Canon EOS D60 SLR Review

Steve's Digicams

Canon EOS D60

Camera Features & Controls

The D60 uses a Canon EF lens mount (full electronic control type) and accepts the over 40 available Canon EF lenses from 14mm ultra-wide-angle to 1200mm super-telephoto.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) Canon USA

Because the D60's sensor imaging area is smaller than that of 35mm film you must multiply the focal length by 1.6x. This does make going ultra-wide an expensive and often impossible challenge but it does yield dramatic telephoto focal lengths with no reduction of maximum aperture. The 75-300mm zoom becomes a 120-480mm lens!

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

Going from autofocus (AF) to manual focus (MF) is accomplished by flipping a switch on the lens itself. The lens shown here is the Canon EF 28-135 IS zoom, it has an optical image stablization system so there is also a switch to enable or disable the stabilizer. The D60's AF system is able to work down to 0.5EV which is three times more sensitive than the D30 which could only operate down to 2.0EV.

The lens release is the large, black button in the center of the mount. Below that is the depth of field preview button which closes the lens down to its working aperture.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM and Canon EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM.   Photo (c) 2001 Fred Miranda.

Fred Miranda just posted an excellent comparison review of the new Canon EF 16-35mm zoom vs the EF 17-35mm zoom. Read about it HERE.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

Images are stored on size CompactFlash Type I or II flash cards. The D60 is fully compatible with IBM Microdrives, the newer 1GB drive is recommended over the early 340MB drives that were known to have some problems.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

The D60's builtin E-TTL autoflash provides flash illumination and exposure control even under complex lighting conditions. This lets you take natural-looking pictures with the ideal flash setting for backlit scenes, sunsets, or interior shots.

It includes a flash exposure compensation function (adjustment plus/minus 2 stops in 1/2-stop or 1/3-stop increments), as well as a flash exposure (FE) lock function that provides the proper lighting for the part of the subject you choose, and the 1st curtain/2nd curtain sync-switching function for capturing moving subjects.

When shooting in the AUTO mode or the Easy Shooting modes (except landscape or sports), the builtin flash will automatically pop up and fire in low-light or backlit conditions. In other recording modes you just pop it up when needed.

The working range of the flash at ISO 100 is 3.3 - 11.2 ft at 24mm and 3.3 - 8.5 ft at 85mm (using EF 24-85mm F3.5 USM lens.) Flash sync speed is 1/200 to 1/60 in "P" mode, in "Tv" mode use speeds slower than 1/200, in "Av" mode it is automatically set at 1/200 to 30sec and in "M" mode set to speeds slower than 1/200.

Canon EOS D60 with Canon 550EX speedlight, image (c) 2002 Steve's DigicamsCanon EOS D60 with Canon 550EX speedlight, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

If you need more flash power the EOS D60 functions in full E-TTL with the Canon Speedlite 550EX (shown above) or the 220EX, 380EX or 420EX. The D60 also has a standard PC flash sync port to connect it to a wide range of external flashes.

The D60 features an AF assist lamp that also serves as a redeye reduction lamp and self-timer indicator. When used with the 420EX or 550EX, its more powerful AF assist lamp is utilized. The D60 also controls the flash's zoom head to match the focal length of the lens. The Custom Function menu allows you to select which AF assist lamp to use and whether or not the flash will fire if using the external flash's emitter.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

The eyelevel viewfinder shows approx 95% of the captured image. There is a diopter adjustment for those of us with less than perfect eyesight. Around the viewfinder is a soft rubber eyecup that fits comfortably against your your face or eyeglasses.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

Inside the viewfinder is a partial metering circle (spot) and three focusing points (left, center, right). Along the bottom is an illuminated digital display showing AE lock / FE lock, flash ready, shutter speed, aperture, focusing point indicators, exposure level and in-focus indicator.

New on the D60 - the three focus points are now illuminated when active so the photographer no longer has to look at the tiny icons near the bottom of the viewfinder to know which AF zone has been selected.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

Also new, the top data LCD is now illuminated - thank you! - and uses the left side to indicate the white balance setting. Across the top is shutter speed and aperture setting and the number of shots remaining. Here it is also showing the image size and quality, drive mode, focus mode, metering mode, exposure compensation, beep tone and the battery level.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

Depending on the mode it can also display the ISO value, custom function enabled, redeye flash mode, auto exposure bracketing, self-timer countdown, bulb exposure time, manual focus, warnings for low backup battery, CF full or error, data processing or error code numbers.

The settings for the digital portion of the D60 are displayed and changed on the color LCD, more on that on page 3.

The camera control buttons are:

Change metering mode (evaluative, partial, center-weighted averaging) by rotating the main dial.

Change flash exposure compensation value (-2 to +2) by rotating the quick select dial.

Change drive mode (single, continuous, self-timer) by rotating the main dial
Continuous Drive Mode
Size/Quality Images / sec. Max Burst
One Shot AI Servo One Shot AI Servo
Large/Fine 3 2.5 8

Select the AF mode (One shot or AI Servo) by pressing and then rotating the main dial.

White balance is set to Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Flourescent, Flash or Custom by rotating the quick select dial.

Lock the exposure on a desired area and then re-compose the shot.
Chose focusing point (left, center, right) by rotating the main dial.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

The Mode Dial is divided into the Easy Shooting Zone

  • AUTO - Fully automatic "point and shoot" mode
  • Portrait - blurs background
  • Landscape - sweeping scenery, sunsets
  • Close-up - closeup shots of small things
  • Sports - capturing fast-moving subjects
  • Night Scene - slow shutter plus fill flash
and the Creative Zone
  • Program AE - camera selects best combination of shutter speed and aperture but the user may "shift" to other combinations. The user may select options such as drive mode, metering mode, focus point and more that are not available in the AUTO mode.
  • Shutter speed priority - you select shutter speed, camera matches appropriate aperture
  • Aperture priority - you select aperture, camera matches appropriate shutter speed
  • Manual - you select both shutter speed and aperture
  • A-DEP - camera selects shutter speed and aperture for maximum depth of field as calculated between the near and far focus points.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's DigicamsCanon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

On the left side is the USB data port, Video Output (NTSC or PAL), on the bottom is a connector for the RS-80N3 remote switch, TC-80N3 timer remote or LC-4 wireless controller. And a standard PC flash sync port.

The D60 has a one-piece, rubber cover over the I/O ports unlike the D30 that had one large door flap and two small (and easy to lose), round covers for the bottom ports.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

The D60 is powered by a BP-511 lithium rechargeable pack that's good for ~620 pictures if not using flash or ~491 pictures if the flash is used 50% of the time. Battery life on the D30/D60 is the best of all the digital SLRs thanks to its low-power CMOS imager and power-saving modes. The color LCD is the biggest power consumer but it doesn't get used all that much with this being an SLR.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

The optional BG-ED3 battery grip holds two BP-511 batteries and adds a portrait grip with a vertical shutter release complete with an AE-Lock button, Focusing selector button and Main Dial. It automatically switches over to the second battery when the first one is exhausted.

The BG-ED3 isn't really an "option" if you use big zooms or telephoto lenses, it gives your left hand a lot more to hold on to. If you buy a D30 or D60 just figure on buying one of these too.

Canon EOS D60, image (c) 2002 Steve's Digicams

The included CA-PS400 combination charger and AC power supply handles two BP-511 battery packs and charges them one at a time. It can also directly power the camera with the supplied DC coupler.

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