I bought a Canon 650D DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera to see what a piece of kit like this could do for around £1000. I took the camera around the USA for three months between December 2012 and February 2013 and shot the below music video with it. It had pro’s and con’s but on the whole I was impressed with the performance of this piece of entry level kit. Here’s my Canon 650D DSLR review.
- Light weight and inconspicuous
- Lots of auto features for less experienced shooters or those in a serious hurry
- Flip touch screen (great for watching what your doing as you shoot)
- Good battery life of at least 1 -1.5 hours (although this is reduced with the flip screen in use)
- The lens stands up well in good light
- The lens and camera sensor do struggle in low light (you start seeing grain)
- Without a tripod and even with a monopod the footage is shaky
- As with most of these DSLRs the built in mic is not great
- In bright conditions its hard to focus using the flip screen
- Autofocus is not great if you are filming any kind of movement
The video was entirely shot with the Canon EFS 18-135 zoom lens with image stabiliser. Shot in HD 1920 x 1080, 25 frames per second with manual focus (most of the time). Because of the length of the trip I did not take a tripod or monopod. The video was shot entirely hand held or using objects to place the camera on to achieve stability. This video was cut on Premiere Pro and graded in Magic Bullet Looks. Premiere Pro offers the warp stabiliser effect which was used a lot on this edit. It takes that shaky DSLR footage and smooths it out wonderfully. A great save for some of the more wobbly handheld shots.
Niagara Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Maui (Hawai), Yosemite National Park & Costal Pacific Highway (California), Grand Canyon & Las Vegas (Nevada), Various shots (New England),
“Your Last Line” from the album “These Words Aren’t Meant For Me” by Rob Finlay.
All in all and considering the price this camera is brilliant. The flip touch screen makes shooting and viewing rushes and stills a pleasure. It’s easy to view rushes and show people what you’ve shot as you go along. If you’re looking for something that is really pro and will operate under conditions needing more dynamic range then this is probably not the camera for you. You might consider upping the budget for a Black Magic or Canon C100. However if you’re on a budget or looking for something for holiday filming, outdoor shooting or for filming internal communications videos then this should be a camera you consider purchasing.