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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-26-2018

Aspect ratio for 60Da


I have a 60Da that I got from my dad, and I'm not completely sure how to use it yet. I'd like to record some video with it if possible, but I'd like to change the aspect ratio - is it possible to change the aspect ratio for this camera's video recordings, and if so, how?



Posts: 13,989
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Aspect ratio for 60Da

You probably will run across other things you don't know how to do if you want to really use the camera.

So, I recommend reading the manual.  If yo udon't have it, you can d/l it from Canon web site.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,714
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Aspect ratio for 60Da

You can only change the aspect ratio by changing the resolution. You basically have VGA and HD.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,854
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Aspect ratio for 60Da

Are you trying to use this for normal photography?


This is a special-purpose astrophotography edition of the 60D (the "a" suffix is "astrophotography").  


While this camera *can* be used for general photography, you'll have some issues with it and you'll really need to make a huge white balance adjustment.


The difference between a normal 60D and the 60Da is primarily in the camera's internal IR filter.


But it turns out the human eye isn't equally sensitive to all wavelengths or "colors" of light.  We are MOST senstive to the wavelengths in the very middle of the visible spectrum (greens) and less sensitive to the visible light near the edges of the visible spectrum (blues and reds)


If a normal photographic camera were just equally sensitive to all light, you'd get pictures that do not resemble what your eye saw when you took the shot (you probably would not be happy with the images).   To compensate, the camera has an internal filter which starts blocking light... trimming the percentage of light that can pass through the fitler to match the sensitivity of the human eye (that way your pictures resemble what you saw).


The "problem" in astronomy is that 90% of all normal matter in the universe is Hydrogen ... and mostly hydrogen gas.  Stars are massive balls of mostly hydrogen gas.  Most deep-space emission nebulae are rich with hydrogen gas.  When hydrogen gas is ionized, it glows "red" and specifically it glows at 656nm (a bright fire-engine red color).  The visible spectrum runs from 400-700nm (anything shorter than 400 is UV, anything longer than 700 is IR).  So 656nm is a "fire engine red" color but it's not that far away from the 700nm IR wavelength.


Most normal cameras start reducing the light tranmission starting at about 550nm and ramping down the light until they reach 700nm (at which point everything is blocked).    By the time you get to 656nm (the Hydrogen-alpha wavelength), a normal camera is blocking about 75-80% of that light. 


This means when astrophotographers are imaging deep-space emission nebulaes (such as the "Rosette" nebula, the "Horsehead" nebula, the "California" nebula, the "Normal American" nebula ...and the list goes on... the astrophotographer now has to take much much longer images to compensate for that loss of light.  We're already taking extremely long images (many minutes long ... typically 5-10 minutes or more).  Having to take images that require 4-5 times more exposure is a really big deal.  Imagine having to shoot a 20-30 minute exposure instead of a 5-8 minute exposure.  It's quite a difference!  


So Canon developed a special edition of the 60D (the 60Da) that replaces the normal 60D filter, with a special filter that blocks almost no red light... until it gets beyond the 656nm point... and then does a VERY HARD CUT at the 700nm point.  This allows for much better red sensitivity for all those deep-space hydrogen emission nebulae (which can expose in less time) BUT... the downside is that if you try to use the camera for normal photography you'll find everything is much too warm (a pretty obvious "red" color cast on everything).   



This is the camera YOU have.



Now onto your question:


To change the frame size for movies...

  1. Set the mode dial to the movie mode (movie camera icon)
  2. Press the "Menu" button
  3. Use the front dial (the one near the shutter button) to roll to the 2nd tab from the left (
  4. The top menu choice is "Movie rec. size" (use the rear dial to navigate the row selection up and down the list) to highlight that row
  5. Press the "Set" button (middle of the rear dial) to open the pull-down list.
  6. Use the rear-dial to scroll up and down the list to highlight your choice.
  7. Press the "Set" button to select it.
  8. Press either the "Menu" button or half-press the shutter button to dismiss the menu. 

The choices are:

  • 1920 x 1080 (full HD) at 30 frames per second
  • 1920 x 1080 at 24 frames per second
  • 1280 x 720 at 60 framess per second
  • 640 x 480 at 60 frames per second
  • Crop 640 x 480 at 60 frames per second *** this is a SPECIAL mode

Note that the difference between 640 x 480 at 60 frames and CROP 640 x 480 at 60 frames has to do with how the camera uses the sensor.


Normal 640 x 480 uses the whole sensor and then re-samples the resolution to save it down at the lower 640 x 480 mode.

The "Crop" mode actually just uses the middle 640 x 480 pixels of the sensor (it doesn't actually use the whole sensor).


This is a special mode that the 60D/60Da and the Canon T2i have ... and no other EOS camera has these modes.  It is used by astrophotographers for planetary imaging because the planets are tiny (when viewed through the telescope) so using the whole sensor is just a waste of storage space but ALSO because planets can appear to wobble a bit due to optical effects caused by optical effects in Earth's atmosphere (astronomers call it "seeing" conditions  ... it's a bit like trying to look at a coin at the bottom of a pool when the water is being disturbed.  You still see the coin... but it appears to wobble.  By using a small sensor area but capturing at high speed (60 frames per second), astronomers do something called "lucky imaging" where they record a minute or two worth of video of the planet, then run the video through special software (AutoStakkert or Registax) to create an image which is much better than any single frame.


The 60Da is also the only camera that included the Canon AC adapter as well as a special cable that lets you use a Canon TC-80N3 remote shutter release/intervalometer (timer) with the camera (but did not actually include the TC-80N3 ... just the special adapter cable for it.  Canon does not actually "sell" this cable ... they just included it with the 60Da (I later learned it was possible to order it as a replacement part but you wont find it as an accessory for sale at any store inciuding the Canon website.  Don't lose it!)



Best Regards,



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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