Canon 600D Review

Canon 600D

 

Canon 600D Review

The most outstanding novelty of the Canon 600D compared to its predecessor 550D is probably the folding and swivelling screen. Already with the 60D, such a system was used and was able to inspire in practice. The screen is 3:2 aspect ratio and measures 7.6 cm (3″) diagonally, its resolution is fine 1,040,000 pixels (720 x 480 pixels).

Also new is the iFCL exposure meter inherited from the EOS 7D, which measures color, brightness and sharpness on two layers in 63 zones.

Most of the other equipment details, on the other hand, are already found in the 550D. For example, the APS-C CMOS image sensor with 18 megapixels resolution and the FullHD video function with different frame rates of 30, 25 and 24 fps. MPEG-4 compression (H.264/AVC) is still used for storage. The ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 6,400 and can be increased to 12,800 after activation in the menu. The 14 bit deep image processing is done by the Digic-4 image processor.

Short Evaluation Of The Canon 600D

Pros

  • Good ergonomics (handle and operating interface)
  • Good image quality with high resolution and crisp playback
  • Wide range of functions with all basic photographic functions
  • Folding and swivelling, high-resolution screen

Cons

  • Program selector wheel with impractical end stops
  • Relatively short battery life
  • No video-compatible automatic refocusing
  • With over four seconds indisputably slow contrast autofocus

As the great-granddaughter of the legendary EOS 300D, the current Canon 600D no longer has much in common with its ancestor. Instead, with its extensive technical equipment, it is advancing into more demanding regions. To name a few: the folding and swivelling screen, the FullHD video function or the rich 18 megapixel resolution, which is even found two classes higher in the EOS 7D.

 

Canon 600D

Canon 600D

Canon 600D

 

The continuous shooting speed is a maximum of 3.7 frames/s, the autofocus has nine measuring fields, with the middle one being a particularly light-sensitive cross sensor. The operation is aimed entirely at beginners, although the camera can also be controlled completely manually if desired. There is an automatic scene mode selection, but also a setting in which the camera automatically adjusts contrast, sharpness and color based on the subject. Creative effects are available in Basic+ mode, where the user can set the image style to warm, cool or intense. The menu operation is made easier by the displayed information texts according to Canon.

Especially beginners should be able to experiment with the camera without studying the instruction manual. Creative effects such as “fisheye”, “miniature”, “toy camera”, “black-and-white with grain” and “blur” can be added or applied to expand the possibilities. The Canon 600D is available since April 2010 with the new set lens EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS II, which will replace the previous set lens (without II).

Ergonomics and Workmanship

Although the Canon EOS 600D comes in a solid plastic case, the usual class case doesn’t cause any real storms of enthusiasm. The rubberized handle, on the other hand, is very well done in view of the compact housing. It has a pleasant grip and always ensures a secure hold.

At the bottom of the case there is a metal tripod thread in the optical axis, which is also far enough away from the battery compartment, at least for smaller tripod exchange plates. The Li-Ion energy donor is sufficient for only 440 recordings according to the CIPA standard, which is not much for a DSLR.

However, an adapter can also be connected via a rechargeable battery dummy and a cable outlet attached to the side of the battery compartment. The memory card compartment on the right-hand side of the housing allows access to the SD, SDHC or SDXC card at any time, but lacks a spring that automatically opens the flap after unlocking it.

On the opposite side of the camera there are two rubber flaps behind which the connections for remote release, stereo microphone, HDMI and the combined USB-AV socket are located. The EOS 600D offers everything a hobby photographer and filmmaker needs for everyday use, with the exception of the flash sync socket, which is unusual in this class anyway. The three inch screen triggers true enthusiasm. The 7.5 centimetre screen diagonal and over a million pixels are a real feast for the eyes, especially as the display with its 3:2 aspect ratio corresponds to the classic photo format. In addition, this screen is also foldable and swivelling, with which Canon imitates the direct competition Nikon D5000 or D5100.

Thanks to LiveView, the photographer can still take pictures with live image control even from perspectives that are unfavorable for viewfinder photography. But the fun is spoiled by the fact that the contrast autofocus takes four seconds – that’s not good for action shots! But via the menu adjustment, one can persuade the 600D to briefly fold down the mirror for focusing also in the LiveView mode in order to use the phase autofocus that is approximately ten times faster.

Despite the many mechanical movements, this is significantly faster than with contrast autofocus. Interestingly, the trigger delay is even a few milliseconds shorter when LiveView is activated than in mirror viewfinder mode, which is explained by the fact that the mirror no longer has to oscillate upwards.

Canon 600D

The Canon EOS 600D has a pleasing user interface and direct dialling keys for almost all important functions. This also includes a dial located above the shutter release button. However, depending on the setting, the arrangement of the keys forces the user to perform a serial operation instead of a parallel one, for example with the ISO sensitivity setting. The button and wheel are so close together that it is better to operate them one after the other instead of changing the setting when the button is pressed in parallel, which works well, for example, with the exposure setting. One gets used to these whims just as quickly as to the somewhat idiosyncratic individual function menu or the program selector wheel, each of which has a limit stop and thus requires a long adjustment path between creative manual exposure and video mode.

If one directs the view from the breathtaking screen into the mirror finder, be it because the ambient light conditions or the dynamic motif make it necessary, one is brought back to the ground of facts. Although the 0.87x magnification is not bad for the hobby area, the viewfinder does not allow a cinematic feeling such as in the 35mm full format area. After all, there is a status line with important photo parameters and a display of the nine autofocus points.

Canon 600D

Equipment And Features

A classic SLR camera should not be without manual exposure, mirror lock-up, dimming function and exposure bracketing. Here, the EOS 600D doesn’t give itself any nakedness, on the contrary, it can even come up with many more functions. Thus, the motif programs up to a fully automatic mode ensure that one does not necessarily have to deal with the technical side of photography, but can simply capture the motif with full concentration on the digital chip. Also the Canon-typical depth of field program A-DEP is not missing. It tries to focus on as large an area of the subject as possible.

The video mode is meanwhile already part of the mandatory program, and the EOS 600D can certainly come up with some settings here. At 24 or 25 frames per second it achieves FullHD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), at HD with 1,280 x 720 pixels even 50 frames per second are fixed, perfect for later generation of slow motion recordings. The internal mono microphone, on the other hand, is not convincing, especially as it records every operating noise on the camera.

Fortunately, Canon has thought about the stereo microphone connection, so that you can also achieve reasonable sound quality here, which should not be missing in a decent video. Those who want to focus during the video recordings, however, are badly served with the Canon.

It does not have a continuous video autofocus and the automatic focusing at the touch of a button works slowly, loudly, jerky and pumping, so it is no pleasure. Other DSLR manufacturers can do this better, albeit far from perfect. Not quite state of the art anymore is the fact that you first have to switch to the video mode and you cannot start the movie recording at any time with a dedicated button.

 

Canon 600D

Canon 600D

 

The missing autofocus auxiliary light can also be criticized; instead, the integrated flash light with stroboscopic light has to be used. After all, it can be turned off. If the system flash is plugged in externally, the built-in AF auxiliary light can still be used automatically. The flash can be opened manually by pressing the corresponding button or automatically in the scene modes.

It is a pity, however, that the flash button does not allow access to the flash functions, which are hidden in the menu instead. Here, however, a large variety of settings is revealed. In addition to flash intensity and flash timing, the EOS 600D can also influence the flash light metering and as the crowning feature, the EOS 600D is able to control system flashes as master wireless with the internal flash unit. Even the settings for the channel and the group control have made it into the EOS 600D menu.

If a system flash mounted on the TTL shoe has user settings that can be controlled by the camera, these can even be changed from the camera.

As extensive as the shooting settings of the EOS 600D may be, it is rather sparingly equipped in playback mode. While other manufacturers offer dozens of filters and other editing options, Canon limits itself to five lean creative filters such as grainy black-and-white, blur, fisheye effect, toy camera effect and miniature effect. After all, there are, and this again refers to the shooting mode, the image style settings in which the photographer can adjust sharpness, contrast, color saturation and hue in seven steps. In addition to default settings, there are also three user memories.

Picture quality

In addition to the practical image acquisition, the EOS 600D was also put through its paces in the test laboratory. The tests are performed according to the DIWA standard using the DxO Analyzer software.

Canon 600D

The 18-55 mm IS II set lens on the EOS 600D offers quite good image sharpness, at least if you limit the demands to 20 x 30 centimeter prints. Here there are no limitations at any aperture from F3.5 to F22 and no focal length that could be seen with the naked eye. The MTF-50% resolution looks a bit different, where a significant drop in resolution is noticeable towards the image corners.

The highest resolution over all focal lengths and up to the edge of the picture can be achieved with aperture F8, above this, with the exception of the telescopic position, resolution losses due to diffraction are already apparent. At wide-angle, almost 55 line pairs per millimetre are achieved, a respectable 44 at the edge of the picture. Less convincing is the tendency towards chromatic aberrations, which are more or less visible at all apertures and focal lengths.

These color fringes are even visible on 20 x 30 centimetre prints. Canon has the edge darkening better under control, at least if one leaves the vignetting correction, which is activated by default, switched on. Distortion is particularly noticeable in the wide angle position, where it is clearly visible in the shape of a barrel.

Canon 600DCanon has the image noise well under control. The signal-to-noise ratio is very good at ISO 100 and 200, remains at a good level up to ISO 800, but then drops steeper. Colour noise only plays a role at ISO 6.400 and above and is not visible before. The granularity of the noise is also relatively low, with the exception of the red channel, which has a distinct upward excursion at ISO 800.

The brightness noise is also quite low up to and including ISO 3.200, but then increases significantly. Overall, you can use the camera quite well up to ISO 3,200, but should always prefer the lowest possible sensitivity for clearer images. In terms of input dynamics, on the other hand, you should better limit yourself to a maximum of ISO 1,600, because by then it will be at a high level with over 10 f-stops. It also loses out significantly with each ISO step.

The output tonal range visibly loses dynamics from ISO 100 to ISO 12.800, so that the images appear somewhat less contrasting at higher ISO settings.

The Canon is very inconsistent when it comes to color reproduction. Above all, the choice of the ISO level has a clear influence on how the colors are actually reproduced. This dependency is particularly evident in the red and magenta areas. While green, yellow and partly also blue tones are reproduced quite neutrally, there are clearer color shifts in the orange, red and magenta areas. Even if one averages the values, one cannot certify a neutral colour rendering of the EOS 600D, whereas the white balance works quite precisely over all ISO sensitivities.

The color depth, on the other hand, decreases significantly from ISO 100 to 12,800, so that the 600D displays fewer differentiated colors at higher sensitivities. It is good up to ISO 400, mediocre at ISO 800, but there are already clearer limitations above that if only 18 to 20 bits are resolved. However, this is due to the nature of the matter or the signal amplification and the decreasing signal-to-noise ratio, so the EOS 600D in particular is not to be blamed.

 

Canon 600D

 

Bottom line

The Canon EOS 600D is the most convincing in terms of features and image quality. Although processing and performance do not cause storms of enthusiasm, they are at a level that is usual in their class. The operation is Canon-typically well designed but partly slightly idiosyncratic. The enjoyment of the excellent and foldable and swiveling screen is weakened by the unspeakably slow contrast autofocus, here the Quick-AF-LiveView mode is recommended. Above all, the equipment does not lack any basic photographic functions such as mirror lock-up, dipping button, bracketing and manual exposure. However, it has little to offer in the creative image processing functions, where other manufacturers excel. But above all, the good image quality with high resolution and low noise ensures that you don’t make a big mistake when buying the EOS 600D.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Canon
Model EOS 600D
Price approx. 770 EUR* at market launch in 2010
Sensor Resolution 18.7 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 5.184 x 3.456
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens Canon EF-S 3.5-5.6/18-55mm IS II
Filter threads 55 mm
Viewfinder Pentas mirrors
Field of vision 95 %
Enlargement 0,87-fold
Diopter compensation -3 to +1 dpt.
LCD monitor 3″
Disbandment 1.040.000
rotatable yes
swivelling yes
as viewfinder yes
Video output PAL/NTSC ,HDMI
Program automation yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long-term exposure yes
Scene modes
Portrait yes
Children/Babies
Countryside yes
Macro yes
Sports/Action yes
more 2
Exposure metering Multi-field, Center-weighted Integral, Selective, Spot
Flash yes
Flash connection System flash shoe
Remote release Cable, Infrared
Interval shooting
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode yes
Size MOV
Codec AVC/H.264
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
at frame rate 30 images/s
Sensitivity
automatic 100-6.400 (upper limit adjustable)
manually ISO 100-12.800
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Light bulb yes
Other Shadow, flash, manual color temperature selection
Manual yes
Autofocus
Number of measuring fields 9
AF auxiliary light Flash salvo
Speed approx. 0.4 s
Languages Yes
more 24 languages
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Weight
(Ready)
560 g (body only) 780 g (with lens*)
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manual on lens
Battery life approx. 440 recordings (without LiveView)
– = “not applicable” or “not available
“* with lens Canon EF-S 3.5-5.6/18-55mm IS II

 

Short evaluation Of The Canon 600D

Pros

  • Good ergonomics (handle and operating interface)
  • Good image quality with high resolution and crisp playback
  • Wide range of functions with all basic photographic functions
  • Folding and swivelling, high-resolution screen

Cons

  • Program selector wheel with impractical end stops
  • Relatively short battery life
  • No video-compatible automatic refocusing
  • With over four seconds indisputably slow contrast autofocus

Canon EOS 600D Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 22.5 x 15.0 mm (crop factor 1.6) 18.7 megapixels (physical) and 18.0 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 4.3 µm
Photo resolution
5.184 x 3.456 pixels (3:2)
2.592 x 2.592 pixels (1:1)
2.592 x 1.728 pixels (3:2)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Colour depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.21), DCF standard (version 2.0)
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 29 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 59 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 59 p
Maximum recording time 29 min 59 sec
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)
Audio format (video) WAV

Lens

Lens mount
Canon EF-S

Focus In The Canon 600D

Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 9 sensors
Autofocus Functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual, AF Assist Light
Focus control Depth of field control, dimming button, Live View

Viewfinder and Monitor

Reflex viewfinder Reflex viewfinder (95 % image coverage), 19 mm interpupillary distance, diopter compensation (-3.0 to +1.0 dpt), replaceable focusing screens, grille can be faded in
Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels

Exposure

Exposure metering Centre-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 63 fields, spot measurement (measurement over 4 % or 9 % of the image field)
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (automatic) bulb function
Exposure control Program automatic, Aperture automatic, Time automatic, Manual
Bracketing function Bracket function with maximum 3 shots, step size from 1/3 to 2 EV
Exposure compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 6.400 (automatic) ISO 100 to ISO 12.800 (manual)
Remote access Remote tripping
Scene modes various scene modes, landscape, night scene, close-up, portrait, sports/action, fully automatic, 1 additional scene modes
Picture effects B/W filter in yellow/orange/red/green, B/W tinting effects in blue/violet/green
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sun, White balance bracketing, Fine tuning, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp, Incandescent light, Manual
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 3.7 frames/s at highest resolution and max. 34 stored photos or 6 RAW images
Self-timer Self-timer at intervals of 2 s, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Shooting functions Live histogram

Flashgun For The Canon 600D

Flash built-in flash (hinged) flash shoe: Canon, standard centre contact
Flash number Guide number 13 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, Fill Flash, Flash On, Flash Off, High Speed Sync, Slow Sync, Red-Eye Reduction

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD
Power supply Yes, power supply connection is available
Power supply 1 x Canon LP-E8 (lithium ion (Li-Ion), 7.4 V, 1,080 mAh)
Playback Functions Playback histogram, image index, slide show function
Voice memo Voice memo (WAV format)
Special functions Orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High Speed
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output Mini (Type C)
Supported direct printing methods Canon Direct Print, PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″
Features and Miscellaneous built-in low-pass filter with dust protection functionDIGIC 4 signal processing processor Highlight

Tone PriorityAuto
Lighting Optimizer Simultaneous
JPEG and RAW recording possible9-point autofocus
with automatically or individually selectable AF working range
from -0,5 to 18 EV single autofocus and/or predictive focus tracking (ONE SHOT/AI FOCUS/AI SERVO)
PTP support Adjustable
image parameters (6 Picture Style presets 3 custom settings)
Metering information display in Playback mode with highlighting of the highlights playback zoom (1,5x to 10x magnification)
Orientation sensor for automatic image alignment11
Personalization function with 34 settings24, 25 or 30 fps at 1080p50
or 60 fps at 720p7x
lossless digital zoom by crop with VGA video recording

Size and Weight Of The Canon 600D

Dimensions W x H x D 133 x 100 x 80 mm
Weight 570 g (ready for operation)

Other

included accessories Canon LC-E8E Battery charger for special batteriesCanon
LP-E8 Special batteryCanon
RF-3 (housing cover)
Video connection cableUSB connection cableBajonet coverCarrying strapPicture editing softwareZoomBrowser EX camera software
EOS Utility / Remote Capture camera software
Photo StitchTwain
Driver 2000Picture viewing
and management software Zoom Browser EX (PC) or Image Browser (Mac)
Optional accessories Canon ACK-E8 AC AdapterCanon
Ef (Eyecup)
Canon BG-E8 Rechargeable battery/battery handleCanon
LP-E8 Special batteryCanon
RS-60E3 Cable remote controlInterchangeable memory cardCanonEF- und EF-S Interchangeable lens systemCanon
Speedlite EX system flash unitsOcular extension
EP-EX15IIEye correction lens
series E with rubber frame EfIR remote control

Firmware update for Canon 600D And 1100D: Fixing Of Flash problems:

Canon provides a new firmware for the two entry-level DSLRs EOS 600D and EOS 1100D. Version 1.02 for the 600D and 1.0.5 for the 1100D corrects some spellings in Portuguese and Italian in the menus. In addition it fixes two problems with the Canon Speedlite 270 EX II flash unit. The autofocus of the cameras did not work with these and could not be triggered in LiveView. Updates can be installed by the owner using the instructions on Canon’s support website. If you do not have the confidence to do so, you should contact your dealer or Canon support.

 

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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.