Canon EOS 60D at a glance:

  • 18-million-pixel CMOS sensor
  • 3in, 1.04-million-dot vari-angle LCD screen
  • In-camera raw processing
  • In-camera Speedlite control
  • 1920×1080-pixel HD video capture at 30, 25 or 24fps
  • Street price around £1,000 (body only)

With both the cameras either side of the Canon EOS 50D featuring 18-million-pixel APS-C sensors, it was only a matter of time before it was replaced. So it came as no surprise when, in August this year, Canon announced that, after two years’ service, the EOS 50D was going to be discontinued in favour of the new Canon EOS 60D.

However, while the new camera is a direct replacement for the EOS 50D, the introduction of the 18-million-pixel EOS 7D has a seen a slight shift in the position of the ‘double-digit’ camera within the EOS range. No longer is the double-digit EOS the last step before professional DSLRs are reached. That position is now occupied by the EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark II. This repositioning means the Canon EOS 60D has undergone some remodelling befitting its stature.

The most important feature of the Canon EOS 60D is that, like the cameras above and below it in the range, it uses an 18-million-pixel, APS-C-size CMOS sensor. It also makes use of the impressive low-pass filter of the EOS 7D, which means it should match the 7D’s impressive detail resolution.

Speaking of impressive details, the Canon EOS 60D uses the same 1.04-million-dot, 3in screen as the EOS 550D, which should be beneficial when manually focusing in Live View mode or simply for checking that captured images are pin sharp. One feature we weren’t expecting when we first saw the camera was an articulated screen. This is a first for an EOS digital camera, although Canon has used vari-angle screens on some of its compact and bridge cameras, including the new PowerShot G12.

Being able to tilt the screen upwards is handy when shooting at a low angle, but the fold-out screen will also be beneficial when using one of the other standout features of the Canon EOS 60D: video. Video capture has been a feature of DSLRs for well over a year now and it is no surprise to see it included in the Canon EOS 60D. The vari-angle screen should allow videographers to look for creative angles to shoot from, offering an alternative to simply positioning the camera’s screen directly in front while recording.

However, it isn’t all upgrades and improvements, as there has been a significant structural change to the Canon EOS 60D when compared to its predecessor. The new camera has a polycarbonate or, as it used to be known, plastic, outer body reinforced with an aluminium frame. This helps distinguish it as a lower model in the range below the magnesium-alloy EOS 7D, and it does offer a small benefit in that it is cheaper to construct, which helps to keep the cost of the camera down.

As the Canon EOS 60D is a blend of the EOS 550D and 7D, as well as including a few features of its own, I was keen to seen exactly how it performed. With an 18-million-pixel CMOS sensor and a street price that should soon drop below £1,000, the Canon EOS 60D has the potential to be the best enthusiast DSLR camera on the market today.

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