Friday, June 17, 2011

Canon 60D vs 550D (and 600D): Real World Usage

Canon 60D Top View - Credit: Canon USA
It's finally time for me to review my two months old Canon 60D and compare it to my old pal, the Canon 550D (T2i). I have been postponing this review for quite a bit until I get used to the 60D, but I have passed the 10,000 images mark just last week, if anything, the 550D lasted with me for 9 months and has only done around 9,000 images. So lets dive into the hands on review, a small warning, this will be quite long. :-)

DISCLAIMER: I have learned from the internet and several forums that it is impossible for everyone to agree on the same opinion (sometimes even the same fact), so if you see anything below that you don't quite agree with then you're totally welcome to tell me about it in a gentle manner. What you'll read below is my own experience with both cameras no matter what others say elsewhere.


Let's get cracking, the 550D was my first DSLR after I sold my Canon G11, I was mightily impressed with the sensor's noise performance and the huge jump in focus speed and shutter lag. The only two cameras with the new 18MP sensors were the 7D and the 550D, the 60D wasn't announced yet, and since this was my first DSLR I decided to get the much cheaper 550D. When the 60D was announced I was really tempted but kept telling myself that my 550D has everything I will ever need and I should better invest my money in good lenses.

Then came Japan's earthquake and the Canon DSLR supply was quite low in Egypt and the prices started to increase, in the meanwhile I was traveling to Malaysia in a business trip and knew that they had very good prices on photography equipment, so on a whim I put my 550D (with the kit lens) for sale and was able to sell it for almost the same price it was sold new before the earthquake, then I traveled to Malaysia with my lenses alone planning to get my 60D body from there which I did as you can see from my first impressions here.

When I bought the 60D, I thought that all the advantages of the 60D over the 550D would be the higher fps, swivel LCD, wireless flash and a couple of things more. But reading technical specs alone or reviews about the noise performance of the 60D compared to it's predecessor (the 50D) is only half the story, there are way too much differences that are very useful in everyday shooting that can only be noticed by someone who used both cameras extensively.

I was able to count more than 30 advantages for the 60D over the 550D, I will list them one by one and tell you how I find it useful in the real world, and at the end of the post I will tell you about 6 features I really miss on my 550D. Unless specified, anything you read about the 550D also applies for the 600D. Through out the review, I will be posting some of my favorite pictures that I took with the 60D in the last two months.

Desk Lamp - I have no idea why I like this photo too much, this desk lamp was shot in my hotel room in Malaysia, I took more than 15 shots with different compositions and WB settings


1- Grip Size

One of my main complaints about the 550D was it's grip, it's too small and causes my fingers to crimp and hurt a lot if I'm carrying the camera for more than 15 minutes, the 60D on the other hand has a much beefier and comfortable grip that never bothered me when using the camera for long periods, it's just great. The 600D should also have a better grip than the 550D although I doubt it would be as large as the 60D.

2- Weight

This might seem counter intuitive, but the added weight of the 60D makes it more stable for shooting at very slow shutter speeds, and it balances the camera nicely with heavier lenses like the EF-S 15-85 which was front heavy on the 550D.

Enough Photography! Journalists Chasing me Everywhere, Smart Village Club, Cairo - 35mm f/2 @ f/2.2

3- Viewfinder

The viewfinder on the 60D is a pentaprism versus a mirror on the 550D, the result is a noticeably larger and brighter viewfinder, this was a major "whoa" moment when I first put the 60D to my eye, I know that it is not as large or bright as full frame cameras or my old Olympus OM30 SLR with the split focusing screen.

The viewfinder on the 60D can display more information like the battery status, the electronic level and one extra stop on each side of the exposure meter. The focus points on the 60D are larger and easier to see than the 550D when they turn red.

There have been several discussions on dpreview recently about whether the larger viewfinder on the 60D would make manual focusing easier, let me sum it up for you, using manual focus on the 60D or the 550D downright sucks. There is too much DoF in the viewfinder, it is not large enough and without a special focusing screen (like a split prism) your keeper rate will be too low. You can of course use manual focus and get good results after a lot of training, but at the end of the day, it is not practical, it is slow and the keeper rate will be way too low, check my experience with the manual focus Zuiko 50mm f/1.8.

Westin Hotel Entrance, Malaysia

4- FPS (frames per second)

The 60D can shoot bursts at 5.3 fps versus 3.7 fps for the 550D, it might not sound like a large difference but it is very useful for me when I'm shooting kids and fast moving subjects, check this 27 frame sequence I took for a car making an accident at an autocross event.

Click to see a larger version

5- Larger Buffer

This is one of the huge benefits for me, despite using a class 10 card with the 550D the maximum burst rate I could shoot in RAW was 6 frames @ 3.7 fps before it slowed down to around 1 fps then slows down even more. With the 60D I am able to shoot 16 continuous RAW files @ 5.3 fps before it starts slowing down, makes a huge difference for me.

A Colorful Duck, KL Bird Park, Malaysia - Shot with the EF-S 55-250

 6- Swivel LCD

The most distinctive feature of the 60D and the 600D, I can't stress enough how useful it is in setup shots using live view, one example is when I use the camera on a mini tripod low to the ground, I just swivel the LCD so I can clearly see everything without putting my head on the ground. Another useful example is when you're taking a self portrait with the camera on a tripod or arranging some stuff that you're going to shoot in front of the camera, you can easily tilt the screen 180 degrees and you'd be looking at yourself in the LCD (the camera automatically adjusts the orientation). The LCD can also be turned to face the camera body (closed) so that it's protected.

7- Top LCD

I didn't think I'd ever need this screen since I was used to Canon's quick menu at the back LCD, but after spending some quality time with the 60D, I got used to it that I miss it when I use another camera without the top LCD. The other advantage of the top LCD is that it negates the need to use the back LCD for adjusting settings which saves a lot of battery power, even the top LCD turns off after some inactivity time and turns on again when you half press the shutter, that way I have my 60D on and ready all the time without consuming too much power. On the 550D I used to turn the camera on and off all the time.

Zen, Sharm El Sheikh - 15-85 @ 15mm f/8

8- Battery Lifetime

The 60D uses the same battery as the 7D and the 5D, this battery holds a lot of juice compared to the 550D battery, I was able to get a maximum of 400 shots out of the 550D with very little use of the LCD, while I easily passed the 1000 shots with the 60D with around 19% remaining, damn impressive.

The 60D battery also has a much more accurate battery meter and you can check the percentage, the 550D had only three bars, the first one stayed for a long time, then when it goes off and you think that you still have like 50% of the batter remaining, you'd quickly discover that the last two bars represent around 20% of the battery capacity.

Elegant Egret, Sharm El Sheikh - 15-85 @ 85mm f/8

9- Wireless Flash Control

I have three Canon flashes, so this feature was a heaven send for me, I can now use my flashes much more quickly in E-TTL or manual mode without setting up any triggers, all I have to do is turn on the flashes, make all the necessary settings from the camera's back LCD and shoot away. I am very glad Canon introduced this feature in the 600D which is considered an entry level DSLR, way to go Canon, you have some catching up to do.

A Winning Shot, Sharm El Sheikh - 15-85 @ 22mm f/5.6, 1/15sec, ISO 1600

10- 1/8000 sec Shutter Speed

The 550D's shutter was only able to go as fast as 1/4000 sec which forced me to stop down my aperture when I wanted to shoot at f/1.8 or so in daylight, I know I could've used a ND filter, but it's an extra hassle and would slow me down.

11- 1/250 sec Sync Speed

The 550D has a sync speed of 1/200 sec, the extra sync speed on the 60D makes a difference when you're trying to completely kill the ambient indoors without having to stop down the aperture a lot.

Are You Looking at me Punk? KL Bird Park Malaysia - 55-250 through a fence
12- More Hardware Buttons / FEL Button

The 60D has more buttons than the 550D which makes it easier to change settings directly without having to look at the screen or use button combinations. One significantly important button for me was the extra FEL thumb button, the 550D has only two thumb buttons (top right of the camera back), one for the AF point selection and the other for the AEL (exposure lock), and since I am using back button focusing (will write about it in a separate article) I was using the AEL button for focusing, so if I wanted to lock the exposure I wasn't able to do it unless I paired it with the shutter button for example which I don't want, however the 60D solved this one easily by adding a third thumb button labeled with an "*", this is the button that I now use for focusing and I have the AEL button free anytime I need it. The ISO button has a nice bump so you can find it without lifting your eye from the viewfinder.

13- 8-Way Control Dial

This dial has 8 directions, right, left, up, down and 4 directions in between, this makes it very easy to directly select any AF point, you simply press the AF selection button then choose any of the 9 AF points by pressing any of the 8 directions or the center point for selecting the center focus point. On the 550D you have to first choose one of the four points (left, right, up and down) then use the wheel to move to an adjacent point. I will make a post soon about the focus-recompose versus choosing a different AF point.

14- Two Dial Wheels

The 550D has only one wheel at the top of the camera, the 60D adds one more at the back (around the 8-way control dial), it is very useful that when you're in manual mode you can change the shutter speed with one wheel and the aperture with the other, or when you're in aperture priority mode for example you can directly change the exposure compensation by using the back wheel. On the 550D you have to press and hold a button at the back and turn the top wheel to change the EC or the aperture.

15- Button Locks

The 60D has locks on both the rear dial wheel and the top mode dial to prevent accidentally changing any settings, I think I can live without them although I discovered that others find them very useful, maybe I am just more careful.

iPhone FTW, Al Ain Al Sokhna - 35mm f/2 @ f/2.5

16- Custom Mode

One of the things I missed from my Canon G11 was the custom modes, these are modes where you save all the camera settings so you can directly come back to it, let me give you one example, I already told you that I am using back button focusing, so whenever I hand my camera to someone to take a picture of me, they aren't able to focus using the shutter button, so I turned my custom mode to use aperture priority, auto ISO, focusing via the shutter button and all auto focus points active, this way when I handover my camera to someone who's not used to DSLRs I just turn the mode dial to custom mode and increase the aperture to f/8, this way I can guarantee that the pictures they will take will be sharp and in focus.

The Canon 60D has only one custom mode, the 7D has three and the 550D has none.

Fire Show @ Sharm El Sheikh - 15-85 @ 55mm, 1/60sec, ISO 3200

17- WB in Kelvin

On the 60D you can set the white balance using the desired color temperature directly in addition to the standard presets and the custom white balance, this is not available on the 550D.

18- 1/3 Stop ISO Increments

This one used to drive me crazy on the 550D, especially when shooting movies, the 550D can manually select full stop ISO values only (100, 200, 400, etc...), with the 60D and the 7D you can set it in 1/3 stop increments (100, 125, 160, 200, etc...), this is a very debatable topic that I intend to cover in a later post but some say that using multiples of ISO 160 will result in less noise, but not now, maybe later.

19- Slightly Better Noise Performance

I have no scientific proof on this one, but I feel that I am getting slightly cleaner ISO 1600 up to ISO 6400 RAW files, but this might be a visual trick. I can comfortable shoot the 60D at ISO 3200 without worrying about noise too much.

Guava Juice, Thai Restaurant @ Malaysia - f/2, 1/15 sec, ISO 3200, hand held

20- mRAW, sRAW

With the Canon 550D you can shoot either JPEG only (several sizes and qualities) or RAW only or RAW + JPEG with the JPEG set to the highest quality. The 60D gives you the option of shooting any combination of RAW + JPEG you want. There are three RAW settings, the full 18 megapixel RAW, and two smaller RAW sizes (medium and small), have you ever wondered whether you can get reduced megapixel RAW files like you can do with the JPEGs? With the 60D you can when you don't need the 26 megabyte full 18 megapixel RAW files.

21- In-Camera RAW Processing

With the 60D you can process RAW files directly from the camera and save them as JPEGs on the memory card, I never used this feature before but it might be useful for someone, an easier solution is to shoot RAW + JPEG directly and make sure you get your WB correct.

Thai Restaurant, Malaysia - 35mm f/2 @ f/2.2, 1/30sec, ISO 1600

22- Shutter Lifetime

Up to the 500D, Canon claimed that they have a 100,000 click shutter lifetime, with the 550D and the 600D they didn't give any numbers, but with the 60D they claim the 100,000 actuations, not sue what to conclude from this, especially that a shutter can fail prematurely or last for a very long time, but psychologically I feel better with the 60D.

23- Shutter Lag / VF Blackout

The 60D shutter lag is 60ms versus 90ms on the 550D, this is 50% faster and you can feel it when using both cameras, the viewfinder blackout (when the mirror is up during an exposure) on the 60D is a 100 ms versus 130 ms on the 550D.

24- Shutter Sound

This is a totally subjective issue, but one of the attractions of a DSLR is it's shutter sound and feel, the 550D shutter sounds like a small whiny motor (reminds me of my 50mm f/1.8 focusing sound) whizzing to move the mirror, while the 60D has a deeper satisfying thunk. I have compiled a very short clip to show you the difference.

25- Improved AWB

I was usually cross with my 550D's auto white balance, and I envied all the reviews that claimed the 60D has one of the best AWB systems amongst Canon' s  DSLRs, and it's true, I can leave the AWB on and depend on the camera to get the WB correctly.

26- Electronic Level

The 60D has an electronic level which helps you get a straight horizon, it can be displayed in either the back LCD or inside the viewfinder (replaces the exposure meter at the bottom).

Twin Towers seen from KL TV Tower, Malaysia - 15-85 through glass

27- 9 Cross AF Points

While Canon might seem behind Nikon in terms of the sheer number of AF points (they sort of caught up with the 7D), I find that 90% of the time I am using the center point only, the extra points are useful when tracking moving subjects. On the 550D the center focus point was the only cross AF point, this means that the 60D can track moving subjects more accurately than the 550D, and I can use any of the other AF points in very shallow depth of field situations and be sure that I will get my focus spot on.

28- Show AF Points in Review

The 60D can show you the AF points used to take a picture when you are reviewing your pictures on the back LCD, with the 550D I was only able to view it on the computer using Canon's RAW processor.

I can see you from up here, KL Bird Park, Malaysia - 55-250 @ 250mm
29- Audio Gain Control

On the 550D, when shooting videos using the the camera's built-in mic or an external mic, the camera's automatic gain control was forced upon you, so if there's complete silence during shooting the camera will increase the audio gain and you will hear a hissing sound, this could be solved on the 550D using a hardware hack or the magic lantern firmware, on the 60D and the 600D you can enable manual gain control from the camera directly with sound level bars to judge your recording level.

30- Weather Sealing

There were lots of complaints about the 60D not using a magnesium alloy body, but until now I have not seen any proof that the 60D is inferior (body strength wise) to it's predecessor or the 7D. Anyway, the 60D is weather sealed, but you'll need weather sealed lenses to be able to benefit from it. I am now much less worried when water splashes on my camera body.

31- Playback & Sorting Options

The 60D has more playback and sorting options than the 550D, you can find your pictures by date for example, and you can also give ratings to the pictures directly from the camera.

32- Creative Filters

The 60D has some creative built-in filters like B/W and miniature effect (simulates tilt-shift effect), I have never used them and I doubt I will, but someone might find them useful, check the entrancing video below, will surely make you fall in love with the 60D. :-)

  • Tactile Buttons: the 550D buttons had more feel to it and a satisfying click, but I got used to the 60D.
  • Different LCD Themes: the quick menu at the back LCD had several themes on the 550D, and I really liked the amber one, the 60D has none and frankly it looks much uglier than the 550D but I am not using the quick screen anymore now that I have the top LCD.
  • Weight/Size: despite mentioning the 60D's weight as an advantage, sometimes I miss the less weight of the 550D with the kit lens.
  • Bulb Counter: on the 550D when using the bulb mode, you got a nice counter on the back LCD, on the 60D you get it on the top LCD which is not illuminated, this makes a pain to see in the dark, one solution is to use an external intervalometer.
  • Multiple Shots: this is the feature I miss the most, on the 550D I can tell it to run a self timer for 5 seconds for example then take 10 (or any number) continuous shots, on the 60D self timer only takes one shot. Can also be solved using the inervalometer.


This was one of my longest posts ever, and it took me a long time to prepare and write, what I hope to achieve with this post is to show people still hesitant between the 550D/600D and the 60D that there are much more benefits to the 60D than what is widely known, you may be able to collect these differences from several places, but having them all collected like this shows you where will your extra money go with the 60D.

I am not dissing the xxxD series, I had the 550D and I loved it, but I never imagined the 60D would be this much more satisfying until I bought one and used it. The 600D (body only) is selling for $200 less than the 60D (body only), and for my usage I can totally justify spending the extra $200 to get the 60D.

Any comments or feedback are totally welcome.


Canon Lenses Chat - Part 1: Standard Zoom Lenses
Canon Lenses Chat - Part 2: Telephoto Zoom Lenses
Canon Lenses Chat - Part 3: Prime Lenses
Canon EF 35mm f/2 Review
Quick Review: Canon 85mm f/1.8
Canon EF Lenses Chat: Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Review
Canon EF Lenses Chat: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Review
Canon 5D Mark II: First Impressions
Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 60D & 6D


  1. Nice review, thanks for posting.

  2. "to the 550D battery, I was able to get a maximum of 400 shots out of the 550D with very little use of the LCD,"

    sounds weird, I have took around 900 photos and couple of videos with 550d original battery and it was not even empty yet

  3. Wow, I had two original batteries and wasn't able to get this number, lucky you.

  4. I wonder if the difference has to do with shooting in raw vs JPEG?

  5. This is a very valid possibility, however it's all relative and depends on one's usage heavily. If I could get 400shots with the 550D and more than 1k with the 60D, then someone who gets 900 shots out of the 550D might as well get more shots than I do out of the 60D.

  6. From imaging-resource: "additional precision AF sensor that is arrayed diagonally and used when you mount a lens of f/2.8 or faster." Can you comment on this? Is this also the case with 550D?Thanks

  7. Hi Ribus, thanks for asking, I will try to put it in very simple words, then check the link at the end, it has very good detailed explanation with pictures.

    A normal phase-detect AF sensor is a short line segment. It works best if the scene has strong lines perpendicular to the direction of the AF sensor, it cannot achieve focus if there are contrasting lines parallel to the sensor.

    A cross type sensor consists of two normal sensors at right angles. That way the cross type sensor can focus more accurately regardless of the direction of the contrasting lines.

    The 550D/600D center sensor is the only cross type sensor, the remaining ones are normal sensors. The 60D has all 9 focus points of the cross type, so you can focus with any of the edge AF points as reliably as the center one.

    Finally, the f/2.8 or faster thing, both the 550D/600D and the 60D have the center AF point with high precision, this means that if you're using a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 or wider, you will have an EXTRA two diagonal lines in the center AF sensor that will increase the chances of getting accurate focus even more.

    All the AF points in the xxxD and xxD series can work with f/5.6 or faster apertures, if you use a lens with a smaller maximum aperture (like adding an extender to a f/5.6 lens), the camera will have a very hard time focusing, only 1D cameras can focus like that.

    For more details and illustrations, check this amazing link:

  8. Hi, thanks for the review.

    I am not able to get the level showing in the optical view finder like you say. I can only see the level displayed on the LCD, not in the viewfinder or the top screen.

    Can you comment please.

    Thank You, David S

  9. Hi David, please check page 128 in the manual, you'll have to change the "Set" button function to display the electronic level in the viewfinder.

  10. Thanks for the very informative reply. I asked this because my 550D is consitently front-focusing (on all 6 lens I have). I'm kind of hoping 60D will have better auto-focus technology.

  11. great detailed comparison of 2 cameras I am currently looking at. Thank You! + love the Canon 60D training video.

  12. @Ribus, I would check your 550D with Canon first, it is really strange to have 6 lenses front focusing. I am using Canon lenses only, and never did my 550D or 60D front/back focus with any of them except with the 50mm f/1.8 at apertures wider than f/2.8.

    I am able to focus my 60D with the side focus points at f/2 and get really sharp pictures.

    @Stephanie, glad to be of help, you will like any one of the cameras mentioned in this article, they are all great value for money.

  13. Just had to compliment you on the painstakingly written comparison. It was both concise and comprehensive, and your efforts in putting this all together is much appreciated. Wonderful!

  14. I feel humbled, thanks for spending time to post feedback. Appreciated.

  15. Mshafik, back to 550D and 60D autofocus comparison again. According to a user from dpreview forum, the difference between these 2 cameras is:

    "...The 550D's AF is descended from the 20D/30D. The center sensor is "+" orientation cross with f/5.6 and faster lenses at standard AF precision. With f/2.8 and faster lenses it is high precision, but only in the "|" axis. Low light sensitivity is rated to - 0.5 EV.

    The 60D's AF was introduced with the 40D. The center sensor is "+" orientation cross with f/5.6 and faster lenses at standard AF precision. With f/2.8 and faster lenses it is high precision, not only in the "|" axis, but also with a diagonal "x" orientation cross. Low light sensitivity is still rated to - 0.5 EV..."

    I suspect this is the case because there are less complains about front/back focusing issue on 60D than 550D.

    Btw, because of your review I have purchased 60D from B&H at USD889. Quite happy with the price. Thanks Mshafik.

  16. Hey Ribus, you got the 60D for a great price, I bought mine for $1000, glad you like it, let's see the pictures you get with it. I will look for you on dpreview.

    As for what you posted about the auto focus, that's exactly what I mentioned in my first reply. And by the way, my 550D never missed focus with 6 of my lenses except the 50 f/1.8 at wide apertures, but that's the lens problem.

  17. Amazing post! The world needs more people with your skills and generosity in taking the time to create such great work.

    I just bought a 60D instead of the t3i/t2i based on your post. So far so good.

  18. Wow, that is praise I don't deserve, glad to be of help.

  19. If all the lenses are backfocusing or front focusing you need to calibrate the camera with the lens at a Canon service centre. Please read -

  20. This is a great comparison and was the clincher in my decision to go with the 60D. I couldn't be happier.
    Thank you so much for writing this up !

  21. It's always a pleasure when I learn that I helped someone with his decision. :-)

  22. I've been shopping for an upgrade for my 400D, compiling a list of benefits of the 60D vs. 600D. Your site just doubled the length of my 60D Pro-list.

    I have a couple items on the 600D Pro-list that you don't, however:
    * Digital zoom in movie mode (which I understand crops rather than downsamples, so quality remains good)
    * Remote port is a standard 3/32" stereo jack, not a weird proprietary one (okay, only a benefit for me because I don't need an adapter to connect my existing intervalometer, wired switch, and remote switch)

  23. Thanks a lot Jeremy for your valuable addition, I have one question though, my 60D and 550D (and I assume the 600D) have exactly the same remote port, why do you say they are different?

  24. Huh! Apparently I'm wrong. The XXD cameras up to the 50D used the RS-80N3 remote switch, which has the proprietary Canon connector (and costs $70 from Canon, although cheap clones exist on eBay). I assumed the 60D continued the tradition.

    But... I see on Canon's website that the RS-60E3 remote switch is listed as compatible with the 60D. Same one I use with my old XTi. Cool - one more reason to spring for the 60D.

  25. I'm so happy that I found your post. As right now I'm trying to decide on camera to buy and everyone I ask has said that 550D and 60D are basically the same. Your post shed a lot more light on a matter. Thank you!

  26. Thank you so much for sharing your useful insights, I have been going round in circles trying to decide between the 60d and 600d. I am hesitant no longer, your clear and detailed review of the differences in one complete post has totally put my mind at ease to make the purchase of 60d, so grateful for you sharing your experience and knowledge.

  27. My pleasure nik, sometimes I wish I could buy everything out there so I could create more posts like this one. :-)

  28. I really enjoyed this thoughtful post, thank you for the time you put into it. I had kind of dismissed the 60D as having nothing particularly interesting other than the screen, and because it didn't have microadjust focus. It is a reminder to me that it does have lots of good points compared to my xxxD.

  29. woooow, great pictures am definitely going for the 60D.South Africa currenty has good prices on 550D but this 60D was really love at first sight for me.

  30. Good luck my friends, both the 550D and the 600D take the exact same images as the 60D since they all share the same sensor. Have fun shooting.

  31. Now i want to change my 550D :) and get 60D after this review :D
    keep it up ya handasa ;)

  32. Indeed this was a long and very well detailed post. Wanted to quick show my gratitude, you certainly helped me pick the right one! Cant believe the sales guy on the phone just now told me they were almost the same apart from shutter speed and burst modes.

  33. As usual, I am very happy to hear such comments, thank you for sharing.

  34. Well done, well said. Let this review be a good example to others. Thank you for sharing your experience and journey. Your efforts are appreciated...


  35. At your service, I wish to review all the equipment out there, but I don't have enough money.

  36. Thanks mshafik,
    i was in a deep dilemma to choose my first DSLR. Your post gave me insight to think on various aspects. I always thought D60 was beyond my reach in terms of cost of the camera plus lenses. But something costlier DESERVES to be costlier. Thanks for helping me to make my decision.
    Also in the movie shooting with 60D one can magnify the central area that helps in seeing better what you are recording which is not there in 550 D
    Thanks once again

  37. Thanks for your comment, regarding the magnification in movie mode, they all do it, the 550D, the 600D and the 60D.

  38. A real good review... I've had the 550D for about the same time frame (okay maybe marginally longer). I can relate well with your experiences.
    Regarding 15, I feel the lock on the top wheel is slightly redundant on 60D since it falls on the left side. The one on right is pretty useful though.

  39. bro... do you notice that... the picture we took using 60d, the picture is only nice in the built in lcd... in pc its not so nice... :( can i ask why??

  40. After reading your review many times in detail,I decided to buy 60D though my friends told me there is not much difference and save money on 550D and spent on lense...!

  41. I am confused between 550D and 60D and my friends told me that there is not much difference between two,buy 550D and spent money on lense.
    After reading your reviews in details,I decided to buy 660D as I am buying DSLR first time.

  42. how many lens did you bring to Malaysia??

  43. I took three lenses for my Malaysia trip, the 15-85 was my walk around lens, I used it all the time, except when I was shooting in the street at night, I used my 35mm f/2. And I exclusively used the 55-250 at the bird park.

  44. wonderful comparisn ... i was confused before and your review really helped me decide to go for the 60D.. i need 1 more help.. i am planning to buy 60D body + 50mm prime lens .. or should i buy the kit lens? im new to the bigboys(pro cameras)

  45. Thanks, the kit lens is very good and important because of the zoom flexibility, if you buy only the 50mm you will find it too long (as if zoomed in all the time), the kit lens will enable you to get wide anle shots.
    My advice is to start with the kit lens (the 18-55, not the expensive 18-135), and then buy better lenss later.

  46. For the image quality 550d or 60d which one is a good buy,,,or both are same

  47. i m upgrading from 1100d, for me the main thing is image quality so which one is best buy for me 550 or 60d?

  48. Both the 550D and the 60D have identical image quality, and with the current 550D prices, it's a real bargain.

    Upgrading from the 1100D to the 550D, you will get significant upgrades in options, image quality and videos.

    Anyway you can't go wrong with both.

  49. hi
    I am new to dslr family, dont know even ABC of it.
    I am in a confused state whether to go for 550d or 600d or 60d.
    Please help.
    And about the kit? Should I buy it along with the camera?
    And one more thing! this camera I am going to buy should remain for a longer duration, I mean I dont want upgrades.



    1. Hi Kartik, since you're totally new to DSLRs and you don't won't any upgrades soon, I suggest you get the 600D with the 18-55mm kit lens, it's significantly cheaper than the 60D, and with similar image quality.

      You'll get to learn a lot with it and will get great photos, the 18-55 kit lens is very good, good luck.

  50. Hi
    I am planning to buy a my first slr
    Should I go with 60D OR 600D and I am also taking nikon d90 as an option
    Plz suggest me a good one
    Fact that I will not want to upgrade my camera for next 3 years atleast
    I have basic knowledge of slr
    thanks for your help in advance :-)

    1. Just to add to what mshafik said below, if you are considering Nikon as well, please check out the Canon and Nikon comparison from last week.

      As for the D90, I like it because it has pretty much everything you need (including a built-in autofocus motor and built-in commander mode), and these days, you can buy a used one relatively cheaply because it's one generation older than the current models. It will definitely last you at least 3 years.

      Best regards,

  51. If money is not a problem, I would suggest the 60D, however if you're just starting out, the 600D is a smaller/lighter camera with exactly the same image quality.
    There are almost-confirmed rumors that there would be a Canon 650D announced in June, so I'd wait just one more month and see.

  52. The best Comparison available on the Net. Great work brother.
    I was in a dilemma but now your review gave more light.. thank u!

  53. Thanks a lot man for the time and effort you put into this post. I was really set on buying the 600D, but the 60D is the way to go. Do you think Canon will lower the price on the 60D anytime soon? With the 650D and the 70D coming soon and all...

  54. I have no idea about the prices, but there are no rumors about a 70D anytime soon, so I think no changes in 60D's price.

  55. Will you be comparing the 60D with the just announced 650D? Please, please, please....????

    1. Haha, well, I wouldn't say no if you bought me a 650D to compare it to the rest. I'm not planning on getting one soon, I want to get the 5D Mark III instead.

      Comparing features between these cameras is not enough without using them for a while. Sorry. :-(

  56. Thanks a ton for such a nice review. Are all CANON EF-S and EF lenses compatible with Canon 60D?

  57. Hi,

    can you please list the difference between Canon 60D and canon 60Da DSLR'S and lenses canon EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6IS, EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6IS STM, EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6IS USM and recommend the camera and lens as in future i will be shifting to full frame DSLR's. It will be a great help.


    1. Hi,

      As far as I know, the 60Da is exactly the same as the 60D (but quite more expensive) except that, and I'm quoting here:

      "its infrared filter has been modified so it doesn't screen out so much hydrogen-alpha light, a deep-red 656.28-nanometer wavelength of light produced by excited hydrogen atoms. By letting in about three times the amount of hydrogen-alpha red as a regular 60D, the $1,500 60Da can capture much better photos of energetic nebulae"

      So unless you're an astro-photographer, you can safely ignore the 60Da.

      Now to answer your second question, no one yet is sure of the image quality of the new 18-135 STM vs the old 18-135, but the MTF charts suggests that it will be a better lens optically, but that remains to be seen yet.

      As for the 28-135, this lens will work on full frame when you switch, but until then you won't be able to get wide angle shots with that lens at all with a crop sensor camera, but if you can live with that, you're better off with the 24-105 f/4L, it has constant aperture, better optics, weather-proofing, wider vieweing angle and more contrast than the 28-135.

      Check some of my full-frame lenses chat here, I will be reviewing the 24-105 soon:

  58. Wonderful review mshafik! Hope to get more from you.

    I've a 550D and is not finding the desired result in low light condition (I'm not saying the images are bad but I want better). So was contemplating whether I should spend money in buying a prime lens with low aperture (f/1.2 or f/1.4) or should I go for 60D?

    Is 60D a better camera to handle low light condition than 550D using the same lens?

    1. Thanks for the compliment, using the same lens, the 550D has the same image quality as the 60D, so no need to switch for that reason, getting a wider aperture lens will only get you faster shutter speeds, but not necessarily higher image quality, so unless you're suffering from slow shutter speeds and image blur, the faster aperture won't help a lot.

      My advice (if you're shooting indoors) is to buy a cheap TTL flash (ex. Yongnuo 565) and learn how to bounce it to get better images, photography is all about the lighting, good lighting = good photos. Michael has posted a pretty thorough post here:

    2. One thing I forgot to mention before I hit the button, buying a fast prime is a very enlightening experience, and will get you some excellent pictures, even when stopped down, if you have some money to spare, I recommend starting out with either the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II or the Canon 35mm f/2, I know one is three times more expensive than the other, but before you decide, I suggest using your kit lens at 35mm and 50mm to see which viewing angle you like best, the 50mm on a crop sensor is quite narrow. You can read detailed reviews here:

  59. I really want a canon camera,I'll mostly be taking photos of people, so do you recommend getting this? Like, does it make people look 'pretty'?

    Because all I have atm is my phone and it literally turns pretty people into ugly ones..

    1. On behalf of my co-author mshafik, I would like to offer a response to your question:
      No camera will make people look "pretty". In fact no camera or lens will give you good photos. Good photos come from good technique, which you can learn here at our blog. famously demonstrated what can be done with good lighting and a humble camera phone (iPhone in their case).

      To improve your technique, check out the posts re exposure and lighting at the index page linked at the top right corner of our page.

      Best regards,

  60. Hi,
    Thanks a lot 4 ur review...
    I'm going to buy Canon EOS 60D Body with "Tamron- SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF" Lens very soon...

    My question is... is "Tamron- SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF" Lens better than the "Canon EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II" Lens ???

    ** I don't have enough money to buy a "Canon EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM" or "Canon EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM" Lens right now.

    1. Hi Himadri, on behalf of my co-author mshafik, I would like to offer my input on your question. I have had the Tamron 17-50 VC and I think it is an excellent lens. The 17-50 non-VC doesn't have stabilization but it is said to be optically even better than the VC version that I had.

      As for the Canon 18-55 IS, I don't have experience with that lens but the Tamron 17-50 has a wide f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range. The wide aperture can give you a shallower depth of field and let you use higher shutter speeds for sharper shots. As for sharpness and other optical characteristics, check out this comparison by dxomark:

      The Tamron 17-50 beats the 18-55 IS in almost every measure. Based on the foregoing reasons, I believe the Tamron 17-50 is an excellent choice for a fixed budget. The only downside is the resale value of the Tamron 17-50 will not be high (but then again, neither would the 18-55 IS have a good resale value because it is extremely common).

      Best regards,

  61. Hi Mic,
    Thanks a lot for your reply.
    By the way there is a rumor about Canon EOS 70D (22MP, DIGIC 5+, 19 Point AF, 6 FPS) & it is launching very soon (may be in September, 2012)... That's why I've postponed buying 60D...
    Anyways thanks a lots again...

  62. Dear Mic & Mshafik,
    I'm totally confuse between Canon EOS 60D & Nikon D90...
    Will you please assist me which one is better & why...?
    Thanks in adv... :)

    1. Hi Himadri,

      Before I went with the 550, I considered the Nikon D90 a lot, but decided to go for the newer Canon sensor with more megapixels and similar noise performance, however, everything-else-wise the D90 was in a different league, but compared to the 60D, I see the 60D has the sensor advantage, better video modes, flip-out screen, and a few others.

      Maybe Mic can shed some more light since he owns the D90.

    2. Hi Himadri. If we compare the 60D and D90 feature-for-feature, then in my opinion the 60D has the edge (articulating screen, higher resolution, higher resolution LCD display, 1/8000 max shutter speed vs 1/4000 shutter speed). However, I don't think it's a very meaningful comparison because the 60D is a newer camera (2 years can be a lot in the camera world, as you know) plus the 60D is aimed at a slightly higher end of the market and therefore costs a bit more.

      Instead, my suggestion is to choose based on the differences between the Canon and Nikon system.
      That is a more significant difference in the long run.

      Hope this helps!

      Best regards,

  63. Dear Mic & Mshafik,
    Thanks a lot for your assistance... Mainly your article "Canon vs Nikon" helps me a lots...
    As I told you earlier that I'm a Canonist, I'll go for Canon EOS 60D with Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (non vc) & Canon EF-S 50mm f/1.8 II & Canon EF-S 55-250 f/4-5.6 IS II lenses...
    Anyways thanks again...

  64. Dear Mic & Mshafik,
    1 more question...
    which lenses are necessary for fashion photography?

    1. Hi Himadri. First, a disclaimer: I'm not a fashion photographer. FWIW, my suggestion is to take a look at the work of fashion photographers you like and observe what focal lengths they use. For example, I like Matthew Priestley . His shots are usually indoors in studios, and from what I can tell, the shots were probably taken by a 70-200 or some other telephoto lens.

      Then again, you might like Frank Doorhof's work. He has this to say about lenses: And so on.

      In any case, if fashion photography is your interest, what may be more important than the lens is lighting technique, which you can learn about from our blog and others.

      Best regards,

  65. Amazing article..One of the best I got online..Just wanted to know, If 17-85mm is better lens then 18-135?

  66. Amazing post!
    i'll go with the 60D based on your fritfull comparison ya Handasah..

    proudly one your students

  67. Great review.

    I was searching because I am confused about buying either a T4i or a 60D body. $200 between them.

    As the T4i is not a huge improvement over the T3 I will assume all comments remain.

    1. Sorry for the late reply, but I've been off for some time now, go for the 60D, the ergonomics, the larger viewfinder and the top LCD alone are worth it.

      The significant advantages of the T4i over the T3i, are the 9 cross type focus points, and the touch screen, which is sort of meh in a bulky DSLR in my opinion.

  68. thanks for the review it was great.

    have you reviewed the various zoom lens canon offers?

    1. Nope, I did not, however, I did own the 18-55, the 15-85 (don't think there is an offer for that) and tried the 18-135.

      I say both the 18-55 and the 18-135 are pretty decent, the 18-135 offers a huge range advantage, but it is quite bulky. My favorite of course is the much sharper 15-85 USM.

  69. This is awasome review with your experiance very usefull who is reayally in confuse that what to buy. Gr8 job

  70. You have put in a lot of effort and patient's I really thank you till date have not seen anyone putting in this much of efforts good bless you.

  71. I absolutely hate my 60D and all that it represents in the world of my husbands unfulfilled dreams of having a photographer wife.

    I tried for the first time last week to take some family photos but was horrified that it can't take ten shots in a row using the self timer like our old EOS camera. (which was also WAY too snooty of a camera for my technology averse self)

    Same goes for my long days at home alone with small children. It would be so nice to try to get a good shot (with me in the picture as well) using the self timer....there's just no way that will happen if I have to get up and re-press the shutter button every time I want a shot taken.

    My husband knows nothing about photography and frankly neither do I. I'm mad at him for buying it and foisting the care and use of it to me.

    I just want to be able to set my camera to take ten shots in a row with a one second delay between shots.

    I can't believe this camera doesn't do that.Stupid stupid 60D. (bangs forehead against uncapped camera lens)

    I'll have to fork over another hundred or so to buy some fancy remote just to get my one-button-ten-shots fix.

    I don't want to spend hours and hours pouring over the user manual and teaching myself about shutter speed, aperture, ISO and all that jazz.

    I think I'm going to buy my husband "The Joy of Cooking" for his birthday. If I spend enough money on the book...he'll "make time" to learn how to really cook up some amazing restaurant worthy meals now won't he?


    1. Hi Jessica. I really understand where you're coming from. Who the heck wants to be forced to take photos? I doubt whether someone who has no interest in photography can take good photos, whether he or she is using a 60D, or a $40,000 digital Hasselblad.

      That said, I wonder if your husband would himself be interested in learning photography? A lot of guys do (especially dads) :)

      The good news is that learning the basics is not difficult. It certainly doesn't take hours to learn about exposure. You or your husband can use this short article to learn about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and all that stuff:

      And if you or your husband want to know more, there are literally hundreds of other free articles on the blog.

      Best regards,

    2. Hi Jessica,

      I understand your frustration, my old Canon G11 could do self timer several shots, and I am wondering why use a 60D in the first place for casual shots if you're interested in learning about all the tehcnical bits of photography, I believe you would love a smaller camera that could take excellent photos without fumbling a lot with settings, you have Sony's RX100, Canon's G12 and S110, Nikon's P7700, Panasonic's LX7, Fuji's X10 & XF-1, etc...

      Anyway, I was using a 3rd party remote control to get several shots and intervalometer functions, here is a good one on Amazon for less than 30 dollars, I have the same brand for my Olympus camera.

  72. Thank you so much about this post, it's very useful for me as i am confused bet 550D and 60D
    and i surprised when i discovered that the author is an Egyptian !

    I have a question What do you suggest where to buy 60D in Egypt ? elking shop costs 7600 L.E
    the price does not differs so much in amazon America.

    so is there any difference in the manufacturer ? i mean the one that in Egypt is different degree than from America ?

    1. You're welcome, fortunately the DSLR bodies in Egypt cost the same as thei American counterparts after they've been in the market for a while, so yes, the 60D you buy from the King shop will be the same as the one from Amazon, except that there will not be any warranty from Canon, the shop might offer a local warranty however.

      I would suggest you buy a very well used 60D, since if you decide to sell it anytime you won't lose much.

    2. One other thing,I bought a 60D body for one of my friends for EGP 6000 brand new from the King, but that was before the increase in the USD exchange rate, that's why you might save a lot of money if you buy it used.

    3. mmm I got your point. tyb Do you know someone that want to sell his 60D with 18-135 with reasonable price ?
      2odame 7ad want to sell his 60d body only with 5500 le (shutter 3000) what do u think ?

    4. I would say that's a good price if it's like new, I don't know of any of my friends who want to sell their 60D.

  73. mshafik,

    This by far the best real life review I have ever read.

    I have been using T1i for a few years, and not very satisfied at its low light performance, too much noise with high ISO. I mainly take pictures for my kids on stage performance like flute, violin, dancing etc.

    I wonder if upgrading to 60D will help my situation? I have Canon 15-85, Tamron 28-75 f2.8, Canon 40mm f2.8, and 50 mm f1.8 II (But it seems out of focus most time) and normal kit lens(18-55 and 55-250).



    1. Hello Sam,

      The newer 18MP sensor found in all of the recent Canon cameras (550D - 600D - 650D - 700D - 60D - 7D) has better noise performance than your T1i, so there will be a difference, however you have to try and rent one and see for yourself if the improvement is what you'd imagine.

      One question though, do you shoot JPG or RAW? I find that shooting RAW and processing the images in Lightroom 4, I can reduce the noise a lot.

      You already have a very nice lens collection, what do you use to shoot your kid at stage? If you can change your 50 1.8 with the 85 1.8, it will give you long reach on stage, much more reliable auto-focus, and the aperture will be large enough to negate the need for high ISO.

  74. Hello Mohamed

    I am a new owner of 60D ALLhmd lillah :)
    I just want to ask you what is the basic accessories to start with ?
    someone tell me to buy the uv filter to protect my lens, what do u think ?
    and what about lens hood ?

    and plz tell me the brand for each

    Thanks a lot :)

    1. Hi Nour,

      Sorry for the late reply, I'd say you don't need a UV filter unless you get a high quality (and expensive) one to protect your lens, since they usually decrease the image quality.

      But if you're careful with handling your camera, I believe you don't need one. I have owned more than 20 lenses, and never used one, and never had a scratch on any of my lenses.

      I'd say the best thing is to start learning about lighting, and taking notice of the surrounding light. This will give you the best results. Later you can invest in a prime lens (even a cheap one like the 50 f/1.8) if you don't already have one.

  75. Thanks nice job and very helpful

  76. Hi Mohamed,

    As for a 550D User, is it worth to upgrade to 60D? I have limited funds for 60D body only.
    Thinking of waiting to get better body upgrade or get a new glass.


    1. Hi Kevin, really sorry for the late reply, it was vacation in Egypt and I was away.

      Is the 550D limiting your photography? I know of people still using 40Ds and 500Ds and producing very fine photos. I say keep it until you reach its limits or it dies. I prefer you invest in lenses better, they keep their values, aren't updated every year, and they give you lots of options versus upgrading a camera body.

  77. Hello again,

    Uhmm will 60D help me focus better? I think focusing on 550D is very limiting. I always use the midpoint focus and re-compose. Also hard to focus on low light even on prime lenses.

    here's my sample work.‎

    1. Hello Kevin, I have already seen your work last time on G+ by clicking on your name. Nice work.

      The outer focusing points on the 60D are much better, they are all as good as the center point on the 60D and certainly better than the 550D. So if you use them much (the outer points), by all means, the 60D (and the 70D) will be a significant upgrade.

  78. In 2011 I bought my 550D it really served me a lot more than I expected. All the pics here on my blog ( so far is taken using 550D. From today if I am posting any pics it's gonna be from 60D. Yes after 2 years your post is still helping to buy a better one.

    Thanks a ton!

  79. Great review and very helpful

    I have been using T12 550D for a few years, and I am very satisfied , even when taking pictures of birds in motion photography.

    Lately I sometimes get an error message so I think about buying a new camera. The 60D camera not decrease image quality of the 550d as the 600d dose and despite the high price of the 60D it is the most suitable alternative to the 550 camera which
    I enjoyed very much useing it.

    בטל עריכות


Thanks for your comment. It will be published as soon as we get a chance to review it, sorry for that, but we get lots of spam with malicious links.