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HolidayBuyer's Guide


Noise, ISO 1600

Noise, ISO 3200, 60D vs. Nikon D7000

Noise, ISO 6400

Noise ISO 6400, raw vs. JPEG

Tonal range

Exposure and metering


Fringing, 18-135mm kit lens

Distortion, 18-135mm kit lens

The EOS 60D delivers relatively clean JPEGs up through ISO 800. You can spot some noise in shadows at that level that isn't there in ISO 400 images, but there's little detail degradation.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
ISO 1600 is about as high as I'd shoot JPEG with the 60D. You can see some color noise at this point, but it looks pretty typical.

(1/40 sec, f3.2, ISO 1600, AWB, spot metering, 16-35mm lens at 31mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
These come from raw files, opened with Adobe Camera Raw, with the noise reduction completely removed. (I'm not quite sure whether that means no NR has taken place, however.) What's striking is how similar the noise looks; most of the difference in appearance I attribute to the Nikon's superior automatic white balance.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Starting at ISO 3200, hot pixels start to appear as part of the 60D's noise, and they become a serious issue by ISO 6400. You can process them away if you shoot raw.

(1/60 sec, f4, AWB, spot metering, ISO 6400, 16-35mm lens at 35mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
While processing the raw files will give you clearer high-ISO-sensitivity images, it seems to come at the expense of shadow detail.

(1/60 sec, f5, AWB, spot metering, 18-135mm at 50mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Canon's 14-bit processing pipeline tends to deliver nice tonal range results, and the 60D seems to preserve detail in shadows and highlights pretty well.

(1/100 sec, f3.5, ISO 100, partial metering, AWB, 15-85mm lens at 15mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The exposure and metering in the 60D are excellent. This was shot in extremely low light with only the Speedlite 580EX for illumination. Black cats are very hard to expose properly even under optimal conditions. I adjusted the white balance on this shot, because I accidentally shot it with the wrong custom setting.

(1/100 sec, f2.8, spot metering, flash WB, 24-70mm lens at 34mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
As with its other dSLRs, Canon doesn't reveal the baseline settings for the neutral and faithful color styles, so it's kind of difficult to tweak them with confidence. Because the colors looked so flat (and not particularly accurate) with those settings, I ended up doing what I hate--using the Landscape setting. It produced these very pleasing, saturated colors. But the true colors lie somewhere between the neutral and landscape options.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
This was pretty disappointing.

(1/60 sec, f3.5, ISO 100, spot metering, AWB, 18-135mm lens at 18mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Given the amount of distortion this lens shows at its widest, the fringing apparent in the previous slide is unsurprising.

(1/60 sec, f7.1, ISO 100, spot metering, AWB, 18-135mm lens at 18mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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