The Good Great picture quality; manual exposure controls; flip-out screen.
The Bad Sluggish performance; heavy and bulky; can't use a neck strap.
The Bottom Line Performance issues aside, the Canon PowerShot A650 IS combines large, good-looking photos and a generous feature set into a fine midrange shooter.
Canon PowerShot A650 IS
The Canon PowerShot A650 IS proves that you don't need to invest in an SLR to get manual controls and large, detailed pictures. As the new high-end member of Canon's PowerShot A-series line of cameras, the 12-megapixel camera comes packed with manual exposure controls and other photographer-friendly features. Its bulky form won't win any beauty pageants, but the camera's substance more than makes up for its relative lack of style, and its sub-$500 price tag makes it look that much sweeter.
At 13.6 ounces with four AA batteries, the A650 IS weighs in as one of the heftiest "point-and-shoot" cameras I've yet seen. While technically a compact camera (smaller than a digital SLR), the A650 IS measures over 2.2 inches deep and fits much better in messenger bags and backpacks than any sort of clothing pocket. A camera this heavy and bulky really should include a neck strap, but the A650 IS unfortunately lacks that option. It includes only a single lanyard mount, so unless you plan to physically modify the camera, you have to choose between keeping it on the included relatively sturdy wrist strap or tucked in a bag.
All this heft and bulk adds up to a solid-feeling camera with plenty of room for its display and controls. The batteries that power the camera sit inside a prominent, deep grip that feels comfortable in large hands. Comfortably sized dials, switches, and buttons sit on the camera's back and top side, with all but the print button easily accessible to the thumb and forefinger. The camera's large design also leaves enough space for the flip-out 2.5-inch LCD screen. Like the screen found on the A640 and A630, this screen flips out and pivots 270 degrees, an invaluable boon when shooting over crowds or up from the chest or waist.
The 12 best Black Friday camera deals we've found so far
Rather than dump every available Black Friday discount on you, we've hand-picked the seasonal deals we think are actually worth your money.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $279.64
That's the lowest price to date on this widely loved model. It's a refurb, but a good-as-new refurb. Plus: Own "Logan" for just $6.
Get a GoPro Hero action camera for $63
Wait, what? Yep, it's the real deal -- but you'll have to wait a few weeks to get it, and there are more capable cameras for the same price.
Google Clips uses AI to capture life's spontaneous moments
The $249 smart camera brings together the best of AI, software and hardware, says Google.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $344
Your phone's camera may be good, but it's nowhere near this good. This top-rated model would normally run you at least $100 more. Plus: a speaker that fits in your pocket and plays FM radio.
Monday mishmash: Great new deals, plus some updates and reruns
For example: the cheapest 1TB portable hard drive I've ever seen, and an unbeatable price on a lifetime of guided meditation.
Want to photograph rockstars? This $13K camera will let you
Leica releases a new special-edition camera as a tribute to late rock-n-roll photographer Jim Marshall.
GoPro has a new 360 VR camera that you can't have
The spherical camera, called Fusion, is small and wearable, but a lot of other details are a mystery.
GoPro will give you $100 for your old Hero, sort of
A new trade-up program lets you send in your old GoPro for money off a new Hero5 camera.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.
This crazy camera could be a boon to VR filmmakers
Researchers have found a way to build a 360-degree camera that's compact but shoots high-quality video. It could be just the thing for virtual reality.
GoPro lays off 200 people, shutters its aspiring media arm
The action-camera maker, struggling with weak sales, makes cuts to save more than $650 million in costs next year.