Canon’s EOS 600D combines the ease-of-use of the company’s entry-level EOS 1100D, but adds to it a host of features that will take you way beyond the beginner level.

It’s a full-sized DSLR camera with shooting modes that range from the fully-automatic to the utterly manual while allowing you to move smoothly from one to the other as your abilities improve.

Whether you’re taking or shooting full HD video, the EOS 600D delivers top-notch quality and maximum flexibility. It comes with a 3in fold-out articulated LCD screen that enables shooting from any angle and, being a proper DSLR, comes with an optical viewfinder in this case providing a 95 percent field of view.

Canon EOS 600D

Being one of two DSLRs in this round-up, the EOS 600D is closest to Nikon’s D5100 in both specification and operation. It’s easy to differentiate these cameras from the mirrorless models, but when compared against each other, the differences become much more subtle. We preferred the Canon’s more advanced video options - including manual exposure control and a useful digital zoom, but found switching between stills and video to be more cumbersome than on the Nikon camera.

However, this is an exception to the rule: In general we found the EOS 600D more convenient for advanced users thanks to it having more and slightly bigger control buttons which allow functions like the ISO setting to be changed without resorting to the menus.

Both offer superb image quality but when it comes to high ISO performance, we feel the Canon loses out slightly to the Nikon model. In the Kits we reviewed, Canon’s 18-55m lens lacked the silent ultrasonic motor of Nikon’s version, although lens choice is of course up to you.

With continuous shooting at a maximum of 3.7 fps, the EOS 600D can’t quite keep up with much of the competition. It’s also limited to bursts of 34 JPEGS or 6 RAW images before it has to pause for breath. This is quite adequate for most of us, but if sports or action photography is your thing then you may wish for a bit more speed.

See full review from 16/3/11 on next page >>

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