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Canon EOS D60

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EOS D60 Test Images

Review First Posted: 2/22/2002

Digital Cameras - Canon EOS D60 Test Images

For those interested in exposure and file size information, I now include links in my reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for my test shots. The Thumber data includes a range of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, I'm posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it!

Read our shootout article, comparing this camera to 3 other digital SLRs!

Outdoor Portrait:

Excellent resolution with sharp details, good color.

The extreme tonal range of this image makes it a tough shot for many digicams, which is precisely why I set it up this way (and why I don't use fill-flash on it). The object is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors, and the D60 performed very well. The shot at right has a +0.3 EV exposure adjustment, which brightened the midtones without losing highlight detail. (Only a few spots on Marti's shirt were pushed to pure white.) The Daylight white balance resulted in the most accurate color balance, showing virtually no color cast, whereas the Auto setting produced a very slight green cast, and the Manual setting produced a slightly warm image. Skin tones look good, and the blue flowers look very good, with only the slightest hints of purple in them (this is a difficult blue for many digicams). Resolution is very high, with excellent detail throughout the frame. Particularly impressive is how low the image noise is, even in the dark shadow areas. Color is overall quite accurate - Less saturated than my own preferences would favor, but quite faithful to the original subject.

To see the complete exposure series from -0.3 EV to +0.7 EV, see files D60OUTDM1.HTM through D60OUTDP2.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

 

  Closer Portrait:

Outstanding resolution, with enormous detail.

Color and exposure are similar to the shot above, though this image required no exposure compensation. Resolution and detail are really extraordinary here, particularly visible in the individual strands of Marti's hair, and even the peach fuzz on the right side of her face. (Viewer's right, that is.) This shot also shows the wisdom of Canon's typically restrained application of in-camera sharpening, as there's no hint of heaviness or coarseness in even the finest details. This results in an image that's just slightly soft overall out of the camera, but that responds exceptionally well to tight unsharp masking in Photoshop. Overall, an excellent handling of this subject.

To see the entire exposure series from -0.3 EV to +0.3 EV, see files D60FACDM1.HTM through D60FACDP1.HTM on the thumbnail index page.

 

 
Indoor Portrait, Flash:
Built-in Flash
External Flash

Accurate exposure, with vibrant color.

The D60's built-in flash does a nice job illuminating the subject, though the straight-on lighting produces harsh shadows on the subject typical of on-camera flash units. Color is very good, with vibrant hues in the flower bouquet and an accurate white value on Marti's shirt. Attaching a more powerful external flash unit (a Canon 550EX, a unit that integrates beautifully with the D60) adds the ability to bounce and diffuse the lighting, producing a much more pleasing photo. Shadows are softer, and overall color is a bit more natural. (Worth noting is how well the 550 speedlight works with the D60's through the lens flash exposure system: All the flash exposures I shot with the D60 were very accurate, regardless of subject content.)

 

 
Indoor Portrait, No Flash:
Auto White Balance
Incandescent White Balance
Manual White Balance

Excellent color with the Manual white balance setting, difficulty with Auto and Incandescent options. A *lot* of exposure compensation required though.

This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish color cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting, and the D60's Auto and Incandescent white balance settings had some trouble. Both settings resulted in very warm images, with strong, orange color casts. However, the Manual white balance setting produced very accurate color, with good saturation. The blue flowers appear more purple than blue (a common problem under this very warm-hued light source), but overall color still looks good. Oddly, this shot required a +1.7 EV exposure adjustment (a very large exposure boost), which exposes midtones correctly without losing any highlight detail. I don't know why the D60 required such a large exposure boost for this shot, as its auto metering system was very accurate otherwise. Here is an example with no exposure compensation.

This shot also shows the impact of the larger sensors used in Pro SLRs on depth of field, as compared to the smaller chips in consumer cameras: The longer absolute focal lengths you end up using, coupled with the very small pixel sizes result in very shallow depth of field. In this shot, the D60 focused on the flowers closest to the lens, rather than Marti's face. The result is her face is very soft. (I'll reshoot this photo in a few days, after news editor Mike Tomkins gets done shooting his "randoms" with the unit.) Still, it's interesting as an illustration of the selective-focus ability offered in pro digital SLRs.

Following is an ISO series.

ISO Series
ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
ISO 1000

 

 
House Shot:
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Great detail, resolution, and color.

The Manual white balance setting produced the most accurate color here, though the Auto setting came in a close second (with just a slight warm cast). Daylight white balance produced the warmest image overall, with a strong yellow cast. Resolution is very high, with excellent detail in the tree limbs above the house. The fine foliage details in front of the house also show strong detail, though slightly soft.

 

 

 

 

 
  Far-Field Test

Outstanding resolution, with excellent highlight and shadow detail.

This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) Will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows.

This is my ultimate "resolution shot," given the infinite range of detail in a natural scene like this. The D60 captures really outstanding level of fine detail throughout the frame, with good sharpness and definition. Even the often soft fine foliage details are sharp and well-defined. The D60 also handles the harsh sunlight unusually well, capturing strong detail both in the white trim around the bay window, and in the deepest shadows under the eaves near the door. Overall, a really excellent job, in terms of both resolution and dynamic range. The table below shows standard resolution and quality series, followed by Sharpness, Saturation, Contrast, ISO, and Color Tone series.

Resolution Series
Large / Uncompressed
Note: Download and view in imaging software.
Large / Fine
Large / Normal
Medium / Fine
Medium / Normal
Small / Fine
Small / Normal

Sharpness Series
As noted earlier, the D60 follows Canon's usual practice of using very conservative in-camera image sharpening, so as to preserve fine detail. There is an adjustment, letting you set in-camera sharpening to "low," "normal," or "high," with the results seen here. (Even "high" is more understated than the normal sharpening on some cameras I've seen.)

Low Sharpness
Normal Sharpness
High Sharpness

Saturation Series
There's also a low/normal/high saturation adjustment as well, with the results seen here. Again, very nice, appropriately modulated variations in saturation, a useful range of adjustment for normal photographic work.

Low Saturation

Normal Saturation

High Saturation

Contrast Series
Likewise with image contrast: A low/normal/high contrast adjustment, covering a useful range of effect. Particularly noteworthy is that the nature of the effect is exactly what you'd want: It affects the highlights most strongly, but the low contrast option also pulls up the shadow values somewhat too. - For some strange reason, many digicams I've tested implement the contrast adjustment primarily by moving the shadow point, rather than affecting the highlights. This in spite of the fact that what you really want to do with digital shots is control the highlights. (Much the same as when shooting slide film.) The D60's contrast adjustment option works perfectly in this regard.

Low
Contrast

Normal Contrast

High Contrast

ISO Series
Throughout my shooting with it, I was impressed with the low noise levels I saw in the D60's images. Even at its ISO 1000 setting, noise patterns are tight and well-controlled. (I personally wish Canon had set the maximum "official" ISO higher.)

ISO 100
ISO 200
ISO 400
ISO 800
ISO 1000

Color Tone Series
The "Color Tone" setting actually has more to do with skin tones than anything else. - I should probably shoot the Marti-pictures with a range of Color Tone settings (and may yet), but in the meantime, here's what they did to the outdoor house photo.

Low
Contrast

Normal Contrast

High Contrast

 
  Lens Zoom Range

Focal length range is completely a function of the lens selected, so there's no point showing a range here...

 

 
  Musicians Poster
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Great resolution and detail, with accurate color.

The large amount of blue in this composition often tricks digicams, and the D60's white balance system handled the challenge well, but the Manual setting still produced the most accurate color overall. The Auto setting wasn't too far off the mark (just slightly warm). Daylight white balance produced the warmest cast of all, with very warm skin tones. The Oriental model's blue robe is nearly accurate, with only the faintest purple tints in the deep shadows. (This is a tough blue for many digicams to get right.) Resolution is very high, with a lot of fine detail visible in the embroidery of the blue robe. Details are also very crisp. (Detail in this shot really is more limited by the resolution of the poster used than by the resolving power of the D60's lens and sensor.)

 

 
Macro Shot
Standard Macro Shot
Macro with Flash

One of the tiniest macro areas I've seen...

As with the Zoom Range shots I usually show above, the D60's macro performance will entirely depend on the lens chosen. Still, it's worthwhile to show just how close you can get with a dedicated macro lens, in this case the Canon 100mm f/2.8 one. Using that lens, the D60 captured one of the tiniest macro areas I've seen, with a minimum area of just 0.88 x 0.58 inches (22.25 x 14.83 millimeters). Resolution is exceptional, as even the tiniest print details of the dollar bill are visible and sharp. Color balance looks good as well. The camera's flash almost throttled down for the macro area, but still overexposed slightly. Overall, an excellent performance.

 

"Davebox" Test Target
Auto White Balance
Daylight White Balance
Manual White Balance

Excellent color, though the default exposure is a little dark.

Both the Auto and Manual white balance settings produced accurate results here, though the Auto setting had the best overall white value. Daylight white balance resulted in a very warm image, with a yellow color cast. The large color blocks are accurate and well-saturated. Exposure is a little dark (I elected to not use any exposure compensation), but the D60 captures all of the subtle tonal distributions of the Q60 chart. Detail is strong in the shadow area of the charcoal briquettes, with a noise levels there are quite low. (As they are overall.)

 

 

 
Low-Light Tests

Excellent color and exposure at even the darkest light levels.

The D60's full manual exposure mode and Bulb shutter setting, together with Canon's excellent noise-reduction processing give the camera excellent low-light shooting capabilities. At all five ISO settings (100, 200, 400, 800, and 1,000), the D60 captured bright, usable images at light levels as low as 1/16 foot-candle (0.067 lux). Color is accurate and well-saturated, and noise levels remain surprisingly low. Because the D60 automatically employs a noise reduction system at slower shutter speeds, even ISO 1,000 images showed only moderate noise at the darkest light levels.

Perhaps most interesting is that the D60's noise-suppression scheme doesn't appear to involve capturing a separate dark frame with each image. When you shoot a bulb exposure, the camera is done with its processing *very* soon after the shutter has closed. This strikes me as a significant benefit for anyone doing much low-light shooting: If you shoot a 15 second exposure, the camera is ready for the next shot about 15 seconds sooner than would be a camera that uses normal dark-frame subtraction.

The table below shows the best exposure I obtained for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all of our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

1fc
11lux
1/2fc
5.5lux
1/4fc
2.7lux
1/8fc
1.3lux
1/16fc
0.67lux
ISO
100
Click to see D60LL0103.JPG
1,756.1 KB
3.2 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0104.JPG
1,659.8 KB
6 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0105.JPG
1,584.7 KB
15 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0106.JPG
1,592.8 KB
30 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0107.JPG
1,635.4 KB
60 secs
F3.5
ISO
200
Click to see D60LL0203.JPG
1,915.9 KB
1.3 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0204.JPG
1,855.4 KB
3.2 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0205.JPG
1,788.5 KB
8 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0206.JPG
1,835.0 KB
15 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0207.JPG
1,847.7 KB
25 secs
F3.5
ISO
400
Click to see D60LL0403.JPG
3,018.6 KB
1/ 3 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0404.JPG
2,272.0 KB
1.6 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0405.JPG
2,198.3 KB
4 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0406.JPG
2,251.4 KB
8 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0407.JPG
2,350.2 KB
15 secs
F3.5
ISO
800
Click to see D60LL0803.JPG
2,339.6 KB
1/ 2 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0804.JPG
2,854.6 KB
1/ 1 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0805.JPG
2,743.3 KB
2 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0806.JPG
2,864.8 KB
4 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL0807.JPG
2,958.4 KB
6 secs
F3.5
ISO
1000
Click to see D60LL1003.JPG
3,293.8 KB
1/4 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL1004.JPG
3,302.4 KB
1/ 1 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL1005.JPG
3,236.3 KB
2 secs
3.5
Click to see D60LL1006.JPG
3,216.6 KB
3.2 secs
F3.5
Click to see D60LL1007.JPG
3,360.3 KB
5 secs
F3.5

 

Love high ISO photography? Hate noise? Check out Fred Miranda's ISO-R noise-reducing actions for Photoshop. Incredible noise reduction, with *no* loss of subject detail. (Pretty amazing, IMHO.) Check it out!

 

 

 
Flash Range Test

Strong intensity to 10 feet, with decreasing power from there.

The D60's flash was brightest from eight to 10 feet, with decreasing intensity on out to 14 feet at the normal strength level. Flash power remained effective at 14 feet, but very dim. Below is our flash range series, with distances from eight to 14 feet from the target.

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
Click to see D60FL08.JPG
2,044.0 KB
1/6 secs
F6.3
Click to see D60FL09.JPG
1,985.4 KB
1/8 secs
F6.3
Click to see D60FL10.JPG
1,929.6 KB
1/6 secs
F6.3
Click to see D60FL11.JPG
1,853.1 KB
1/8 secs
F6.3
Click to see D60FL12.JPG
1,668.7 KB
1/8 secs
F6.3
Click to see D60FL13.JPG
1,558.3 KB
1/6 secs
F6.3
Click to see D60FL14.JPG
1,433.3 KB
1/6 secs
F6.3

 

 
ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test

Excellent job, with strong detail to 1,200 lines/picture height.

The D60 performed very well on the "laboratory" resolution test chart. It didn't start showing artifacts in the test patterns until resolutions as high as 850 lines per picture height vertically and horizontally. I found "strong detail" out to at least 1,200 lines, and "extinction" of the target patterns occurred at about 1,700 lines.

- It's official: At least as of this writing (March 22, 2002), the D60 shows the highest resolution I've yet recorded in a digicam!

Optical distortion on the D60 will completely depend on the lens in use, so reporting on it here is perhaps not too pertinent. OTOH, it does show just how good professional-grade prime lenses are. I shot this with Canon's 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, supposedly one of the sharpest and most distortion-free in Canon's lineup. I thus noticed only one pixel of barrel distortion on the Viewfinder Accuracy test target. Chromatic aberration is virtually nonexistent, as I only saw one very faint pixel of coloration. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Resolution Series
Large / Fine
Large / Normal
Medium / Fine
Medium / Normal
Small / Fine
Small / Normal

Sharpness Series
Low Sharpness
Normal Sharpness
High Sharpness

 

 
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity

An accurate through the lens (SLR) viewfinder.

The D60's optical viewfinder was just a little tight, showing just a little over 94 percent of the final image area. I personally prefer SLR viewfinders as close to 100% as possible, so the D60 did a pretty good job here. Flash distribution is pretty even, though slight falloff is present at the edges and corners, with a small "hotspot" near the center of the frame.

 


Wide Angle, Optical

 

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