Canon A650 Reviews, Samples and Resources

First published on: Monday, 17 September 2007

Collected here are links to Canon A650 IS professional reviews and user comments and opinions, samples of photos taken with the A650 and other resources.

The new Canon Powershot A650 IS was announced on 20th August, 2007. It is a 12 MP (megapixels) digital camera and has an almost unbelievable 6x optical zoom in a lens with a range of 35-210mm and a fully-articulating “vari-angle” LCD (being able to swivel the LCD makes it easy to take photos with the camera held at odd angles) that measures 2.5 inches with a resolution of 173,000 pixels. IS (image stabilization) means your chances of getting blurry photos at low, handheld shutter speeds in dim lighting conditions are greatly reduced.

The list of available user controls, configurations, features and specifications on this camera is impressive, and should feature high on the shopping list of those looking for a digital camera in the point-and-shoot class if weight and size isn’t a deterrent. In fact, the only significant features which the top-of-the-line Powershot G9 has that this one doesn’t are a hot shoe to fit external flash units, automatic exposure bracketing (AEB) and RAW capability. There’s even a dedicated button on the back of the A650 for setting the ISO — impressive!

It’s also being said that with the introduction of the A650 IS, buyers will no longer have to make the same compromise choices they had to in the past when deciding between the older Powershot A710 IS vs. A630 / A640 models — the A650 IS combines the best features from both lines and goes much further.

Canon Powershot A650 IS -- Front ViewCanon Powershot A650 IS -- Rear View with articulating LCD fully opened
Check current price and deals on the A650 IS (UK) | Multiple-vendor listing

Official Image Samples

Official Canon A650 IS image samples
Canon has provided three A650 IS images, two portraits and one flora still life, and all were shot at ISO 80. Note that sensitivity on the Canon A650 goes all the way to ISO 1600 (plus a special ISO 3200 mode in 1600 x 1200 resolution). Color in these image are extremely good, and even though sharpening is slightly on the high side, this makes the photos good enough for printing straight away. Detail is also excellent, though if you were to really peep at each pixel, you will see a bit of noise reduction smear in certain areas, but honestly, the amount is not at any seriously discernible levels.

Sample photos

Five photos from IAA 2007, Frankfurt — this set of A650 photos by Christophrp are seriously impressive, the best to have emerged from among the new owners of the camera.

User reviews

Adam-T’s Canon A650 Impressions

Adam has made several posts about the A650 IS, and you might be interested to read his views which I’ve summarized and linked to below, as he owns multiple digital cameras and DSLRs.

  1. Body and handling wise, the A650 is similar to the A620.
    Adam also thinks that the A650 is much improved in all areas over the A620, and all this does not come at the expense of image quality — here’s a post with photo crops comparing the A620 vs A650 at ISO 50 and ISO 80 respectively. I think the A650 image looks MUCH better — look at the detail in the foliage.
    When resized, image detail seems to be as good as the A640 at 10 MP or A630 at 8 MP. Adam also provided a crop equivalent to 4 MP of a photo shot with the A650 IS at ISO 200, which he reckons to be better than any from the current Panasonic lineup of cameras or even the Fuji F50fd.

  2. The lens on the A650 is sharp from edge to edge wide-open, and image stabilization works well together with the excellent hand grip, although Adam wished Canon didn’t put the SD card compartment right next to the AA batteries (Jim gives additional insight into the hassle this design causes). Adam finds the A650 IS lens to be the equivalent of the G7’s in terms of PF (purple fringing), CA (chromatic aberration) and flare. Interesting also is his finding that in-camera NR (noise reduction) is actually less on the A650 IS vs the G7 at higher ISO values.

  3. The OVF (optical viewfinder) on Adam’s A650 did not exhibit alignment problems, unlike the unit on the Powershot G7 which did.

  4. Here’s an interesting test of photos from the Fuji S6500 vs Canon A650 IS at ISO 800. Like Adam, I much prefer the noise reduction approach Canon has taken, and the fact that the A650 IS has 12 Megapixels (vs the S6500 at 6 MP) makes it all the more impressive.

  5. Video capability is similar vs. the A640, only that the A650 IS can shoot 4 GB movies. Unlike the Powershot S3 IS or S5 IS though, you can’t zoom the lens while recording.

  6. Generally-speaking, the image quality from the A650 is better than from the Canon S3 IS, S5 IS and A710 IS.

  7. Lens comparison comments: Adam-T does a round-up on lens quality on the Canon S70, S80, G3, G5, G6, G7, G9, A610, A620, A630, A640 and A650 cameras.

  8. ISO series test — in this test, Adam provides crops from photos taken handheld at all possible ISO settings on the A650 IS.

  9. In this post, Adam explains the relationship between shutter speed and aperture opening on the A650 lens.

  10. And finally, this is Adam’s overall conclusion on the A650 IS.

Other Canon A650 resources:

  1. For the full specifications and press release, please refer to this A650 article from
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