Canon's popular midrange digital SLR camera, the EOS 50D, has been due for an update after two years on the market. But the Canon EOS 60D announced yesterday is no incremental upgrade. With some major changes in features, specs and design, the 60D repositions Canon's midrange line to be more of a high-end consumer dSLR than a low-end pro's camera.
The most obvious changes from the 50D are the 60D's lighter-weight more compact body design, the new 3-inch articulated LCD, and the 1080p HD video recording capability. Like the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the rest of the consumer-oriented Rebel line, the new 60D uses SD memory cards rather than CompactFlash. Resolution has been bumped up to 18 megapixels and the sensitivity range has been pushed up to ISO 6400 (12,800 expanded) as well, catching up to the T2i and the higher-end EOS 7D on both fronts. The 60D also offers the T2i and 7D's improved metering system, though its improved autofocus system is not quite up to par with the 7D's. The 60D does add some higher-end features borrowed from the 7D, such as a built-in wireless flash control, but also includes some more consumer-oriented features like the Creative Image Filters borrowed from the PowerShot point-and-shoot line, as well as in-camera reduced resolution image copies (there's also in-camera raw image processing).
The HD video recording capabilities are clearly a priority for this camera: Not only does the 60D match the impressive specs of the T2i and 7D (1920x1080 at 30-, 25-, and 24fps; 1280x720 at 60- and 50fps; 640x480 at 60- and 50fps), but it also improves upon its predecessors' shooting experience with the higher-resolution (1,040,000 dots) 3-inch, articulated LCD. Budding videographers will also appreciate the external stereo mic jack.
The 60D will be priced at about $1,100 for the body only or $1,400 with an 18-135mm kit lens, and should hit the market in late September.
For some early hands-on previews, check out: