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Which Should I Buy? Canon 7D vs Canon 550D vs Canon 60D

Updated on January 12, 2011


As time progress, cameras become more powerful and compact (And heck even a hole lot cheaper) to the point where considering three products in three different price range becomes almost impossible to choose from. When the canon originally released the 7D last it, it had everything photographers of our generation asked for. Better AF system, faster continuous shots and even HD video, which today independent film makes are slowly diving into and so on. Once canon released the 550d it was labeled as, “The Baby 7D” as it incorporation the same 18 megapixels the 7D had, the same HD video recordings all in a smaller body and MUCH cheaper body. And now recently, Canon has released its new 60D again giving it the 18 megapixel sensor, a redesigned more plastic body, HD movie recording and a swivel screen, something new in DSLR photography to canon. At a glance all three of these products seem identical so why would one not get the 550D and save hundreds of dollars? I’ve broken it down into five categories one may consider when choosing the 3 cameras: Still shots, video recording, ergonomics, built quality and budget.


When it comes to stills, the clear winner here is the Canon 7D. Not to say the other two are far behind. As far as the experience, the Canon 7D has a 100% view finder while the canon 60d has a 96% and the canon 550D or t2i has the same as its predecessor the t1i with a 95% view finder.  So pretty much what you see in the 7D’s view finder will be exactly the image you get. (Referring to a cropped image of course)

As far as the actual imagine quality I’ve heard many complaints that the 7D’s image is hardly any better at best even compared to the 450D. A lot of people honestly do not know what they are talking about. If you’ve used the 7D to its fullest potential, using it far superior AF system you’ll get the better results. Granted, imagine quality mainly relys on the lens you use, but the two should be used in a nice combo. (I hate seeing someone with a full crop sensor camera like the 5D mark II but have some no name brand and cheap lens on it expecting the best images)

The Canon 7D is definitely my choice in cameras when it comes to stills, (Granted I’ve only played around with the 60D at best buy so this may be a Tad bias)

It has a dual digic 4 sensor which gives you the ability to shoot 8fps, great for wild life or sport shots.) But even if those two aren’t your forte the chip does give an advantage when it comes down to focusing on your subject. The 19 point AF system the canon 7D incorporates gives you a full control to get you that right shot.

Video Recording

In video recording mode, there is hardly any difference in video quality between the three. They all offer full 1080p with 24 or 30fps. Or 720p with 60fps. Great for those slow motion shots! 

All in all however, the new canon 60D has the advantage here. With it’s new swivel screen it makes it much easier to record in different angles. I know a few friends who are dying to buy the 60D to record their skateboarding. The swivel screen is a must have for them. The canon 60D also offers manual controls over your audio that even its big brother the 7D doesn’t have yet.

However if you plan to install an optical viewfinder such as the Zacuto Z finder, I’ve heard numerous reports that it will not work with the 60d.


In my honest opinion, i’d say the 7d wins hands down. Doing everything from changing shutter speed, iso, white balance all the way to deleted a picture seems more fluent on the 7D. It saves a lot of time when you get the hand of it and customized the controls to your likings. The t2i right behind it in my opinion because it has a nice tactical feel and if your just learning it’ll all seem very linear in a sense. 

I’ve only tampered with the 60D for a bit but my first impressions weren’t too great. A lot of camera enthusiast asked for a lock feature on the mode dial. I’ve never accidentally changed the mode on top so it felt more like a chore to do than anything. With the swivel screen on the 60 a lot of buttons were moved around and it felt jam packed. Again, maybe if I had spent more time with the camera it would’ve made more sense but that's all in preference.

Built Quality

It's a good idea to consider the environment your going to shoot in considering the three cameras all have different type of bodies. The 7D features a magnesium alloy body that is weather resistant. So you won't have to worry about your camera breaking down on you in light rain or snow. 

The 60D and 550D both have more plastic bodies. Which while still very durable, it will not give you the same durability as the 7d. (On a side note, the 60D did "Feel" sturdier in the hands compared to the t2i.) All in all no matter what camera you get, definitely consider some sort of cover if you plan to shoot in harsh conditions.

Budget Buy

You could easily find the t2i or 550D online for a great price and invest in a better lens later in time. All in all you won’t miss a huge deal if you can’t afford the 7D or 60D. Well that's all I have to say about that, Ha. 

Now, Which to get?

So all in all. I recommend you trying to figure out where you stand. Are you on a budget? Are you more into photography but like having the features of video recording? Or vise versa? If your on a budget, go with the 550D you won’t be disappointed. If video is more your forte then go for the new canon 60D. However if your planning to take your photography a little more seriously, then you may want to consider investing in the grand daddy of them all. THE 7D! With a little practice and inspiration you'll be taking pictures that'll be good enough to frame! HAVE FUN!


There has been some rumors for both the t2i and the 5d mark ii to be updated.

The t2i's replacement is rumored to be called the t3i or the 600D. Not surprising there. It won't be a huge update but it may be something to wait on if you are looking into buying the 60d. It is rumored to have a swivel screen just as seen on the current 60d. Other than the swivel screen be prepared to see minor updates. (But then again what more can you expect? The t2i was already an all around monster of a camera for an affordable price)

The 5D Mark II's rumored replacement's name is the 5D Mark III. There isn't too much news about it yet, but it is rumored to have a 28, I repeat 28!, megapixel sensor. Canon is really pushing it! I expect to see some video updates to compensate for the features that the 7D outperformed it in.

Both of these Cameras are RUMORED to be released sometime in 2011. I would say the t2i may come out sooner than the Mark III but definitely keep an eye out and I will update if something new comes up.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Taking the oveveirw, this post is first class

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Now I feel stiupd. That's cleared it up for me

    • nifwlseirff profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 

      6 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      I have the new 650D and love it! I found the 7D a little too heavy and unwieldy in my hands, and adore the swivel (touch!) screen on the 650D. I'd recommend the 650D over the 7D, especially if you are doing any serious video work!

      Jas - Full frame lenses (EF) will work across Canon's camera models.

      But the lenses designed for crop-sensor models (EF-S) will not work on full frame bodies - they can actually destroy the sensor!

      I've invested in the best quality EF glass, and the less professional body. When I upgrade in the future, the lenses will be usable on newer camera bodies.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have 60d :-) and i love it

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Are all Canon Lens inter-changable across their range?

      Say if I invest in a 600d now and some years down the line, would I be able to use those lenses on a higher spec canon dslr? like a 5d mark 3??

      People say, when it comes to video, you go Canon. What about pictures??? Nikon?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Personally, I like Canon EOS 60D for its affordable price and performance.

    • Doru Buzea profile image

      Doru Buzea 

      7 years ago from Brasov, Romania

      I would go for the 7D!

    • profile image

      Mahbub Alam 

      8 years ago

      Mahbub alam

    • doogiexxxx profile image


      8 years ago

      7D is great for sports photography since it is capable of shooting up to 8 FPS. Highly recommend it.

    • Adventure Colorad profile image

      Adventure Colorad 

      8 years ago from Denver,CO

      I have a 60D, the articulating screen is very nice.

    • thewayeyeseeit profile image


      8 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      You were correct about the Canon T3i, it is listed for sale now at Amazon. There is even a T3 coming soon, which will be a cheaper version... minus some of the glitz of the T3i. I still would get the 7D, even without any info on the new Rebel.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      all of the mentioned cameras will be capable of taking a photograph but to get absolute image quality you need a good lens, therefore my advice would be to buy the cheaper body and spend your money on a quality lens.

    • Leniscool profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Agreed, you must admit many people looking to get into the DSLR field have compared these three in there heads. Different products, but no one is entitled to only one. Anyone can own if if they had the money. SOOOO, you know, these comparisons give a little more opinion on the three for those looking into the market. Thanks for the comment!

    • guymclaren profile image


      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Comparing those three cameras is like comparing, apples oranges and pineapples. They have different applications entirely and are aimed at different market segments.

    • Leniscool profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      agreed! I do like nikon but I must admit canon is just a step ahead when it comes to video.

    • jsblast profile image


      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Having owned both a Canon 550D and 60D, I can say hands down if you don't need a swivel-screen, go with the cheaper camera. Always stick with Canon if you're using your DSLR for video :)

    • profile image

      Butch News 

      8 years ago

      Seeing 100% of the available image is something that makes the camera a better camera. Not seeing everything that will be in the captured image means you don't compose as well. So I'd want a camera with a 100% eye level finder. If you're using it for video you would likely care a bit less than if shooting a portrait or product shot. You should always buy the best camera you can possibly afford. You won't regret it if you take your photography seriously.

    • Lynnyloo profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you Leniscool.... I am loving my new canon 7D! I upgraded from the power shot and after much research I chose the 7D knowing I would eventually grow into it. Still have a lot to learn before I will be able to use it to fullest potential but will have fun learning.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've purchased the camera for a month now, and it's just what I want, taking amazing pictures of scenery and portrait.

    • thewayeyeseeit profile image


      8 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      OK, I totally think the decision is based on how much you have in your pocket (or available on your plastic). There is no bad choice among these three cameras, but a more serious photographer is better off with the Canon 7D.. it is the camera I am drooling over at the moment, but without the $$$ :-( I would also love to get the new 60D. It looks like an awesome camera, especially with the articulating LCD for video. But, sadly, I am afraid I will have to stick with my Canon 60D for now. Thanks for the post!


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