Canon EOS 650D review

11 Oct 2012

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

Price when reviewed: 
607(£607 inc VAT)
5

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.

Canon EOS 650D

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £506
Price inc VAT £607
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 4

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating 18.0mp
Camera screen size 3.0in
Camera optical zoom range 7x
Camera maximum resolution 5184 x 3456

Weight and dimensions

Weight 575g
Dimensions 133 x 78.8 x 99.8mm (WDH)

Battery

Battery type included lithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard) 440 shots
Charger included? yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash? yes
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
Exposure bracketing? yes
White-balance bracketing? yes
Memory-card type SD
Viewfinder coverage 95%
LCD resolution 1,040k
Secondary LCD display? no
Video/TV output? yes
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