Canon’s beefy new DSLR aims to provide beginners with the creative choice and power previously reserved for more advanced models.
Packing similar hardware to the professional EOS 7D, Canon’s entry-level EOS 600D features an 18MP sensor, a DiG!C 4 processor, an expanded ISO range of 100-12,800 and Full HD shooting.
As a new design feature for an entry-level EOS, the camera also features a twisty three-inch ClearView LCD screen with a resolution of 1.04 million dots.
Newcomers looking to experiment creatively can do so easily with features like Scene Intelligent Auto and built-in filters including fish eye, soft focus, miniature, grainy black and white and toy camera.
An iFCL metering system, also borrowed from the 7D, offers a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor to help with correct exposure in difficult conditions.
As video capabilities go the 600D can shoot in 1080P at 30fps and in 780p at 60fps.
A Video Snapshot feature allows users to set record times of two, four or eight seconds and experiment with editing tiny scenes into short films.
The camera also features the DSLR debut of Canon’s Movie Digital Zoom, an advance on the Movie Crop function that is said to crop the sensor up to 10x while retaining Full HD quality.
The Canon EOS 600D is available now at a recommended retail price of $1499.
For a while now, I’ve had a feeling that the megapixel (MP) counts of digital cameras were headed straight down. I assumed that manufacturers would see sense and offer lower resolution sensors with better high-ISO performance, instead of pushing for more pixels. That’s proved to be the case to some degree in the compact sector where the best sensors are now in the 10MP range. However, the fine line between pixel density and noise control is proving far easier to manage in the bigger sensors found in dSLRs, so we’re seeing more pixels than ever.
Here’s the proof: Canon’s 18MP EOS 60D is the latest highly competitive dSLR release from the company, replacing the popular 50D. It’s placed between the semi-professional’s 7D and the budding amateur’s 550D, so it’s at a tough spot in the range; it has to be special enough to lord it over the 550D but not so good as to see off the 7D in a showdown.
The 60D isn’t just a lightly refreshed 50D. In addition to the new sensor, it’s marginally smaller than its predecessor but it’s also lighter, thanks in part to the body now being plastic rather than magnesium alloy. For 50D owners looking to upgrade this may be a stumbling block but the 60D is a solidly built and sturdy camera. The surfaces feel nice to the touch; no bargain basement plastics can be found here. The grip is comfortable, although someone with big hands may find their little finger falling off the bottom, which isn’t fun with a heavy lens mounted.
As befits an enthusiast’s dSLR the 60D has Canon’s twin control system, with top- and rear-mounted rotary dials. While the 50D and 60D look much alike on top, the 60D’s rear layout has been substantially altered, with a four-way controller and centre button replacing the joystick. The buttons have also been shifted to the right to make room for the new 3-inch articulated LCD.
While the new control layout makes sense, there are a couple of problems. First, the four-way controller is awkwardly squashed between the centre button and the rear rotary dial. Then there’s the inconvenient location of the on/off switch, which has mysteriously migrated to the top left-hand side of the camera, when it should ideally be accessible by either the thumb or index finger of the right hand. Another ergonomic glitch is the diopter adjustment dial ” it’s exposed and rotates far too easily, which can inadvertently lead to an out-of-focus viewfinder.
Canon has announced the development of a plug-in that will allow EOS MOVIE footage shot on EOS DSLRs to be edited more quickly and easily in Apple’s Final Cut Pro editing package.
Canon has revealed that a free Beta release of the plug-in will be available to download for testing and evaluation in March 2010.
What’s known as ˜EOS MOVIE Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro’ is being developed to provide an even smoother workflow for EOS MOVIE users who edit using the Final Cut Pro software suite. The plug-in will enable the ˜log and transfer’ of video footage from the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D and EOS-1D Mark IV DSLRs — all of which offer full 1080p High Definition video recording.
The plug-in will convert EOS MOVIE footage to Apple’s high quality ProRes 4:2:2 codec at approximately twice the speed of Apple’s standard conversion. Additionally, users will also be able to add timecode, reel names and metadata to footage quickly and easily — further enhancing the experience of EOS MOVIE users when editing their footage.
There’s a new entry-level dSLR on the block, with Canon recently unveiling the EOS 550D.
While it’s designed with first-time SLR users in mind, the new camera offers some pretty advanced features, some of them nicked from the recent sports model, the 7D.
Featuring an enormous 18 megapixel sensor and ISO sensitivity up to 12,800, the 550D also delivers full 1080p HD movie recording at 30, 25 and 24fps. Additionally, 720p video can be shot at 60 and 50fps. The ability to edit video via ˜Movie Crop’ in camera is a new addition to the 550D, a first in a Canon camera, allowing videographers to crop a scene up to 7x in magnification.
The 63-point iFCL metering system from the 7D has been used in this new model, along with a nine-point AF system. Using the DiG!C 4 image processor at its core, the 550D also manages 3.7fps continuous shooting.
While there’s plenty of high-end functionality, the 550D still caters for the beginner, integrating a range of features found on compact cameras, including face detection, Live View, intuitive metering and image correction tools.
The camera’s layout has also been overhauled, with slight design modifications intended to aid ease of use.
While no local pricing has been announced as yet, the 550D will be made available either as a body only or with a range of lenses from March 2010.