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
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.
|Price ex VAT||£506|
|Price inc VAT||£607|
|Features & Design||6|
|Value for Money||4|
|Camera megapixel rating||18.0mp|
|Camera screen size||3.0in|
|Camera optical zoom range||7x|
|Camera maximum resolution||5184 x 3456|
Weight and dimensions
|Dimensions||133 x 78.8 x 99.8mm (WDH)|
|Battery type included||lithium-ion|
|Battery life (CIPA standard)||440 shots|
|Aperture range||f2.8 - fUnknown|
|Minimum (fastest) shutter speed||1/4,000|
|Maximum (slowest) shutter speed||30s|
|Bulb exposure mode?||yes|
|RAW recording mode?||yes|
|Exposure compensation range||+/- 5EV|
|ISO range||100 - 6400|
|Selectable white balance settings?||yes|
|Manual/user preset white balane?||yes|
|Progam auto mode?||yes|
|Shutter priority mode?||yes|
|Aperture priority mode?||yes|
|Fully auto mode?||yes|
|Burst frame rate||5.0fps|
|Secondary LCD display?||no|
|Body construction||Stainless steel, polycarbonate resin with glass fibre|
|Data connector type||USB|
Manual, software and accessories
|Software supplied||ImageBrowser EX, Digital Photo Professional, PhotoStitch|