This is not a professional review of the Canon EOS 60D.You can do a lot better than me if you're a professional and looking for which camera to purchase. My goal in writing this review is to give advice to those people who need to decide if they're going to spend nearly double the cost of a Rebel body just to have a 60D. It's also for those of you who realize that your point and shoot camera should just be shot, and you're trying to decide which DSLR  makes sense, especially if you have that old Canon lens hanging around in the closet. 

The answer to most of your questions about the Canon 60D would be "yes." Yes, it's good. Yes, it's better than the Rebel. Yes, it's worth the money. I'd probably say the same thing about the higher-end cameras compared to the 60D, but this is the semi-affordable camera that will impress your friends more than buying fancier versions of most other items.

 

Background

Do you know why your pictures are so bad with the point and shoot cameras, cell phones, smart phones, pads, and everything else that focuses on the LCD screen? Well, it's basically the LCD screen. Everyone's either one-handing the whole process or just holding the camera in the worst possible place out in front of their bodies. Your photos are out of focus all the time because no camera is designed to be jiggled around, even if it has image stabilization. You're kidding yourself if you think that these tiny camera with tiny lenses and sensors can handle you standing there with a beer in one hand and it in the other hand, taking a perfect low-light picture of your friends.

I don't know a whole lot about the mid-range compact cameras: the ones that are supposed to be almost as good as SLRs while being almost as small as point and shoot. I was never too interested in them until I took over as the newspaper adviser at school, so if we order one, then I can say more about them.

 

Canon SLRs

I know there's a debate out there that claims the other big players make just as good or better SLR cameras. Buy one if you like. I had a few lenses from my Canons and I felt that I took fairly good pictures with them, so I never considered the other brands much. If you're like me, and you feel bound to Canon because of past investment, I feel for you. It would suck to have to buy a certain kind of car just because the wheels you bought only fit that brand. However, since I've generally been happy and have never really tried the other cameras, I guess I'm satisfied in my own blissful ignorance. 

My first SLR was a Canon Rebel S. I was in college, and it honestly took some of the best college party pictures anywhere, since most of my friends were using disposable cameras or even 110s. When I really splurged and got myself a Canon Elan IIe, I was in camera heaven. It focused where I looked and took postcard-quality pics for me in Europe. But it had that pesky film.

I went digital with the digital Rebel. Cheaper feeling than the Elan, but convenient because of the number of pics you could take. If you are "upgrading" from a good mid-range SLR, do not pick the Rebel. My wife thought it was great, but it was always too small and too cheap-feeling for me. I knew almost right away that I would be looking to upgrade to the next level as soon as I could.

I heard stories about full HD video in SLRs. I knew that would be my point of no return. I would have to have it: one perfect camera that felt solid, took in-focus photos, had all the settings I'd ever need, and even could film HD-quality videos of the family.

The 60D is not perfect. Auto focus in video mode is kind of "why bother" and controls are a bit confusing, especially when you can customize them and then forget how you did it. The mic is crap. Built in flash is like other SLRs. But all of that stuff still doesn't bring you down when you look around at all the people wasting clicks on bad photos all around you, knowing that you'll get that shot that says something on its own, while they will have to explain to everyone what they were trying to capture.

You can upgrade the flash, the mic, the lens, the battery, and even the firmware (wait until it's out of warranty), and you'll have the best photos on the block. Mainly, you just have to ask yourself if you're willing to go back to the days when you lugged the big camera with you and got heirloom-quality photos. Sometimes I just want to have the memories without the hassle, and that's when I take my wife's camera. When I want to take pictures that really matter, however (and can't afford professional), the Canon EOS 60D is the one. 

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