Canon EOS 600D at a glance:
18-million-pixel CMOS sensor
Articulated, 1.04-million-dot, 3in screen
Street price approx £750
New Basic+ mode
Wireless flash control
Canon EOS 600D review – Introduction
As already mentioned, the Canon EOS 600D has an 18-million-pixel CMOS sensor and uses the company’s Digic 4 image processor. This produces images that measure 5184×3456 pixels and can be saved as JPEGs or 14-bit raw files. Unlike the Canon EOS 60D, the 600D does not allow you to choose the size of the JPEG file when shooting raw and JPEG simultaneously, and nor is there the option to save raw and small or medium JPEG files simultaneously, only large JPEG files. This feature is quite useful on the EOS 60D as it allows small JPEGs to be used for quick reference, therefore saving the space on the memory card that a large JPEG file would take up.
Another facet of the 60D’s specification that the 600D does not replicate is the shooting rate. The 60D shoots at up to 5.3fps for approximately 58 JPEG images or 16 raw images, while the 600D shoots at the same rate as the EOS 550D: 3.7fps for approximately 34 JPEGs or 7 raw images. The 60D also has a 1-stop faster maximum shutter speed of 1/8000sec compared to 1/4000sec on the 600D. That said, for most entry-level DSLR users, the 1/4000sec shutter speed and 3.7fps shooting rate will be perfectly adequate, as only those pursuing an interest in sports or wildlife photography will find the 60D’s extra speed advantageous.
For a long time EOS-system users required the Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter to control external flashguns. However, the company introduced in-camera wireless flash control with the EOS 7D and this has since appeared in the 60D and now the 600D. This is great news for creative photographers, particularly with two new Canon Speedlites – the 320EX and the 270EX II – expected to go on sale in the next few weeks.
Canon has really designed the 600D so that photographers can be as creative as possible, and it includes a number of features designed for changing the look of images in-camera. The first is an option to change the aspect ratio from the standard 3:2 to 16:9 or 1:1. The effect can be previewed when using live view and the images created have a maximum size of 5184×2912 pixels (approx 15.1 million pixels) and 3456×3456 pixels (approx 11 million pixels).
Like Olympus, Canon has introduced a range of Creative Filters, including grainy black and white, soft focus, toy camera and fish-eye, each of which can be applied to captured images during playback. Both the creative filters and the image aspect ratio adjustments are both found in the 60D, but not in the 550D.
Of the few ‘physical’ changes from the Canon EOS 550D, the screen is the most obvious. While it is of the same specification as that used in the 550D and 60D, it is a vari-angle screen like that of the 60D. Another feature bequeathed by this model to the 600D is the ability to give each image a star rating, which will help you sort and order images in catalogue and browsing software such as Adobe Bridge, Lightroom and Elements. However, the 600D has no in-camera level and its smaller battery is the same as the one used in the 550D.
For the enthusiast photographer on a budget the Canon EOS 600D is extremely well specified, with the highlights being the 18-million-pixel sensor and the high-resolution articulated rear screen