6 Day Photo Safari with the Canon EOS 650D

22 May
 

There’s nothing like the eyes of a croc rising from the murky water, its gaze fixated on you as it sits and waits for that one opportunity for you to make a mistake and fall in the water.

I dared him…

…through the safety of my boat and the lens of my camera acting like the long nose of a rifle scaring it into submission.

I felt brave. I felt fearless.

I felt grateful to have the new Canon 650D in my hands so I could at least get evidence of how close I was to the prehistoric beast.

I was in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory on a six-day photography adventure to Australia’s Top End. We were there to explore the beautiful Top End and test drive the new Canon EOS 650D.

I now understand why Australia’s Top End should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Amazing landscapes, stunning sunsets, abundant wildlife, and rich Aboriginal culture as well as kayaking in gorges, swimming in waterholes, hiking in the bush, and sitting around camp fires at night.

The Canon EOS 650D Experience

I’ve always been a Canon man. Caz and I have only ever used Canon cameras and currently shoot with the EOS 500D. So when Canon Australia asked me to put the 650D through its paces in one of the best travel destinations on earth, I of course said “Absolutely!”

The Canon EOS 650D was a great fit and perfect for my current skill set. It’s a high-performing, entry-level DSLR for newcomers to help them grow into the camera and photography.

Canon EOS 650D

Love this thing

As someone who is just starting to take photography seriously, I love that the 650D is designed for beginners AND enthusiast photographers with one of the key aims of Canon was to make the camera easy to use.

I’m all about “advanced simplicity”, and now instead of being the “shoot-in-auto” guy, I now have a firm understanding of manual, AV, and TV modes.

There’s also a healthy dose of advanced features to keep experienced photographers happy too.

Through the Lens of the Canon EOS 650D

We started the trip in Darwin and then visited the World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park,  the beautiful Litchfield National Park and the world-famous Katherine Gorge.

Through the lens of the Canon EOS 650D I got to experience:

Stunning Sunsets

Canon EOS 650D

Sunset at Ubirr in Kakadu National Park

Amazing Wildlife

Canon EOS 650D

Saltwater Crocodile, Kakadu National Park

Canon EOS 650D

Kakadu National Park

Canon EOS 650D

Saltwater croc up close and personal

Beautiful Waterfalls

Canon EOS 650D

Florence Falls, Kakadu National Park

Fascinating Aboriginal Rock Art

Canon EOS 650D

Nourlangie art site, Kakadu National Park

And delicious kangaroo

Canon EOS 650D

Kangaroo meat

 

Key Features of the Canon EOS 650DCamera

The Canon EOS 650D camera is full of useful features for any type of photographer.

LCD Touchscreen Panel

The 650D is the first DSLR to boast a touchscreen.

Like a phone, you can pinch your fingers on the screen to zoom in and out which makes it easy to check the focus and details of the snaps you’ve taken and help you quickly swipe through your pictures.

The touchscreen has a swivel display, which I found great for shooting self-portraits,  shooting at different angles and to help you see what you are snapping when you hold the camera high to shoot over a crowd, or down low for creative angles.

The Details:

  • 3 inch screen and a 1,040,000-pixel resolution.
  • Multi-touch gestures.
  • Tapping on the screen selects auto-focus points
  • Can control the image settings in menus
  • Can change settings such as white balance, ISO, color and aperture settings
canon eos 650d

Swivel touchscreen.    Photo credit: HK-DMZ

High Quality Images

  • 18.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)

Auto Focus

  • 9-point AF for sharp images.
  • manually select any of the 9 points to ensure correct sharp focus.

7 Creative Art Filters

For those who like in-camera effects, you can apply creative filters to images for an added effect.

  • Art Bold
  • Water Painting
  • Fish eye
  • Soft Focus
  • Toy camera
  • Miniature
  • Grainy B & W

I found these filters very useful in cutting down on the editing process as they can take a standard shot and create something more appealing to the eye.

Example shots using the filters

Art Bold Filter – boosts contrast and saturation

Canon EOS 650D

Kakadu National Park

Water Painting Filter – lightens and de-saturates the image and emphasises outlines

Canon EOS 650D

Sunset at Ubirr, Kakadu National Park

Fish Eye Filter

Canon EOS 650D

Grainy Black and white

Canon EOS 650D

Toy Camera –  to darken a picture’s corners and distort its colours

Canon EOS 650D

Miniature –  the image’s subjects appear like a reduced-scale model or diorama

HDR Backlight Control

I loved this feature.

It takes three consecutive shots at three different exposures (overexposed, underexposed, normally exposed) and combines them into one photo to create the perfect final image.

Video (Full HD)

The Canon EOS 650D shoots full high-definition video and is the first EOS to feature dual AF for both stills and movies.

Highlights

  • Auto-focus continuously during video capture.
  • Tap to focus
  • Continuously track subjects during movie shooting
  • Touchscreen allows for rapid adjustments to exposure, aperture and ISO settings in manual mode

Check out my 30 second video of Florence Falls:

Continuous Shooting

The Canon EOS 650D allows you to snap full resolution images at up to 5 frames per second and capture fast-moving action.

I captured this vehicle and travelling at high speeds.

Canon EOS 650D

Canon EOS 650D

Image Rating

The EOS 650D also allows images to be rated on a scale of 1-5 for easy searching for playback and management.


In Summary

The Canon EOS 650D definitely lived up to its name of being a great entry-level camera full of useful features.

If you’re in the market for your first DSLR, or even if you’re a more advanced photographer, then check out the 650D as it’s not only great for beginners but is still a very powerful tool for all levels of skill and is great for both photography and film.

6 Day Photo Safari with the Canon EOS 650D

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