Review Canon 650D

In June 2012, the Canon 650D is introduced. It is the first digital Canon SLR with touchscreen control and a newly developed hybrid sensor, which offers autofocus during video recording. The Canon 650D is the latest EOS SLR in the series 350D, 400D, 450D, 500D, 550D, and 600D and is similar to the Canon 600D in many ways. Both cameras are easy to use and still offer many features and capabilities. The Canon 650D is a very suitable camera for beginners who want to start using automatic camera settings and have the ambition to experiment with more advanced settings. Competitors of the Canon 650D are for example Nikon D3200 , Sony A-35, or system cameras like the Olympus OM-D E-M5 or the Panasonic G5. Canon-650D

Design and ergonomics

The design and ergonomics of the Canon 650D are very similar to those of previous Canon models. Yet there are a few changes: The on / off switch on the camera has an additional setting for video. This will certainly appeal to video enthusiasts. With the Canon 650D, it is possible to choose aperture priority during video with the mode dial. The Canon 600D selects the video mode with the mode dial and therefore, there is no possibility to choose between aperture mode and program mode. Canon-650D


Besides the usual PASM settings, the Canon 650D offers many additional settings. On the program wheel, the recording modes are indicated with symbols. It is not always clear what a symbol stands for. When you like the camera to point and shoot, the Scene Intelligent Auto mode makes all the decisions. The subject is analyzed and the Canon 650D selects the best settings. Basic + mode provides a number of choices to create specific atmospheres in your images.

New are the options “Handheld Night Scene” (yellow arrow) and “HDR Backlight Control” (red arrow). There is also a multi-shot noise reduction option for shooting in the dark.

  • HDR Backlight Control takes three different exposures – underexposed, exposed correctly and overexposed – creating one combined HDR image. Thereby the image retains details in the light and dark areas in high contrast situations.
  • Handheld Night Scene combines four consecutive images to make a sharp and detailed image.
  • Multi Shot Noise Reduction, which is only available in JPG mode, is a setting in which the Canon 650D takes 4 images in quick succession that are combined into one image with less noise.
Canon 650D HDR-backlight-control-symbol
Simultaneously with the Canon 650D, two new lenses have been released: the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens and the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. Both lenses have a new stepper motor for accurate – and particularly important for video – quieter autofocus. Soon we will publish a Canon 40mm review.

Canon 650D versus Canon 600D versus Canon 550D

  • Canon 650D has a touchscreen; the 600D has no touchscreen
  • The Canon 650D offers an in-camera HDR option, the 600D does not
  • The Canon 650D offers more video options, thanks to the new hybrid sensor, which allows focusing during video recording
  • The Canon 650D is faster than the 600D: 6 fps vs. 3.7 fps
  • The Canon 650D has nine cross-type AF points; much more than one cross-type AF point with the 600D
Canon 650D-w-EF-S-18-135mm

Canon 650D versus Nikon D3200 versus Olympus OM-D E-M5

  • The Canon 650D has a flip-out touchscreen; the Nikon D3200 and the Olympus OM-D E0M5 do not. The display of the Olympus can be tilted.
  • Nikon D3200 offers more pixels and higher resolution
  • Nikon D3200 has no built-in AF motor, the other two cameras do
  • Canon 650D offers a hybrid AF sensor with faster AF during video recording than the Nikon D3200 , but the live view AF of the Olympus is again faster than the Canon
  • The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is more compact than the other two cameras and has built-in image stabilization

Viewfinder, LCD screen and menu

Phones begin functionally increasingly cameras appear. And more cameras on phones. The 7.7cm (3.0 “) wide screen responds quickly and supports gestures – such as pinch and swipe – access to shooting modes, changing settings and making a recording. It’s as easy to use as a smartphone .
The 1,040 k display back of the camera is both swivel and tilt. You can rotate the screen so that it is protected against scratches during shipment. The screen of the Canon 650D is easy to read and thanks to the vari-angle screen hinge is always such as to rotate or tilt the screen even in bright light easily legible.

The viewfinder accuracy is 95%, the magnification is 0.85 and the crop factor of 1.6, the total magnification 0.53. The Canon 7D is better in this respect.

The camera menu is very user friendly. The number of tabs is limited and you do not tab by scrolling down. The more advanced options, such as the light tone priority or choice to the exposure in 1/3 steps or 1/2stops adapt, sitting in the last tab for personal choices. On the bright tone priority we will return. We believe it is a good idea to by default to turn on the Canon 650D.

The Canon 650D provides lens aberration correction for vignetting and chromatic aberration. With other brands, you do not always have the option to turn it on or off, whether or not you see a correction is available in the camera profile. The Canon 650D indicates if a correction profile is present and leaves you with the choice of whether or not to correct for vignetting and chromatic aberration. Unfortunately, there is no option to correct for distortion at the Canon 650D, something that Panasonic has been successfully applied to its cameras. Nikon also offers the Nikon D3200 in-camera correction of distortion.

Drift Correction Lens

The measurement results of the Imatest measurements that we have performed for this Canon 650D test are listed in the Canon 650D test report. Tested are the dynamic range, the dynamic range with activated light tone priority, resolution and noise from RAW and JPG files and the color reproduction in daylight and artificial light.

Resolution Canon 650D

In terms of resolution jpg files with the Canon 650D, Canon has made progress compared to earlier EOS models. The Canon 650D delivers, with the Canon 40mm pancake lens at f/5.6, ISO 100-6400 ISO on an average resolution of approximately 2250 lines per picture height. The RAW files in Lightroom were minimal sharper than the in-camera jpg files saved but differences were only measurable and not visible to the naked eye. In the test of the Canon 60D, we have shown examples to show that the jpg files were smoother and less visible detailing were seen in the RAW files. The Canon 650D you see no difference between a jpg file and a standard developed RAW file in Lightroom. Possible honor by tweaking the parameters in Lightroom RAW even better results, but we have not tested.
Klik voor een 100% crop Canon 65D + Canon 17-85 mm
Klik voor een 100% crop Canon 650D + Canon EF-S 55-250 mm IS mk2
We have tested the Canon 650D in the studio and in practice with various lenses, including Canon’s new 40mm pancake lens, the Canon 70-300L and the Canon fisheye lens. Above, you see two Canon 650D sample photos taken with the Canon 17-85 mm (left) and the Canon 55-250 mm (right). Click on the images for a crop of these images.

Dynamic range

The total dynamic range is quite constant over the range of ISO 100 to ISO 6400. At high ISO settings, the dynamic range equivalent to that of a Nikon D3200 , but at low ISO settings, we found a lower dynamic range for the Canon 650D. Dpreview measured a lower dynamic range for the Canon 650D compared to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Nikon D3200 . Our test results are in the Canon 650D test report.

Often an overexposed with washed out highlights confused with a low dynamic range. At too low dynamic range you have to deal with simultaneous clipping of white and black. That will only in extreme situations (eg night scenes) encounter. In practice shots of the Canon 650D, we encountered several recordings with washed out highlights, without the shadows were clogged. You would have your standard recordings can underexpose and Lightroom knows to correct for underexposure, but a better solution is to use standard light tone priority.

Click on the image for an illustration of the overexposure.

Canon 650D & Canon 70-300 L @ 300 mm f/

High Tone Priority

The Light Tone Priority option is already several years on Canon cameras. My impression is that little is applied. And that’s a shame, because the Highlight tone priority not only produces less about exposure. If the Custom Function “C.Fn II -3 Highlight tone priority / Highlight tone priority” is selected, washed out highlights, as in the above picture of an egret, occur. Disadvantages of light tone priority that the ISO value only can be set between 200 – 6400 and that something more noise in the recordings come. To our surprise, during the Imatest measurements that the light tone priority not only prevents washed out highlights, but also that the usable dynamic range of the Canon 650D half a stop is higher when the Light Tone Priority enabled. We have no explanation, but see this reflected in the dpreview measurements of dpreview for dynamic range of the Canon 650D with activated light tone priority.. HogeTonenPrioriteit


In terms of noise from RAW files are the Canon 600D and Canon 650D are equal. But the Canon 600D fits at high ISO settings slightly more noise reduction to the jpg files, allowing the Canon 600D in terms of noise in jpg files slightly higher scores. However, it is difficult to define the differences with the purpose to be found in practice recordings. Left is to illustrate a detail from a 6400 ISO jpg image is taken with the Canon 600D (inner 2 gray squares) and the Canon 650D (2 outer surfaces).

Comparison of the noise of the Canon 650D with the Nikon D3200 and the Olympus

OM-D E-M5 shows the results for RAW files very close together.



Above you see a 100% image area of ​​3200 ISO RAW files without noise suppression, made with these cameras. With RAW files at high ISO settings, the Nikon D3200 scores best in terms of noise and the Canon 650D the least, but the differences are so small that I would not worry about it. The test results of the Canon 650D Canon 650D are in the test report.

In terms of sharpness and signal to noise ratio, the Canon 650D for many users more than enough to offer. Yet it is always recommended to the ISO settings as low as possible. Here you see details of a Canon 650D ISO 1600 practice image taken with the Canon 70-300 mm L. In the background noise just begins to be visible, but in a print you will still not affected.

Click on the image for larger version.


Color accuracy

The color rendering of modern cameras is in daylight very close together. Often the chosen image style greatly affects the accuracy of the color reproduction. The Canon 650D delivers daylight jpg (Faithful picture style) and RAW files in terms of color reproduction as well as for example the color of the Canon 7D or Canon 600D.

The white balance is usually good, but in artificial light we found for the Canon 650D a relatively large color difference (Delta E94 = average 22), both RAW and jpg files. It did not matter what frame style you chose. In all cases the recordings were made with artificial unnatural orange.

Under tungsten or mixed lighting situations is really recommended to shoot in RAW and color balance to correct afterwards. Who shoot in RAW, the white balance in artificial light significantly improved compared to the automatic white balance.
See the Canon 650D test report for the Canon 650D Imatest results.


With the EOS 650D you can shoot Full HD (1920x1080p) video. The Hybrid sensor offers AF in Live View. The new lenses Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM both have a silent stepping motor, which makes focussing smoother. The Video Snapshot mode makes it easier to composing short movies. The images in the video snapshot mode are recorded in segments of two, four or eight seconds. In the Canon 650D these segments can be arranged or combined. A built-in mini-HDMI port allows you to show the results on a TV. The Canon 650D has a connector for an external microphone, but not for headphones.

Built-in flash

The Canon 650D has a built-in flash, which we did not test.



The Canon EOS 650D is the first camera with a swell a contrast AF system as a phase detection AF system. Thanks cobtrast AF system do you have for the first time in a Canon EOS camera provided with continuous AF in making movies. This AF system is noticeably slower than the autofocus from Panasonic and Olympus. See the Canon 650D Hybrid AF Vs. Panasonic DMC-G5 video by dpreview on Youtube.

Autofocus tracking

The Canon 650D has an 18MP Hybrid CMOS sensor and powerful DIGIC 5 image processor, giving you 5 frames per second at full resolution. The 9-point cross-type AF system provides the precision needed for fast sequential shots. Thus the Canon 650D is suitable for action, sports or nature photography. In this test we haven’t tested the autofocus tracking of the Canon 650D. For an impression, you can take a look at our Canon 600D review.
The frame rate is not the only important parameter for an action photographer. When making series with amateur series cameras, the number of subsequent images that you can make, is limited by the camera buffer. Especially when you store RAW and jpg files simultaneously. When the camera buffer is full, you can not take any pictures for a while. So if you’re looking for a camera specifically for action photography, a bigger brother in the EOS series is recommend.
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See our overview of tested cameras to compare the performance of this camera with other cameras.



  • Higher resolution jpg files than predecessors
  • Vari Angle Touchscreen
  • Full-HD video with manual control and continuous AF
  • With 5 grames per second, fast enough for action, sports or nature photography
  • User friendly Interface
  • Limited dynamic range, which improves by involving the Highlight tone priority
  • Less megapixels and a lower resolution than the competition (Nikon D3200 , Sony A77)

The Canon 650D is, like the Canon 600D, a user friendly camera with lots of features. The Canon 650D offers a speed of 5 frames per second, which is fast enough for action, sports or nature photography. But because of the limited buffer capacity, if you’re looking for a camera specifically for action photography, then you’re better off with a bigger brother in the Canon EOS series.
The new sensor and image processor contribute to an even better image quality and Live View autofocus for video. The Canon 650D offers jpg files with higher resolution compared to earlier EOS models. The color accuracy in daylight equals the caolor accuracy of the Canon 7D or Canon 600D. In artificial light we found for the Canon 650D a relatively strong orange cast, both in RAW and jpg files. The somewhat limited dynamic range can be improved by the high tone priority. This results in less washed out highlights as well.
The Canon 650D is, in terms of image quality, a strong competitor for the Canon 60D and Canon 7D. If you want make lots of video movies, the Canon 650D even is a much better choice than its more expensive brothers.

See our Canon 650D measurement results.


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