Canon EOS 600D - More of the Good Stuff

Launch SRP: S$1199

Design & Handling

Design & Handling

The 600D looks almost identical to the 550D. It's slightly heavier and wider, so it looks more 'muscular' as a result, and has more leather accents. The layout of controls are also almost identical, but have been refined. The grooves on the back are more deeply contoured than the 550D's, especially the right-hand thumb grip which makes the camera easier to hold. Unlike the 550D, the 600D comes with a three-inch swivel LCD, and it has the same resolution as the 60D's LCD screen at 1.04 million dots, giving you stunningly vibrant previews.

In general, the 600D handles well. Controls are conveniently placed, giving you quick access to essential settings. The camera feels good in the hands, especially with the improved thumb-rest; the AF system is quick and dependable (except in Live View), and the camera responds quickly to the shutter release.

The 600D has more leather accents in comparison to the 550D, and gains a more muscular look.

The most obvious physical difference between the 600D and the 550D is the new articulating LCD screen.

The 600D's thumb-rest has a deeper groove, giving the camera a better grip.

The 600D's auto-focus is slow in Live View (i.e., when contrast detection is used), usually taking three to four seconds or so to get a lock. There's no automatic follow-focus when shooting video, but you can enable a half-shutter press for re-focusing during recording. Live View AF speed improves if you switch over to Quick Mode (which enables the more traditional phase detection method), but that works by shutting down Live View for a few moments while the camera focuses, which means you won't be able to see anything until focus is achieved and Live View resumes. If you shoot primarily with the optical viewfinder, the AF system is dependably fast and accurate.

We like the dedicated ISO button on the top of the camera, which gives quick access to ISO settings. Like previous Canon EOS DSLR cameras, the Info view on the LCD becomes an interactive menu when you press the 'Q' button, giving you quick access to various settings.

The 600D gains a new DISP. button beside the ISO button. It helps - or not - when using the new Advanced Movie Crop, which we'll go into later.

The Info screen becomes a useful interactive menu when you press the 'Q' button, letting you change settings easily.

The new Creative Auto mode makes it easy to modify the look of your image by letting you choose from different ambient settings and degrees of background blur.

Like the 60D, the 600D offers no quick, one-step way to record video. In modes other than video, the Record/Live View button only toggles between Live View and the optical viewfinder. To shoot video, you have to exclusively be in video mode, wherein the Live View button then becomes the Record button. Unlike other cameras like the Panasonic GH2, you can't quickly grab videos while in other modes.

There is no dedicated video record button on the 600D, the Live View button only toggles between Live View and the optical viewfinder in shooting modes other than Video.

Only when the mode dial is turned to Video does Live View automatically activate, and the Live View button turns into the video record button.

Cameras like the Panasonic GH2 have a dedicated video record button, which let you record video straight away no matter which mode you're in.

The Good
Excellent photo resolution & ISO performance up to ISO 3200
An overall improvement from 550D, including Handling
Built-in wireless flash controller for easy off-camera flash
The Bad
Slow AF in Live View
No dedicated video record button
Close in price to similar cameras in Canon's range

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