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Canon 60D

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Canon EOS 60D Performance

Timing and Performance

Average to very good speed for a prosumer digital SLR.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.4 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot. (Short enough that it's hard to measure.)

Shutdown

~0 seconds

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
19 seconds
after 34 large/fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
22 seconds
after 15 RAW files*
24 seconds
after 7 RAW+L/F JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Canon 60D turned in a average startup time for an SLR, which is to say fast enough that it's difficult to measure. Sensor cleaning was enabled on start-up and shut-down, though at start-up pressing the shutter button aborts sensor cleaning, as it should. The Canon 60D's buffer clearing times were long but not a surprise given the buffer size and file sizes. Note that the Canon 60D manual says "SDHC and SDXC cards featuring UHS (Ultra High Speed) enable a maximum writing speed of SD Speed Class 10". We asked Canon for clarification on this, and they said the Canon 60D is not UHS-I compliant but should work with UHS cards at up to SD Class 10 speeds.

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

~1.2 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.7 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

The Canon 60D's mode switching times are good, though Record to play is a bit sluggish.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
Optical Viewfinder

0.253 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All AF timing measured with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro lens.)

Full Autofocus
Auto Selection AF
Optical Viewfinder

0.159 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
TTL flash enabled
Optical Viewfinder
0.292 second
Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.

Prefocused
Optical Viewfinder

0.063 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
Optical Viewfinder
0.251 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
Optical Viewfinder
0.083 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".
Live View
Full Autofocus
Live View
"Quick Mode"
(Phase Detect)
0.999 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is phase-detect autofocus, the camera drops the mirror to focus, then raises it to grab the shot.
Full Autofocus
Live View
"Live Mode"
(Contrast Detect)
1.100 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is contrast-detect autofocus, the camera reads Live View data from the image sensor to determine focus.
Prefocused
Live View
0.122 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Canon 60D's full autofocus shutter response using our standard single-point AF test was slightly slower than average for an SLR, at 0.253 second. Interestingly, switching to auto selection AF and allowing the camera to choose the focus point reduced shutter lag to 0.159 second, which is very good. As expected, enabling the built-in flash increased full AF lag a bit, to 0.292 second. (The camera emits flash metering pulses and analyses the results before taking the final flash exposure.) "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of only 0.063 second which is very good for a prosumer SLR. Shutter lag in Manual focus was a bit slower than prefocused, at 0.083 second, which is still quite fast. In Continuous focus mode, shutter lag was 0.251 second.

The Canon 60D's AF lag times in Live View mode were longer than using the optical viewfinder (as expected). We measured 0.999 second using "Quick Mode" which is a bit slow for phase-detect AF, and 1.10 seconds using Live Mode AF which is pretty good for contrast-detect on an SLR. Prefocused, the Canon 60D's shutter lag was very fast for Live View mode, at 0.122 second.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. We also use the same Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro with every camera (on all platforms except Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds and Nikon consumer models lacking an in-body focus motor), to further reduce variation, and because our tests showed that focus-determination time with this lens was close to the fastest, across multiple camera bodies from different manufacturers. Being an older design with a non-ultrasonic motor, it wouldn't be the fastest at slewing from one focus setting to another, but that's exactly the reason we measure focus determination speed, which is primarily a function of the camera body, vs focus adjustment speed, which is primarily a function of the lens.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.25 second

Time per shot, averaged over >20 shots, 0.3 second to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.24 second

Time per shot, averaged over 14 shots, 22 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + Large/Fine JPEG
0.24 second

Time per shot, averaged over 7 shots, 24 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous Hi mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.19 second (5.26 frames per second);
34 frames total;
19 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 34 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.99 second or 1.01 frames per second when buffer was full, with a lot of variation.

Continuous Hi mode
RAW

0.19 second (5.32 frames per second);
15 frames total;
22 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 15 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 1.55 seconds or 0.65 frames per second when buffer was full, with a lot of variation.

Continuous Hi mode
RAW + Large/Fine
JPEG

0.19 second (5.36 frames per second);
7 frames total;
24 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 7 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 1.55 seconds or 0.65 frames per second when buffer was full, with a lot of variation.

Flash recycling

2.6 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times in the Canon 60D's single-shot mode were very good for an SLR, at about 0.25 second for any quality. Buffer length was more than 20 shots for JPEGs, but dropped to 14 for RAW and 7 for RAW+ Large/Fine JPEGs in single-shot mode.

Continuous mode speeds were about average for a prosumer model these days, and they matched Canon's specification of about 5.3 frames/second in any quality mode. A low-speed continuous mode is also available, rated at 3 frames/second.

Measured buffer depths in high-speed continuous mode were good at 34 frames for large/fine JPEGs, 15 frames for RAW mode and 7 frames for RAW+ L/F JPEG. (Note that in our cycle time testing we shoot a target consisting of a fine-grained digital noise pattern, designed to be very hard to compress. This gives us worst-case buffer capacity numbers: You're likely to see greater buffer capacity when shooting more normal subjects.)

The Canon 60D's flash took an average of 2.6 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge. This is very good, though it varied a lot (from 1.09 to 3.14 seconds) in our testing.

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

8,505 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, the Canon 60D's download speeds were quite fast.

Bottom line, the Canon 60D was average to slightly faster than average in most aspects of its operation for a prosumer SLR. While continuous mode speeds weren't state-of-the-art, they are fast enough for most moving subjects, and shutter lag and cycle times were quite good. Buffer sizes were good, especially considering the size of its 18-megapixel files, though clearing times were sluggish with our 30MB/s SDHC card.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Excellent battery life for a lithium-ion SLR design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
1,100
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)
320

The Canon 60D uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is well above average when using the optical viewfinder, though as expected, Live View really taxes the battery, so we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon 60D is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Canon 60D accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and does not ship with a card. Canon recommends a Class 6 card or faster for recording HD movies. UHS-I compliant cards are supported, but the camera does not take advantage of their increased bus speeds.

Image Capacity with
1GB Memory Card
Fine Normal RAW MRAW SRAW RAW
+ L/F JPEG
5,184 x 3,456
Images
(Avg Size)
122
8.4 MB
247
4.1 MB
32
31.5 MB
- -
25
41.0 MB
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
13:1
1.0:1
- -
-
3,456 x 2,304
Images
(Avg Size)
235
4.4 MB
482
2.1 MB
-
47
21.6 MB
-
35
29.3 MB
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
11:1
-
0.6:1 -
-
2,592 x 1,728
Images
(Avg Size)
417
2.5 MB
795
1.3 MB
-
- 75
13.7 MB
45
22.8 MB
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
10:1
-
- 0.6:1
-

We strongly recommend buying a fast, large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card for the Canon 60D: at least a 4GB card, preferably a 8 or 16GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings, or when shooting RAW files or video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)