Review: Canon EOS 650D

Canon’s newest DSLR for the enthusiast photographer includes quite an unusual feature – a touchscreen LCD. It’s not just any touchscreen either – it’s a capacitive one, the kind found on expensive smartphones (complete with touch to focus and pinch to zoom) and it has the highest resolution of any DSLR.

I chose to start from this point since this is the 650D’s biggest new feature. Traditionally, a DSLR has no need for a touchscreen since there is more than enough space on the camera body for actual buttons.

As any seasoned photographer will tell you, physical buttons make it easier to operate the camera in the dark or without actually looking – which also makes it much faster – every split second counts when you’re trying to capture a moment.

In this case though, you have both – the buttons and the touchscreen – use one system or both, it’s up to you. Appearance wise, the 650D will not draw too many glances since it sticks to convention. But it does include the very useful articulating screen also found on the 600D and 60D.

The second biggest feature will appeal to those who shoot lots of video – the 650D has a new hybrid autofocus system (9 cross type AF points) with continuous autofocus during video recording – something conspicuously absent from the other video-toting DSLRs. This means that the video mode is no longer crippled and anyone can use it with ease.

The 650D has Canon’s Digic 5 processor which enables 5 fps continuous shooting at a stretch of 20 to 30 images (JPEG, high quality, 18MP, highspeed SD card) without slowing down.

ISO performance is excellent up to ISO 3200 and can be pushed to ISO 6400 in a stretch. Video quality is good too, with the dual microphones and the hybrid AF system working in tandem to deliver overall pleasing results.

Overall, the inclusion of many new features has made the 650D a no-brainer for users jumping from a compact or prosumer camera. It’s a worthwhile investment that will continue to grow and deliver excellent results. Existing 600D users however, won’t find much reason to upgrade.

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