As it seems with every other generation of Canon dSLRs, the EOS 50D was a solid, if somewhat uninspired follow-up to the extremely well-received 40D. Now it's the 60D's turn to be the interesting model. It combines some of the best elements of the T2i and 7D in an updated--and occasionally frustrating--redesigned body. I, along with a few other reviewers, got a chance to shoot with the camera--as per our policy CNET footed the bill for my trip rather than Canon--and have sample photos and some preliminary analysis of the photo and video quality and ergonomics of the camera.
The most notable enhancement over the 50D is, of course, video capture, and the 60D offers the set of frame rates and manual exposure controls that have made Canon's dSLRs a favorite among the small but vocal group of indie filmmakers. The built-in microphone is mono, but has a stereo mic input; it has a wind filter and the same sound controls as the 5D Mark II. The 3-inch articulated LCD is also a great boon for shooting video. While it's a very nice LCD, though, I frequently had trouble viewing it in direct sunlight.
Of more interest to straight photographers, the 60D gains an improved autofocus system--better than the 50D but not as good as the 7D--as well as the advanced iFCL metering system of the T2i and 7D and a built-in wireless flash controller like the 7D. Canon's provided a welcome update to the scene modes, making them a little less rigid; they're less automatic, allowing you to adjust some parameters. Though the camera still only supports a 3-shot bracket, the range has been expanded to 3 stops. And at users' request, the company has added a 3:2 aspect ratio setting. Although the sensor resolution is the same for all the current midrange cameras, the T2i and 60D have 4-channel readouts rather than the 8-channel readout of the 7D's imager, making it slower. Despite rumors to the contrary, the 60D incorporates the same Digic 4 image processor that's been around for the last few years.… Read more