With its touchscreen, Hybrid AF and other user-friendly functions, the Canon 650D transforms the way you use a camera and how you take pictures.

While this is bound to be of interest to novice photographers, we think it also significantly improves the handling of the camera for experienced users.

We liked

We found the articulated touchscreen responsive and easy to use. It enables quick settings adjustments and fast shooting from awkward angles, but if you don't want to use it you still have all the button controls you would expect on a DSLR.

We disliked

Although it has Canon's rating system that enables you to score images with up to five stars, there's no dedicated rating button, so it's not quite as quick to use as with the Canon 5D Mark III. It's also a shame that the new Multi Shot Noise Reduction setting only works with JPEGs and not raw files.

Final verdict

It may not have the pixel count of the Nikon D3200, but the Canon 650D is a very well-rounded DSLR with plenty of features for novices and enthusiasts. Image quality and high ISO performance is excellent.

It's a worthwhile upgrade for anyone with a Canon 550D or a Canon 600D. Meanwhile, if you have an older 40D or 50D camera, you won't be disappointed if you 'downgrade' to a smaller Canon DSLR - although the specification of the Canon EOS 650D begs the question what we can expect to see when the Canon 60D and Canon 7D are replaced.

The current recommended retail price of £699 in the UK and $849 in the US (body only) may seem steep for an entry-level camera, especially when you consider the meatier, higher spec 60D body is available for £749/$899.

However, it's worth remembering that that the 600D/Rebel T3i was priced at £679/$799 RRP body-only when it came out in April 2011, yet today it can be found for around £499/$579. It shouldn't be too long before the Canon EOS 650D street price becomes more palatable as well.