The 650D is built around Canon's new 'Hybrid CMOS' sensor, which has pixels dedicated to providing phase detection autofocus in live view. It has a 1.6x 'crop factor', which means that an 18mm lens offers a similar angle of view to a 29mm lens on the 35mm 'full frame' format.
The 650D accepts Canon's full range of EF and EF-S lenses, in addition to third party alternatives.
The camera's control layout has been tweaked compared to the 600D. Movie mode has moved from the dial to the main power switch, and the A-DEP (automatic depth of field) mode has gone completely.
In their place, the EOS 650D adds two automated multiple exposure modes; Hand Held Night Scene and Backlit HDR.
The little black rectangle directly below the hotshoe is a proximity sensor that automatically switches off the rear screen when you're using the viewfinder. This signals a hugely welcome return for a feature that was dropped from the 600D, having been used on older models.
The EOS 650D has an IR remote control receiver on the handgrip that's compatible with Canon's RC-6 unit.
In the recess behind it between the handgrip and lens throat is the self-timer lamp, that's also used used to reduce the red-eye effect in flash shots.
The pop-up flash is the same as on previous cameras in the range. With a guide number of 13 it's got a reasonable amount of power for social shooting or a bit of fill-flash, and lifts high above the mount to minimize shadowing with larger lenses.
This flash can also wirelessly control Speedlites off-camera, including the relatively-inexpensive 270EX II and 320EX models.
As usual there's a hotshoe on top of the pentaprism that's compatible with Canon's EX series flash units. These range from the compact 270EX II to the latest 600EX-RT and its ST-E3-RT radio controller.
The memory card slot is on the grip side of the camera, and takes SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.
The 650D uses the same connectors as the 600D, hidden under rubber flaps on the other side of the body.
Towards the front we have sockets for the optional RS-60E3 wired remote control, and a stereo microphone for recording sound while shooting movies.
The camera's 'digital' connectors sit under another flap next door. There's a combined USB and AV out socket, plus a mini-HDMI connector for playing back images and movies on your HD TV.
The EOS 650D is CEC compatible, meaning you can control playback over HDMI using your TV's remote control on most modern sets.
Two small grills in front of the hot shoe conceal a stereo microphone; the first ever on an EOS camera.
The 650D uses the same LP-E8 battery pack as the 600D, which as usual clips into place behind a door on the base of the camera. As you can see below it's quite close to the tripod socket (inevitably for a camera this size).
The tripod socket is positioned in-line with the lens axis, with a decent area surrounding it for a quick release plate to grip.