Canon has announced the EOS 650D – a new digital SLR (DSLR) that offers high image quality and a touch-screen operation.

The EOS 650D is the first-ever EOS to feature a dual AF system, which ensures high levels of detail in stills and continuous autofocus tracking when shooting movies. At the camera’s heart is an 18-megapixel Hybrid CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5 processing, enabling the capture of sharp, full resolution images at up to 5fps.

The EOS 650D's newly-developed 18mp APS-C Hybrid CMOS sensor can capture poster-sized images that Canon says are rich in colour and detail. Ideal for shooting in low light without flash, the camera features a native 100-12,800 ISO range, allowing the capture of natural-looking shots with minimal noise, while an expanded ISO 25,600 range also offers the ability to shoot in more extreme low-light conditions.

The EOS 650D is the first entry-level EOS to be powered by Canon DIGIC 5 processing, which Canon says offers greater speed, responsiveness and advanced colour rendition. DIGIC 5’s 14-bit image processing provides subtle transitions between colour tones, such as those of an evening sky, and its vastly-increased power also makes the camera ideal for capturing fast-moving action such as football or other sports.

The new dual AF system makes it easy to capture sharply-focused shots of all subjects, whether capturing stills or movies. A superior 9-point all cross-type AF system provides exceptional performance during stills shooting, offering precision accuracy when capturing sports, action and wildlife. Additionally, a new Hybrid AF System offers continuous autofocusing during movie recording, and when shooting in Live View AF in Live View and Movies - subject to use with Canon stepping motor (STM) lenses mode.

The new 7.7cm (3.0”) Vari-angle Clear View LCD II Touch screen features capacitive technology and supports a variety of multi-touch gestures, such as pinching and swiping – making it easy to access shooting modes, alter settings and even capture a shot using the screen alone.

Touch control adds a different dimension to Live View shooting. You can select AF points, track faces and objects, and fine-tune image settings via the camera’s Quick Control screen. Navigation is instant and intuitive, while pinch-zooming in playback provides a great way to check the finer details of a shot. The Vari-angle hinge allows the screen to be angled and tilted to suit virtually any situation, while a super-sharp 1,040k-dot resolution ensures every detail is clearly displayed.

The EOS 650D can shoot Full HD (1920x1080p) videos. Thanks to Hybrid AF, users can focus on storytelling while the camera continuously tracks the subject. New EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lenses are also ideal for shooting videos, utilising a virtually-silent stepper motor to ensure movies are smoother and clearer than ever.

Photographers who buy the EOS 650D before August 31 from participating stores will get the new 300EG camera bag for free. The bag is designed with enough room to hold one camera body, 2-3 lenses, as well as a number of accessories.  The 300EG bag also features padded pockets and compartments to keep your photographic equipment safe and secure. The cross strap, messenger style bag makes it easy to access your equipment when you need it, while the additional waist straps give you a more stable carrying position when on the move.

The EOS 650D is available from 15th June 2012. It costs £583 plus VAT for the body only, £667 plus VAT with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens or £850 plus VAT with a EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. This last bundle will ship in July. The 300EG Camera Bag is available separately for £67 plus VAT.