Canon EOS 650D review
Clever use of a touchscreen display and a vast improvement to autofocus performance on video and stills makes the 650D the best all-rounder for amateurs
Review Date: 11 Oct 2012
Reviewed By: Barry Collins
Price when reviewed: £506 (£607 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The most significant developments in Canon's last two consumer DSLRs have been all about the screen. The EOS 600D introduced a hinge, allowing shots to be framed from interesting angles, and now the 650D adds capacitive touch to the display.
The idea of a touchscreen display on a DSLR initially seemed about as much use an ashtray on a Harley Davidson. Yet it's more than a shallow piece of gimmickry. Aside from making it easier to flick through and pinch-to-zoom on previously taken photos, the touchscreen makes it much simpler to deploy some of the more advanced controls.
It's possible, for example, to use the touchscreen to choose from one of nine different focus points, which is much quicker than thumbing through the available options using the scroll wheel - especially if you're shooting in live view, rather than with your eye pressed to the optical viewfinder. Likewise, it's much quicker to choose from the myriad menu options on the 650D with the touchscreen, rather than shuffling along and down the various submenus using the camera's D-pad.
It's also possible to fire the shutter using the touchscreen. You tap on the screen to identify the subject of your photo, and as soon as the autofocus looks at your target, the shutter is fired. It's literally point-and-shoot, and will certainly help to smooth the path for those upgrading to a DSLR from a compact or smartphone camera, although we found the focus wandered occasionally when shooting in this mode.
Talking of autofocus, that's finally arrived in the 650D's video-shooting mode. Whereas the 600D required the user to semi-depress the shutter button to force the camera to refocus on moving subjects, the 650D handles the job automatically - it did a fine job of keeping the subject in focus in our tests.
Better still, the jarring whine of the autofocus motor that marred videos shot with the 600D and its kit lens has been significantly reduced with the 650D. An external microphone socket allows videographers to ensure that no on-camera noise spoils their footage.
Thanks for the comment. The reason I didn't focus too much on the screen is that it isn't new - the 600D also had an articulated screen.
By Barry_Collins on 11 Oct 2012
Articulated screen is biggest improvement
I appreciate your review is brief, but more should be made of the articulated screen, as it transforms video shooting. If not on a tripod video is very awkward without the movable screen, but with it you can rest camera on knee and easily shoot film.
By jimple on 11 Oct 2012
Sorry, Barry. Guess who went from a 550D to a 650D ?
By jimple on 11 Oct 2012
Moved up from 450D to 650D 18-135STM. 450D very good. 650D big step up and immediately noticeable 12000 ISO. no flash shooting. Articulated Touch screen - huge improvement. Very little to fault overall. Maybe autofocus on liveview/video modes a bit slow but very good package overall. Have no idea what he means about sturdiness of buttons. Further reviews www.dpreview.com. Best photography website
By Grant100 on 11 Oct 2012
I bought a 650D with kit lens EFS 18-55mm two weeks ago after using the Canon Powershot G series cameras for many years. This is my first DSLR. The build quality is good for this price level, and comfortable to carry and hold at 848g, including lens, battery, card and strap. For photos it is fast to use, and the viewfinder is clear and bright. The articulated touchscreen works well and the response is much faster than I was expecting. Controls are well positioned. JPEG quality very good, but overly bright compared to my G10. Well pleased overall, and it comes with a printed manual!
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