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Canon EOS 600D EF-S 18-55 IS II Kit review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £750
inc VAT

Subtle yet welcome improvements over the 550D, but it's expensive once necessary lens upgrades are taken into account.


22.3×14.9mm 18.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (29-88mm equivalent), 570g

The old 550D’s video mode was extremely impressive, with sumptuous picture quality and full manual control, but it had a few flaws. 1080p clips were limited to a 12-minute maximum running time. Continuous autofocus while recording was nothing short of disastrous, with clumsy toing and froing that spoiled both the video and soundtrack. This made the camera impractical for casual video duties, but more ambitious videographers will prefer to focus manually anyway. However, these users might be put off by the moiré problems – swirling bands of interference that appear on repeating textures such as bricks and fabric. It’s caused by the resizing of the 18-megapixel sensor’s output to 1080p resolution without adequate anti-aliasing. The problem was subtle but still a major irritation for anyone working on a serious video project.

The 600D doesn’t address any of these problems directly, but it does sidestep the moiré issue through the introduction of a digital zoom function, which ranges from 3x to 10x. Setting it to 3x means that the 1920×1080 video frame is captured by a similar number of photosites in the centre of the sensor. A representative from Canon informs us that it’s not a perfect 1:1 pixel match, but the maths suggests that it’s close. Because this feature makes substantial picture resizing unnecessary, using it eliminated moiré in our tests. The video clip below shows a clip at the 55mm zoom position without digital zoom followed by another at 18mm with 3x digital zoom – view it full-screen at 1080p to see the moiré interference in the first clip, which disappears in the second.

This digital crop function also raised noise levels a little, but they were still extremely low at ISO 800. The heavily cropped field of view is more of an issue, giving the 18-55mm lens an effective 87-264mm zoom range that may prove restrictive. Even so, it’s a welcome stop-gap until such time as Canon tackles the issue of moiré interference directly.

Another welcome improvement for videographers is a manual volume control, which captures audio more faithfully than the automatic mode. The level meter is only visible in a sub-menu page, though, so there’s no way to ensure that the microphone isn’t distorting – or that an external microphone hasn’t run out of batteries – while recording.

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Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels18.0 megapixels
CCD size22.3×14.9mm
Viewfinderoptical TTL
Viewfinder magnification, coverage0.85x, 96%
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution1,040,000 pixels
Articulated screenYes
Live viewYes
Optical zoom3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent29-88mm
Image stabilisationoptical, lens based
Maximum image resolution5,184×3,456
Maximum movie resolution1920×1080
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG, RAW; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slotSDXC
Mermory suppliednone
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)440 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, mini HDMI, wired remote, microphone minijack input
Body materialplastic
Lens mountCanon EF-S
Focal length multiplier1.6x
Kit lens model nameCanon EF-S 18-55 IS II
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables, neck strap

Buying Information

Warrantyone-year RTB

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed30 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-36 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)100 to 12800
Exposure compensation+/-5 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets with fine tuning, manual
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, colour tone, noise reduction, highlight tone priority, Auto Lighting Optimiser, colour space
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus25cm
Auto-focus modes9-point
Metering modesEvaluative, partial, centre-weighted average, spot
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, wired remote, AE bracket, WB bracket

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