Canon T4i vs 60D: Is the T4i the Better Buy?

Canon t4i vs 60D Comparison

New T4i vs Aging 60D: Which is the Better Buy?

The powerful new Canon Rebel T4i surpasses the T3i in several ways, but how does it compare to the Canon 60D, the mid-level but slightly aged SLR? Surprisingly well, actually. With its new auto-focus system and processor, the T4i has caught up to the 60D in a couple of important respects, and bested it in others. The fact remains, though, that the 60D is a mid-level camera while the T4i is an entry-level model. How much difference will this make to a photographer who is progressing beyond being a novice? Enough that for some photographers the Canon 60D will still be the right choice, while for others, the T4i will be just as good or better. Let me explain.

As usual, a glance at the comparison table may be a useful place to start. To see the whole table at once, choose “50” from the drop-down menu in the upper left corner.

 Canon Rebel T4i / 650DCanon 60DCanon Rebel T3i / 600D
Canon EOS 60DCanon Rebel T3i
Amazon Price (body only)$669.95$869.00$459.00
Kit Price
(Body + 18-135 STM / 18-135 orig.)
Body MaterialPolycarbonate, Fiberglass Resin and Stainless SteelPolycarbonate, Aluminum, Fiberglass, and Stainless SteelPolycarbonate, Fiberglass Resin and Stainless Steel
LCD Size / Resolution3.0"
1,040,000 pixels
1,040,000 pixels
1,040,000 pixels
LCD Articulated?YesYesYes
LCD Touch Sensitive?YesNoNo
Sensor Size14.9 x 22.3mm (APS-C)14.9 x 22.3mm (APS-C)14.9 x 22.3mm (APS-C)
Crop Factor1.6x1.6x1.6x
Sensor Resolution18 Megapixels17.9 Megapixels17.9 Megapixels
ISO Range100-12800
Total AF Focus Points999
Cross-Type AF Sensors991
AF Light Level Range-.05 to +18 EV-.05 to +18 EV-.05 to +18 EV
Metering System63 Zone Point Linked Evaluative
9% Center Weighted
4% Spot
63 Zone Point Linked Evaluative
6.5% Center Weighted
2.8% Spot
63 Zone Point Linked Evaluative
9% Center Weighted
4% Spot
Exposure Compensation1/2 or 1/3 stops1/2 or 1/3 stops1/2 or 1/3 stops
Max Frame Rate : RAW (14-bit)~55.33.7
Max Burst Duration RAW (at highest frame rate)6166
Max Burst Duration JPG (at highest frame rate)305834
Shutter Speed Range1/4000th - 30 sec.
1/8000th - 30 sec.
1/4000th - 30 sec.
Maximum Flash Sync Shutter Speed (standard flash)1/200th sec.1/250th sec.1/200th sec.
HD Video Resolutions1080p, 720p1080p, 720p1080p, 720p
Available HD Video Frame RatesPAL and NTSC
24/25, 30 at 1080p
50, 60 at 720p
24/25, 30 at 1080p
50, 60 at 720p
24/25, 30 at 1080p
50, 60 at 720p
Firmware Sidecar AvailableUnknownWorking: Magic LanternWorking: Magic Lantern
Media TypeSD / SDHC / SDXC
UHS-I compliant
Weight575g (including battery)675g (body only)570g (including battery)
Viewfinder Coverage95%
.85x magnification
96% Frame,
.95x magnification
0.87x magnification
Built-In Wireless Strobe ControlYesYesYes


At first glance, the cameras appear to be quite close in this regard; thanks to its new Digic 5 processor, the Rebel now shoots at approximately 5 frames per second, while the 60D shoots at 5.3. However, the T4i did not receive a buffer memory upgrade along with its processor, so after 6 continuous RAW shots (just over a second), the T4i will have a full buffer, and shooting will slow to a crawl until the buffer data is fully written to the SD card. The 60D, on the other hand, can shoot for nearly 3 continuous seconds (16 RAW shots), or more likely, several shorter bursts within 4 or 5 seconds, before the buffer is filled. For both cameras, that number can be increased dramatically by shooting JPG, but of course, subject to the equally dramatic loss of image information that is stored (8-bit JPG files can record only ~1.5% of the data stored in a 14-bit RAW file).

When it comes to shutter speed and flash sync speed, the Canon 60D still holds the advantage. The top shutter speed of the 60D is 1/8000th of second, vs the 1/4000th sec. of the T4i. Despite the appearance, this is probably less significant than it seems; it is rare that photographers are able to shoot at their camera’s top shutter speed due to the bright light requirements, and there are few shooting situations in which a 1/8000th sec. shutter speed would freeze the action but 1/4000th would not. The flash sync speed, though, is slightly more significant: 1/250th on the 60D compared to 1/200th on the T4i. For photographers using flash (without high speed sync) mixed with ambient light to shoot action, such as basketball in a poorly lit gym, any loss of shutter speed below 1/500th of a second can contribute to partially blurred images. Very few amateur photographers shoot with off camera flash mixed with ambient light, however, because of the technical knowledge required. If you’re not interested in learning how to use complex flash setups, or if you only shoot with ambient light, this can be ignored when making your decision.

Features for Serious Shooters

One of the things that differentiates a serious photographer from a novice is the willingness to over-ride the camera’s suggested exposure and dial in something better, a process better known as “exposure compensation”. Indeed, for professionals (and particularly event photographers), the skill is critical. Both the T4i and the 60D are capable of exposure compensation, as are all modern SLRs, but the 60D follows the tradition of all professional-level EOS cameras since the late 1980s and provides the photographer with a thumb wheel on the back of the camera that instantly allows them to add or subtract up to 3 f-stops of exposure. To do the same thing on the T4i, the photographer must first locate and press the exposure compensation button [+/-] on the rear of the camera and then remove their finger from the shutter button to adjust the exposure, then return to it to take the photo. That may sound simple (and I suppose it is), but it is time consuming… and when wasting time means missing an important moment in an event, timing is everything.

Canon 60D vs T4i / Exposure Compensation and Rear Focus Button

Similarly, the top LCD panel on the 60D adds an extra convenience when time is tight; at a glance, you can check all of your camera’s important settings while lifting your camera to your eye. This is something that I usually take for granted, but every time I test an entry level camera, I recognize how much I rely on it. Of course, a display of all of these settings are also available on the T4i by simply pressing the “Q” [Quick Control Settings] button and looking at the rear LCD, but again, it takes time and a conscious effort.

Finally, the 60D also has a rear auto-focus button which allows the photographer to de-couple focus and shutter release. This is a feature that is ignored even by many advanced photographers, but many professional sports and wildlife photographers swear by it. An explanation of why it’s so popular is, unfortunately, beyond the scope of a comparison like this, but a it is well explained on by Canon’s Digital Learning Center. Again, this feature is available on the T4i by using a custom function to assign focusing to another button, but there isn’t a dedicated button for it.

Canon T4i and 60D TOP LCD Panel

Where Does the T4i Excel?

Even as an entry level camera, the Canon T4i has an advantage over the 60D by being a brand-new model, and consequently containing some of Canon’s newest technology. Though it provides several advantages over the older T3i, it holds only two real advantages over the 60D: the touch screen and the new video focusing system. The T4i’s new sensor also provides an additional f-stop of native high-ISO performance (ISO 12800 vs the 6400 of the 60D).

Initial opinions of the T4i’s touch screen have been mixed, but I think that it will generally be appreciated by photographers who are moving up from point-and-shoot cameras and iPhones. Users with large fingertips may, at times, find the menu layout more difficult to navigate than the interfaces of popular smart phones and tablets, as the menu items are relatively small, but this should not be a serious problem for most users, and browsing through photos and videos should be a snap.

Canon t4i Auto Focus Sensor

More important, though, is the ability to use an SLR for video in the same, easy way that most people would use a video camera: with fast, full-time auto-focus. All other Canon SLRs can focus (very) slowly while shooting video when the shutter button is pressed, but the AF system must search for the correct focal plane, then focus past it, and then back to it to make sure that it’s found the sharpest focus. This system is so slow and frustrating that casual video shooting has never been popular with Canon SLRs.

The T4i will change all of that. Not only is the continuous AF system capable of detecting and tracking faces, it is quite fast and no longer has to hunt past the correct focal plane to pull focus with its hybrid phase-detection system [from my limited experience, it still seems substantially slower the camera’s AF performance while shooting still photos, though].

It is also worth mentioning that the T4i has a new AF system for still photography as well, having upgraded all of its 9 AF points to cross-type sensors. As such, the T4i is right on par with the formerly superior AF system of the 60D.

Conclusion: Who Should Buy the T4i?

For the casual photographer, the Canon T4i is a very attractive option.

I recommend the T4i to photographers who:

  • want to shoot cinema quality HD video with the convenience of a video camera. The camera is perfect for video bloggers and others who need to record themselves, unassisted.
  • would appreciate the convenience of a touch screen LCD, and are willing to take the necessary precautions to keep it from breaking.
  • need fast performance, but do not shoot fast bursts of shots very frequently (ie, several times a minute)

However, I’d still recommend the 60D to photographers who:

  • shoot events and need quick access to exposure compensation
  • are not interested in shooting video or
  • prefer to shoot video with manual focus (as many film students or professionals will)
  • are not intimidated by browsing through the camera’s menu with buttons and arrows
  • frequently photograph action in RAW format and require frequent high-speed bursts of shots

If you do decide on the 60D, I’d strongly recommend NOT buying it with the old 18-135mm lens. Instead, buy the body alone and purchase the superior new 18-135mm IS STM version of the lens separately instead.

Also keep in mind that there are some tactile differences between the cameras. The 60D is physically larger and a little heavier, and it’s viewfinder provides a slightly larger image to view. Some photographers, especially those with larger hands, prefer the feel of the larger camera, while others will find the T4i’s compact size an advantage (especially those who need to pack light for travel or conceal a camera).

I’ve tried to keep this comparison brief and focused on the most important differences between the cameras, but if you have still have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments section below.


  • Fyan says:

    Hi Matthew…. awesome review btw. I’m very appreciated for it.
    I’m still confuse which one I must buy between both cameras (T4i/T5i or 60D), especially I realize 70D is better than the other one (70D have new sensor, dual AF, touch screen, build in wifi, etc.). I’m a beginner in photography, I like taking fisherman fishing (part of my hobbies), landscapes, children playing and wildlife photograph. I usually take them with my hand phone camera, but I don’t get my expectation (off course

    • My general advice is always this: buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs, and buy the best lenses that you can afford. From what you’ve said, it sounds like shooting with a T5i would be a big step up from shooting with a phone, and there’s nothing that you’ve mentioned that the camera wouldn’t be able to handle, although ANY slr will have a bit of a learning curve, and it takes practice before you’ll get the perfect picture every time. (OK, nobody gets the perfect picture every time… but you should be able to get something you’re satisfied with). Unless, of course, you want to shoot a lot of video with it, in which case you might consider the 70D.

      So, I’d go with the Canon T5i, probably with the 18-135 STM to start with, and then get specialized lenses according to what you like to shoot. Good luck!

      – Matthew

      • Fyan says:

        Thank you for your fast response and advice, I really appreciate it. I have one more question, since in T5i is no weather shield feature, how is effect to the weather changes?

  • Marc says:

    Mathew nice review and I never get a straight answer about the 60D does it have something that takes a good shot. I took some sample shots at best buy with the 60D and the speed that it locks in and the range of celerity of the image is amazing. Am I right about this camera and that was with a 18-135 lens I cant imagine what it could do with 24-105 lens. TY

    • Hi Marc,

      Yes, the Canon 60D is capable of taking great shots with a wide variety of lenses. I used a Canon 60D for years as a backup camera while shooting weddings and portraits, and it was great.

      The old 18-135mm kit lens that came with the 60D is not particularly sharp, optically, though it’s not terrible. The newer 18-135mm STM lens is much sharper and faster, and on an APS-C camera like the 60D, it will perform better than the 24-105 f/4L.

      You’ll get even better performance from some prime lenses, and of course L lenses like the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.

      – Matthew

  • Very useful article, but I find your comment about JPEG having 1.5% of RAW very suspect. Care to explain your math? (Don’t forget JPEG has 24 bits per pixel versus the 14 bits per pixel in a Canon RAW!)

    • Hi Pete,

      Actually, JPGs are 8-bit per channel, with 3 channels…. so there are 256 possible values in each channel. That’s a total of about 16.8 million colors possible (256 x 256 x 256) .

      Canon RAW files are 14-bit per channel. That’s a possible 16384 values per channel. The total number of possible colors, then, is 16384 x 16384 x 16384…

      But I was only referring to a per/channel basis… that is 256/16384= .0156

      Hope that helps.

      – Matthew

  • Alanna says:

    THank you for the wonderful article! But I am curious, I currently use the 60d and although it works well I just seem to have SO many problems with images coming out very noisy and grainy even at very low ISOs (just a week or so ago at a shoot I used between 200-400 and the images were terrible). So I was wondering if you’d suggest switching to the t4i or if you have any tips on getting less grainy images?

    • Hi Alanna,

      Grainy images can be caused by high ISO, of course, but it can also be caused by post processing (if you’re shooting RAW) or your camera’s image settings (if you’re shooting JPG). If you’re shooting JPG, stop. Shoot RAW.

      If you’re shooting RAW, here are a few things to keep in mind:

      • apply some noise reduction in lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (I find that a setting between 15-20 is usually about right, sometimes I’ll go as high as 30).
      • Apply masking to the sharpening that’s already applied in ACR/LR (if you’re not sure how to do that, watch my video on the subject on YouTube, here.
      • If you under expose when shooting and add exposure in post processing, the effect on the noise/grain is the same (or often worse) than shooting at a higher ISO, so make sure you’re exposing properly in camera. This is especially true for shadow detail.
      • In photoshop, sharpening should be the last step of your workflow, especially if you’re outputting for the web. When you reduce the image size, fine detail like noise may disappear, so it will not be affected by sharpening
      • Increasing contrast in post processing will make the grain more prominent, as will adding sharpening or “Clarity”. Use them in moderation, or only on select areas of the image.

      If you shoot JPG, make sure that your camera’s noise reduction is set to the correct level, make sure that the contrast, color, and sharpening settings are set to a conservative level… and it’s even more important with JPG to expose correctly.

      Regardless of whether you shoot JPG or RAW, it’s also worth keeping in mind that the more you crop your image, the worse the noise will be, so make sure that you fill the frame with your subject as much as possible when shooting.

      Hope that helps! (Getting a T4i or any other current Canon APS-C camera will not make a significant difference in image quality).

      If you’re already doing these things, please feel free to send me an image or two (preferably full resolution) via email and I’ll take a look and see if they seem abnormal to me. My email is

      – Matthew

  • Jay says:

    What would you recommend between the 2 for Private investigators?

    Keep in mind that most pictures and videos are taken in the day time; however in some occasion, we have to do it at night and a higher ISO is always recommended with obviously a good lens.

    Seeing that the 60d has a lower ISO max then the T4i pushes my decision towards the T4i; however seeing that the 60d has a penta prism vs penta mirror(T4i) pushes my decision towards the 60d….

    I guess you can see my dilemma here!!!! Your input would be truly appreciated.

    • Hi Jay,

      Despite the stated ISOs of the cameras, they both use virtually the same sensor to capture… actually, the 60D’s will give you slightly better image quality, though the difference is probably not visible except in lab conditions. Although the T4i can potentially be set 1 f-stop higher, the image quality isn’t actually going to be any better there than if you shot the 60D at the same ISO (you can achieve higher ISO’s simply by setting the 60D to ISO12800 [H] and using the big dial on the back of the 60D and dial in a -1 or -2, and then add exposure in post processing). And you should ALWAYS shoot RAW when using high ISO;  you’ll capture and be able to recover much more information from the frame; it will just take a little more work in post-processing (lightroom or your chosen developing module).

      That said, I wouldn’t shoot either camera above about ISO6400 if you need the image quality to be sufficient to use the images as evidence. The image quality gets bad really fast at high ISO… it gets blotchy and smeary, with weird green shifts with pink… in addition to the expected graininess. But that depends on your needs, of course.

      The brighter viewfinder of the 60D would probably make a difference in your line of work, but otherwise, I don’t see any major advantage of going for the 60D over the T4i. Maybe if you’re going to shoot long bursts of RAW files. Otherwise, I’d save the money for a large-aperture telephoto lens; you’ll need it.

      – Matthew

  • Fer Labastida says:

    Hi Thanks for the information,
    I while I’m using canon for photography, but it will soon be studying film and I want to change my team, really I’ll stay with my camera for photos, but I can not decide between these two cameras specifically for video, need good resolution and D60 makes me more professional, however I was reviewing videos in slow motion and other tests, and I found it quite optimal t4i, I want a professional camera and my budget option gives me these two do you recommend the D60 to cinema? And what could have video defects using a t4i? I need that cinematic look no video blogger.

  • Mridul Ghosh says:

    Very informative review. Thanks!
    I have an Xsi with 18-55, 55-250 and 50mm 1.8 . I am planning a lens and body upgrade this year. I am trying to decide between these two combo :

    1. Canon EFS 15-85 USM with xsi for now and 60D ( or 70D) if it comes out later and within $1000 body
    2. T4i with 18-135STM . This will help my video ( i use a canon HD camcorder and Iphone sometime but too much equipment to carry)

    My top subjects are my busy bee toddler, landscape and some portraits ( dont do telephoto too much except occasional zoo pics). I would appreciate if you coulsd suggest which of the above combo will be better for me for a long time ( 5 years+).


  • Hello Matthew I have bought Canon 60D last month and everything was fine but a great problem I have sought out in viewfinder. When I am looking out with full zoom in the sky then its show noisy look even after focus fixed but it does not affect to the picture. At first I thought it was the problem of body, I went to the shop and tried another body but problem is same. Such day I have exchanged my camera and back to my old one. I don’t know Canon informed or not about the problem. I tried to submit a quarries to them but sending report shown me error. So I request to them who going to purchase Canon 60D. At first try to find out the problem. If you think that its tolerable then fine.

  • Les says:

    I read this week that the 60D gave some owners false messages about a hot-shoe flash was attached when, in fact, it wasn’t. But this prevented the pop-up flash to operate. Any resolution from Canon? Thanks for your fine Q&A service.

    • Hi Les,

      Actually, that happened to me while I was shooting a wedding a couple of years ago… luckily the 60D was my backup camera. The problem was with a little switch in the hotshoe; there’s a piece of metal that actuates the switch that sometimes gets bent down by a flash and continues to hold down the button even after the flash is removed. For me, it was a very simple matter to just us a micro-screwdriver and bend it back up… and I guess I was aggressive enough about it that it was never a problem again…. that was over 2 years ago, and it has still never recurred. I was not happy at all when it did occur, though :)

      – Matthew

  • Jen says:

    I am new to the world of DSLRs, having only used Canon point-and-shoots in the past, or friends’ DSLRs already set up or in auto mode. In comparing the T4i with the 60D, I like the potential ability to “grow into” the 60D, but am wondering if it is going to be too much camera for a beginner. Are there enough presets available to make it user friendly without a lot of training? Is there any reason not to start with a 60D?

    I’ve been advised to purchase only the camera body as opposed to a lens kit, and then pursue something like the 50mm 1.8 lens as a starter. Thanks for your input.

    • Hi Jen,

      On either camera, you can set the mode dial to “P” or the green square, and it will be fully automatic, like any point and shoot. That’s pretty simple… I think that any beginner can handle that. They also both have the same “beginner” modes on the dial: action, portrait, close up, landscape, etc, which are equally easy to use… and then you can work on figuring things out a little bit as you go along.

      So, I wouldn’t worry at all about getting the 60D as a beginner. I would certainly avoid the kit lenses available with the 60D (the 18-135 USM and 18-200 USM are both pretty flawed, optically), and the 50mm is a cheap but great little lens to start with. Whether you’ll be satisfied with a single focal length is another question… you might decide to buy a better zoom lens or additional prime lenses.

      – Matthew

      • Don C says:

        I have the T4i and as a beginner I am quite pleased, but I would recommend the 18-135mm STM as a first lens and research additional lenses as per your personal usage.

  • Subir says:

    Your comments is better than others,,,I used to photography with Nikon D5100 and I was happy with her but due to some reason I have sold it. Now I am wanting to jump up to Canon 60D. I don’t know how will be logical to take it. Because some are saying its performance not good like 50D. On the other hand after hearing some negative comments I have decided to take Nikon D90. But D90 is going to market out gradually. I am entirely being confused with Canon 60D and D90. Could you please tell me what should be better for me. Its important to say that I am not interested on Video so as a still photographer I strongly give priority to good image quality. So please if possible suggest me which one will be the best.


    • Hi Subir,

      I’d take the Canon 60D over the D90 any day; but I’d probably prefer the Nikon D7000 or D7100 over either of them. Is there any particular reason that you’re not considering one of them? I suppose there is a price difference.

      – Matthew

      • Laura says:

        Just curious why you’d prefer either of the 2 Nikons over the Canon?

        • Laura,

          The D7000 and D7100 both have superior autofocus systems and metal (partially) body construction, and lower noise sensors than the 60D. I’d still choose the Canon 7D over a D7000. The D7100 has the advantage of being brand new, and has a sensor without an AA filter for extra sharpness.

          All four are great cameras, though… the differences are minor.

          – Matthew

  • Fernando says:

    Excelent,and helpful review!!! A quick question: If for some reason the touchscreen of the T4i doesn’t work, or I don’t want to use it, can I still access and perform allmthe actions by using the buttons and reading on the viewfinder?

    • Hi Fernando,
      That’s right; you can always use the traditional control methods if you don’t want to use the touch screen. The same buttons and dials will also work to navigate the menu and change your settings.
      – Matthew

  • Laura says:

    This was an awesome post as I too was in a quandry between the 60D and t4i/t5i. I have had a Nikon D60 (thankfully it was stolen!), and currently have a Sony A500 which shows purple fringing at the extreme end of the 70-300 zoom. This was making me crazy! I shoot horses moving and birds and nature, so I wanted crisp and sharp, with great color. Sounds like the 60D will be in my future as I am sure the 70D will be way out of my price point, and probably not significantly better than the 60D. Thank you for this helpful article! The comments and reviews were excellent! Happy Shooting all!!

    • Hey Laura,

      Glad you found the post useful :) Before anything else, let me say that the purple fringing you’re getting from your A500 is actually the fault of the lens, not the camera… and it can probably be removed in post processing, if you use Adobe Lightroom or ACR (with Photoshop). In fact, color is such a subjective thing, it’s really important to learn how to post-process your photos so that you can get accurate, vivid colors regardless of the camera you’re using.

      Anyway… I think the 60D does sound like a great choice :) Hope you enjoy it!

      – Matthew

      • Laura says:

        Do you think that the 7d would be a better choice for me? Or do you know what Canon is coming out with in the future in this midrange price point? The 7d and 60d are both 3-4 years old, nothing new as far as processors in that middle level camera. I don’t want to go to a Rebel, nor can I afford to go up in the several thousand dollar range!!

        • Hi Laura,

          The 7D certainly has some advantages over the 60D, but I’m not sure that it’s a better choice for you at the moment. You’re going to get the same image quality from both of them.

          I expect that Canon will be announcing a new mid-range SLR within the next few months (perhaps on the 31st of this month; Canon has scheduled a press conference for that day)… probably the 70D. I can only speculate about when that will come and how good it will be, though.

          – Matthew

  • Chloe says:

    Thanks for all this great info, I was looking at of these cameras but I’m not sure which one would be best. I was wondering if you have any advice? I currently have a little Kodak point and shoot and the Canon SX20IS but I’m looking to upgrade to get better quality photos. I don’t really have a need for video (I use it sometimes as ive been able to use it to compensate when the speed hasn’t and then go back and edit the video to photos, but it’s not a big deal). At the store where I’ve found these cameras, the lady says it would be best to use the 18-200 IS Lens (which comes with the 60D) as opposed to the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS and 18-55 IS II lens that come with the rebel as she said the latter two have no image stabilization (it wasn’t displayed) however the info above which I got from their website would suggest otherwise?

    • Hi Chloe,

      Sorry for the delay; it’s been a busy couple of days :)

      I think that I have an article somewhere on this site that says Never Buy an 18-200mm lens, regardless of brand. I’ll stand by that today; the image quality just is not good enough to be worth the convenience of having a big zoom range. I’d always go with the 55-250 instead, with an 18-55 lens to compliment it.

      With the T4i, the 18-135mm STM lens would also be a good choice, though.

      – Matthew

      • Chloe says:

        Thanks so much for the information in your reply. Which camera would you recommend overall? There is only a $50 price difference with the two as I listed above, however the 60D comes with 18-200 IS lens as opposed to the T4i which comes with the two separate ones, however it is debatable whether they have image stabilization (it says so on the website but in store it didn’t appear on the boxes). As this will be my first DSLR, I would like the ability to grow into it rather than feel in a few years time that a newer model may provide more of a challenge.

        • Both of the lenses do have “IS” (image stabilization), no question about that. They are not USM lenses, unfortunately, so they don’t focus as fast as Canon’s more professionally oriented models, but they’re still great lenses.

          As for an overall recommendation… there are strong points for both, so it really depends on what you plan to do with it. If video is not a big concern, that’s a mark in favor of the 60D. I’m not sure I can think of anything to say that I haven’t already said in the end of the article above, though.

          If you do decide to buy the 60D, you might consider buying it online, without a kit lens… and buying a lens separately, depending on what you need instead of what is bundled. In the Right-Column of this site, there’s a menu with “Lens Recommendations” that you might find useful, there.

          – Matthew

  • Chappy says:


    Question regarding Canon 60D.

    From reviews and camera enthusiasts, I have essentially been swayed toward the 60D instead of upgrading to the either T4i or T5i. I’ve been using the Xsi since its release…and it’s time to upgrade. In the end, I’m looking for better low light potential and faster fps. I could get either from the 60D or T4/5. I really do not care at all about the video component, otherwise I’d just get a high-end video camera.

    I’m in the Military, so I take a lot of still/action shots (range from alot of light to little at all–and sometimes a flash is not an option due to conditions of blackout)–which is why I’ve leaned more toward the 60D (unless you’d recommend another direction). I do need the ability of great stop action range at times, which the 1/8000 of the 60D may provide over. I recognize that there are more manual options with the 60D vs. the T series. Thought not a beginner, I am an active novice when it comes to photography. It still seems that are some ‘preset’ options on the 60D if, for whatever reason, I would choose to shoot out of RAW for JPEG instead.

    My main question regards the lens options that typically come with the 60D Kit (18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD or -200mm). Since I would not be purchasing for the video capability, should I merely stick with the lens kit option; or, purchase 60D body only and buy the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM . I also own a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. If I go with the 60D, should I keep this lens or sell to upgrade to another lens. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You & Life Blessings,

    • Hey Chappy,

      Sounds like you’re right on about the Canon 60D, although if you were willing to put some more money into it (quite a bit more), the 6D would give you much better low light performance… though it doesn’t have the same top shutterspeed.

      I’m not a fan of the 18-135 USM lens, but the 18-135 STM would be a good option. As as alternative, you might think about a good quality shorter zoom, like the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8, which will give you much more light. Go ahead and keep the 70-300, too… it’s also a pretty good lens, though the USM is a little slower than usual, as you probably know.

      – Matthew

  • Dwayne says:

    Hi Matthew,

    Firstly i am blown away that you take so much time in responding to comments, just reading your responses makes me feel like i you actually care(i want you as a photography mentor lol). I really appreciate that, keep it up.

    I dont know what i would do if i had known about the 60D before purchasing my T4i(which should be arriving tomorrow). I had a really really really hard time choosing it over the T3i and now that i am learning that the 60D is weather resistant i am wondering if i made the correct decision. I am brand new to DSLRs, had a canon powershot A720 for years and i’m finally seeing some of its limitations and it has taken a beating over the years also, so i decided to take the expensive plunge into DSLRs. So i am really a newbie. Both myself and my wife will be using it and she is less experienced that i am. With that being said the touch screen is something that appeals to me and i am 100% sure it would appeal to her as well. However for me protecting this investment(and even though i bought an entry level camera for me its still quite a bit of money) is a huge factor and the thought that rain or whatever else could damage the T4i is something i find myself thinking about a whole lot now. I am just thinking how much better my camera would be if it could resist these elements.

    Do you think i’m being paranoid?

    Also i know this has nothing to do with your article but can you recommend someplace where i can get tutorials on DSLR shooting in general and stuff on using the T4i (preferably free) if there isn’t any free sites then paid sites. Right now i am using a 7 day free trial on and trying to maximize these 7 days.

    • Hi Dwayne,

      When it comes down to it, I never really trust the weather sealing on most of my cameras… and even when a camera body is weather sealed, only a relatively small number of the lenses are, so having a sealed body may not be such a big deal. There are lots of options for you if you think you might get stuck in bad weather, too: any pro photographer (especially here in the Seattle area probably has something like this rain-cover stuffed in a camera bag, or something more professional like this one from Think Tank.

      As for SLR tutorials, I’m afraid that I can’t be of much help. I’ve been thinking about putting together a series myself, but its at the bottom of a long to-do list. You can get a good start on the Theory part of it by watching my video on The Three Basics, and of course, you can start looking at the articles in the “Learning Photography” section in the right-column menu. When it comes to operating your camera, the manual and the videos provided by Canon are probably the best place to start.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • James Karamath says:

    Hi Matt,
    This article is exactly what I needed – to chew over whether I want the 60D or carry on with the Rebel line. I am not a fan of flash (except for fill-in) and thus really like good high ISO capable camera (wedding photography in relatively dark churches or reception parties…). Touchscreen I don’t care for and i’m sure I could learn to cope with the video focussing issues. I’d like to know more on how much difference having a 6400 ISO of the 60D compares to the 12800 of the newer two Rebels. If I used 6400 on each one would I notice a difference in otherwise identical photos? Are 6400 images even acceptable on these cameras? I hear the extension to 12800 (or 25600) that they offer is simply the equivalent of changing the exposure compensation and dealing with the noise. Is this true?

    Also – I currently have an old Rebel Xti with a special kind of firmware that allows me to get (noisey and bandy as hell) ISO 3200 pics from it when desperate. Are similar firmware “”””cracks”””” available do you know for these modern DSLRs from Canon? I’m guessing I’ll notice a spectacular increase in higher ISO quality given I’m upgrading effectively by about 4 years…

    Thank you once again for this great stub.

    James K

    • Hi James,

      The ISO performance of the 60D and the newest Rebels is basically equivalent, if we’re talking about RAW images. The T4i / T5i sensor does have the hybrid Phase detection, but there’s no improvement in image quality otherwise (in fact, there’s a slight loss) over the T3i / 60D. There may be minor differences in how the cameras will process the JPGs, but shooting JPG is already throwing away a vast amount of image quality.

      For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t even consider shooting ISO3200 or above, professionally on a Canon APS-C. On the 60D, I will shoot 800, and sometimes will go as high as 1600. Beyond that, I don’t think that I’m providing my clients professional image quality. I don’t have any problem with shooting ISO 6400 on my 5D Mark III; the image quality remains quite good there. If the light is so bad that ISO 1600 and a wide aperture lens (on the 60D) is not going to give me enough light, then I’d feel obligated to use strobe heads to mimic the natural light.

      I don’t know of any firmware hacks that allow you to increase the ISO settings, but I do know that I wouldn’t want to; the highest settings (H1, H2) are already awful. You should look into the Magic Lantern firmware hacks, though… they offer impressive benefits for video and for stills.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • Sam says:

    I’m thinking leaning more towards the 60d but the main thing that i want the camera for is video, What is the difference in video between the two? should I switch to 4i and how long can i record?

    • The main difference, when it comes to video, is that the Canon T4i is capable of autofocusing continuously while shooting video, and the 60D is not. With the T4i, you can record for a half-hour (actually 29 minutes, 59 seconds); the camera automatically breaks the file into 4GB sections to work around the file limit on the FAT32 file-system of the SD cards.

      Incidentally, the T5i has a feature that the T4i had dropped (the T3i had it), which is the ability to use the high resolution sensor for digital zoom (3x – 10x), so in theory, you could shoot video with a 50mm f/1.8 lens as a 500mm f/1.8 lens. I haven’t played around with this much, so I don’t know what the quality is actually like.

      So, you might want to consider the Canon T5i instead; it should be shipping now.

      • Lucas says:

        Just to tag on to the video question – I have spent the past 3 weeks deciding between the Nikon D7000 and the 60D.

        In the research I did on the Nikon D7000 and the 60D, I read (repeatedly) that Canons are better for video. However, the advantage the D7000 had was the Auto-focus feature during video shooting (where the 60D has none). This had me leaning towards the D7000 until I read that, “yes, it has autofocus for video but it is barely worth using.” I’ve watched videos of the camera trying to focus during video and it’s sad. With that I went to the 60D because of the swivel screen.

        Then I started looking at the Rebel series and came across this article (very well done by the way, concise but informative). I am looking to shoot videos with whatever DSLR I end up buying so I know both the 60D and T4i are good choices. SO here’s my question. Is the video auto-focus on the T4i just as poor as on the D7000?

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