Every so often one of the major Digital SLR manufactures introduces a camera that makes a quantum leap in technology, making everything easier and also making all your collected kit old-hat. The recent release of the Canon’s full-frame sensor 5D Mark III didn’t do this, it was a much needed update to very outdated auto-focus system.
Canon’s new EOS 650D Digital SLR finally does see the kind of camera innovation, that narrows the gap between dSLR camera interfaces and technology and thinking of the leading edge consumer electronics companies, such as Apple and their touch screen iOS devices.
The 650D, at the top-end of Canon’s entry-level dSLR, finally intrudes that have been missing since the introduction of HD video on SLRs and the smartphone shift to touch screen.
Continuous focus video on Canon dSLR
The canon 5D Mark II opened up a new market for dSLR’s – professional level, broadcast quality video, direct from a stills-camera. The catch? The focus on the 5D series is still manual. This either means expensive and bulky focus tracking devices or simply keeping your subject still during video recording. Somewhat limiting.
The Canon 650D finally allows intelligent, continuous auto focus during video recording. Shame this wasn’t ready for the 5D Mark III, but hey, it’s here and no doubt sure to follow throughout the Canon dSLR range. The catch? This is designed to work with Canon’s new Stepping Motor lenses which are ultra quiet in auto-focus – important when you are recording sound with your video.
Touch screen on a dSLR
For a long while, I have been wondering why the camera’s high resolution, high contrast, full colour LCD display is still displaying a series of text based menus with fiddly little joysticks, scroll-wheels and tiny buttons, to operate the camera settings, not unlike operating a Dell laptop’s in-keyboard nipple-mouse 10 years ago.
The 650D introduces (thanks iPhone interface designers), the ability to focus on a subject by touching a preview of the image on the LCD screen. Ok, that’s not new to iPhone users, but for using liveview on a tripod for example, it’s a wonderful feature. What’s really exciting here, is not the 650D implementation of touch screen, but what’s possible in the future. Imagine shooting a video with a wide aperture lens, focused on a a flower fluttering in the wind in the foreground. Now touch the preview screen to blend the focus over a pre-set second to a tree in background. Easy, beautiful, in camera, and no expensive focus-shift professional video accessories needed. The touch screen even allows for iPhone style two finger touch gestures (zoom in/out). At last.