Canon EOS 600D review

£680
Price when reviewed

Those who crave a little more artistic input, but don’t fully understand the theory of aperture settings and shutter speed, can head for the Creative Auto mode. This allows users to choose the tone of the shot (warm, cool, intense and so on) as well as determine the amount of background blur on a sliding scale. The usual selection of automatic and manual modes can also be found on what has now become a rather overcrowded settings dial.

One final creative flourish is the addition of Creative Filters, allowing users to apply in-camera effects to pre-taken photographs, such as grainy black and white, a fish-eye simulation or the now ubiquitous Lomo toy-camera effect. These filters provide surprisingly good results, and adjusted images are saved as a copy to avoid harming the originals. They offer little, however, that you wouldn’t find in even the most basic, free photo-editing packages, such as Google Picasa.

Core specs

Aside from the new screen and the revamped automatic and creative modes, there’s little difference between the core specification of the 600D and its predecessor. They share the same 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, nine-point autofocus and 63-zone metering system; the same 3.7fps maximum burst speed for up to 34 JPEG frames, or six RAW frames.

This, naturally, means the 600D is capable of the same richly detailed, accurately exposed photographs as the 550D. It also means it suffers from the same small flaws: most notably the occasional lack of punch in brightly coloured scenes, although that’s easily rescued in post-production.

The ever-so-slightly revamped 18-55mm kit lens which came with our review unit shares the same super-fast autofocus and image stabilisation as its predecessor, and is a highly capable multipurpose lens.

Canon EOS 600D

For those who find themselves shooting indoors without a flash, the 600D’s ISO settings range all the way up to an effective 12800 in manual modes, although noise really does start to become intrusive at 3200 or above. One advantage the 600D holds over its predecessor, however, is support for wireless flash guns.

Verdict

Ultimately, the Canon 600D makes a far better camera than camcorder. But with the price starting at £680 for the body and kit lens, photographers are being asked to pay a high premium for that flip-out screen: a feature that will benefit videographers far more than photography buffs.

If you’re serious about recording HD video, you’ll be much better served by the dedicated camcorders on our A List. If, on the other hand, you’re serious about photography, the 600D is a superb, increasingly user-friendly camera; but you’ll find a near-identical feature set on the cheaper 550D.

Details

Image quality 5

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating 18.0mp
Camera screen size 3.0in
Camera optical zoom range 3x
Camera maximum resolution 18
Camera optical image stabilisation in kit lens

Weight and dimensions

Weight 770g
Dimensions 133 x 80 x 100mm (WDH)

Battery

Battery type included lithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard) 440 shots
Charger included? yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash? yes
Aperture range fUnknown - fUnknown
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed 1/4,000
Maximum (slowest) shutter speed 30s
Bulb exposure mode? yes
RAW recording mode? yes
Exposure compensation range +/- 5EV
ISO range 100 - 12800
Selectable white balance settings? yes
Manual/user preset white balane? yes
Progam auto mode? yes
Shutter priority mode? yes
Aperture priority mode? yes
Fully auto mode? yes
Burst frame rate 3.7fps
Exposure bracketing? yes
White-balance bracketing? yes
Memory-card type SD card
Viewfinder coverage 95%
LCD resolution 1,040k
Secondary LCD display? no
Video/TV output? yes
Body construction Plastic
Tripod mounting thread? yes
Data connector type N/A

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual? yes
Accessories supplied N/A

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