When we first heard the announcement about the EOS 650D and its new sensor, we hoped to see a gain in image quality sensor performance, but the Canon EOS 650D’s sensor scores have left our hopes high and dry. Clearly this 18 Mpix sensor’s only new feature is its hybridized autofocus (which includes the specialization of certain photosites).
Canon is outclassed by both Sony in terms of sensor technology, particularly where color depth and dynamic range are concerned. So the Canon EOS 650D’s strong points must be found elsewhere. Content with the image quality of the EOS 550D/600D line — sufficient for the majority of amateur photographers — Canon chose to focus its efforts on designing a camera with such ergonomic improvements as a capacitated touchscreen display and an innovative, quick, quiet, and powerful hybridized autofocus. In video mode, the autofocus operates continuously and takes full advantage of the emerging new line of lenses equipped with Stepping Motor (STM) technology.
This said, the line that marks the gap between Canon sensor performance and those of Nikon and Sony is becoming more pronounced, particularly for dynamic range and color depth (less so for sensitivity). And in fact, the excellent test scores of the Nikon D600’s 24 Mpix full-frame digital reflex make us all the more eager to test the Canon EOS 6D’s 20 Mpix full-format sensor. For the EOS 650D’s sensor, however, even its hybridized autofocus cannot deflect the conclusion drawn from our DxOMark test results: “same old, same old.”