Canon EOS 60D Review

4.5
October 14, 2010 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 18 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which produces an average image size of 7Mb.

The Canon EOS 60D produced images of outstanding quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free images at ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 1600, with some noise appearing at ISO 3200 and particularly the fastest settings of ISO 6400 and 12800. The 18 megapixel images were quite soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and Bulb mode allowing you to capture enough light in all situations. Picture Styles provide a quick and easy way to tweak the camera's JPEG images, while the Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Tone Priority also help to get the most out of JPEGs. The new Creative Filters are a fun addition to the more consumer-friendly 60D.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Canon EOS 60D. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and the RAW equivalent on the right:

JPEG

RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Canon EOS 60D has 2 different JPEG file quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality JPEG option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

18M Fine (6.32Mb) (100% Crop)
18M Normal (3.12Mb) (100% Crop)
   
18M RAW (23.5Mb) (100% Crop)
 
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images at the default setting are a little soft and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively you can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default results.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash settings on the Canon EOS 60D are Auto, Manual Flash On/Off, and Red-Eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (29mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (29mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (320mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (320mm)
ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Flash On + Red-eye option caused any amount of red-eye.

Auto

Auto (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye reduction

Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Canon EOS 60D's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 20 seconds, at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Creative Filters

The 60D offers a number of creative filters, as previously seen on Canon's range of compact cameras. Soft Focus dramatizes an image and smooths over any shiny reflections, Grainy Black and White creates that timeless look, Toy Camera adds vignetting and color shift, and Miniature Effect makes a scene appear like a small-scale model, simulating the look from a tilt-shift lens. All of these filters can be applied to both JPEG and RAW files either before or after taking the picture.

Grainy Black and White

Soft Focus
   

Toy Camera

Miniature

Picture Controls

Canon's Picture Controls, similar to Nikon's Picture Styles, are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. The six available Picture Controls are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There are also three User Defined styes so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Portrait

   
Landscape

Neutral

   
Faithful

Monochrome

   

Highlight Tone Priority

This custom setting promises to improve the highlight detail of the image by expanding the dynamic range from 18% grey to bright highlights. Turning it On didn't make a great deal of difference in our test shot, as shown below.

Off

On

Auto Lighting Optimizer

This custom setting promises to automatically correct the brightness and contrast of an image, with four levels of varying intensity available. There was a slight difference between the weakest and strongest settings, as shown below. Note that the user guide warns that this setting might cause noise to increase.

Off

Low
   

Standard

Strong

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, hdmi, DSLR, 1080i, tilting, 18 megapixel, vari-angle, stereo sound, EOS 60D, Canon 60D, Canon EOS 60D, 60D Review, Canon 60D Review, Canon EOS 60D Review

Tracker Pixel for Entry