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Canon announce the EOS 650D
Canon today has announced the launch of the EOS650D and a couple of new lenses.
Initial impressions are that it looks very similar to the 600D and indeed the specification looks very similar. However for video users there is quite a significant first - this is the first Canon SLR capable of continuous tracking and focus whilst recording video! How does it do this and is it any good? Well the 650D's new Hybrid CMOS sensor uses much the same method as Nikon's 1 cameras and includes pixels dedicated to phase detection. As we all know, phase detection is vastly superior is most cases to contrast detection - for one thing you don't the 'hunt' you can do with contrast detection and bear in mind that all of Canon's SLR lenses are optimised for phase detection. How good it actually is, we'll soon find out once we get our hands on one!
Another big change is the introduction of a touchscreen LCD. Being able to select AF points on Live View is a great idea and could prove very useful. Also having direct access to the Quick Control screen should make live a great deal easier. The Vari-angle screen design remains which whilst nowhere near as good as Sony's A77 design is nonetheless very good.
On the mode dial, you will now find HDR Backlight Control - basically auto bracketing 3 shots and combining them into one jpeg. The Handheld Night Scene sound suspiciously similar to what Sony offers on their cameras where four different images are shot rapidly together before combining them into picture. It does work brilliantly on the Sony's so well done Canon for including this.
Visually there isn't much difference. You will notice the power switch now has a video 3rd click on it but that is really all. We really like the 600D - it's a very friendly camera for beginners and its successor looks like building on this with its extra features.
Once we've had a play with the AF Movie function, we'll let you know how we get on!
Canon also announced two new lenses which have linear stepper motors for the autofocus. Stepper motors are often used on CSC camera lenses as they're fast and very quiet when focusing on video. This is the first time we've seen an SLR lens use this type of system though. Unlike normal SLR lenses, the manual focus is controlled electronically.
The first lens is the EF40mm f/2.8 STM pancake. A pancake SLR lens is definitely a first and it is by far the smallest Canon SLR lens you can buy. It seems a bit of a bizarre focal length to put in a pancake lens when you think about all the CSC ones that are wide angle but if of course you put this on a full frame camera like the 5D Mk III, it could prove quite useful.
The second lens is the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. This is an EFS lens (so no using with full frame cameras) that features Dynamic IS image stabilisation which as we understand it has been optimised to work with video.