The Canon 650D is a great camera but initial criticisms are that the autofocus on the video isn’t quite there but it’s pretty good. The 650D is at the high end of the budget Canon DSLR camera range. With the 550D soon to be discontinued and the 60D being around the £1000 mark. The 650D is very reasonably priced at around £650 as per it’s namesake and I don’t see how you could possibly be disappointed by this camera. The 9-point autofocus on the 650D is better than that of the 5D mark II but this is more of a reflection on the 5D mark II than the 650D.
I am by no means a professional photographer or cinematographer. I work with digital cameras as part of my business and would probably rate my skills as being semi-professional at best. I deliver a product to my clients at a price that is reasonable and they love it. I also provide Internet Marketing services which is my main business. Having great digital photographs and captivating videos in obviously an important part of the marketing mix. I started with the 550D and thought it was great at the start but soon found than, when snapping photographs quickly, the autofocus would often put the background in focus instead of the subject. This was frustrating and I was never happy with the autofocus. Then, as I attempted to shoot video, the 1.8 50mm lens (which actually is equivalent to 80mm on the cropped sensor 550D), the lens was fantastic in low light situations but the manual only focus was a real pain. Without a monitor, I had great difficulty in keeping focus on fast moving subjects. Stressful and frustrating. Certainly not ideal and I wouldn’t have shot an important video with just the 550D (not that I’d recommend ever shooting video with another video camera running at the same time).
Then there was the overheating. I didn’t notice this at first whilst shooting video but in post production I would notice the audio beginning to distort or a complete loss of it. In addition to this the frame rate would sometimes slow right down almost to a stop. Another problem was the depth of field. I could never figure out how to actually stop down the lens in video mode. This, in theory, would have made the lack of autofocus matter less because more of a scene would have stayed in focus but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. But after a very stressful time trying to video an party I had already decided to sell my 550D on Ebay and upgrade to the 650D. I was concerned about buying a model which had the problems with causing rashes or allergic reactions so I decided to wait a while and see if the prices came down to.
I also wanted to buy one of the STM lenses with the camera because of the quiter and smoother focus. But I was happy with the poor low light performance of the 18-135 STM and the 40mm pancake lens was a 2.8 which was ok but I really wanted a 18-55mm lens with a maximum of 2 all the way through the focal range. Frustrating!
But, on the bright side, DSLRs are going in the right direction and what is available now wouldn’t have been anywhere near possible just 5 years ago. I think that the 650D is the best budget camera to go for right now because if I wanted to go for a video camera which worked in low light then I’d be paying well over £5k for a good Sony or Panasonic which just isn’t feasible for me on my tight budget…maybe went I’ve done a few more jobs and made some more money!
When I first got the 650D my main concern wasn’t the actual image quality. This wasn’t my reason for upgrading because I was happy with the image quality of the 550D. What I wasn’t happy with was the autofocus of the actual still photography itself which I can confirm is vastly improved. My other main concerns were the autofocus on the video mode which is much better but still not as good as a professional video camera. It’s slow but the touch screen to select subjects and areas of focus is very good indeed. I’d describe it as usable and intuitive.
Another great frustration I had with the 550D was the automatic gain control (AGC) which caused a terrible hiss with my Rode Stereo Video Mic. I bought the Rode mic second-hand and basically sold it straight on after trying it with the 550D. The AGC basically didn’t work properly with the Rode and various online sources recommended a hack which I didn’t want to do so I sold the Rode then the 550D. The 650D has a manual gain control which should sort this problem. I don’t have a mic at the moment so can’t confirm this but I hope it prevents this problem.
Here’s some specifications for the Canon 650D (it’s a camera that I recommend and have purchased myself):
|Review Date||26 Sep 2012|
|CCD effective megapixels||18.0 megapixels|
|Viewfinder magnification, coverage||0.85x, 95%|
|LCD screen size||3.0in|
|LCD screen resolution||1,040,000 pixels|
|Zoom 35mm equivalent||29-88mm|
|Image stabilisation||optical, in kit lens|
|Maximum image resolution||5,184×3,456|
|File formats||JPEG, RAW; QuickTime (AVC)|
|Exposure modes||program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual|
|Shutter speed||30 to 1/4,000 seconds|
|Aperture range||f/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-36 (tele)|
|ISO range (at full resolution)||100 to 25600|
|Exposure compensation||+/-5 EV|
|White balance||auto, 6 presets with fine tuning, manual|
|Closest macro focus||25cm|
|Auto-focus modes||9-point (flexible spot, face detect, tracking in live view and video modes)|
|Metering modes||multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect|
|Flash||auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction|
|Drive modes||single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, flash exposure bracket, HDR|
|Battery Life (tested)||440 shots|
|Connectivity||USB, AV, mini HDMI, microphone, wired remote|
|Lens mount||Canon EF|
|Focal length multiplier||1.6x|
|Kit lens model name||Canon EF-S 18-55 IS II|
|Accessories||USB and AV cables, neck strap|
|Warranty||one year RTB|