Canon EOS 650D Review

4.5
September 10, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 18 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

During the review, the Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T3i produced images of outstanding quality. The resolution is absolutely best in class, though you will want to shoot RAW for best results and possibly purchase something else than the 18-135mm IS zoom lens we had in for testing, as it does not do the camera full justice, even stopped down (the camera is available in a number of kits and there is a body-only option as well.)

Noise handling is also very good considering the pixel density. Shooting RAW is again a good idea if you plan on taking lots of high-ISO shots, as you can get better detail with less chroma noise than by shooting JPEG. As regards the colours, we have found them to be a little on the dull side, though this is nothing you can't change in-camera, by way of tweaking the available Picture Styles or creating your own.

The camera's Highlight Tone Priority mode allowed us to retain more highlight detail in contrasty scenes than would otherwise be possible without underexposing the midtones and the shadows. The built-in flash caused no red-eye, and the night photo came out very well. Overall, a very good showing from a camera that has considerably smaller pixels than some of its competitors.

Noise

ISO sensitivity can be set between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 in full-stop increments, and a boosted setting of ISO 25600 is also available. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and the RAW equivalent on the right.

JPEG

RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T3i has 2 different JPEG file quality settings available, including Fine and Normal, with Fine being the higher quality option. Here are two 100% crops which show the quality of the two options.

Fine (6.15Mb) (100% Crop) Normal (3.00Mb) (100% Crop)
   
RAW (21.8Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Sharpening

The out-of-camera JPEGs are quite soft and at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes via the Picture Style options.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash settings on the EOS 650D / T3i are Auto, Manual Flash On/Off, and Red-Eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (29mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (29mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (88mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (88mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting nor the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Canon EOS 650D's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds, aperture of f/8 at ISO 100. Here is a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Picture Controls

Canon's Picture Controls are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. The available Picture Controls are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. You can tweak these Picture Controls to your liking, and there are also User Defined styles so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Portrait

   
Landscape

Neutral

   
Faithful

Monochrome

Creative Auto

Essentially a more extreme version of the well-established Picture Styles, Creative Auto offers nine options including Standard, Vivid, Soft, Warm, Intense, Cool, Brighter, Darker and Monochrome, all of which can be interactively tweaked to suit your taste.

Standard

Vivid

   
Soft

Warm

   
Intense

Cool

   
Brighter

Darker

   
Monochrome  
 

Auto Lighting Optimizer

Auto Lighting Optimizer performs in-camera processing to even out the contrast and correct brightness. There are 4 different settings - Off, Low, Standard and Strong.

Off

Low

   
Standard

Strong

Highlight Tone Priority

Highlight Tone Priority is a custom function which can be enabled from the menu. Use of this custom function improves highlight detail by expanding the camera's dynamic range in the highlights. As you can see from these examples, Highlight Tone Priority reduced the extent of highlight blow-out considerably.

Off

On

HDR Backlight

The Canon EOS 650D's HDR Backlight control captures three different exposures and combines them into one, retaining more shadow and highlight detail.

On

Off

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, review, 1080p, samples, 720p, jpeg, movie, touch-screen, DSLR, canon, touch screen, tilting, touch, raw, 18 megapixel, digital SLR, 5fps, vari-angle, lcd, hybrid af, t4i, eos 650d, Canon EOS 650D Review, digital rebel t4i, 650d

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