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Canon EOS 60D Gordon Laing, October 2010
 

Canon EOS 60D results : Real-life resolution JPEG / RAW / High ISO Noise JPEG

Canon EOS 60D vs Canon EOS 50D Real-life resolution (RAW files matched)

 
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To compare real-life performance we shot the same scene with the Canon EOS 60D and EOS 50D within a few moments of each other using their RAW files and base sensitivities.

Both cameras were fitted with the same Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS lens, set to 24mm f8 and focused on the target area using Live View at 10x.


The image above was taken with the Canon EOS 60D at 100 ISO with an exposure of 1/320 and the lens set to 24mm f8 in Aperture Priority; the original RAW file measured 25.1MB. The EOS 50D selected the same exposure in Aperture Priority, but its slightly lower resolution RAW file measured 21MB. The crops below are taken from the areas marked with the red squares and presented here at 100%. The crops from the EOS 50D show a larger area due to its lower resolution.

We processed the RAW files from each camera using the supplied Digital Photo Professional software, version 3.9.1.0. This latest version gives the choice of normal Sharpening or Unsharp masking, so we went for the latter, with the default settings of 3 for Strength, 7 for Fineness and 3 for Threshold. The Auto Lighting Optimiser was set to the default Standard on both, while lens Peripheral Illumination and Chromatic Aberration were set to 70 and 100 respectively.

On the previous page we saw how the default JPEG processing styles of the EOS 60D and its predecessor delivered quite different-looking results: the earlier EOS 50D employed a somewhat laid-back approach with relatively soft and muted looking results, whereas the EOS 60D adopted a more lively, punchy, consumer-friendly style. Which you prefer is entirely personal, but it's important to note both cameras can deliver very similar-looking images when their settings are matched.

As you can clearly see below, their RAW files processed with the same software and settings deliver almost identical-looking styles regardless of age and sensor resolution. The sharpness, contrast and saturation are essentially the same.

This not only goes to prove their differences in JPEG styles is purely down to processing, but also allows us to compare resolved detail on a level playing field. As commented on the previous page, there's actually very little between them in terms of real-life recorded detail. Look really closely at the finest building and foliage details and you might spot a small advantage to the EOS 60D, but it's not particularly significant. Having seen this, there shouldn't be many 50D owners who'll be upgrading to the EOS 60D (or EOS 7D) based on resolving power alone.

Once again it's much the same result we found when comparing the EOS 50D against the EOS 7D, which isn't surprising given the similarities in the EOS 60D and EOS 7D sensors. It is however worth noting that enabling Chromatic Aberration reduction in DPP has effectively eliminated the coloured fringing seen on the mountain ridge in the first row of crops; you can actually now alternatively achieve this effect in the 60D itself by processing RAW files in-camera, but it's a shame to find coloured fringing remains uncorrected in JPEGs by default, unlike Nikon's DSLRs which clean them up in-camera.

Scroll down to see how the 60D's new in-camera processing of RAW files compares against those developed in DPP, or head straight onto our Canon EOS 60D High ISO Noise results.


Canon EOS 60D: RAW
with Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM
DPP with Unsharp Mask (3 / 7 / 3)
 
Canon EOS 50D: RAW
with Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM
DPP with Unsharp Mask (3 / 7 / 3)
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
     
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
     
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
     
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO


Canon EOS 60D: RAW converted in-camera vs RAW converted with DPP software

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The Canon EOS 60D now offers in-camera processing of RAW files. To see how the quality of the in-camera processing compares against the supplied Digital Photo Professional software, we developed the same RAW file using both.

As before, the EOS 60D was fitted with the Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS lens, set to 24mm f8 and focused on the target area using Live View at 10x.


The image above was taken with the Canon EOS 60D at 100 ISO with an exposure of 1/320 and the lens set to 24mm f8 in Aperture Priority. We shot the scene in RAW plus JPEG mode, with the original files from each measuring 25.1 and 8.17MB respectively.  

We then processed the RAW file using the supplied Digital Photo Professional software, version 3.9.1.0. This latest version gives the choice of normal Sharpening or Unsharp masking, so we went for the latter, with the default settings of 3 for Strength, 7 for Fineness and 3 for Threshold. The Auto Lighting Optimiser was set to the default Standard on both, while lens Peripheral Illumination and Chromatic Aberration were set to 70 and 100 respectively.

Next we selected the EOS 60D's in-camera RAW processing for the same file. We mostly used the default settings for this, including the Standard Picture Style and having Peripheral Illumination correction enabled. We additionally enabled Chromatic Aberration correction, but left distortion correction disabled. The resulting JPEG file generated by the camera measured 7.48MB. We'd encourage you to view this page alongside our first results page which shows crops from the original in-camera JPEG file for direct comparison.

The first row of crops is arguably the most important in this comparison as it demonstrates the different approaches to handing chromatic aberration, which is quite apparent in the corners of the EF 24-105mm image when zoomed-out, even on a cropped body. The original JPEG file from our first results page exhibited both red and blue fringing in this area of high contrast. As we saw above, the Chromatic Aberration correction tools in the supplied Digital Photo Professional software did a great job at effectively eliminating the fringing for a very clean result.

Moving onto the JPEG generated using the in-camera RAW processing tools and you'll notice that while it is cleaner than the original JPEG, it's still suffering from some fringing. Most of the red fringing has been eliminated, but while the blue fringing has been reduced, some is still quite visible. This isn't entirely surprising as the DPP software offers a variety of tools for minimising fringing, whereas the 60D's in-camera correction is either on or off. We should however add we didn't tweak the DPP controls and just went for the default settings, which worked very well here. So the 60D's in-camera reduction of Chromatic Aberration has certainly improved upon the original JPEG, but it's far from perfect.

The other thing that's immediately apparent is how the RAW file processed in-camera looks relatively soft compared to both the original JPEG and the RAW file processed with DPP. To be fair again, we applied a more sophisticated unsharp mask using DPP, but the in-camera RAW processing claimed to apply the same Standard Picture style (with a sharpness setting of 3) as the original JPEG, yet the latter is noticeably sharper.

Looking at the rest of the crops, the colour and tonal style is similar on all three approaches, but again the RAW file processed in-camera is lacking the crispness and bite of the other two. As always, there's no correct result here, only the one which you personally prefer, but those who favour crisper images may wish to tweak the Picture Styles to deliver a punchier result. Now let's see how the camera compares across its sensitivity range in our Canon EOS 60D High ISO Noise results.


Canon EOS 60D: RAW
with Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM
DPP with Unsharp Mask (3 / 7 / 3) and CA reduction
 
Canon EOS 60D: RAW
with Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM
In-camera RAW processing with CA reduction
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
     
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
     
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
     
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO


Canon EOS 60D results : Real-life resolution JPEG / RAW / High ISO Noise JPEG


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