal body, is larger (better feel for my hands), and has some weather protection.

I think it's a great value and well positioned in Canon's current camera line. For me it's "just right".