The Canon EOS 60D digital SLR camera is fast, performs well in the dark, takes crisp and vibrant pictures, and it offers plenty of physical improvements over the Canon EOS 50D.

The Canon EOS 60D sits between the EOS 50D and the EOS 7D in Canon's mid-range digital SLR offerings, and it's a mighty beast to shoot with. It's fast, it has a vari-angle LCD screen, it can shoot high-definition video, and it has useful built-in image processing. If you're looking to upgrade from an entry-level digital SLR, or even if you're a current 50D user and don't want to move to a full-frame camera, you will definitely be pleased with the 60D; it's even a great, albeit less powerful, alternative to the 7D.

Canon EOS 60D: Specs and image quality

The Canon EOS 60D has the same APS-C sized, 18-megapixel sensor as the EOS 7D and despite not having dual DiG!4 processors like the 7D (the 60D only has one processor), it's still a very fast camera to shoot with. It's rated as being capable of shooting 5.3 frames per second in high-quality JPEG mode (the 7D can do 8fps), but we actually achieved a slightly higher rate of 5.5fps in our burst mode tests. Not only that, but we were able to shoot more than 100 frames in a row before the camera's buffer filled and the rate slowed down. That's pretty good going and it means you'll be able to use this camera for action photography. It's worth noting that the 60D uses one SD card to store images, whereas the 50D uses a CompactFlash slot. We used a Class 4 SD card for our tests.

With its fast burst mode performance, you can use the EOS 60D to capture exploding raindrops, for example. Of course, it's also useful for capturing your pets or kids playing in the park.

But not only is the 60D fast, it also possesses an excellent high ISO capability. You could easily shoot at ISO 6400 without noticing much discolouration and noise in your photos, even if you crop them. This is very handy if you don't have a lens with a very wide aperture for night-time shooting; for our tests, we used Canon's EFS 15-85mm macro lens, which has a maximum wide aperture of f/3.5 and built-in stabilisation.

You can get amazing results in low-light situations when using the camera's highest ISO speed of 6400.

At 100 per cent, the photo's quality is still very high and it is not ruined by discolouration or excessive noise.

One of the talking points of the EOS 60D is its in-built camera processing. It allows you to process RAW files in the camera, which is handy if you don't have access to a computer that can readily process them, and it also has built-in art filters. You can apply one of four art filters to already-taken photos and keep the original photos. These filters include: grainy black and white, soft focus, toy camera effect, and miniature effect.

Using the toy camera effect's cool setting, you can give your photos a cinema-like quality.

The miniature effect can be used to make objects appear small and toy-like. See how this effect compares to the same effect on the Ricoh CX4 compact camera.

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