Canon EOS 650D


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    Canon EOS 650D

      In summary

      The EOS 650D replaces the popular EOS 550D at the top of Canon's entry-level DSLR line-up, sitting just above the EOS 600D. Many features from the 550D continue in the new model and, like its predecessor, the EOS 650D has been developed as a high-performing camera newcomers to DSLR photography can ‘grow into’.

      Buy this camera if:
      - You want a high-resolution DSLR camera that can record both still pictures and Full HD video clips.
      - You want a camera with a straightforward user interface plus easy-to-use automated shooting modes and user-adjustable controls.
      - You want a DSLR with a built-in auto flash plus a useful flash modes and exposure adjustments.
      - You could make use of the extended sensitivity range for still photography and video capture.
      - You could take advantage of the vari-angle monitor.
      Don’t buy this camera if:
      - You require more than one raw file option and the ability to set different JPEG image sizes and qualities for RAW+JPEG capture.
      - You require a wider AE bracketing range than +/- 2 stops.
      - You require a weatherproof camera.

      Full review

      The EOS 650D replaces the popular EOS 550D at the top of Canon's entry-level DSLR line-up, sitting just above the EOS 600D. Many features from the 550D continue in the new model and, like its predecessor, the EOS 650D has been developed as a high-performing camera newcomers to DSLR photography can ‘grow into’.

      Front view of the EOS 650D with the pop-up flash raised and the new EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens fitted. (Source: Canon.)

      We've covered the similarities and differences between the EOS 650D and EOS 550D in our detailed 'First Look' at the new camera (INSERT LINK) so this full review will concentrate on the results of our user tests and new features not previously outlined.

      The EOS 650D will beoffered as a body only kit, single-lens kit with the EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens, a Super Kit, which pairs the 650D body with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6IS STM lens and twin-lens kit with the EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II and EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS lenses.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Like its predecessor, the EOS 650D body is built to match its market position with a polycarbonate resin and glass fibre cladding over a stainless steel chassis. Together these materials provide strength and durability. The grip is large enough to suit most users and the control layout is similar to the 550D's.
      The front panel of the 650D is a little more rounded-off than its predecessor and the textured areas are a little larger and more closely integrated into the overall design. Otherwise nothing much has changed and the key components are in the same places on both cameras.

      Front view of the EOS 650D with the vari-angle monitor extended. (Source: Canon.)

      Rear view of the EOS 650D with the vari-angle monitor reversed against the camera body. (Source: Canon.)

      The adjustable monitor is the most noticeable change to the rear panel, which has also undergone some largely cosmetic design changes. The monitor has a capacitative touch screen that supplements the standard EOS controls in Live View mode and supports familiar gestures such as 'pinch-to-zoom' and 'swiping' to scroll between pictures.

      Functions available via the touch screen controls include AF point selection, face selection, shutter speed, aperture value and exposure compensation adjustments. There's also a touch shutter facility that focuses on the touch point and fires the camera's shutter. These settings are supported in movie mode, with the exception of the touch shutter.

      Live View Quick Control functions that can be accessed by touch. (Source: Canon.)

      The implementation of the touch controls is similar to Panasonic's system, which is widely regarded as the most intuitive and user-friendly in current cameras. The touch screen controls also integrate well with the familiar Canon Quick Control screen and an icon is displayed for accessing this screen directly.

      Top view of the EOS 650D. (Source: Canon.)

      The main change to the top panel is the re-configured mode dial, which sports several new shooting modes. The Auto mode has become 'Intelligent' and now includes scene detection, based on faces, colours, brightness, movement and contrast.
      In this mode, exposures are chosen to match the detected scene type. When a face is detected, the lens aperture is opened to blur the background and make the subject stand out. When moving subjects are detected, a fast shutter speedis set to minimise blurring. Close-ups and night scenes can also be detected automatically.

      We've covered the new Handheld Night Scene and HDR Backlight Control multi-shot modes in our First Look at the EOS 650D. In these modes, between three and four frames are captured in rapid succession and combined in-camera to produce a single image with a natural-looking tonal balance.
      The movie setting on the on/off slider switch provides a quick switch into movie mode. This setting replaces the button control provided on most cameras and is less likely to result in triggering recordings inadvertently. A pair of stereo microphones on top of the flash housing (a 'first' for the camera's class) enables movie soundtracks to be recorded in stereo.

      The memory card compartment, which is located on the right side panel, accepts SD, SDHC and SDXC cards and the camera is compatible with the new UHS-1 and Eye-Fi cards. The EOS 650D uses the same LP-E8 battery as its predecessor and is rated the same at 440 shots/charge.

      Two lift-up covers (rubber) on the left side of the camera body protect the interface ports. The jack for an external microphone is under one, while the other covers the A/V out/USB port and HDMI port. Like the EOS 550D, the 650D can be fitted with a battery grip to extend the photographer’s shooting range and provide a vertical control interface for shooting portraits.

      New Features
      Improvements to the AF system are a highlight here, and we've outlined them in our detailed 'FirstLook' (INSERT LINK). You can also find details of the camera's other new features there so this section will concentrate mainly on summarising the main highlights.

      Utilising cross-type sensors for the nine-point array in the AF system puts the new camera ahead of the pack.  The centre point has dual cross sensors to provide more precise focusing with f/2.8 and faster lenses, whereas earlier systems were optimised for f/5.6. In addition, the AI Servo AF mode has been improved with new algorithms to deliver better performance with moving subjects.
      Canon has developed a new Hybrid CMOS AF system for Live View shooting using phase detection sensors embedded in the surface of the CMOS chip. The system resembles the AF system in Nikon 1 cameras and it improves AF speeds and accuracy by predicting the location of moving subjects when the centre AF pointis used.

      Contrast-detection AF is used to fine-tune focusing and when large focusing adjustments are required. Canon's new Movie Servo AF function further improves tracking AF in movie mode when touch AF is used.

      The diagram above shows the various areas in the Hybrid CMOS AF system. (Source: Canon.)

      Photographers can monitor audio recordings while shooting movies via a display that shows 64 levels of adjustment and the camera includes an attenuator function to reduce audio distortion in extra loud situations plus a wind filter for outdoor shooting. A 3.5 mm diameter stereo microphone jack allows external microphones to be fitted and there's a terminal for the RS-60E3 remote controller. Wireless remote control is also supported.

      In-camera editing of clips is also supported, enabling users to re-order or delete clips in their video snapshot albums. Individual movie clips can also be edited using Video Snapshot Task.

      Augmenting the standard Disable, Low, Standard and Strong settings, a new Multi Shot Noise Reduction setting has been added to the High ISO Noise Reduction options. This setting causes the camera to capture four frames in quick succession and combine them to reduce image noise with minimal loss of subject definition.

      When the camera is hand-held the image processor will automatically align the frames when superimposing them, provided their positions are close enough. This mode reduces image noise more effectively than regular processing because it preserves subject definition better. But it's only available for JPEG files.

      Photographers who like in-camera effects will be happy to see the addition of two new Creative Filters to the EOS 650D's palette. The Art Bold filter boosts contrast and saturation, while the Water Painting effect lightens and de-saturates the image and emphasises outlines.  Examples are shown below.

      The Art Bold filter boosts contrast and saturation. (Source: Canon.)

      The Water Painting filter lightens and de-saturates the image and emphasises outlines. (Source: Canon.)

      Creative Filters can be applied to both JPEG and CR2.RAW files, which means users can produce a number of variations using different effects from a single image. Adjusted images are saved as JPEGs.

      Canon has also provided some basic editing functions that enable snapshooters to change the look of images they have taken with Basic Zone settings inside the camera. Three options are provided: 'Soft and kind', 'Dark and quiet' and 'Vivid and clear'. The strength of each setting can also be adjusted.

      The EOS 650D also allows images to be rated on a scale of one to five for easy searching  for playback and management. Images can also be resized, rotated, protected and deleted and slideshow playback is available with intervals of one, two, three, five, 10 or 20 seconds plus five selectable transition effects.

      Copyright data embedding carries over from the EOS 550D. The new camera uses the same LP-E8 battery pack as its predecessor and provides the same battery life, being  CIPA rated for approximately 440 shots/charge  when the viewfinder is used or 180 shots/charge with Live View shooting. Movies can be recorded for approximately one hour and 40 minutes per charge.
      Sensor and Image Processing
      The sensor in the EOS 650D has the same 18-megapixel resolution as the chips in both the EOS 550D  and EOS 600D but boasts a fast, 4 channel read-out. Image Sensors World reports Chipworks has revealed the LC1270 sensor fitted in the E650D has embedded phase detection sensors to assist with fast autofocusing in Live View mode. You can read the brief report at http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/chipworks-shows-phase-detection-pixels.html.(This technology is similar to that used in the Nikon 1 sensor chips.)

      The sensor is partnered with Canon's DIGIC 5 image processor, which isn't the latest and most powerful processor in Canon's stable but represents a suitable choice for the EOS 650D's target market. It's roughly 30% smaller and slower than the more recent DIGIC 5+ chip but meets Canon's requirements for a compact entry-level camera.

      The 650D's continuous shooting speeds are the same as the 550D at five frames per second (fps) but the maximum sensitivity has been boosted to ISO 25600 in H mode via C. Fn I, 2. The buffer capacity for the 650D is 22 Large/Fine JPEGs, six CR2.RAW files or three RAW+JPEG pairs with normal SD cards. Using a UHS-1 compatible card extends the buffer capacity for JPEGs to approximately 30 shots.

      Three JPEG sizes and two compression levels are provided  but only one raw file option (recording at 5184 x 3456 pixels). Large/Fine is the only JPEG size available for RAW+JPEG capture.

      When shooting with the viewfinder, multiple aspect ratio settings aren't supported; the camera is locked at its native aspect ratio of 3:2. The LiveView mode allows users to crop the frame to produce 4:3, 1:1 and 16:9 aspect ratios.

      The table below provides a guide to typical file sizes for 3:2 aspect ratio images.

      Quality

      Pixels

      File size

      JPEG

      Large/Fine

      5184 x 3456

      6.6MB

      Large/Normal

      3.3MB

      Medium/Fine

      3456 x 2304

      3.5MB

      Medium/Normal

      1.8MB

      Small/Fine

      2592 x 1728

      2.2MB

      Small/Normal

      1.1MB

      RAW

      RAW

      5184 x 3456

      25.1MB

      RAW+JPEG

      RAW/Large

      5184 x 3456 + 5184 x 3456

      31.7MB

      Movies are recorded in MPEG-4 format, using AVC.H.264 compression and a variable bit rate. Program AE and manual shooting modes are supported in movie mode. The Movie Crop setting on the 550D is no longer provided. The table below shows the options available in the EOS 650D, along with typical recording times and file sizes.

      Movie resolution

      Frame rates

      File size

      1920 x 1080

      30/25/24 fps

      330MB/minute

      1280 x 720

      60/50 fps

      330MB/minute

      640 x 480

      30/250 fps

      82.5MB/minute

      Photographers can choose from three AF modes when shooting movies: FlexiZone-Multi, FlexiZone-Single and Face+Tracking. Manual focusing is also available and the centre of the frame can be magnified for focus checking by 5x or 10x.

      ISO sensitivity is set automatically within a range of 100-6400, although it can be expanded to ISO12800, if required.  The Video Snapshots options have been extended with two, four or eight second clips selectable.
      Playback and Software
      Playback options are similar to the EOS 550D and include single-frame and index (4 or 9 frames) and between 1.5x  to 10x playback zoom. The touch screen can be used to move from one frame to the next by swiping a fingertip in the appropriate direction.

      Slideshows can be displayed with background music. Jump displays can be selected by 10 or 100 images, by shooting date, by folder, by movies, by stills or by rating and they can be activated by two-finger swipes on the touchscreen. Picture rotation is available (both manual and auto). Movie playback is also supported.

      Whereas other manufacturers apply filter effects as images are recorded, Canon prefers to let users apply (and adjust) them post-capture. Filter effects available in the EOS 650D include Fish Eye, Soft Focus, Toy Camera, Grainy B&W, Miniature, Art Bold and Water Painting.  

      The camera is supplied with a 372-page printed user manual plus two CDs, an 'EOS Digital Solution Disk' containing the bundled software and a second 'Software Instruction Manual'. The software bundle contains the latest versions of the standard 'Utilities': Digital Photo Professional, EOS Utility (uploader), Image Browser EX, PhotoStitch, Picture Style Editor and EOS Sample Music for Windows and Macintosh PCs. Three printed guides are also included, covering macro photography, use of image stabiliser lenses and flash photography.

      Performance
      Improvements to the autofocusing system were most noticeable when the viewfinder was used for shot composition. In Live View mode, it often took a second or so for the focus to establish, although using the touch shutter reduced hunting and AF lag times to around 0.3 seconds. Lags of between 0.3 and 0.5 seconds were common in movie clips during panning and when the lens was zoomed in or out.

      Aside from the improvements to autofocusing, the most noticeable improvement over the previous 18-megapixel EOS cameras was in colour reproduction with CR2.RAW files, which showed some of the best colour accuracy we've seen in our Imatest tests. JPEG files showed the elevated saturation we've come to expect from entry-level cameras, although it was mainly distributed among the warmer hues.

      Resolution fell slightly below expectations with both JPEG and CR2.RAW files. High ISO resolution was in line with our results from Imatest tests on the EOS 600D. The graph below shows the results of our tests.

       

      Image noise at long exposures and with flash shots was similar to the results we obtained with the EOS 600D. Test shots were almost noise-free up to ISO 6400, after which both noise and softening became visible in long exposures. By ISO 12800, both noise and softening were obvious but images would be usable for printing when reproduced at small sizes.

      Flash exposures were almost noise-free throughout the camera's sensitivity range, although some softening could be seen at ISO 12800. Exposure levels varied slightly across the camera's sensitivity range, with shots taken at ISO 100 being slightly under-exposed, while shots at ISO 12800 were slightly over-exposed. Between these limits, exposures were well-balanced.

      Auto white balance performance was similar to other Canon DSLRs we’ve reviewed with shots taken under incandescent lighting remaining partly corrected, while shots taken with fluorescent lighting were almost cast-free. For both lighting types, the pre-sets slightly over-corrected but manual measurement delivered a neutral colour balance. Plenty of in-camera adjustments are provided for tweaking images as you shoot and white balance bracketing of +/- three levels in one-step increments is available.

      Video quality was slightly better than the clips we shot with the EOS600D, particularly in low light levels. Differences between the HD 1080p and 720p video clips were largely related to the frame resolution.  Clips shot at VGA resolution were very good for their frame sizes.

      Audio quality from the built-in microphone was above average, although we found the built-in wind cut filter unable to cope with moderately windy conditions. We didn't detect any pick-up of operational noises when zooming and re-focusing while shooting movie clips.

      Our timing tests were conducted with a 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-1 card, the fastest card in our collection. The review camera powered up ready for shooting in approximately one second. We measured an average capture lag of 0.25 seconds when the viewfinder was used for shot composition, and 0.9 seconds in Live View mode.

      This lag was eliminated when shots were pre-focused for viewfinder shooting and reduced to 0.2 seconds in Live View mode. Shot-to-shot times averaged 0.4 seconds.

      High-resolution JPEGs took an average of 0.9 seconds to process, while CR2.RAW files were processed in 2.1 seconds and RAW+JPEG pairs in 2.2 seconds.

      In the continuous shooting mode the review camera recorded 10 Large/Fine JPEGs in 1.8 seconds, which is close to specifications. It took 3.8 seconds to process this burst.

      With CR2.RAW files, capture rates slowed noticeably after six frames. The review camera recorded a burst of six raw frames in one second and took 7.2 seconds to process them. For RAW+JPEG pairs, capture rates slowed after three frames, which were recorded in 6.4 seconds. It took 5.6 seconds to process this burst.

      Buy this camera if:
      - You want a high-resolution DSLR camera that can record both still pictures and Full HD video clips.
      - You want a camera with a straightforward user interface plus easy-to-use automated shooting modes and user-adjustable controls.
      - You want a DSLR with a built-in auto flash plus a useful flash modes and exposure adjustments.
      - You could make use of the extended sensitivity range for still photography and video capture.
      - You could take advantage of the vari-angle monitor.
      Don’t buy this camera if:
      - You require more than one raw file option and the ability to set different JPEG image sizes and qualities for RAW+JPEG capture.
      - You require a wider AE bracketing range than +/- 2 stops.
      - You require a weatherproof camera.

      SPECS

      Image sensor: 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS sensor with approximately 19 million photosites (18 megapixels effective)
      Image processor: DIGIC 5
      A/D processing: 14-bit
      Lens mount: Canon EF/EF-S
      Focal length crop factor: 1.6x
      Image formats: Stills – CR2.RAW, JPEG (Exif 2.3), RAW+JPEG; Movies – MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
      Image Sizes: Stills – 5184 x 3456, 3456 x 2304, 2592 x 1728, 1920 x 1080, 720 x 480; Movies: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) at 30p/25p/24p, 1280 x720 (HD) at 60p/50p, 640 x 480 (SD) at 30p/25p
      Image Stabilisation: Lens-based only
      Dust removal: Canon Integrated Cleaning System (vibration of low-pass filter;  Auto, Manual, Dust Delete Data appending)
      Shutter speed range: 30 to 1/4000 second plus Bulb; X-synch at 1/200sec.
      Exposure Compensation:+/- 5EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
      Exposure bracketing: +/- 2 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps (Can becombined with manual exposure compensation)
      Self-timer: 2 or 10 seconds delay
      Focus system: TTL-SIR,phase detection system with nine cross-type AF points (Cross-type AF sensitive to f/2.8 with centre AF point); AF-assist via built-in flash
      Focus modes: One-Shot AF, AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF
      Exposure metering: 63-zone TTL full-aperture metering with Evaluative (linked to all AF points), Partial (approx. 9% of viewfinder at centre), Spot(approx. 4% of viewfinder at centre) and Centre-weighted average metering
      Shooting modes: Program AE (Scene Intelligent Auto, Flash Off, Creative Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up,Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control), Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual exposure
      Picture Style/Control settings:  Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Def. 1 - 3
      Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
      Custom functions: 8
      ISO range: Basic Zone modes: ISO 100 - 6400; Creative Zone modes: ISO100 - 12800 set manually; expansion to ISO 25600 available in Creative Zone modes
      White balance: Auto, Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White fluorescent light, Flash*), Custom; WB correction and bracketing provided; * Flash colour temperature information transmission enabled
      Flash: Retractable, E-TTL II pop-up autoflash, GN approx. 13 (ISO 100), coverage to approx 17mm lens; approx. 3 sec. cycle time; Wireless master function provided
      Flash exposure adjustment: +/- 2EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
      Sequence shooting: Max. 5 frames/second for up to 22 large/fine JPEGs, 6 CR2.RAW files or 3 RAW+JPEG pairs
      Storage Media: SD/ SDHC/ SDXC memory cards (UHS-1 and Eye-Fi compatible)
      Viewfinder: Eye-level pentamirror with approx. 95% FOV coverage,  approx. 0.85x magnification, 19 mm eye point, fixed Precision Matte focusing screen; dioptric adjustment of approx. -3.0 to+1.0 dpt; depth-of-field preview provided
      LCD monitor: Vari-angle 3-inch 3:2 aspect TFT colour LCD with approx.1.04 million dots; capacitative touch screen technology
      Live View AF: Hybrid CMOS AF System(Face+Tracking, FlexiZone-Multi, FlexiZone-Single), Phase-difference detection (Quick mode); Manual focusing (approx. 5x / 10x magnification possible)
      Data LCD: No
      Playback functions: Single-frame, Index (4 or 9 frames), Enlarge (1.5x  to 10x), Highlight alert, Slideshow with background music, Picture rotation (auto mode available), Histogram (independent luminance/RGB available), Shooting information; jump by10 or 100 images, by shooting date, by folder, by movies, by stills, by rating; movie playback
      Image post processing: Grainy B/W, Soft focus, Fish-eye effect, Art bold effect, Water painting effect, Toy camera effect, Miniature effect
      Interface terminals: USO 2.0, HDMI (Type C Mini), A/V out, GPS Receiver GP-E2 connection, 3.5 mm diameter stereo mini-jack for external microphone, terminal for Remote Switch RS-60E3, Wireless remote control and Eye-Fi card supported
      Power supply: LP-E8 rechargeable lithium-ion battery; CIPA rated forapprox. 440 shots/charge with viewfinder (180 shots with Live View) 
      Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8 mm
      Weight: Approx. 520 grams (body only)

      TESTS

      JPEG images

      Raw images converted in AdobeCamera Raw.

      SAMPLES

      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.

      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.

      30-second exposure at ISO 100; 24mm focal length at f/4.

      20-second exposure at ISO 1600; 24mm focal length at f/7.1.

      13-second exposure at ISO 6400; 24mm focal length at f/16.

      8-second exposure at ISO 12800; 24mm focal length at f/16.

      Flash exposure at ISO 100; 104mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.6.

      Flash exposure at ISO 1600; 104mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.6.

       Flash exposure at ISO 6400; 104mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.6.

      Flash exposure at ISO 12800; 104mm focal length, 1/60 second at f/5.6.

      Strong backlighting; 18mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/400 second at f/11.

      Wide brightness range outdoor subject with Auto Lighting Optimiser onStandard setting; 88mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/400 second at f/10.

      Wide brightness range indoor subject with Auto Lighting Optimiser switched off; 20mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/30 second at f/3.5.

      Wide brightness range indoor subject with Auto Lighting Optimiser set to High; 20mm focal length, ISO 125, 1/40 second at f/3.5.

      3:2 aspect ratio in Live View mode; 42mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/400second at f/10.

       4:3 aspect ratio in Live View mode; 42mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/500second at f/11.

      16:9 aspect ratio in Live View mode; 42mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/400second at f/11.

      1:1 aspect ratio in Live View mode; 42mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/400second at f/10.

      27mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/5.

      62mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/100 second at f/5.6.

       35mm focal length, ISO 1000, 1/30 second at f/6.3.

      24mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/30 second at f/4.

      Still image captured duringFull HD movie recording; 89mm focal length, ISO 160,1/160 second at f/11.

      Still frames from Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) video clips recorded outdoors and indoors.

      Still frames from HD (1280 x 720 pixel) video clips recorded outdoors and indoors.

      14:Still frames from VGA (640 x 480 pixel) video clips recorded outdoors and indoors.

      Rating

      RRP: Approx. street price: AUD$900 body only, AUD$1050 with 18-55mm lens; AUD$1350 with 18-135mm STM Lens; Approx US$850 body only; US$950 Single lens kit; US$1200 with 18-135mm STM Lens.

      • Build: 8.5
      • Ease of use: 9.0
      • Autofocusing: 8.8
      • Still image quality: JPEG 8.5; RAW 8.5
      • Video quality: 8.8

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