650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

Started Jul 14, 2012 | Discussions
WilbaW
WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,424
650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

Is there enough first-hand experience at this stage with the new camera and lenses to start posting some questions and answers in the unofficial Rebel forum FAQ? ( http://snipurl.com/RebelFAQ )

I'm thinking things like -

  • How good is hybrid AF?

  • Is the 650D worth the price premium over the 600D? (Or, What should I get - 650D, 600D, or 550D? For stills? For video?)

  • What are the benefits of STM? (How does it compare with USM? Can you do FTM with it?)

What other Qs about the new technology are FA?

What are your answers to those questions?

Note: I'm not interested in speculation and promotional claims, just what you know from using the gear yourself, compared to previous models.

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WilbaW
OP WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,424
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

Three days with no answer...? I'll take that as a "no".

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R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,070
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

WilbaW wrote:

650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

Three days with no answer...? I'll take that as a "no".

Well, I think folks are still waiting for the 18-135 STM.

WilbaW wrote:

  • How good is hybrid AF?

Much much better than previous CDAF or PDAF in Live View. Before the 650D, AF in live view was IMHO almost completely useless for anything that wasn't completely bolted down.

  • Is the 650D worth the price premium over the 600D? (Or, What should I get - 650D, 600D, or 550D? For stills? For video?)

I haven't owned any other Rebels, but I have many friends who do. This is the only one that I've ever considered, since it now incorporates a much better AF system, and the frame rate is now useful for high speed bursts (which I use a LOT). Also, the Hybrid AF during live view was very important to me.

  • What are the benefits of STM? (How does it compare with USM? Can you do FTM with it?)

Wish I had the new zoom to find out, LOL!

What other Qs about the new technology are FA?

"FA"?

Note: I'm not interested in speculation and promotional claims, just what you know from using the gear yourself, compared to previous models.

Again, I can't compare to previous Rebels. However compared to the 50D, the AF is easily as fast and accurate. The buffer is very small (only 6 shots in RAW), but not an issue with most subjects. A very fast SD card (95 MBPS) really makes the camera feel much more responsive than a slower card (20 MBPS), since write times are so much faster (about 2 FPS).

All in all, I've been very happy with the camera, and have not regretted the purchase in any way. I've now been using it to shoot mainly macros (my original intended purpose for it)...

Hope this helps,
R2

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Timbukto Veteran Member • Posts: 4,988
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

I disagree, I find the t3i's liveview + quick-AF PDAF mode to be a very under-rated focusing mode for liveview. It needs to be tested for speed and accuracy vs hybrid-PDAF.

However on paper there seems to be the following truths. First the PDAF sensor array is still a superior method of focusing for speed and when your lens are very well calibrated for accuracy...i.e. the 'traditional' method of PDAF shooting. Quick-AF mode merely flips the mirror to perform what we expect is the traditional method of PDAF focusing. Hybrid-PDAF performance must assuredly be inferior to the full-on PDAF sensor method otherwise there would most likely be no need for a mirror or for Quick-AF mode to even exist (which it still does in the t4i).

Knowing the hybrid-AF's current performance with the 40mm STM or older non-STM lens, in video mode as not being capable of capturing sports or heavy movement directly towards or away from your plane of focus, it seems a bit premature to say that hybrid-AF focusing is going to be better for stills in liveview mode...on the contrary on paper it would seem that the mirror-flip to PDAF mode would be superior.

As such given the amount of lens that are truly video STM capable (i.e. the 18-135 STM), and the fact that I find the t3i quick-AF mode to be very good...good enough to have still be included as an option in the t4i...I personally find it questionable as to the current practical effectiveness of hybrid-AF + STM lenses outside of convenient video focus pulls.

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R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,070
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

Timbukto wrote:

I disagree, I find the t3i's liveview + quick-AF PDAF mode to be a very under-rated focusing mode for liveview.

Well my own experience with Quick PDAF (during Liveview) is that it's darn near useless for moving subjects, as by the time the shutter is tripped, the subject is long gone. Plus one can't even verify composition or focus after AF, because by then the focal point has changed. And then of course everyone knows that CDAF is like watching paint dry.

So far with the T4i I prefer the hybrid AF hands down. I'm Not saying it's the end all, be all (I still prefer to focus videos manually). But I'm glad I can finally use Liveview for more than just macros and still subjects.

What's your actual experience been? (Actually a request made by the OP).

R2

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WilbaW
OP WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,424
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

R2D2 wrote:

WilbaW wrote:

What other Qs about the new technology are FA?

"FA"?

FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions.

Nice macros. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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lshaped210 New Member • Posts: 7
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

I have it and love it. The 18-135mm STM lens is an awesome improvement for quick and silent AF during video. It still tends to search in low light situations, but not near as much as the 40mm STM.

WilbaW
OP WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,424
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

lshaped210 wrote:

I have it and love it. The 18-135mm STM lens is an awesome improvement for quick and silent AF during video. It still tends to search in low light situations, but not near as much as the 40mm STM.

Can you do fulltime manual focussing (FTM) with the 18-135 STM? Meaning, once you have confirmed focus, while you are still holding a half-press of the shutter button can you change the focus with the focus ring on the lens (like you can with most USM lenses)?

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R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,070
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

WilbaW wrote:

R2D2 wrote:

"FA"?

FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions.

Oh, thanks. I didn't put the 2 together.

Nice macros. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Thanks Wilbaw. I'm off to shoot more this morning before it gets too H-O-T.

R2

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R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,070
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

lshaped210 wrote:

The 18-135mm STM lens is an awesome improvement for quick and silent AF during video.

Oh you lucky dog! That one's still at the top of my list.

It still tends to search in low light situations, but not near as much as the 40mm STM.

Good to know. I've been debating the 40 also. Don't really need it though.

Enjoy!
R2

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WilbaW
OP WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,424
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

I went to my local camera shop and had a little play with a 650D. Only with an 18-55, no STM lenses in stock.

Having not handled a Rebel in a while it was like a little toy - in a nice way.

The touch screen is brilliant. I use a couple of Android devices and it seemed to be at least as good as the best of them.

The hybrid AF had a distinct "first generation" feel for me, and I wouldn't count that as a strong point in the camera's favour. If I wasn't in a hurry I'd get a 600D or wait for the next model to see if they can make it seem responsive and quick.

To justify the current price premium over the 600D, I'd have to value the touch screen and uprated PD AF points very highly, and if the cross points were that important I'd be taking a good look at whether the 60D was a better choice for what I want to do.

So good effort on the touch screen, but the hybrid AF doesn't deliver for me, so no thanks, not at that price.

Disclaimer: I'm not a video shooter, so if that's your priority don't pay much attention to my opinion.

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boels069 Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

WilbaW wrote:

  • What are the benefits of STM? (How does it compare with USM? Can you do FTM with it?)

(I have the EF 40 f/2,8 STM on a 5DII, maybe it works different on a 650D)

FTM is not possible, the focus ring is disengaged from the AF-mechanism when in AF-mode.

In MF-mode the focus ring has no stops, turns very smoothly (like "fly by wire") and is fast, just using a vinger top.

Really fast moving the ring produces a high wining sound, demonstrating the possible high focus speed.

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WilbaW
OP WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,424
Re: 650D and STM lenses - Consensus?

boels069 wrote:

(I have the EF 40 f/2,8 STM on a 5DII, maybe it works different on a 650D)

FTM is not possible, the focus ring is disengaged from the AF-mechanism when in AF-mode.

Thanks for getting back to me on that. I've heard that a couple of times since asking the question so I'd call that confirmed.

Seems to be you can FTM on the 18-135 STM, so it's not the motor that matters but the whole design.

In MF-mode the focus ring has no stops, turns very smoothly (like "fly by wire") and is fast, just using a vinger top.

Really fast moving the ring produces a high wining sound, demonstrating the possible high focus speed.

Interesting, thanks.

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