Canon EOS 650D / 18-55mm Kit Review
The Canon EOS 650D is the first DSLR camera to have a touchscreen display. This new 18-megapixel entry-level DSLR boasts better shooting performance and enhanced video controls with a duo of STM lenses.
The handling is virtually flawless, with a large comfortable rubber textured handgrip and a big thumb grip area at the back. All the controls are accessible and sensibly laid out, although the ISO button does tend to hide behind the main mode dial. The body is polycarbonate plastic but the build quality is excellent and the camera feels solid and durable. The 650D’s 18-megapixel sensor is a new “Hybrid CMOS” chip, which incorporates the sensors for the live view and video mode autofocus into the main imaging sensor. This provides superior low-light focusing, and offers continuous tracking AF in video mode. The 650D is also the first DSLR to feature Canon’s powerful DIGIC 5 processor, offering 5fps continuous shooting speed and an improved ISO range of 100 – 12,800, expandable up to 25,600.
On-the-fly lens distortion correction is also provided, another first for a Canon DSLR. Other new features include in-camera HDR imaging and stereo audio recording. The touch-screen interface is simple, and offers a fast and versatile way to control the entire camera’s main shooting functions. The touch-screen interface combined with the 7.7cm (3in) flip-and-twist monitor adds a whole new level of creative versatility to the camera, and makes it actually fun and easy to use, even in full manual exposure mode. It can shoot 1,920 x 1,080 full HD and also record stereo audio via a pair of microphones mounted just in front of the flash hot-shoe. In burst-mode shooting, the DSLR shot off at a speed of 5 frames per second - this was consistent in RAW, too. Turning the camera on to capture the first shot takes about 0.5 seconds.
Shutter lag was minimal as with most DSLRs. Shot-to-shot time on Single Shot mode was clocked 0.5 seconds, as well. To capture even faster action, choose the Ai Servo mode to track your subjects and acquire focus before image capture. On the whole, the 650D's shooting performance is quite fast thanks to its hybrid AF system which uses a combination of phase-and-contrast detection, resulting in more precise focusing, especially for moving objects. The 650D’s image quality is certainly good, but it is far from perfect. In good light and at low ISO settings the level of detail is very impressive and the colour rendition is excellent.
However, even at the lowest settings it’s still not quite up to the standard of major competitors. Standard test shot showed some slight colour distortion even at 100 ISO. As for the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens supplied, it is the most inadequate kit lens on the market. The AF motor is slow and clunky, it feels cheaply made, the filter ring rotates when focusing and optically it produces horrible wide-angle distortion, blurring at the edges of the frame and significant chromatic aberration. Overall, the Canon EOS 650D is an excellent all-round performer. It's a little faster, has a few more modern features, and still offers the beautiful eloquent LCD. Most importantly, it produces great images with relative ease. It’s a hard act to beat for first time buyers with a little extra in the budget or those looking to move up to the next level.
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