Despite others sending in wave after wave of compact system camera combatants, Canon stubbornly continues to throw newer, stronger DSLRs into the fray. And the 650D looks like the kind of opponent that will chew you up, spit you out and fashion your bones into a scale model of the Eiffel Tower.
The future-y element here is a new 18MP hybrid CMOS sensor, allowing continuous autofocus when shooting video and an impressive 5fps burst shooting mode, which goes some way towards competing with the machine-gun-like snapping of CSCs. Then there's its tilting, swivelling touchscreen, which allows you to change settings and swipe between photos.
shoots to thrill?
It sure does. The nine-point autofocus is super-quick, latching on to subjects with smart precision. Image quality from photos is excellent, with oodles of detail and great colours at all but the highest ISOs - which extend all the way to 25,600.
Video footage is beautifully crisp and smooth, and while the continuous autofocus isn't always as responsive as we'd like, it does actually work, making shooting moving subjects pretty easy. Even the stereo sound recording isn't too bad, although there's always the option to plug a mic into the 3.5 mm input.
Overall controls have been well chosen, suiting beginners and enthusiasts alike - but the touchscreen feels like a gimmick. It's responsive, but often takes longer to use than many of the physical buttons.
a touch too far
This capacitive touchscreen is the best we’ve used on a camera, but the fact you have to press the ‘Q’ icon before you can get to any of the settings spoils its operation.
The video record button doubles as the Live View selector in stills mode, but a dedicated video mode option is built into the on/off switch, easily within thumb reach.
Our new favourite DSLR has a new hybrid CMOS sensor which enables continuous autofocus during video recording, a responsive touchscreen and 5fps burst shooting. Image quality from the 18MP sensor is excellent and focusing is super-quick. Brilliant.