In the beginning of January I visited a local Rajala camera shop, to check out the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. While the image quality of my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 was good, I found myself lacking an optical image stabilizer. Nowadays I mostly move by bike and the photography is not my primary activity and therefore I don't have time to use a tripod all the time, or even bring a tripod with me. As it turned out, by giving the 40D and Sigma 17-70 lens in exchange I did not have to pay much more for the lens and an EOS 60D than only the 15-85 mm lens would have cost.
There I was with Canon's newest DSLR and a rather nice standard zoom with 35 mm film angle equivalent of 24-136 mm, a very usable range. The first test pictures have been quite satisfying.
Though the viewfinder is quite bright and big, I've actually used the live view display a fair bit, since it is quite practical being tiltable and all. Additionally, the live view enables contrast autofocus, which is absolutely accurate, even though it is slow. I have not tested the dedicated autofocus system for front/back focusing properly yet. It seems ok, though.
The low light performance is good. ISO 3200 does not yet show any significant amount of noise and at ISO 1600 there is in practice no noise at all.
The 18 megapixels do have some implications for post processing. In addition to using yet another bunch of CPU cycles, an additional step is needed. With the 10 megapixels of the 40D (and S90, which I still use a lot), it was sufficient to do a final sharpening of the full sized image and that would still be sharp enough at a typical web page resolution. Not optimally sharpened, but good enough. This is no longer possible with 18 megapixels, so my workflow will be to adjust the image at full size in Canon Digital Photo Professional and then convert it to a full sized JPEG file with only a very small amount of sharpening. I will then make a resized picture in a smaller resolution (1920x1280 for direct HDTV compatibility) and apply a final sharpening (USM) at that resolution. This process is still not finalized, but I think something like this should work.
The EOS 60D can also do full HD filming with a good quality, and I might actually try out this a little more. The first attempt was quite satisfying, though I did not yet fully know the camera when I made it and made some errors. The film was put together using Windows Movie Maker.