1. Initial impression
The 60D is lighter than the 7D. The grip is also slightly smaller. No creaking whatsoever. The plastics are a bit textured, and feel nicer than the Rebels. Concerning size, the 60D is again slightly larger, but doesn't feel as bulky as the 7D or 5D Mark II. Although the body is wonderfully balanced on L lenses or the heavier EFS lenses, it works well too with the smaller primes or EFS zooms.
The mode dial on the left now has a release button. I'll need to get used to this, I'm used to quickly flick this with my thumb. The delete button is the only button on the left side, all the rest is on the right side. The layout is reminiscent of the Rebel line. The joystick is gone, and the jog dial now is fitted with a multidirectional switch inside it: it is slightly fiddly, but if you're used to xxxD operation it should be fine. You can also turn off the wheel in the settings.
The return of the top panel is nice, the buttons there also setup things like ISO, exp comp, drive, metering.
The menus all feature nice transitions, since the processor is a DIGIC4 one. Overall structure remains the same with many stuff buried inside custom function menus.
The main feature is without doubt the swivel screen, which works very well. The excellent ClearView panel makes this camera a valuable tool for Live View, outside work, and for many situations like crowds, groundwork macro, etc.
The next thing that was crucial to me was the 9 point cross type 50D AF system. With my 17-55, it is significantly better than my 450D. Even in dark conditions, the 60D manages to select the most relevant points in auto-AF point select, something my 450D never managed to do.
Another thing I noted: the shutter sound is 50D-ey..a dull thump instead of the whirr of the Rebels.
Something the xxD series never carried over from the 450D/500D/550D is the nice continuous timer drive mode..I really miss this for action (self) portraits. The xxD series requires a separate wireless shutter release.
There's many other things, I'll detail them later.
4. Image quality impressions
The 60D is still APS-C, and it shows. Although the Auto ISO will quickly go up the ISO scale, the chroma noise starts at ISO 1600. On a pixel level, the detail and noise is not better than my 450D. I prefer to turn off noise reduction, and to maintain the fine details. The Low ISO resolution is amazing, and the noise reduction is smart: crucial detail like facial features or focused/lighted portions still look good. The AF is wonderful, absolutely loving it! Also, Live View can now focus with shutter release half depress: this is very convenient and intuitive.
5. Test shots
Available here: http://picasaweb.google.com/erwinho84/C ... irstShots#
There's also an ISO series, compared to my 450D, both on 50mm f1.8.
6. Preliminary conclusion
The 60D is not really a continuation of the xxD line. Instead, it is a super Rebel. If you look at it that way, you get a package that offers an awful lot at the APS-C level, at a reasonable price!