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Canon 650D vs 7D – Which Digital Camera Should I Buy?
Choosing a new camera can be quite a daunting job, especially when you are looking to buy a ‘serious’ camera rather than a point-and-shoot. It’s not as simple as deciding which is the best camera, because each has its pros and cons. The question you need to answer is “Which is the best camera for me?”
Let me begin by saying that I own a Canon 7D. It is a very good camera, but I carry a camera everywhere I go, and the 7D is rather heavy. As I am a very small person, I find it quite a strain carrying it around all the time and recently acquired a smaller camera for everyday use. None the less, I love my 7D.
Before you decide which camera to buy, you need to define what you plan to do with your camera.
- Are you going to shoot a lot of sports? If so, you will want a camera that it really quick. If you set the drive of the 7D to continuous, it will shoot at 8 frames per second in good light. The 650D will only give you 5 frames per second. This is still pretty quick, but if the action is fast enough, those extra 3 frames may give you a shot that you would have missed with the 650D.
- Do you want good video performance? The newer technology makes the 650D a winner in this department. The 650D will give you continuous autofocus while filming video. The 7D requires you to change focus manually. The 650D also has a stereo microphone, while the microphone on the 7D is mono.
- Do you plan to shoot mainly using the viewfinder? If you are going to do things the old-fashioned way and shoot exclusively using the viewfinder, the 7D will serve you very well. It has 19 selectable focus points, compared to 9 on the 650D.
- Do you want great performance using the screen instead of the viewfinder? The 7D can be rather sluggish when using live view (using the screen to compose your shot). In this department the 650D’s newer technology will give you a huge advantage. Not only is live view performance much quicker, but the 650D is the first Canon DSLR to sport a touch screen. Among the features of the touch screen is the ability to shoot the photo by simply touching your desired focal point. In certain situations this can be a huge time saver.
- Do you want an articulated screen for live view shooting? The 650D offers this feature, which can be useful if you need to hold your camera overhead to get a difficult shot in a crowd or if you want to take a photo from ground level and aren’t keen to lie flat on the floor to take the shot.
- Are you likely to shoot in bad weather? The 7D is both water-resistant and dust-resistant. The 650D is not.
The 650D is substantially cheaper than the 7D, and if it meets your requirements it will give you a bit of extra money to spend on quality lenses, which can be more important for getting good photos than a more expensive body.
If you are looking for portability, you might also consider Canon’s entry into the mirrorless market – the EOS M. Like a DSLR, it uses interchangeable lenses. There are only two lenses available for it at this stage, but more are likely to follow soon. With an adapter, however, you can use lenses made for a DSLR, so you won't be too limited if you have access to the lenses you need. The EOS M is a bit like a mini 650D. It has the same size CMOS crop sensor. However, the EOS M does lack an optical viewfinder, which means you can only shoot using the screen. It also lacks a pop-up flash, but it does come with a small flash which you can use on the hot-shoe, and you can also use the same powerful flashes as you would use on any Canon DSLR.
Note: In some countries the Canon 650D is known as the Canon Rebel T4i.