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Site Updated: 5/18/11
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In The Last Day

Canon EOS 60D - ISO Samples

The images below show 100% crops of an image taken at different ISO settings. These were taken with the kit 18-135mm lens at 135mm and f/8, with the 60D default settings as the camera comes out of the box. Click on any of the images to see the full size jpeg file (opens in new window):

Canon 60D ISO 100 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 200 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 400 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 800 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 1600 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 3200 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 6400 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 12800 Sample

As you can see, the Canon 60D performs well at higher ISO values despite its impressive resolution. How high of an ISO value you would consider useable depends on how you are going to use the image: Even an ISO 12,800 image scaled down is going to look reasonable on your facebook page (and certainly better than a lot of cell phone pics people post). However an oversized ISO 400 print of a detailed landscape may have too much noise for some photographers.

Just for comparison, the images below show how the EOS 60D compares to other cameras at ISO 3200. Again, clicking on the image will show the full size jpg file in a new window:

Canon 60D ISO 3200 Sample
Nikon D7000 ISO 3200 Sample
Nikon D700 ISO 3200 Sample
Nikon D300 ISO 3200 Sample
Canon S90 ISO 3200 Sample

As you can see from the photos, at ISO 3200 the 60D is a clear step ahead of both the Nikon D300 and Canon S90, perhaps not quite as clean as the Nikon D7000, and a clear step behind the lower resolution, full frame Nikon D700 (as you'd expect).

More detailed comparisons with other cameras at other ISO values can be viewed by using our ISO Comparison Tool.

The Canon EOS 60D is available from B&H Photo as either a Kit with 18-135mm Lens, a Kit with 18-200mm Lens or as a Body Only.



Canon 60D ISO 100 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 200 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 400 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 800 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 1600 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 3200 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 6400 Sample
Canon 60D ISO 12800 Sample
Nikon D300
Upon taking the 60D out of the box, the first thing that surprised me was the size. I was expecting something closer to the compact D7000 size, but instead it is about the same width as the D300. The finger grip is also a little deeper than the Nikons, so for photographers with larger hands the Canon 60D is very comfortable. However my wife has smaller hands and took an instant dislike to the grip, claiming it was too big and wasn't nearly as comfortable. Part of that may be her familiar with the Nikon D90 and D7000.

One of the more interesting features of the Canon 60D is the tilt/swivel LCD. The LCD can oriented in the traditional position on the back of the DSLR as shown below, or tilted out and swivelled allowing for a wide range of positions as shown further down.

Nikon D300

I'm primarily a sports/wildlife shooter, so Live View is something I rarely ever use. Part of that reason is that if the camera is in a difficult position, if I can't see through the viewfinder, then looking at the LCD on the back of my Nikon's is usually difficult also. However after playing with the 60D for a while, I've fallen in love with the tilt/swivel LCD. Putting the camera low to the ground no longer requires laying in the mud. Need a higher angle? Hold your camera overhead or stick it on a monopod, tilt the LCD down, and you can actually compose your shot rather than guessing. As for durability, like many others I would have concerns about it being easily snapped off, but after handling one there is some flex in the joint and it does feel somewhat robust. Since this camera is on loan from B&H Photo, I opted not to find out just how strong the joint is.

When it comes to shooting movies, the swivel/tilt LCD is a huge plus, again letting you easily frame a subject when shooting from low or high angles. With LCD's fixed onto the back of the camera, you tend to video from head or shoulder height so you can see what you are filming, rapidly making your arms and shoulders tired, but with a tiltable LCD that restriction goes away.

Nikon D300

As for the control layout, for video, simply put the camera into video mode, and you can start/stop recording with your right thumb, making for a very comfortable setup.

For the serious stills photographer, the layout is not so hot. In program, aperture and shutter priority modes, changing exposure settings by rotating the wheel abve the shutter release is easy, and doesn't require any change to your camera grip. In manual exposure mode (which I use all the time in the studio) I have to change my grip to reach the selector on the back of the camera to set the aperture, however the wheel above the shutter release makes it easy to set the shutter speed. It would be much better if these controls were reversed, since in the studio I rarely change the shutter speed (it is usually set a the max sync speed), but I constantly change the aperture. Having to change your grip typically causes you to have to recompose the shot and slows you down just a little.

Another issue I have with the Canon 60D ergonomics, is that to select focus point you want, you have to almost completely release your grip to push the button that allows you to change the focus point, then change your grip again to use the selector control (and then recompose your shot). Shooting wildlife, where you are trying to compose a shot and get a focus point over an animals eye means you have to be able to change focus points rapidly, since wildlife rarely stays still. For the record, I have a similar issue with the Nikon D7000 and focus point selection, but cameras like the Nikon D300 and D700 let me operate the camera how I want without having to change grip.

My complaints above are relatively minor, and for a large number of users these details simply will not be an issue. However it is obvious from the control layout that control positions were a compromise to support video/live view useage. If you are a more advanced photographer and constantly change focus points and exposure as events in front of your lens evolve, then you may well be slowed down somewhat by the control layout of the Canon 60D. Overall the 60D puts the key controls easily accessible, and usage is pretty intuitive once you understand the basics of photography.

The Canon EOS 60D is available from B&H Photo as either a Kit with 18-135mm Lens, a Kit with 18-200mm Lens or as a Body Only.


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