Both DSLRs feature the same resolution, at 18MP, and video mode at 1080p. There are some subtle differences though, especially when the vari-angle screen of the EOS 60D is considered.
Canon EOS 60D
The sensor in the Canon EOS 60D is the same 18MP model that features in the mid-range 550D, though with the low-pass filter from the 7D, for better colour reproduction. The processor is the same DIGIC 4 as the previous 50D but only a single unit, rather than the dual processors of the 7D. This provides burst shooting at a conservative 5.3fps compared to the 6.3fps of the 50D, due to the larger file sizes created by the higher-resolution sensor. The ISO offers a 100-6400 range in standard mode, with an extended ISO 12,800 available for extreme low-light work.
metering system is Canon's latest iFCL (intelligent Focus Colour
Luminance) 63 zone affair, as featured in the 7D, and features a nice
wide exposure compensation range of +/-5 EV.
The shooting modes cover the usual manual and priority modes (PASM), with the addition of a Bulb and Custom mode, allowing you to save your favourite settings.
One of the more landmark additions to the 60D is the inclusion of advanced creative modes. These are post-processing options that allow you to add creative effects such as grainy Black and White, miniature, toy Camera, and soft Focus to an image and save it as a separate file. Each mode offers a degree of control to tailor the effect to the image.
The optical viewfinder offers a 96% coverage with a 0.95x magnification, for a reasonably large display, though not to the same extent as the 7D.
The LCD screen is 3in in size with a huge 1024k-dot resolution. If that's not enough the 60D is the first EOS model to have its screen on a vari-angle mount, giving 180° horizontal and 270° vertical adjustment, allowing it to be viewed from almost any angle. Like the 7D and 550D it features Full HD 1080p capture at 30/25/24fps. Video exposure can be controlled in both Auto and full Manual exposure, with autofocus available via the AF-on button.
Overall Score; 17/20
Canon EOS 7D
The 7D features a brand new 18MP CMOS sensor. This is a fractionally higher resolution than previous APS-C models but not excessively so. It outputs at 5184 x 3456 pixels, in a choice or combination of .CR2 Raw files and JPEGs. Data is converted as a 14-bit process, rather than the standard 12-bit, for extra tone. For processing power, the 7D utilises dual DIGIC IV processors, outputting in eight channels for added speed, allowing the camera to shoot up to eight frames per second. The processing power is also better able to deal with noise levels, with levels at ISO 6400 similar to those at ISO 1600 from the previous DIGIC III processor. It also allows for an expanded Hi-1 setting of ISO 12,800.
The metering system is a 63-zone dual layer arrangement that analyses focus, colour and luminance information (known as iFCL). Exposure compensation is available up to +/-5EV, and up to 8EV using the exposure bracketing, though only a maximum of +/-3EV can be shown on the top screen. The autofocus uses 19 cross type points, 10 more than the 60D.
The viewfinder offers an impressive full 100% field of view and a 1x magnification for a larger view. The shooting info appears underneath the image, but the focus and grid points are projected onto the viewfinder and can therefore be turned on and off to allow it to be clear of unused AF points. The 7D is also the first EOS model to feature a dual axis electronic level, which is viewable through the viewfinder to avoid unwanted pitch and roll. The rear LCD screen is a 3in Clear View II TFT, with 920k-dot resolution, anti-reflection coating and an ambient light sensor.
Canon has improved on the class-leading video by offering full manual exposure when shooting, and full 1080p HD at 30, 25, or 24fps. Video can also be captured at up to 60fps at lower resolutions.
Overall Score; 20/20
Although the EOS 60D provides plenty for the step-up amateaur, the EOS 7D has better fundemental advantages such as a quicker drive mode and dual DIGIC processors.