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Canon 60D Vs 7D

Browsing some websites and forums this morning I noticed a lot of discussion about the new Canon 60D and how it compares with the 7D.  I can understand this, at first glance it might seem like the 60D has made the 7D somewhat obsolete but that really is not the case.  A closer look at the specs reveals a camera that more carefully fits into the “advanced amateur” category than previous XXD line cameras because of course the 7D did not exist when the 50D was released.  The camera that is best for you will depend partly on your budget (there is a $400 price difference) but also partly on your intended shooting medium.  Video or photos ?  This question is a new one that has to be considered with all of today’s cameras, as if we needed more right?!  Many potential buyers will want to shoot both but I would wager most have a preference for one or the other.  There is also the consideration that these days there are plenty of film makers who are looking to add HDSLRs to their shooting and often they do not care for the photo features. UPDATE: B&H has the 60D in stock right now while they last!!

First off lets take a look at how the main features compare:

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1. The obvious physical difference is the articulated screen on the 60D and for video shooters this is nice addition.  For photos though I personally can’t see it being better than holding your eye up to the viewfinder which would give you far more stability in your shot.  But one thing to consider if you want the 60D for video shooting is that all of the latest LCD viewfinders for DSLRs have been designed to have the finder attached to a mounting on the bottom of the camera.  This means that they will NOT work with the 60D if you intend to swivel the screen AND look at the screen through the viewfinder.  Take a look at the Zacuto Z-Finder for example and you can see what I mean.  That’s not to say that this problems wont get fixed, but for now it might be a consideration becuase using a viewfinder makes it far easier to focus, articulating screen or not.  Of course you could just close the screen and be fine, but if the articulating screen was a deciding factor in your decision then there isn’t much point in that.

2. The next thing to consider is that the 7D has dual DIGIC 4 processors.  The processor is the brains of the camera and having 2 of them dramatically speeds up the pace at which the camera can shoot, and write images to the memory card.  This is the main reason that we see a shooting speed of 8FPS on the 7d and only 5.3FPS on the 60D.  Its also responsible for the much higher JPEG buffer on the 7d.  Having  dual DIGIC 4 also leaves power left over to handle image processing and control noise reduction in high ISO images, the result of which will be better low light performance in the 7D images even though they are using the same APS-C 18MP sensor.  So speed and ISO performance are the next things to consider, do you want to shoot sports ?  Do yo want to shoot indoors a lot, or at night ? If you answered yes to either of those, and pure image quality is a priority then the 7D would be my choice.  In my experience the difference between 5.3 and 8FPS in shooting speed feels like even more than a 2.7FPS difference.

3. Autofocus sensors also differ greatly between these cameras so again this one is going to be important to consider if you want to shoot faster moving subjects like sports, or wildlife that might be running/flying.  The 60D features 9 AF points and the 7D features 19 AF points.  On top of this the “brains” of the 7Ds AF sensor are far more advanced and include more specific focus modes like zone and spot AF focusing.  The 7Ds AF system is far more “intelligent”  whereas the 60D really maintains the same system from the fairly dated 50D.

4. Audio controls differ between the cameras and this is an area where things are a bit backwards.  The 7D lacks the manual audio control that was introduced to the 5dMKII at the beginning of the year, but interestingly the 60D has been given these manual controls.  If you plan on shooting audio on board the camera then this can make a considerable difference to the sound quality.  To me this seems odd.  Every other feature apart from the articulating screen, has been designed to put the 60D firmly in the middle between the T2I and the 7D.  This suggests to me that there might be a firmware update coming in the future for the 7D…..maybe.

5. Lens micro adjust is a feature that allows you to tailor the autofocus system to each and every lens in your arsenal.  Not all lenses are made equally and many will front or back focus very slightly. For the most part it is not noticeable to anyone but the pixel peepers, but if pure image quality is your main concern then I find it very useful.  I calibrate all my lenses with micro adjust and on some it has made a huge difference.  The 60D does not have this feature but the 7D does.

6. The 7D has a 100% coverage viewfinder.  This means that what you see through the viewfinder is what you get in your image.  The 60D only displays 96% of the image and that can make a difference when you are making an image with very specific composition. Having used 100% viewfinders in my 5dMKII and 1 series cameras I know there is no way I could go back to using anything else.  But if video is you main reason for buying one of these cameras then its not a problem because both screens display 100% of the image so liveview shooting is not affected.

7. Durability, weather proofing and body construction are the final main differentiation for me.  There are other minor details you can see in the table above but the construction differences between the 2 are what I would consider to be the final main point for consideration.  The 7D features a weather sealed magnesium body (shown in the diagram on the right) and the 60D is made entirely of polycarbonate plastic.  Granted, the polycarbonates that Canon are using these days are incredibly strong, not your average plastic, but a magnesium body is still going to withstand more extreme uses.  What is interesting is that the 60D predecessor the 50D did have a magnesium alloy body.  This to me is a clear indication of how Canon wanted to widen the gap between the 7D and the T2i.


Which one to buy then?  Purely my opinions here but I would say that if you are looking at either of these purely for shooting video then the manual audio and flip out screen gives the 60D the edge with 2 caveats. Firstly you have to be planning on not shooting the videos in extreme low light and secondly not shooting in inclement weather conditions.  If either of those two things are likely then the 7D takes the lead again.  If you are looking at either camera just for shooting photos then the 7D is the hands down winner.  Faster, better low light, better AF and 100% viewfinder.  I think the $400 difference in price is justified in that respect.  Now for the tricky part, you want to shoot both stills and video in equal amounts…..  this will come down to your preferred subject matter.  If you shoot wildlife and sports then the 7D will give your photos the edge.  If its just landscape photos where AF speed is not a factor then I think you will find the 60D a very competent camera.

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The 7D can be purchased from B&H Photo here.  And also from Amazon here.

The 60D can be purchased from B&H Here and from Amazon here.

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  • AM

    Thanks Dan!

  • Till Lux

    thank you so much!!! been putting off upgading from 40d 5d then 7d then waiting for 60d
    you helped me decide with true confidence!!! 7D is the Choice

  • Tyler Ingram

    Awesome comparison Dan!

    So who is the 60D marketed for? There are some fairly similar features of the two cameras.

    I am curious as to why they went with a SD slot for the 60D. Doesn’t the 50D, 40D etc all use CF cards like the 7D does?

    I’m still waiting for a firmware update that allows low-level format for my 7D memory cards.

  • Dan Carr

    60d is more firmly targeted at the advanced amateur market as I said. They used to catch some pros with the 40d, 50d etc but now they want those guys to get the 7d instead. SD card is there because they are trying to catch the people moving up from smaller cameras and all the smaller cameras have SD cards. Also SD is cheaper=better for non pros. CF is seen as more professional therefore aspirational feature for the 7d.

  • Tim Grey

    Dan, I’ve been following your posts about this closely and appreciate it. Since I mostly shoot video, and since I believe that audio is very important (and cause it’s cheaper) I think the 60D is for me.

    I have a couple of questions:
    1. Does it shoot both video and stills at the same time? How quickly can you shoot modes? There’s so many times I’ve wished for a still of my vid shots. A lot of the vid cams seem to be able to multitask like this now: even if the quality isn’t amazing, it’s handy for web publishing.

    2. I’m curious about uploading time. I bought a lower end Sony handheld this spring that is all digital but I am really disappointed how long it takes to upload the shots. It’s almost the equivalent of real time. Any comments on how much slower the 60D will be to upload than the 7D? Would a card reader circumvent this issue?



  • Dan Carr

    Hey Tim, good questions.

    1. you have 2 options here really, you can press shutter button during filming and it will momentarily pause video recording to take a photo. You will get a full 18mp image , but there will be a gap in the video of about 2 seconds. Alternatively you can pull a still image from the video which would measure 1920x1080pixels so for web its pretty good. They thing here is to shoot with a shutter speed that is a bit higher than normal so that when you pull the frame, it is not too blurry. Most video camera shoot with a much slower shutter speed than a stills camera, when the frames are played together it looks nice and smooth ,but an individual frame is quite blurry if the subject is moving. On the 60D (and other canon cameras) you can select a higher shutter speed so it can look ok. Though still not as good as a full quality still would be. That said there are some disadvantages to high shutter speed video which can be googled. You end up sometimes with the so-called “saving private ryan look”

    2.I’m guessing you are plugging the camera straight into the computer then ? This is a VERY slow way to do things. A card reader will speed up the process many times over. I never use anything but a card reader. Even a cheap one will make an enormous difference. And if you get a UDMA reaader and a UDMA card then it will make even more difference.

  • James

    I’m going to have to say, the large amount of bashing the 60D for not having autofocus and thus being a turnoff is a bit ridiculous imo. If you know your camera and your lenses, you should be able to focus 10x faster than an auto focus and just as accurately, without having the potential for it to jump out of focus. I think its crazy for professionals to rely on an automatic feature, I’ve shot sports manually focusing and have never had a problem. The only time I could possibly see it being used would be as an official photographer field-side at a football game, but the system would have to work a lot faster before I would consider it.

    Just my thoughts anyways.

  • James

    edit* a superior autofocus in the first line. whoops 😛

  • Dan Carr

    i assume you are talking about lack of autofocus for video use James ? If so its worth people considering the various types of autofocus and how they differ when using liveview and when shooting still images. AF for still shooting is remarkably fast these days and I doubt anyone can match the speed of the camera.

    Contrast detect AF for liveiew though is pretty slow still. And so far requires the lens to be wide open to perform it.

  • Chris

    Hi Dan, super job with your comparison article. You have made things very clear to me.

  • Mitch

    Very helpful comparison. I shoot primarily sports and definitely need the 7D but now I’m wondering…will the 7D be on an 18 month upgrade schedule like the XXDs? If so, I’d like to hold out for an 8D. Since there is no pattern to the 7D line, I’m not sure what to expect. Any thoughts on this?

  • Dan Carr

    i think with sales of the 7d still so high, once the 1ds4 is out they will be turning attention to the 5dmkIII before they get to the 7DMKII. Purely speculation of course, but 5d would make more sense to deal with first. And also their video based camera which im sure must be in the pipeline.

  • bob dodd

    Having shot a feature length film on a 5Dmk2 and using an external monitor, I welcome an articulating screen on all the Canon Line. Also having to deal with the poor live view functions of the HDMI out is a major pain.

    Since most everything on the audio side of production and most professional video cameras have moved to SD cards, I welcome the pro line HDDSLR of cameras to move to towards that direction.

    I never use auto focus…the human eye is where I do my point of focus, consider the depth of field the prime lenses that I’ve shot on. I don’t trust the autofocus to get me the results I want.

    The only negative I see is not having a full sized sensor. But then a lot of cool work is happening with the crop sensors and they have a place. I would pick the 60D over the 7D just over the articulating screen and the video added features of audio control. Of course if Canon would update the firmware to have those features I might just stick with the 7D and external monitor. After all, I take all the production still from the same camera used to shoot the video…it is nice having that pro level duality in a camera.

  • Dan Carr

    Great insight Bob thanks! Yes I think for video the screen is great, until they put out a camera that had solid HD-SDI connectors for external monitors. At that point I think external will be the way to go. Thanks for posting.

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  • Aputure

    Great comparison of the two models. But I wonder why you think the 7D has a low-light advantage over the 60D? It seems both will have similar noise performance with the 81MP sensor. Unless of course you are just talking about the 7D’s ability to focus better in low light…

  • Dan Carr

    The dual digic 4 processors will give the 7d images an edge in noise reduction.

  • B S Kumar

    Thank you, one and all for the information and sharing. I am at a point where I need to buy one of these cameras, and this information is invaluable. This is for video, and I am already seeing an overusage of the extreme shallow depth of field of the “full frame” cameras. So none of that full frame dreamy stuff for me. It is a tragedy that many people imagine that the full frame is closer to 35mm movie cameras in depth of field. Truth is, full frame is closer to 35mm stills depth of frame and is way more exaggerated in its shallowness than 35mm movie depth of field, which is better replicated by the APS-C sensors on these two cameras being discussed here. The 60D wins out on something as flippant (pun intended) as the screen, I am afraid!

  • Dan Carr

    Good point made. All the big cine lenses wont even work on a 5d!

  • Sam

    I too was debating the 60D vs. the 7D. The 7D is an awesome camera, but the 60D, with its smaller size and the screen, wins for me. I have to wait to have it in my hands prior to deciding however. Shooting videos is part of my routine too, and I think the screen will helps. As I uses my camera for hobby mainly, and my kids, the price of the 7D might not be justifiable.

  • Kathryn Weese

    Thanks so much!!!! Very helpful and well articulated.

  • Mark McDonald

    This is an excellent and helpful article. I’ve been debating getting one of these and I was definitely leaning towards the 7D, especially with that 8FPS rate. The only thing the 60D had going for it was the openable screen for video. I saw someone on youtube use this to get some neatly angled shots, but other than that I can’ t see any other advantage for the 60D outside of price, and there’s a used 7D in a local store with an impressively reduced price yet it has all the necessary attachments. Thanks for the article!

  • Dan Carr

    Thanks Mark you’re welcome.

  • Simon

    Thanks Dan. I am planning a purchase for video and your article was very helpful. I think i’ll have to go with the 60D. It really was a tossup between two things:

    60D: has manual audio control.

    7D: shoots low light better.

    Unfortunately audio is hugely important, but if the 7D did get a firmware update it would be the first choice for me. Such an oversight on that camera. Of course a full sensor would be nice but what you gonna do. Still the 60D is pretty great. Also i don’t care about auto-focus, haven’t used it on a camera since i was 10 years old.

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  • Peter Jamieson

    I am using a ISI5 which has the viewfinder like the new 60D and as I am looking at what I weill upgrade too have been considering nothing without this great feature, it is magic. Actually this camera for a point and shoot is too.

  • Anon

    The DIGIC 4 is nearing the end of its life cycle. No reason to by the 7D except for a great deal. If and when it comes down to 1299 or less that’s a possible bargain. I don’t know why anyone who isn’t a complete klutz would care for a mag body. Do you drop them that often? You can drop a DSLR or lens made of titanium or steel and it won’t dent perhaps, but that don’t mean it will ever shoot right again. As for AF points. If ever there was a pissing contest this is the new one now that MP has been shelved because they can make cheaper better processors. AF Points? How many is enough? Nikon likes 51. Does that make theirs qualitatively better?

  • Dan Carr

    Why not use a real name and e-mail address ? Just trying to stir the pot ?

    Anyway…thanks for the comment. “No reason to by the 7D except for a great deal” What about the fact that it takes great photos, shoots great video and a 7dMKII probably wont be available for at least another year ?!

    Titanium bodies well yes most people don’t drop them but it depends what you shoot so its a personal choice. For me, yes sometimes my cameras get a beating because of the work that I do with them. I realize not everyone is doing the same thing. Sometimes its just nice to know that you don’t have to baby your camera if you dont want to. My cameras are tools for my job and nothing more, I do not need to treat them with kid gloves because I know they are sturdy and for some people that is a reason for titanium.

    As for dropping “that often” well maybe you only need to do it once to break it right ? I’m no klutz, but accidents happen.

    You might survive a car crash without an airbag too….. but if you can have an airbag then why not have one ?

    Af points. You sound like a man who has never used a multitude of different cameras. I have used every Canon body out there and currently shoot with a 1dMKIV and 5dMKII. Quite simply yes it makes a huge difference to the accuracy.

  • Jorge

    Do you think that 60D is a good camera for an amateur that want to buy his first slr?
    The 18-135mm it’s a good lens?

  • Dan Carr

    Absolutely! If that was your first setup you would be very very happy!

  • vinay

    hi don,
    i want to buy a dslr and it should not be above 2500usd.
    Video is my main reason. For sound,i can buy an external system.
    I also take sports pictures(parkour).but video is my first priority esp high framerate like dese cams give 60fps. I’m new 2 filming but definitely don want 2 b new 4 ever,i’m gonna learn everything as i am a computer science engineer which would make it easier. Read ur post but still am not ready 2 chose either. U say 60d cant shoot gr8 in low light(if i don care dis i’d go 4 a camcorder as 4 my knowledge). Assuming i want 2 make movies(esp action and adventure sports) and documentaries,please suggest me a dslr. I’m desperate to find out which dslr suits me better. Also send a reply 2 my email if u can pls.

  • Arlen Cooke

    Hey Dan,
    So I am about to buy a new camera and I have worked with the 7D on many video shoots and it has been great, the image is comparable to a REDone! I do a lot of nature and outdoorsy type cinematography and photography and so the 7D hooked me with its weather sealing. But the 7D has been out for almost 2 years now and I’m wondering if i should wait just a little longer to see if canon comes out with a 7D mark ii or something similar. Is there a chance of that happening soon? or should i just go for the 7D? Let me know what you think. Thanks.

    -Arlen Cooke

  • Dan Carr

    Arlen, the 7D has only been out for one year. Almost exactly 1 year in fact. There wont be a 7DMKII for at least another year so i’d just go for it. Amazon has them for a good deal right now.

  • vinay

    reply me dan. Waiting for your reply.

  • Dan Carr

    Vinay I never said the 60D wasnt great in low light I said it wasnt as good as the 7d. But it is still pretty good. If you are mainly looking to shoot video then get a 60d as I said in my article

  • vinay

    thank you so much dan.
    Dey say nikon7000 is competing with 60d in video. Is that true.

  • Dan Carr

    Maybe to the casual observes who gets caught up in the shallow depth of field. But realistically Canon has been leagues ahead with video.

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  • vinay

    60 p is ok here? And its not weather proofed,so will it do well @ high altitudes and moist places. Sorry i am asking questions like a customer but i’m just choosy.

  • Dan Carr

    Well you didnt tell me you were going to moist places. If that is the case, get the 7d.

  • AngryTrilobite

    I am ready to replace my Rebel XTi and have already justified the jump from the T2i to the 60D. I mostly take nature and sports pictures so the weatherproof body , higher fps, and micro adjust may be enough to justify the next jump to the 7D. The price difference is about $400+ and is not too painful of jump since I have been squirreling money away for a while. Is the 7D too much of a jump for an amateur who admits to often using the Macro, Sports, and Landscape settings? I used to know my way around my Canon AE-1 Program film camera but have gotten lazy when it comes to digital.

  • Dan Carr

    Well.. my initial reaction is yes, if you still use Program modes then a 7D is not really needed. But then not everyone who buys a Ferrari knows how to drive like a racing driver right ? So if you have the money for one, you’ll still be able to find your way around it without problem.

  • Arlen Cooke

    Ay Dan,
    I got the 7D from B&H….. amazing. My editor chose my footage over RED one footage. Thanks for the help!

  • Jill James

    Hi Dan:

    Thanks for all the good comparison info. I’m a still photographer and it sounds like the 7D is the best bet for me but the one thing that has me hesitating is the camera body weight. Weight was what kept me from getting the 5DMark II a few months ago. (My old camera is a Rebel) I’ve compared the weight specs and the 7D weighs the same as the Mark II so I feel like I’m back where I started. I have a brand new EFS 17-55, f/2.8 lens just waiting for a body to attach itself to. I’m just wondering if I will get used to the weight of a 7D with said lens? As a professional you are probably used to the weightier cameras and lenses. Any thoughts on the matter of weight?

    Thanks, Jill

  • Dan Carr

    Thats a good question Jill. Funny thing is for me as you say I’m used to the 1dMKIV which weighs a ton so a 7d is like a breath of fresh air for me. I don’t think you would have problems adapting though. They really feel like a nice balanced camera. It will balance much better in your hand then your Rebel did.

  • ace

    Hey Dan,

    I have a question. I really like your web site. I am going to purchase my first SLR camera. My last camera was a $300 Lumix. It was a good camera and got the job done, but I have started a family now and would like a good quality camera to take high quality pictures and HD video.

    I think the 7D is too advanced for me, and I’m probably going to opt for the 60D. Does this sound right? By no means am I a professional photographer, and from reading the reviews the 60D is aimed at amateur photographers.

    Do you think this is the best option for me?

  • Dan Carr

    Absolutely, there is no need for a 7D if you ha d a lumix before. I would even go so far as to say that the Rebel T2I would be fine for you. The image quality improvement over the lumix will be dramatic either way. But definitely a 7d is not necessary.

  • Tom Dawson

    Thanks for the comparison Dan.
    Am pricing up kit with a view to moving into shooting DSLR for my business (mainly corporate work but want something I can shoot more interesting subject matter in the future).
    I have been tempted by the 5Dmk2 (and borrowed one to shoot a few weddings on) but realistically the 7D is a the more affordable option. Was interested by the 60D but I think I might find it limiting in the future?
    Budget is reduced by all the other kit I need (rig, follow focus, mics etc) so I want to make sure I get the right thing.

  • Dan Carr

    What do you think would be limiting on the 60d in the future that is not limiting on the 7D Tom? Just curious.

  • Tom Dawson

    Well I do want a camera that is good for stills as well and I can get as much out of as possible. Guess I am worried if I by a cheaper model I will need to upgrade in the not too distant future,

  • Dan Carr

    Thing is Tom all the cameras are on the same re-release cycle. So whichever one you buy will be obsolete in 18-24 months from its release.

    If you are concerned about obsolescence then you should consider a full frame camera because eventually crop cameras will die.

    But even when a camera is replaced, it doesn’t make it a bad camera.

  • Tom Dawson

    Good point Dan. I might just bite the bullet and get a 5D mk2. Or stop worrying so much!

  • Jussi Palojärvi

    Tom, you have to remember that 5d mkII makes your old lenses some what different. 18-75mm is 18-75 with full sensor and something like 28-120mm with crop sensor. Also every lens that works with crop sensor, wont work with full sensor.

    I just wanted to say that :)

    p.s. I have used canon 20d since release day, and now I’m getting new body, but will use my 20d as a back up body.

  • Tom Dawson

    Thanks for the advice Jussi. Im coming from a video background where I have been shooting with camera like the Sony Z7 so I don’t have any old lenses and DSLR kit that im worried about becoming obsolete.

  • cane

    Also thank’s for your review…

    Read in several forums that the DUAL DIGIC 4 from canon 7d nothing to do with the video quality
    So can you please explain that the 7d is better in lowlight then the 60d shooting in video ..???
    I doubt about this conclusion that’s why

  • motorcycho

    Probably the best comparison around.
    I’m planning on upgrading from my 40D to either the 60D or the 7D.
    7D has always been my choice but the articulated screen makes me want to go for the 60D.Then again I’m not so keen on using a smaller polycarbonate body after the mag alloy 40D.
    I mostly shoot Automotive(In all light conditions) followed by people.
    I’ll be making the decision on your suggestion! Thanks!

  • Dan Carr

    Thanks Motorcycho. I wouldn’t let the polycarbonate worry you too much unless you are overly clumsy or doing anything overly crazy. Automotive and people sounds safe enough.

  • Jorge Faria

    From the kit lens available which one would you choose? Do you think 18-135 is good enough for this sensor?

  • Jim Elliott

    I currently used a 5d Mk ii with a 24-105 mm lens and a 30 D with a 100-400 mm lens. For my purposes I am totally convinced I want two cameras. I recently had to use the wide angle lens on my 30 and realized just how important the full frame sensor on the 5 is now to me. The low light qualities of this camera are also outstanding. Looking to replace the 30 with a 60 or 7. The dual processor and the reputed low light qualities of the 7 have convince me this is the camera I will be buying in the morning! Thanks for your review.

  • Dan Carr

    You are welcome Jim. It will feel like a very solid camera compared with the 30d. Much more in line with the 5dII you have.

  • Dave Abbott

    I have the Rebel XT ( I have had canon cameras since my first ftb in 1972. I decided to go digital because I was going on a world wide trip, so I moved from my elan 7, the Rebel XT fit my lenses. When I got to Hong Kong, I decided to see if I got a good deal. They didn’t even carry the Rebel XT, but had moved on to the 400D, and it was cheaper!) anyway, I just bought the new 16mm – 35mm canon lens, which I love. I also upgraded to the Ultrasonic 24mm – 85mm and I have the Ultrasonic
    70mm – 300mm. I am looking now to upgrade the body. I do mostly landscape and close – up still life / abstract

    The 16mm-35mm zoom is brand new and cost $1500.00. I wonder if it would make sense to try and trade that + my 24mm -85mm for the 60d w/ 18mm – 135mm (+$) or should I keep my lenses an just get a new body? 7D?

  • Dan Carr

    Keep the lenses. L lenses like the 16-35 are a great investment, they dont change much in many years and you’ll likely see more difference from good glass than a camera upgrade. So keep that one and get a 60d or 7d and then switch the 70-300 for something of the same quality as the 16-35. 70-200 f4 L IS would be my choice.

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  • Richard

    I’ve owned a 50D for over two years now, having purchased it shortly after moving to Japan (at what was a bargain price during the days when the Brit pound was still worth something over here!).

    I’ve found it to be a great camera overall although I have two criticisms – disappointing AF and mediocre low-light performance. I’ve also found 9 AF points to be rather limiting (yes you can focus and re-compose, but when you’re shooting macro this doesn’t really work too well). I was excited when I heard about the release of the 60D, but given the context of the 7D already being on the market I see it as a bit of a misfire by Canon. Given the choice I would go for the 7D after having read various comparisons.

    Next purchases for me – 7D paired with an 11-17mm Tokina.

  • Dan Carr

    Thanks for commenting Richard!

  • Phil

    At the end of the day of comparing apples with oranges you will come to the conclusion: some poeple like apples and some people like oranges, it’s just the people who like orange apples…..5D, 7D or 60D they all have their place. I have shot more video with the 5D and 60D than with the 7D and I can say that the main compromise between 7D, 60D or 5D is chip size. The 5D MK II is by far superior with more lense variety and image dynamics, bring on the 5D MK4 in a 60D body, hence the Panasonic F100…..

  • nida

    Hi Guys,
    I’m interested in 5DII could anyone give me the lens comparison betweek full sensor vs crop sensor? whats a good lens for 5DII that would enable me to take indoor pictures of family at birthdays for example and same lens be used to capture Eiffle Tower? Is there such a lens for full sensor?

  • Dan Carr

    If you want to do indoor photos with no flash then you need a very wide aperture. One of my all time favorite lenses is the 24mm f1.4 II. Great indoors and great for landscapes and wide for your Eiffle Tower too.

  • Michael H.

    Thanks for a great review. Today was the first time that I actually got my hands on a 60D. There’s just no substitute for putting a camera through its paces and deciding on your own based on your particular needs. If you’re a serious hobbyist or just taking pictures of friends & family, buying a 60D makes sense– especially if you put the saved money into great lenses. But if you actually get paid for video or still work (like I do), the 7D is still my runaway favorite. I use it as a second camera, with 5DMKII as my primary. I consider the 7D well worth the price difference because of its weather durability, superior still capabilities, and use of CF cards rather than the more flimsy SD cards. But if I were just getting started and did not already have nice primes, I’d put the $600 difference in glass: If you have an EF 50 mm 1.2 in front of it, I’m confident that a 60D makes gorgeous stills and video in the right hands.

  • Fer

    All in all i’d say the following… If you came accross this thread you should just buy the 60d… Meaning 7d is for serious and paid photographers.
    I was looking to get me the 7d but i wasn’t sure and soent hours and hours reading but with this post is all clear to me.. I wnt the best camera i’ve ever owned but obviously i don’t have all the money so the smar move here is go for the 60d .. After all that’s why canon downgraded their build. So ppl lile me can own something like the 7d without zll the extra stuff that professionals seek..

  • Eugenio

    I am happy with my 20 D !

  • Sharon

    Thank you for the review. I’m shopping for my first digital. I’ve been slow to convert. Film allowed for instant image and more creativity. I’ve been using canon FTB for fun ever and 645 format for pro shots. Ithink the D7 is what I’m looking for. I waited for digital to loose the delay. Is there better digital software then photoshop?

  • Dave P.

    Nice review but wrong emphasis in my opinion. The deal breaker for me is the use of Compact Flash in the 7D. That is old school. A 16GB Sandisk CF Card is $165 whereas a !6GB Sandisk SD Card of the same quality is $30. Most camera makers have phased CF cards out. Yes, you can use a CF converter and use SD cards in the 7D (been there done that) but why? I already have a slew of SD cards. I don’t want to recollect CF cards.The 7D is not significantly better than the 60D but it costs 40% more. There are more image resolution options and image ratios in the 60D. I can live with 5.3fps continous shooting speed and 9 focus points on auto focus. Unless you are primarily shooting sports or action shots 5.3fps or 8fps doesn’t matter much. What professional photographer spends most of his time on auto focus anyway? And don’lt get me started on video.

  • Dan Carr

    Interesting opinion thanks for sharing. Canon will never make everyone happy. CF is certainly not OLD tech though. If they put SD cards in the 7d then the pro shooters out there would be up in arms. Myself included. All pro cams , 1d, d3s etc etc are using CF cards for a reason. They are far more robust.

    Pro sports shooters use AF almost continuously, along with wildlife guys BTW.

  • Jomi Jomi

    Thanks Dan! Very informative, I learned a little bit more about my 7D. All the best to you.

  • Joe Morrison

    Just wondering what the difference in speed is between SD and CF? Is it significant?

  • Dan Carr

    There are cards of the same speed available

  • G1

    Hello Dan,

    I need a very very serious advise from you.. I like Canon brand very much & that’s why I had bought a digital camera A470 2 yrs back & I want to stick to it. Now I am interested in buying a DSLR. Previously I thought going for Nikon D90, then D3100 came out, then I thought for Canon EOS 550D & 60D. BUT, in all the reviews I have seen people have rated it down because of it’s plastic body, no AF Micro-Adjust, CF card missing, 5.3 fps. I’m very much interested in wedding photography & many of them has suggested me to invest more in body. In that case I should invest in 7D, but I do not have that much budget. But still what do you suggest, If I’ll buy a 60D, will it let me down it terms of performance compared to 7D & D90. Today I’m capturing some candid moments, tomorrow I may capture some dance moments or some football / or rugby. Do you think 60D will give me very good results in all the cases.. Pls advise ..Thanks in advance..

  • G1

    Dan …your comments please ..

  • Dan Carr

    You need the 7d

  • Robert Smith

    I have a 5D and have been working with a friend that has a 7D. He also has a 60D that he picked up as a back up and we’ve been comparing the low light performance of all three. The difference in low light between the 5D and the cropped sensor cameras is pretty huge. No competition there as far as low light performance. But the difference between the 7D and 60D is pretty negligible. You really can’t see any difference when printed out or on screen unless you really zoom in. I think the main difference between the 60D and 7D is just speed and most people probably don’t need the extra few frames per second unless shooting sports. Also, the mag body, which I prefer myself. I always use external sound and sync. It’s really the best way to get clean sound.

  • G1

    Thanks Dan & Robert for providing more inputs on 60D & 7D ..

  • Svend Lindbaek

    Thanks for the helpful information, it’s great that the 60D has manual audio recording, but it does not have a headphone jack so you can monitor the sound, also it appears that the audio meters are not visible while recording. I bought the camera but am concerned about your low light quality point.

  • book baker

    Awesome review……looks like a 7D in my future !!!

  • alan sherman

    Thank you very much for your indepth analysis of both cameras. I am an amateur that has a 40D and while I like it very much wanted to update it at an appropriate time. For me the 60D sounds like the right progression both in terms of price and its features which resemble the 40D. Since I am interested in retaining my lenses….all of them would be compatible to the 60D.
    In that regard just buying the body would be the way to go. I think that the 7D might be more for the professional and more than likely would probably not use some of its features. I hope I am making the right decision.

  • alan sherman

    Just wanted to know Dan what your thoughts were. Thanks in advance.

  • Dan Carr

    You will be fine with the 60D Alan. If you liked the 40d then the 60d will blow you away.

  • Dan Allen

    Dan..clear, simple, complete, concise and to the point. I debated over th 60 vs 7 and could not located in all the language what is important. The magnesium frame, Full Field capture, micro-adjust and Dual Divic 4 are “Key Elements”. Like you say, the body makes or breaks it. I think a 60 would be nice, howver, would spend to get a 7 anyway as the added major body features are wotrth the investment. Yes..the lense completes the cake. Could you take time to describe the metal framed lenses for the 7 as I not like the plastic lenses that will warp in adverse conditions not matter what anyone trys to dream up. What would be your selections for metal frame lenses and use for “Still Foto Only”…Example..Graduation foto, wedding foto, outdoor natire shoot.. You make it so simple and clear to understnad..Thank you..

  • Randy L

    Dan, while I understand your point about the 7D being better for sports and wildlife shooting, I cut my teeth in sports photography shooting with a 20D (youth through college) with great results. A faster frame rate is nice to have but not a necessity. If a photographer can afford the better camera, and the 7D is better IMO, then they should go for it. But you can get fine results with the slower FPS and the 9 point focus pattern. By the way, I got a whopping 132,000 shutter actuations on my 20D before it finally gave out. Not really a point to this review, but I was more than please with its durability.

  • Kris

    Thanks for the great comparison. I currently use the 300D and a panasonic hdc-hs700 for video. I am looking into shooting video on my Dslr because I have it on me all of the time. I have shot some footage recently of some local rowing teams and want to be sure the 60d can cut it. I get the feeling that the 7d might be a bit overkill for the majority of conferences and interviews we do though… Your thoughts?

  • John S

    I’d love a 7d with a swivel screen as this feature is most certainly NOT only for video. The other day I was trying to take a photo of a vertical pioneer tower while standing in two feet of snow. I was using a 40D. A swivel screen would have allowed me to get a super low angle of the tower which, next to lying on the ground, is difficult to get. I’m keeping my 40D until Canon brings out the next generation of the 7D hopefully with a swivel screen. I would buy a 60D but the AF is too dated and is out-classed by the 7D.
    So, come-on Canon, bring out an “8D” or whatever with a swivel screen!

    Thanks for the great review and comparison.

  • Tonya Foust

    Thank you for the concise and helpful comparison.
    I currently have an XSi (450D) that I enjoy, but am very interested in macro and nature photography. Given your nudge, I think I will save up for the 7D, it is the one I was leaning towards anyway and this just helped me decide.

    I just wish they would make a camera that is just for stills. I have no interest in doing anything with the video features.

    Also, I am hoping that the lenses I already have will work with the 7D. Is there a chance they may not?
    Anyway, thanks again.

  • Dan Carr

    I’m sure the 7dMKII will have a swivel. Maybe we’ll see in the autumn,

  • Chris

    Thanks for this review, and reading the responses from people have been helpful also.

    I am looking to replace a 40D and a Sony HandyCam HDR FX with either a 60D or 7D.

    Primarily used for product shots, portrait shots, event gatherings(office, stores, parties) and video for all the same reasons.
    I am the primary user, but others will use this camera too… it will be an office Camera.

    Question 1.
    Is there anything i should know about Flash’s?
    I have two OPUS Pro h150 lights. with wireless transmitter. (i am finding the reliability of these flash’s to be less the great).
    Are there any pro’s/Con’s between the 60D or 7D here.

    Question 2.
    Thinking about getting the Canon 15-85… I have a canon EFS 17-55, which is excellent, but i often find that 55 is limiting for zooming at events. I also thought that having the extra 2 points down to 15 would help with product shots.

    should i keep this lens and just rent a Pro zoom lens for the times i might need a zoom?


  • butch

    well i am only a beginner of using canon dslr, 1 thing i was noticed in using 7d is when shooting video mode, i was able to out the video to a tv monitor whle shooting but the lcd screen of my 7d didn’t work. i cant find the right settings which will work both, much better if i can see my video in the lcd of my 7d even i connect another display which is tv monitor. can you help me find the right settings?

  • Dan Carr

    You can’t do both at the same time. Its one or the other.

  • Minzayar

    Hi Dan,
    Thanks to u that i’ve seen the difference between 60d and 7d.. My first dslr was a nikon d5000 and i’ve sold it to buy a better dslr.. 7d would be my most favourite one and affordable one.. I will buy it with a 50 (f1.8) lens and that’s as far as i can afford. I also have a 80-200usm lens given from a friend… After buying 7d and the 50mm lens, it will be really hard for me to upgrade to a better camera body.. So, i’m really afraid that the Canon will come out with a 7d killer model like 7Dmk2 just soon after i buy the 7d… Do u think that 7d won’t go obsolete so soon and i can buy it safely without worries?? or do u think that i should just wait??

    P.S>>what do u think between 7d and nikon d7000?

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  • D’Asha Zelena

    Hi have a 60D and a 7d. For photos i would go with the 7d. If I was going to use it any any video I would get the 60D.

  • Darlisa Langwell

    I’m having hard time deciding on the 60D AND THE 7D.My favorite is shooting babies and small children,you have to be fast to get that perfect shoot. I have a 20D AND LOVE IT.i WOULD LIKE TO SHOOT INSIDE SOME WITH OUT GETTING ALL MY LIGHTS OUT.i LOVED YOUR INFO ABOUT the 60D AND 7D.

    IN HIS image

  • Dirk

    Hi, having a 5D mkII , looking for a backup, the choice wil be 7D of 60D. Most i shoot landscape, nature and macro. a 60D wil be fine and wil do the job. But… in point 5 i read: “Lens micro adjust is a feature that allows you to tailor the autofocus system to each and every lens in your arsenal”. The 7D is able to adjust the focus of every (L) lens, the 60D is not… On the 5D I have ‘tuned’ the back/front focus for all my L-lenses, and i can say: the difference is sharpness before & after is really big (btw, i’m not a pixelpeeper :)) . For this reason, my new backup body wil be the 7D. (sorry for my poor english…)

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  • Rob

    Another point to consider is that with the 60D once you begin shooting video, the camera switches to SD output, rather than HDMI. The 7D is currently the only Canon (as far as I know) that has HDMI output during video shooting. But as Canon giveth, Canon taketh away, having no manual audio control on the 7D. But that’s a problem that can be overcome by separate audio recording. You can’t make the 60D produce HD output. That said, they are both great still cameras with the same sensor.

  • Aizatk

    hi, thank you for the comparison reviews. I would love to get the 7D but i feel it’s a bit too complicated, especially the AF systems. I might be getting the 60D instead as I’m not a sports shooter myself.

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  • Juju

    Fantastic article! Looking to buy one of them 2, I’m now sure the 60D is for me! :)

  • G

    I NEED HELP! :-)

    Basically I am about to venture into the film production world overseas and have about 5 scripts ready. It’s not the next bollywood but definitely have big aspirations. So far I have 2 Canon prosumer hdvs: XHA1 and XHG1.

    The next additions I’m trying to make is 2 HDSLRs. I AM CAUGHT CHOOSING BETWEEN 5DMII, 7D, 60D, AND THE 1DMIV.

    The 1dmIV is a little out of my budget, so my leaning is towards definitely the 5dmii. But the 2nd one is where I am having a problem deciding. The 7d offers many benefits…especially the ability to do the HDMI out at 1080. But since video is my main objective, the 60d offers so much more for less…like the flip out screen.

    So, what would be the best “2 ideal camera” setup for me…anyone…please?

  • Anonymous

    I would most certainly choose the 60D and the 5dMKII. The swivel screen is very useful ! You don’t need 1dMKIV , for video it’s rarely worth the premium over the 5d2

  • onenew

    I am a beginner who will need a semi pro camera for my graphic design studio-don’t know what client will ask to have photographed (anything from portraits to architecture to signage). Also need quality video capability to promote advertisers products in action and to promote & educate the public on issues concerning their businesses.

  • Enonemus

    For video shooting, hands-down, go with the 60D or the 5D mk2. Both are capable of running MagicLantern which will provide you many benefits for video shooting. The 7D, with its dual DIGIC4 processors can not run MagicaLantern. To me, it’s a no-brainer, 60D or 5D mk2, and simply evaluate for yourself if going FF is worth $1000.

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