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Canon EOS 60D (photos)

The EOS 60D's user interface is a combination of traditional Canon UI and frustrating revisions.

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Lori Grunin
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1 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Body

Like its predecessors, the EOS 60D's body is solidly built and comfortable to grip. It lacks the comprehensive dust-and-weather sealing of the Nikon D7000 or even the Pentax K-7, though.
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2 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Top controls

As per its tradition, Canon puts the metering, ISO sensitivity, drive mode, and AF mode (One Shot, AI Servo, and AI Focus) buttons on the top of the camera. They feel a bit too flat and without enough travel for you to be able to tell if a button was actually pressed, especially in the winter cold when your fingers are a little numb.
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3 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Mode dial

One of the biggest design changes Canon's made to the body of this series is the locking mode dial: you press the button in the center to turn it. Unfortunately, I find the method relatively awkward compared with Nikon's approach (although, to be honest, I've never had problems with unlocked mode dials as some other people have).

And the use of a movie mode--as opposed to having a dedicated button or switch--is just plain annoying. Especially since it's on the exact other end of the dial from the other modes you're likely to be using. It wouldn't be quite so onerous if the dial rotated 360 degrees. But it doesn't.

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4 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Connectors

Like most of its class, the 60D offers a stereo microphone input as well as Mini-HDMI, composite out, and wired remote connectors.
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5 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Back controls

Canon significantly redesigned the back controls of the 60D compared with the 50D. The joystick is gone, replaced by a Multi Controller navigation switch inside the Quick Control dial, and the Menu, Info, review, and Quick Control (formerly Func) buttons have been moved to the right side in order to make room for the large, articulated LCD.

I'm fine with the feel and location of these controls, with the exception of Unlock. Canon replaced the switch with a button that serves as a temporary override, which means you either have to press it every time you want to adjust exposure compensation or aperture (the latter in all but aperture-priority mode) or leave it disabled altogether.

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6 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

More back controls

The location of the Live View/video record button is very good--it falls very close to right under your thumb, much better than where it was on the 50D (the left side).
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7 of 8 Screen capture by Sarah Tew/CNET

Changes to Creative Auto

Canon's version of an easy mode, Creative Auto, now operates via what it calls "ambience selection"--Standard, Vivid, Soft, Warm, Intense, Cool, Brighter, Darker, and Monochrome--for which you can set it to one of three levels. I'm still not a big fan of CA, especially in this class of camera.
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8 of 8 Screen capture by Sarah Tew/CNET

Movie capture interface

You can see all the options available during video capture, including Picture Style, highlight-tone priority (the D+), and audio levels. The screen is black because the lens cap is on.

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