Review Canon 600D

As a prelude to a Canon 650D review, we have tested the Canon 600D. The Canon 600D appeared in spring 2011 on the market, and at the same time the Canon 550D remained available. With the Canon 600D, Canon targets photographers who want more than an entry level SLR camera. The 18-megapixel sensor of the Canon 600D is (almost?) the same as the sensor used in the Canon 550D, Canon 60D and the Canon 7D. The Canon 600D therefore has fierce competition at home. A potential buyer of a Canon 600D therefore likes to know why he should choose a Canon 600D in stead of the other mentioned cameras. Canon 600D

Construction, ergonomics and ease of use

The Canon 600D is not as small and light as the Canon 1100D. What is also immediately noticeable is the lining of the camera body: this is less slippery than the lining of the Canon 1100D. And while I’m talking about external things: you put the memory card into the side of the Canon 600D. That’s much more convenient than putting your memory card next to the battery underneath the camera, which is awkward when the camera on a tripod, as is required by the Canon 1100D. Canon-600D-vs-Canon-550D

Canon 600D versus Canon 550D

  • The Canon 600D has the same 18 MP image sensor as the Canon 550D. The AF system is not changed and the number of frames per second is unchanged
  • The LCD screen of the Canon 600D is rotatable and tiltable, the LCD screen of the Canon 550D has these possibilities are not. Some buttons have a slightly different place on the back of the camera got. The grip of the Canon 600D is slightly better and both cameras use the same battery.
  • The Auto Lighting Optimizer is extensive and the Canon 600D has more creative filters
  • The Canon 600D offers multi-aspect ratio recording capability (3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 1:1)
  • The price difference between the Canon 550D and Canon 600D is small

Canon 600D versus Nikon D5100

  • The Nikon D5100 features a 16 MP sensor while the Canon on a 18 MP sensor, a negligible difference
  • The Nikon has 11 instead of 9 AF points and the Nikon video offers continuous autofocus. The latter possibility is not available with the Canon 600D. In live view you can see the histogram in the Canon. The Nikon D5100 does not offer this functionality.
    The Nikon D5100 has an HDR function and 3 exposure methods. The Canon has no HDR function and has 4 exposure modes

Viewfinder, LCD display and menu

The large LCD screen of the Canon 600D is of the tilt swivel type. This is useful if you want to shoot over a crowd. Even in macro photography this type of screen is useful: small animals are often low to the ground.
The viewfinder accuracy of the Canon 600D is 95%. You get more picture than you expect from looking through the viewfinder. The viewfinder magnification is 0.85, and because of  a crop factor of 1.6, the total viewfinder magnification 0.5. For this class of cameras that is a common value. If you compare the viewfinder of the Canon 600D with the viewfinder of the Canon 7D or Canon 5D MK3, then you might notice that the viewfinder of the Canon 600D is small. A large viewfinder is important for careful framing. The viewfinder information, including all of the most important items like the shutter speed and aperture, is easily overlooked, even in bright light. The menu we know already of many other Canon cameras. That means it’s a wide but shallow menu. You don’t have to scroll.
Conveniently, there’s a Q key on the back of the camera for a quick menu. If you press that Q key, you’ll see on the LCD screen at a glance all the important camera settings and you can change them very easily as well. Happiness King has the camera buttons to many frequently used settings to change, examples are the exposure compensation button, ISO button. Menu is “Basic +”, a simple, results-orientated approach to image adjustments in the scene-based exposure modes, that ‘Allows the user to change the look of Their images and control background blur without Needing to know anything technical about how this all works .

We have the Canon 600D extensively tested in practice. If lenses are used while the Canon 15-85 mm, Canon 70-200 mm IS 4.0 and the Tokina 12-24 mm. We worked in overcast weather in the Netherlands, so little contrast, and clear weather in the tropics. In the latter you have to deal with high contrast. Also in that harsh light you can almost always blindly rely on the automatic exposure. The camera fits comfortably in the hand but some buttons are small and are run close together. This we often come with compact cameras built against. But it is not really useful. Besides the practical test of the Canon 6000D we have the Canon 600D also subjected to a series of measurements. The measurement results are listed in the Canon 600D review. The measurements were carried out with the aid of Imatest. The measurement results are listed in the Canon 600D test report. For the test method and explanation of terms, see the FAQ.

Resolution Canon 600D

The Canon 600D delivers, not surprisingly, almost exactly the same resolution as a Canon 60D. A jpg file delivers an average resolution of 1200 lines per picture height in the center of the image. With a standard processing of RAW files in Lightroom a greater sharpness impression is obtained, which translates into an average resolution of 1900 lines per picture height in the center of the image.

Dynamic range Canon 600D

The total measured dynamic range of the Canon 600D jpg files taken at ISO 100 to 6400 averages 8.8 stops, corresponding to the total dynamic range of a Canon 7D or Canon 60D. The total dynamic range of RAW files developed in Lightroom is, with 9.3 stops, slightly higher. The test results are listed in the Canon 600D test report.

Much more important than the overall dynamic range, is the usable dynamic range, because the signal / noise ratio determines what the dynamic range remains for a displayable image. Again, there are few differences between the quality of the Canon 600D, Canon 7D and Canon 60D. Averaged over the ISO range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 is usable dynamic range of the Canon 600D 3.3 stops, the Canon 60D 3.5 stops. The biggest difference we saw in 6400 ISO RAW files, where the Canon 600D no longer usable dynamic range, while the Canon 60D (1 stop) and the Canon 7D (0.5 stop) as the slightly better. These values seem low because we are the usable dynamic range of RAW files measure without noise reduction to apply. The usable dynamic range of jpg files is 9.3 stops across the ISO range of 100 to 6400 ISO. That is vegetating bier with the results of the Canon 60 D (9 stops) and the Canon 7D (9.5 stops).


The Canon 600D shows little noise in jpg images. The Imatest test results are listed in the Canon 600D test report. Here you see an example of a 100% image crop of an ISO 1600 jpg image. 1600ISO
Here a 100% crop of an ISO 6400 jpg image, taken with the Canon 600D, is shown. Although you can see the noise clearly on your screen, it will show less in a print. 6400-ISO

Color accuracy

The measurement results are displayed in the Canon 600D test report, confirm the quality of our outdoor images. The Canon 600D delivers daylight images with a very good color reproduction. At this point the scores Canon 600D strikingly better than the Canon 60D or the Canon 7D. The color deviation (delta E 94) is very small for both Lightroom converted RAW files as in-camera jpg files (picture style: neutral).

The automatic white balance of the Canon 600D does its job well. The measured values for the white balance accuracy of the Canon 600D are slightly better than for the Canon 7D and Canon 60D. If you take into account the measurement uncertainty and the variation between different cameras of the same type, these small differences are negligible.


Built-in flash

The Canon 600D has a built in flash, but we didn’t test it. EOS-600D-flash

Autofocus speed

The Canon 600D is not sold as a sports camera. Stubborn as we are, we tested the Canon 600D during a football match of the 1st division in the Netherlands. When we used the Canon 70-200 mm 4.0 IS lens, the number of misses was found to be high in low contrast situations.  Cambuur Canon 600D

Autofocus accuracy

The autofocus system is fast enough for more or less static subjects. The accuracy of the autofocus of the Canon 600D in well lighted situations with sufficient contrast is good, you rarely suffer from failures.

Autofocus tracking

The Canon 600D succeeds in sufficient light to make a large number of sharp images of a car approaching the camera with a speed of 50 km / die met circa 50 km/uur op de camera afkomt
Canon-600D-AF 9999 13 AFtest Canon600D
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See our list of tested cameras to compare the performance of this camera with other cameras.



  • User friendly, light camera
  • Good price / value
  • Tilt shivel LCD screen
  • Image quality equal to the image quality of the Canon 7D or Canon 60D
  • Very good color accuracy and white balance
  • The price difference between the Canon 550D and the Canon 600D is small
  • Less direct available options in comparison with the more expensive Canon cameras

We started this test with the question why you would choose a Canon 600D. The answer is clear: The Canon 600D is a cheap, lightweight SLR with an image quality that is almost identical to the more expensive Canon SLRs. White balance and color accuracy are better than for many other cameras. Spend more money on a better lens instead of a more expensive camera body, you will have fun for years of your Canon 600D purchase.

The measurement results are listed in the Canon 600D test report.


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