Should You Buy A Canon 60D Only For Its Video Features?

60d Lock Dial

With DSLR’s becoming the new trend in videography it’s hard to choose what camera will suit your needs. And now with the Canon 60d offering a swivel screen, the choice has become that much harder. There is no doubt that the 60ds video quality, when used with the right lens, can better your standard HD camcorder. However, even with that in mind, DSLR’s like the 60d still may not be your best buy. There are two completely different types of people who record videos in this world: People who shoot and edit projects and people who just want to record memorable events. If you consider yourself in both categories, you may want to consider getting two different types of cameras.  I bought the 60d mainly for photography but I also had cinematography on the agenda.  I did own a Sony HD CX500v before the Canon 60d, (Check out that review here) so why did I opt to get the 60d for video when I already owned an HD camcorder?




The 60d is a great camera and there is nothing wrong with getting it solemnly for its video features. (Many are!)  It shoots up to 1080p and even records 720p at 60fps for that nice Slow-Mo effect that we all love.  You can change its ISO, white balance, shutter speed etc.; all important features for those who want to dive into making a masterpiece.  While you have the option to change all of these settings, you can also just leave it on auto exposure where it’ll choose the “best” settings. So for those who don’t intend to change any settings, don’t let its option for customization scare you off, yet….



Depth of Field

The main reason that made the 60d an extremely attractive camera in comparison to my CX500v or many other standard HD camcorders is that the 60d, and other DSLR’s with video, gives you the ability to manually adjust your focus ring to give you a nice depth of field. Great when you’re recording a movie and you want to emphasize your subject.


However the average person should consider.



Your average HD camcorder comes in a tight package nowadays which in comparison makes the 60d seem extremely bulky.  A lot of people don’t want to go around and lug a DSLR with 5 different lenses.


Convenience and Cash

While the standard HD camcorder isn’t the best at a certain thing, it is good at many. I notice with my 60d, if I want to record in low light situations, the kit lens is just not going to work. I need a nice lens with a high F stop. (Aperture) While, the Sony I had owned did really well. Not as good as the 60d with a 50mm 1.8 lenses but again that is why I say it does many things only “good.”

You don’t need to lug around an extra lens and swap it. With the HD camcorder just turns it on and record. It’s very convenient for family and friend gets together. The 60d can definitely better the HD camcorder in almost all video aspects, but it just takes that much more gear, space, and money.

60d Swivel Screen


Jelly Effect and stabilization

This is a huge reason why one may want to consider getting a HD camcorder instead of a 60d or any video DSLR. While, I personally believe the jelly effect is over exaggerated, it is still there.  If you don’t know what the jelly effect is it is essentially when you pan your camera really quick and you video looks wobbly. (Like jello I guess. Haha)

And as far as stabilization goes; Yes, you can always buy a steady cam, but for some people, they just want to record, walk around without the extra gear. When moving around a lot with the 60d you’ll notice how much shaking effects your video.



ContinuousВ Auto focus

The 60d lacks this feature so if you’re walking around you’ll have to constantly press the focus button. If you have it in manual mode, well that speaks for itself, you will have to manually focus the ring when you want to focus on something else.

I know some of Nikons Camera has full time auto focus. I have seen many test videos of it and while I applaud Nikon for adding the feature, I still believe that it’s still not done right. You can hear the focusing; it’s very loud. And it takes a few seconds until the camera actually realizes that it has a new subject to focus on.

With my portable Sony I just pressed record and I had nothing to worry about.

Personally, I LOVE my 60d but I understand that the 60d is more a work camera rather than a camera to just bring around to record some memories. Not that you can’t with it of course.



To summarize

The 60d and your average HD camcorder are two completely different buys. If you just want a camera to record events or just want something that works without having to spend any extra money or having that extra bulk than I would say stay away from the 60d.

But if you’re looking to take your video work a little more seriously and don’t mind the jelly effect, the size, the fact that you may end up spending a lot more money for gear, or even if you just intend to do most of your work on a tripod.) Then the 60d will be a great choice. It has a lot of settings you can change that makes this camera a great one for those looking to get serious into video work.


Len Thou

Len is a full time college student who enjoys creative writing, photography, and from time to time boxing. He is an ongoing contributor and publisher to the site. His motto is simply, "Hard Work."

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