Drying out in the early morning on Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. Canon 650D.
For a year I travelled with my Canon 50D, several lenses that weighed almost as much as the body and a 13″ iBook. Packed separately to my main backpack, the bag was heavy and it was my priority. On buses and trains it sat on my lap. I rarely let it out of my sight, and certainly never let anyone else carry it.
One afternoon partway through my trip I arrived in the Indian city of Pushkar. The maze of whitewashed alleyways were confusing and I was completely disoriented. I had no idea how to find the guesthouse I was looking for. I sat on my big pack outside a bakery and, using my trusty and cheap Indian SIM, called the owner of the hostel.
He was there in ten minutes to pick me up on his motorbike. He gestured for me to give him my smaller pack, so I could hop on the back, my hands on my knees as I tried to balance under the weight of the bigger pack. I reluctantly handed over my bag of tricks and just as I went to get on the bike, he began to drive away.
My heart, as they say, dropped into my hiking boots. Was he serious? Was this another Indian scam I was unaware of?
And what kind of idiot was I anyway, handing my camera, computer, passport and wallet over to a random dude on a motorbike?
It lasted only a moment – he was only turning the bike around so that I could get on from the other side. I relaxed for the two minutes it took us to speed to the guesthouse and when I dismounted, I snatched my bag back.
I had seen for a second what it might have been like to lose the bag. In that very brief moment, I was thinking more about the passport than the gear. The gear, I resigned myself in that split second, was easily replaceable.
All that to say that although at times it was a hassle to carry so much equipment, I never really regretted bringing it all. And had I lost my DSLR or my computer, I would have been irritated and upset, but new ones could be shipped to me, or purchased in Delhi or Mumbai.
Enter the Canon 650D
So I was pleased, then, to try out Canon’s new 650D. The latest version of my first Canon, the very reliable 400D, it’s an entry level DSLR that packs a punch while still being incredibly lightweight at just over 575 grams. Using that, my 50D and the new pro level 5D Mark III while I was in the Northern Territory, I was very nearly convinced to give up my mid level camera and go back to the 000 series.
Learning from the pros on a photo safari in Kakadu NP. Canon 650d
Teamed with the new EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, the 650d makes a great travel camera. Long enough to get some great wildlife shots and wide enough to take in the scenery, it really helps make the camera. With 18 megapixels and super sharp focusing, the high quality of the shots surprised me.
It’s got a touchscreen which swivels out (perfect for video or awkwardly angled shots), takes fantastic HD video and features the ability to apply creative filters to photos in-camera.
Minaturising a beast – testing out the miniature filter on the Canon 650d outside Kakadu NP
For an entry-level DSLR, the extra features are pretty impressive and I loved the fact that if I wanted I could still choose to use the camera in complete manual mode, selecting all the settings myself. I felt like I’d outgrown my 400d before I upgraded to the 50d, but I wonder whether I’d feel the same had I had a 650d.
Although I didn’t really give it much of a workout, my favourite function on the camera was the video mode and I know that had I been able to take the 650d home with me instead of reluctantly handing it back to Canon, it’s one feature that would finally prompt me to take more video.
And of all the places in the world to try out such a nifty little camera, where else but Australia’s stunning top end?
Ant from Positive World Travel tries out the Canon 5D Mark III
Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu NP. Canon 650d
Disclaimer: My trip to the Northern Territory was supported by Tourism Northern Territory and Canon Australia. All views are my own. Images in this post were taken on either the nifty new Canon 650D or equally nifty Canon Powershot D20.