Canon has unveiled the mid-level EOS 60D, which will replace the EOS 50D. The new DSLR camera features an 18-megapixel CMOS (APS-C size) image sensor, DIGIC 4 processor, HD video recording at 1080p and is the first of Canon’s EOS line to include an articulated LCD screen that lets users keep their eyes on the prize when shooting from various angles. The 3-inch Vari-Angle Clear View LCD screen is similar to that found on the EOS Rebel T2i, boasting 1,040,000 dot/VGA resolution plus anti-reflective and smudge-resistant coatings.
Another first for the EOS system is the EOS 60’s new Multi-Control Dial, which places a Multi-Controller and Set button inside the Quick Control Dial. Canon says this new control layout streamlines camera navigation for vertical and horizontal shooting and enables a design that is smaller and cleaner than its predecessor. The EOS 60D also features a locking dial to prevent inadvertent changes to settings while shooting.
In-camera editingCanon has also included new in-camera features including processing of RAW images from within the camera – another first for an EOS camera. In-camera RAW image processing features include Picture Style, White Balance (WB), Color Space, High-ISO Noise Reduction, Peripheral Illumination Correction, linear distortion correction and chromatic aberration correction. These tools allow photographers in the field to produce optimized images on the spot and generate JPEG files at various resolution and compression settings for immediate sharing, without affecting the original RAW data.
There’s also a new image resizing function that allows the creation of lower-resolution copies of captured full resolution or smaller JPEG images using menu commands. New lower-resolution settings include 1920 x 1280 for optimal display on HD televisions, or 720 x 480 for uploading to social networking and other photo sharing web sites. The original high-resolution files remain unaffected by the image resizing function.
Canon has also added new creative image filters to an EOS camera for the first time. Already familiar to Canon PowerShot users, these allow photographers to apply photo effects such as Soft Focus and Grainy Black and White. There’s also a “Toy Camera” filter that adds vignetting and color shift, while the Miniature Effect filter simulates the look from a tilt-shift lens. Each of these filters can be applied to a captured still image in-camera to create a second “filtered” JPEG version, leaving the original RAW or JPEG file unaffected.
Live ViewTo make it easier to compose images in Live View the Live View screen can display cropping lines for 1:1, 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios in addition to the standard 3:2 ratio. Custom aspect ratios are also applied to JPEG images whether captured directly in-camera or created with the EOS 60D’s in-camera RAW image processing function. The EOS 60D features a dedicated button to initiate live view for both video and still shooting. Once engaged, the same dedicated button will start and stop video recording. The Electronic Level Display lets photographers know when the camera is level and is viewable in the optical viewfinder and on the LCD in both Live View and Movie modes. An artificial horizon display illustrates horizontal roll, allowing the photographer to know when the camera is in a fixed level position.
Video CaptureThe EOS 60D allows for three video recording modes – Full HD and HD in a 16:9 aspect ratio and Standard Definition (SD) in a 4:3 aspect ratio, all at selectable frame rates – 24p, 25p or 30p for 1920x1080 and 50p or 60p for 720p and SD. The 60D’s movie mode also includes manual controls for exposure as well as manual audio levels in 64 steps, much like the latest firmware update for the EOS 5D Mark II. Users can set audio levels on the rear menu screen before shooting begins. Once recording is initialized, audio adjustments are not possible. In addition, Canon has added an electronic Wind Filter to the audio controls within the movie shooting menu.
In-camera video editingCanon has also included an in-camera movie editing feature, allowing users to shorten a video file by clipping segments from the beginning or the end. Handy if you’re running low on storage space or are looking to reduce the time it takes to upload clips to a computer. There’s also a Movie Crop mode, which allows users to achieve 7x magnification when shooting SD video. To preserve image quality this feature crops the image directly from the CMOS sensor at full SD resolution.
Focusing and meteringThe 60D features a 9-point AF system with f/5.6-sensitive cross-type focusing on all nine focusing points. Like the EOS 7D, the center AF point is a hybrid of standard cross-type and special diagonally-shaped “X” cross, with high-precision sensitivity for f/2.8 and larger aperture lenses. Complementing the AF system, Canon’s iFCL metering system, identical to that on the EOS 7D and Rebel T2i, takes color information into account and includes a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor that reads both illumination and color, keeping exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes.
The 60D’s wide ISO range from 100-6400 (adjustable in 1/3-step increments from ISO 100-6400 and expandable to 12,800) allows for shooting in low light without a flash. When you do need a flash though, the built-in pop up flash features a built-in Integrated Speedlite Transmitter for control of up to two groups of off-camera EOS Speedlites without the need for an external transmitter.
The 60D is compatible with Canon EF and EF-S lenses and will be delivered to U.S. dealers toward the end of September. The body-only will retail for US$1,099, while a kit version including Canon’s EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens will sell for $1,399.