While not a radical departure from the EOS 50D it replaces, the 60D has some subtle enhancements to the camera body.
The grip is now covered with a coarser-textured rubber reminiscent of that of the pro-level EOS-1D series cameras. The mode dial now has a lock—push down a button in the middle to change to another shooting mode. We like this, as it will prevent you from inadvertently switching modes. It takes a bit of dexterity to change the shooting mode one-handedly, but within an hour or two, we were moving from one mode to another with a modicum of grace.
You’ll definitely want to practice with that dial, because the 60D forces you to use it to switch to video capture. Worse, movie mode is the last option on the dial, putting it as far from the standard manual, program, and aperture- and shutter-priority modes as it can possibly get. If Canon had only designed the mode dial to rotate a full 360 degrees, the placement would’ve been perfect. Even better would have been to put a switch on the back of the camera for direct access to video mode, as on the EOS 7D.
Canon also did away with the tiny joystick found on the 50D and other midlevel and high-end EOS models. In its place, the 60D has an eight-way control pad with a ring around it that serves the same function as the 50D’s rear command dial, plus a button in the center to select menu items. At first this pad felt strange, but after some use we warmed up to it and appreciated the extra room it leaves for the thumb.
Still, we would have liked more tactile feedback from the pad—it was sometimes hard to tell if our settings were registering with the camera. Something like a subtle click would go a long way toward reassuring you that the desired inputs had been made.