Canon T4i vs T3i : What’s the Difference?

Canon T3i vs T4i

Canon T4i vs T3i

T4i vs T3i: Worth the Extra Cost?

When the Canon Rebel T3i was announced just a short year after the T2i hit store shelves, the differences between the cameras were minor enough that purchasing the new model just didn’t make sense for many photographers, especially in light of the earlier model’s price drop. The same, however, can not be said when looking at the T3i vs the T4i. The T4i  includes at least three significant technological advances, along with quite a few minor ones, making the T4i an appealing new offering; it may even give the Canon 60D a run for its money. Below, I’ll briefly note the differences between the two cameras and explain who will benefit from purchasing the T4i.

The Touch Screen

Little needs to be said about the adoption of a touch-screen on the Canon T4i, the first of its kind on a major SLR.  One of the most frustrating parts of owning an SLR, especially for beginners, has been the process of navigating through dozens of pages of settings by pushing tiny buttons and controller arrows.

Those days are behind us. Not only is the touchscreen great for adjusting the camera’s settings, it’s handy for browsing photos, as anyone who has ever owned a smart-phone or tablet knows. Additionally, the touch screen can be used during live-view focus to select a focusing point; more on this later.

Touchscreen on Canon T4i, Canon T3i swivel screen

The size and layout of the T4i and T3i are almost identical. (click to enlarge)

It remains to be seen whether the touchscreen will be durable enough for this application. For this reason, I suspect that we won’t see this technology integrated into professional-line models which are expected to take a considerable amount of rough treatment.

The Auto-Focus System

Canon t4i Auto Focus SensorThough not as flashy as the new touchscreen, the new auto-focus (AF) system in the T4i is probably the most important new feature when it comes to camera performance. The T2i and T3i both had nine auto-focus points, but only the center one used a cross-type AF sensor. If that doesn’t mean much to you, think about it this way: a standard AF sensor can only focus on horizontal or vertical lines, depending on the orientation of the sensor. If it can focus on horizontal lines, it can’t focus on vertical lines… so if what you’re photographing only has vertical lines in it, your camera will simply search and not pull focus. A cross-type sensor is essentially two sensors in one,  detecting both vertical and horizontal lines, making it twice as likely to be able to focus on your subject as a standard AF sensor. All nine of the Canon T4i’s AF points are now cross-type, and the center point uses a high-precision dual-point cross sensor, putting it on par with (or better than) the more expensive 60D.

The addition of 8-cross type sensors would be reason enough for excitement, but it gets even better.

Video auto-focus has always been a problem for SLRs, since their fast, accurate AF systems don’t work when the viewfinder mirror has moved out of the way to allow light to reach the sensor 1. The T4i changes all of that with a hybrid CMOS sensor with integrated phase-detection receptors wich provides the continuous, zippy performance for video that you’d expect from an SLR shooting stills: fast, accurate, and reliable. Although Nikon’s new SLRs also provide continuous auto-focus while shooting video, their system relies on the slower “contrast-detection” method.

While shooting video, you can use the new touch screen to select a focus point from one of the 31 zones on the LCD. Utilizing that camera’s face detection, you can also select a particular face, which can then be tracked as it moves around the video frame. A video example of the camera’s video AF functionality is available on Canon Japan’s website.

The Processor

The T4i features Canon’s new Digic-5 processor, which is six times faster than the Digic-4 found in the T3i and 60D. This allows the camera to process image data much faster than previous models, increasing the top burst speed of the T4i to reach five frames per second, significantly faster than the T3i’s 3.7 fps and nearly matching the 60D’s 5.3 fps,  as well as speeding up in-camera effect processing and noise reduction.

Because of the efficiency of the processor (along with the new sensor), the native ISO range of the T4i has been increased to 12800 from 6400 in the T3i.

Canon t4i and T3i, Top View

The new dual, stereo microphones of the T4i can be seen between the camera’s hot-shoe and pop-up flash.

The Lens

Canon ef 18-135 STM lensOf course, the new Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens can be used with any (cropped sensor) Canon SLR, including the T3i, but it is available as a kit lens with the T4i, an option that I’d recommend for most photographers. Canon has had a hole in their lens line-up for years, waiting to be filled with a high quality, walk-around, general-shooting lens, and the new 18-135mm lens appears as though it will fill the spot nicely. Canon’s previous 18-135mm  was a cheap-feeling, non-USM focusing lens with shoddy optical quality, and I could never recommend it.

The new lens, on the other hand, uses Canon’s new Stepping Motor technology (STM) for fast, precise, and silent AF operation, specially designed for use with the video functionality of the new T4i. The zoom range covers what would have been the 28-200mm zoom range on a traditional 35mm camera (many journalists historically have carried  28-70 and 70-200mm lenses to cover the same range, though professionals use lenses with larger maximum apertures). Independent lab tests remain to be seen, but we expect the lens to be exceptionally sharp for this range, as most of Canon’s lenses have been recently.

The Similarities

Though there are significant differences between the T4i and the T3i, a great deal remains the same. Many of the similarities can be seen in the table below:

[To see the whole T3i vs T4i table, click in the drop down box which currently displays "10" and select "50"]
 
Canon Rebel T4i / 650D
Canon Rebel T3i / 600D
Canon Rebel T3i
Amazon Price (body only)Price Not FoundPrice Not Found
Kit Price
(Body + 18-55mm)
$825.29Price Not Found
Kit Price
(Body + 18-135 STM / 18-135 orig.)
$979.00Price Not Found
Body MaterialPolycarbonate, Fiberglass Resin and Stainless SteelPolycarbonate, Fiberglass Resin and Stainless Steel
LCD Size / Resolution3.0"
1,040,000 pixels
3.0"
1,040,000 pixels
LCD Articulated?YesYes
LCD Touch Sensitive?YesNo
Sensor Size14.9 x 22.3mm (APS-C)14.9 x 22.3mm (APS-C)
Crop Factor1.6x1.6x
Sensor Resolution18 Megapixels17.9 Megapixels
ISO Range100-12800
+25600
100-6400
+12800
Total AF Focus Points99
Cross-Type AF Sensors91
AF Light Level Range-.05 to +18 EV-.05 to +18 EV
Metering System63 Zone Point Linked Evaluative
9% Center Weighted
4% Spot
63 Zone Point Linked Evaluative
9% Center Weighted
4% Spot
Exposure Compensation1/2 or 1/3 stops1/2 or 1/3 stops
Max Frame Rate : RAW (14-bit)~53.7
Max Burst Duration RAW (at highest frame rate)66
Max Burst Duration JPG (at highest frame rate)3034
Shutter Speed Range1/4000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
1/4000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
Maximum Flash Sync Shutter Speed (standard flash)1/200th sec.1/200th sec.
HD Video Resolutions1080p, 720p1080p, 720p
Available HD Video Frame RatesPAL and NTSC
24/25, 30 at 1080p
50, 60 at 720p
PAL and NTSC
24/25, 30 at 1080p
50, 60 at 720p
Firmware Sidecar AvailableUnknownWorking: Magic Lantern
Media TypeSD / SDHC / SDXC
UHS-I compliant
SD / SDHC / SDXC
Weight575g (including battery)570g (including battery)
Viewfinder Coverage95%
.85x magnification
95%
0.87x magnification
Built-In Wireless Strobe ControlYesYes

.

Though the T4i has been fitted with an 18 megapixel sensor, roughly the same size as its predecessor, that’s where the similarity stops. The sensor is a new design, including integrated “phase detection” sensors that allow the camera’s new video / live-view focusing abilities, and improve the high ISO performance by a full f-stop to a native ISO 12800.

The shutter module also remains the same, so you can expect the same range of shutter speeds and flash-sync speeds as you’d find in the T3i, and speaking of flash, the T4i can act as an eTTL wireless (IR) flash control module just as the T3i could. This allows you to fire a flash like the Canon 430ex II that’s set up several yards away from your camera, without using any extra equipment.  Similarly, the body style and layout of the T4i remain virtually unchanged from the T3i, though minor cosmetic changes were made.

Who Should Buy the T4i?

Unlike the T3i, the new T4i is an obvious recommendation for most people who are interested in buying an entry level Canon. Indeed, though I expect the T3i to remain on the market, there is little space for it; photographers who are interested in the T3i’s video features will be better off buying the T4i, and those who have no interest in video will usually be satisfied with the significantly less expensive T2i (body = $639.00), as long as it’s still available. [Since the price of the T3i continues to drop, the T2i may become irrelevant as the prices converge.]

Buy the T4i if you:

  • want to shoot cinema quality HD video with the convenience of a video camera
  • shoot sports or action and want the higher frame rate (5 frames per second) and superior auto-focus system of the T4i
  • would appreciate the convenience of a touch screen LCD, and are willing to take the necessary precautions to keep it from breaking
  • shoot low-light landscapes or other low-motion shots that can utilize the new multi-shot noise reduction in JPG mode

Buy the T3i or T2i if you:

  • would like to save $100 or more on the camera price
  • are not interested in shooting video. The still capabilities are identical, for all practical purposes
  • are interested in shooting video, but prefer to shoot with manual focus or follow-focus rails (as most professionals do)
  • shoot primarily landscape or portrait photography, so the AF differences are less important (the 5D Mark II shares the same AF system with the T3i)
  • do not require the extra appox. 1 frame per second provided by the T4i

Buy the T2i if you:

  • don’t want an articulated / swivel LCD screen
  • don’t use wireless eTTL off-camera flash (IR method; all cameras can use radio triggers)

As usual, I’ve tried to keep this comparison brief and focused on the most important features, and I’ve excluded discussion of in-camera-processing, since these features can change with firmware updates and are probably better done in post-processing software on your computer anyway. However, please feel free to ask me any questions that you may still have in the comments section below!

 

  1. Sony’s fixed, translucent pellicle mirror SLTs are a notable exception here

87 Comments

  • Ben Hammond says:

    Hi Matthew, I am currently a film student at Wayne State University and I am looking to get a new camera for amateur film making but I don’t know what camera to get. From what I read in this article, the T4i is only more superior to the T3i in the fact that it has the Auto Focus system. Does the T4i have the option of manual focus? My video production professor says you never want to use auto focus when shooting a film or video for television and he is a professional director who has directed many nationally televised commercials. If I am looking to make amateur movies in the hopes to one day make a career out of it, which camera is better for me at the stage that I am at? The budget is no concern as long as it is under $1000.

    Thanks

    • Hi Ben,
      Yes… all Canon slrs can be used with manual focus. Generally, I’d agree… you’d always want to use manual focus for professional work. There are no significant differences when it comes to image quality, so go with whatever is least expensive so that you can get the best lenses. You might want to check out the Samyang/Bower mf lenses… they’re cheap and good.

      Also make sure you install the magic-lantern firmware on the camera!

      Matthew

  • Jon Tewnes says:

    I am a fashion designer and a band manager. I’ve noticed I need I resolution pictures to really make my website pop. So I am off to buy a camera. My friend recommended the t3i stating its a great camera for the price now I see the t4i and I am not sure which will be best for my needs. Hes a video guy but ill be primarily doing still pictures. With some blog video and live performance shots of my band. Which camera would you recommend?

    • Hi Jon,

      For doing blog video, a face-detecting autofocus video camera is ideal… and the T4i will do that (the T3i won’t). For still photography, the capabilities are very similar, but the T4i has a superior autofocus system (all 9 points are cross-type, instead of just the center one). This is especially important when you’re shooting in dark venues and AF is tricky.

      So, I’d lean towards the T4i, if I were you, coupled with a large aperture prime lens like the Canon 50mm f/1.8 (only about $100) or the 85mm f/1.8, both of which will give you much better quality images in low light…. but the 85mm is a better portrait lens, the 50mm is more of a general-shooting lens.

      My general advice is always this: buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs and the best lenses you can afford… so if buying the T3i will help you get one of the lenses mentioned above, then do so, if you can live without  autofocus video.

      (Wow… just looking at current prices on Amazon. The T4i body is over $700 for some reason, while the T5i is only $599. So, skip the T4i body in favor of the T5i. The T3i body with a kit lens is also $599.)

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • SEBASTIAN says:

    consulta tiene motor de enfoque en el cuerpo? la t4i? agradecere rp. sflores8949@gmail.com

  • Yas says:

    Great read, especially for somewhat of a novice who needs to move up from the t1i… I had my mind set on a cheaper t2i but then I read the differences on the video..and the t3i seems the best fit, as the t4i is just out of my budget at the moment.

    Good job, keep it up!

  • Craig says:

    This was very informative. Thanks.

  • Monty says:

    Nice comparison. pretty clear t4i is a winner here for movie makers. I have interest in making videos – short films and documentaries and I am just getting started. I have Rebel XT for 6 years , I want to upgrade to a model that has video capability. My choice is t2i / t3i and t4i. Right now I am ruling out 5d M3 coz of price.
    I can get t2i/t3i – a used one in close to $400 for a body, and t4i is right now around $780 for a kit.
    what would make sense here, save money with t2 / t3i and buy extra lenses or go with t4i ?

    • Hi Monty,

      When it comes to serious video/film making, most people shoot with manual focus, so the T4i’s autofocus features are not such a big deal…. it’s usual casual video shooters who want a camera that will just work like a standard videocamera. With manual focus, you’d see pros using a follow-focus rig, like this entry-level one.

      But for some people, I understand that autofocus while shooting is helpful. It will really be up to you to decide how you want to shoot, and that will determine whether it’s important to get the T4i.

      I’m sure you’ve noticed that you can a T3i + the focus rig for less than the price of the T4i :) If you use the Magic Lantern firmware, you’ll get focus peaking, which will make manual focusing easier, too.

      – Matthew

      • Monty says:

        Thanks. Yes AF is useful feature and might make it easy for some. I thought it wasn’t accurate most of time . I tested borrowed t4i , I have not tested t3i or t2i. t4i also has advantage with recording time. it was recording continuously for little over 29 min , I guess t2i ot t3i cant. If i end up with t2i or t3i, would that be a problem ?
        I think I will not worry about AF, since I am beginner as far as movie is concerned, I should not be relying to auto stuff at least at this stage.

        Thanks for follow-focus rig link, I was going to as about that as well.
        Any recommendation on lens for video making ? . I have 70-300mm, 18-55 and prime 50mm.

        • That’s right… the T3i can only record 12-15 minutes or so (4GB file size limit). Again, this is problematic for casual users, and some documentary makers, I suppose. In most professional films, though… TV or big scree, the average scene is only a few minutes long, and editing cuts are made every several seconds…. rarely does a shot last for more than 20 seconds. So, again, this just depends on how you’ll be using the cameras.

          I don’t shoot much in the way of video, myself. Lens choice for shooting video, though, depends on the same basic factors as for photography (except that sharpness isn’t as important, so far)… you mainly need to choose a lens that fits your project when it comes to perspective and depth of field.

          – Matt

  • Long Hong says:

    Hi Matthew,

    Thank you for your post here regarding the differences between the T4i and T3i. I did have a few questions I was hoping you might be able to help me with so I can make a decision on my final purchase for my first DSLR. At the onset, I want to initially use my DSLR for few things in particular; photos w/friends & family, low light photography (like shooting a band at a small club), portraiture photography, and possible sports photography. Video is not something I initially thought about, but it does not mean I won’t don’t want to use video at all.

    My budget is around $800-$850. Currently, Best Buy offers the T4i w/18-55mm IS lens kit for $649 (body only is $648) and the T3i w/the same lens kit for $579. I know this is not the ideal lens kit to go with this T4i as stated in this review, but it does fit my budget better to allow me to add a lens to my purchase. I was looking at both the 40mm f2.8 lens and the 50mm f1.8 lens. I intend to purchase both this year, but only have the budget for 1 on my initial purchase.

    Based on poring over several sites and posts like yours, I believe I am going to initially settle on the T4i lens kit package and the 50mm f1.8 lens since my first shooting excursions will be shooting at small clubs with more dimly lit stages. I want to buy the 40mm f2.8 STM lens later on that will work well with the T4i for both photography and maybe some handheld videography when at events with friends/family. Does that decision making/logic seem sound for what I intend to use this DSLR for?

    Thank you for your time reading this and thank you again for this post,
    Long

    • alejandro simms says:

      Long Hong, i don’t know if you have bought the T4i yet, but if you haven’t, i suggest you check Ebay out and you’ll find that with your budget you can get the camera and additional lenses. good luck!

    • Hi Long Hong,

      Sorry for the delay; I don’t know how I missed your post here!

      For what it’s worth, I’d go with the T4i (the AF system will be better in low light situations) and the 50mm f/1.8 seems like a great place to start. I’m not sure that the 40mm will really be the most useful lens for you, unless you need to conceal your camera sometimes, but that’s up to you. I’d probably go with either the 28mm f/1.8 or 85mm f/1.8 instead… leaning towards the 85mm if portraiture is going to be important.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

       

  • Magha says:

    Thanks a bunch for the comparison. I still have my tradition Canon Rebel 2000 SLR with 55mm and 200mm lens. Would either of these work on T4i if I just buy the body?

    Magha

  • Allison says:

    Thank you for this concise summary of differences between the T4i and T3i. I am seriously considering the purchase of my first SLR and have focused on the Canon Rebels because a girlfriend (who has captured some amazing shots with hers) recommended them.

    I am leaning toward the T4i in part because technology advances so quickly I’d hate to feel that my camera was outdated before I even had a good feel for its features. However, as this will be my first SLR and I have no point of reference I wonder if the latest model is the smartest choice for me. Unfortunately, as helpful as your summary is, I’m still not sure which way to go.

    The whole process has been overwhelming, the T3i or T4i, then which lens package to conside? The more I read, the less certain I am. LOL

    So, as a SLR virgin whose focus is primary landscapes and architecture, what would your recommendation be for me?

    • Hey Allison,

      Before anything else, let me mention that the forthcoming T5i is exactly the same (hardware) as the T4i; the only difference is with some of the software in it… the “creative control” filters, which is the same stuff that you could apply using Photoshop (or even Instagram). So you can consider the T5i and T4i to be the same camera, and the T3i to be a different camera.

      That said, they’re both nice cameras. For you, I’d probably lean towards the T4i/T5i with the 18-135 STM lens, which will give you a camera that covers a large zoom range with good optical quality, and is also good for video, and you get the focusing power of the 9 cross-type points (as opposed to one cross-type in the T3i). In the kit, the 18-135 STM is a good deal.

      With that setup, you can also consider getting a 50mm f/1.8 lens, which will give you good taste of what it’s like to shoot with a prime, large aperture lens. It’ll be great for low-light situations, and for portraits.

      If you really don’t care about video and money is an issue, then go with the T3i… and you’d have a little deciding to do about lenses. The 18-55 and 55-250 is a good set.

      – Matthew

      • Allison says:

        Thank you Matthew!

        I purchased the T4i with the 18-135mm lens as you suggested. I guess I picked the right time to buy as Best Buy offered the set last week for $799! (Granted it was only a $20 savings from Amazon, but I had it in hand that night with no shipping fee!)

        Thanks again for your help.

  • Patricia says:

    Hey! Thanks for this awesome page. It’s helped me out a ton.

    I do have a question, though. I have a Canon EOS T3i, with the kit containing the 18-55mm lens and the 55-250mm. I am definitely interested in the T4i, especially with the upgraded movie addition, considering I am going to college this fall to study filmmaking… and I was wondering how much better is the 18-135mm lens?

    I was thinking about selling my T3i, but keeping my 18-55mm lens along with the new lens kit I would get from the T4i. Should I forget about the 18-55mm since I will be getting the 18-135mm lens in the kit? It would save me a lot of money, but I want to keep my 18-55mm lens because I have filters, and lens attachments such as a fisheye that fit on frontal part of the 18-55mm lens, unlike the 18-135mm because it has a 67mm frontal.

    I need your help! Thanks! Hope this wasn’t too confusing.
    — Patricia

    • Hi Patricia,

      When it comes to optical quality, your 18-55 and 55-250 will be at least as good as the 18-135mm. I haven’t done a direct comparison of the 55-250 and the 135mm, but I imagine that the 55-250 will be a little sharper in that range for photos; but for video, it doesn’t make any difference.

      Even full HD video is only 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is just over 2 megapixels, which is too low-resolution to show the difference between high quality lenses like these.

      So, really, you could just get the T4i or T5i body alone, and use your current lenses. The only advantage of the 18-135mm lens for video is the STM focusing motor, which is quiet (and accurate). However, for professional film/video work, autofocus is rarely used, so that’s not such a big deal… it’s really intended more for casual use.

      – Matthew

  • Scott says:

    I have an old body Canon Rebel xt 8mp 350d. and just recieved a I just got a Tamron 18-270 PZD VC for X-mas
    will moving up to the 4i utilize the new lens better?

    • Hi Scott,

      The Tamron 18-270 is a great lens for convenience; it is very nice to be able to walk around with a single lens… but like all of the all-in-one zooms, it does not have the sharpest optics; that’s just one of the trade-offs for having such a large zoom range in one lens. So, moving to an 18 megapixel sensor will actually capture more of the lens’ optical flaws.

      You may still end up with better image quality in the center of the frame, but you’ll also probably notice the blur around the borders of the image more.

      – Matthew

  • Brian says:

    I am new to video and photography. I just bought a T4i. When initiating movie mode, I can’t see anything through the viewfinder eyepiece. Th LCD display shows what I’m shooting, but it seems counter-intuitive to look to the left while the subject you’re shooting is directly in front of you. I can see through the viewfinder eyepiece when not in movie mode, but I can’t understand why I can’t see through it in movie mode. I have read the manual but can’t find any reference to why this is so. Can you tell me if this is normal in movie mode? And, is there a way to change this so I can see what I’m filming through the viewfinder eyepiece? Thank you.

    • Hi Brian,

      Yes, that is normal for shooting video with SLRs. All SLRs have a mirror in the path between the lens and the film / sensor; when you press a button, that mirror flips up to let the light from the lens reach the shutter and sensor momentarily, then it flips back down so that you can see what you’re shooting.

      With video, though, it flips up out of the way for as long as you’re shooting, again…so that the light can get to the sensor. So, the only way that you can see what you’re shooting is electronically via the LCD.

      The only exception to this is if you’re shooting with one of Sony’s SLT cameras like the Alpha a77 or a99. They use electronic viewfinders instead of optical viewfinders, so you can use either the viewfinder or the rear LCD all the time.

  • Richard Ryan says:

    I currently have a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF Lens. If I plan on using this as my primary lens does that make a difference in camera choice between the T3i and the T4i?

  • David George says:

    I’m wondering whether the menus accessible on the touchscreen are also available via the dial. That is, is use of the touchscreen optional?

    • Hi David,
      Yes, the touchscreen is optional; the T4i has all of the same navigation buttons as earlier models, so you can turn off the touchscreen and go with the traditional method instead.
      – Matthew

  • Tayler says:

    I’m at the very beginning of what I hope to be a long photography career and in the next couple of days I plan to purchase my first dslr (can we say EXCITED!). I am somewhat torn between the t3i and t4i. After reading this you have helped me narrow my reasoning for either camera, but which would you suggest for a beginner such as myself.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Tayler,

      I would say that the autofocus system and the improved speed make the T4i the better investment. You may also want to keep in mind that, unless the touchscreen and video autofocus are attractive to you, the Canon 60D is not much more than the T4i (athough the T4i with 18-135 bundle is a good deal, the lens is somewhat expensive outside of the package).

      Ultimately, they’re all good cameras, and what’s most important is getting one of them and spending time perfecting your technical skills and working on your creative style and vision. Practice is going to make you a better photographer than any of the minor differences between cameras :)

      If you’ve looked through the comments, you’ve probably seen me give my standard advice: buy the least expensive camera that will fulfill your needs, and get the best lenses you can afford. Good luck!

      – Matthew

      • Tayler says:

        Matthew,

        Thanks for the advice. I’ll be sure to look into the links that you’ve given me and I’ll keep you posted on my purchase.

        -Tayler

  • Toni says:

    I was wondering if you have to look through the eye piece to take pictures with the T4i or can you look through the screen to take them?

    • Toni,

      Both the T3i and T4i have “live view” mode, which shows the picture on the LCD like a point-and-shoot or phone. With the T4i, the autofocus performance is much faster than the T3i in live-view, but for both cameras, their performance will be significantly slower in live-view mode than when using the optical viewfinder. This is true of all SLRs except for Sony’s SLTs, which don’t use optical viewfinders.

      – Matthew

  • Cheryl says:

    I have a Canon G2 4megapixal camera, I use it to take my Jewelry, photos, and photos around New York City.
    Recently I’ve been getting blurry photos, I use a tripod, two trilights with a cocoon. My webmaster thinks, something is wrong with camera. Going to see if it can be fixed, but if not, would the G1x be good for product photography, or would I be better to get the T4i? I would have to get a macro lens with the SLR too, as it doesn’t have macro setting.

    Thanks

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Ultimately, the T4i with the proper lens will give you the better image quality, but it will also require a larger investment and there will be a significant learning curve (to get the most out of it), and without that, it will not be significantly better than the G1 X. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of personal experience with the G1 X, and none of my experience with it is very recent… so I’m afraid that I won’t be able to be much help on this issue. However, you might also want to consider the Canon EOS M, which is nice and compact like the G1 X, but it is essentially the T4i in a smaller package, so it will be able to give you more flexibility if you want to make use of it.

      – Matthew

      • Cheryl says:

        Hi Matthew
        Thanks for the info, I have a Canon AE1, and Canon Rebel 35 mm cameras. I have taken photography classes in college too for black and white photography. My webmaster used to have his own photo studio, so he has been teaching me more about taking my Jewelry shots. He suggests I experiment with using different apertures. I’ve pretty much been doing everything on auto, but I’m going to do everything aperture priority with the new camera. I’ll look at the Canon EOS M to see if I like it, but really interested in the T4i. A friend said his daughter got it for Christmas from her husband , and they really like the photos. I’m also thinking if I do get this camera, I will see about taking a digital photography course at my old college. My old photography teacher is giving the course. I’m really looking to learn more to improve my Jewelry shots. The G1x sounds like I wouldn’t get really any better photos that what I’m getting with my G2

        Cheryl

        • Got it. It sounds as though, with the experience you already have, you’ll probably be able to get some great quality out of the T4i. For jewelery photography, you might consider getting the Canon 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens, which will let you get as close as you want and give you super-sharp detail… and it’s also a good portrait lens.

          Good luck!

          – Matthew

          • Cheryl says:

            Hi Mathew
            B&H photo is having some great instant savings on The Rebel T4i kit with 18-135 zoom lens, and savings on Canon EF100 mm f/2.8 macro IS USM lens. Going to try it out at the store. Been awhile since I did my photography class 1981, but will study up what ever I can. My neighbors next door also have Rebel T series, and recommended them to me.

            Thanks
            Cheryl

  • Christi says:

    Thanks for the comparison on the T3i/T4i. I currently own a Canon 60D, of which I absolutely love. But my boyfriend is looking into buying a new camera. He didn’t want to spend a lot since he won’t be using it professionally unless I need help with my photography company. So I recommended after reading this review, for him to purchase the T4i. I think he’ll love this camera.

    I do have a question. Above you mentioned something about Firmware updates to cameras. Can you please give me more information about this? Where do you get the firmware updates from? How do you do it?

    Thanks so much!!! Hope your move is going good!
    ~Christi

    • Hi Christi,

      My move is going well, thank you :) I’m getting settled in nicely.

      Camera firmware is periodically updated and made available by Canon on their website for each model. I just updated the firmware on a Canon 60D, for example, to version 1.1.1 (it had previously been using 1.1.0). On the 60D, you can go to the menu, and under the 3rd menu from the right (starting with the green star) the bottom item is the firmware version you’re using.

      The first step is to go to Canon’s product page for your camera model, in this case, you can use this one:

      http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/digital_slr_cameras/eos_60d#DriversAndSoftware

      Under the “drivers and software” menu, after you enter your Operating System (which is irrelevant for firmware), it will give you can additional menu below where you can see the latest firmware. If you already have it, great. If not, you can download it.

      Once it’s downloaded, you unzip it and there’s a PDF with installation instructions, but basically, you put the firmware file on your SD card, put the card in your camera, then highlight your current firmware version in the camera’s menu (as mentioned above) and press “SET”. If the file is on your SD card, you’ll get a series of prompts that will let you install the firmware. Nothing tricky about it.

      If you’ve registered your camera on the Canon website, you should get email notifications when new firmware versions are released.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • Jill says:

    I am thrilled that I stumbled across your website! Thank you for this post – it was just what I was looking for.

    I am replacing my Rebel T3 (sent it in to be repaired – lost in shipping – thankfully, I insured the package). I had only had it for a few months, so as long as I was shopping for another camera, I thought I’d see what the T3i and T4i were all about.

    I am the mom of 4, and capturing video is just as important to me, but I was afraid the T4i would be way more camera than I need (very much an amatuer, but very much want to learn as much as I can!). Now to find the best deal possible! I am moving forward with the T4i – thank you! I can’t wait to read all aspects of your site, and share it with my friends.

    • Jill says:

      Can I ask your opinion about the lens options that are sold with the T4i? They have the 18-55 and the 18-135 – with a price difference of $210. Is the 18-135 worth the extra?
      I am a complete amateur, will I benefit from this lens, or will the 18-55 suit me better? I see to purchase the 18-135 outright, they are ~$400+. I will be shooting active children in sports, band/vocal concerts, etc. and I do have the 75-300 lens as well.
      THANK YOU!

      • Hi Jill,

        First, let me apologize for the delay; I’m in the process of moving from Florida to WA, and I’m still just getting organized.

        The 18-55 if a nice lens, optically, but it doesn’t have a USM or STM motor, so the autofocus is a little slow and noisy (which is an issue with video, in particular). As a sheer matter of convenience, I really like the 18-135 range; you can keep it on your camera most of the time, whether you’re shooting wide angle or telephoto, and of course, the STM motor makes it nearly silent when you’re shooting video.

        Either way you go, you should be able to get the job done, but I’d lean towards the 18-135 STM. Good luck!

        – Matthew

  • Larry Hughes says:

    What are the differences between the T2i/T3i/60D for astrophotography? Some of my interests include: (a) a secure infinity focus; (2) mirror lockup prior to shooting; (3) dark frame subtraction (either on the fly or in processing); (4) 2-3 hour videos of the night sky, shooting at higher ISO and at about one frame per second, sometimes at temperatures around freezing or below (thinking batter and data size here); (5) some videos would be stars trailing in the early AM and run to sunrise, necessitating a huge change in exposures over the length of the video; (6) 30 second to 5 minute exposures of night sky with landscape, sometimes driven atop a telescope to track stars. I will be using old Nikkormat (film era) lenses for the most part, or perhaps the kit-supplied Canon zoom in some instances. Any opinions on which camera would work best? (I would probably not opt for the 60Da IR filter replacement, so stock camera is fine).
    Thanks very much.

    • Hi Larry,

      Unfortunately, I don’t have much experience with astrophotography; I’ve merely dabbled a little now and then, so I may not be able to provide the best information here.

      From a technological standpoint, there’s very little of importance that differs between the T2i, T3i, and 60D, though. Because they have the same sensor, they’ll all be capturing the same data. You’ll want to shoot RAW and process the images later (rather than rely on a little camera processor to do it automatically), so the in-camera processing isn’t really an issue… although I don’t think that there are any features that would make a difference anyway. None of them can shoot videos longer than 15 minutes, continuously, in high definition. The 60D does have longer battery life, but they can all be fitted with external power sources. They all have mirror lock up with live-view, but the T2i doesn’t have an articulated LCD.

      Guess I’ll have to give this some thought and come back to it :)

      – Matthew

  • heather says:

    Hi Matthew,
    I got a 60D for a present and I’m feeling like it’s too much camera for me (unnecessarily expensive)
    We can exchange the camera and are trying to decide between the 2ti and the 3ti. I’m an amateur photographer and don’t care too much about video.

    What I do care about is low light performance and the fact that we are birders and want to buy a 300mm lens on ebay or something for that.

    We travel and want to bring a quality camera but I have a pretty good Leica (I want to say Delux 3?) but
    it’s terrible in low light, at least as far as I can tell and there have been many times when taking decent pics at night would be great.

    So what do you think 3 or 4? Especially curious about wether the lowlight capability is similar and which might be ultimately better for birding.
    Thanks, Heather

    • Hey Heather,

      First, all three cameras have essentially the same sensor, so there is no practical difference in low light performance in that regard. The 60D does have a better autofocus system than the Rebel series, thought, which will give you modest improvements in speed and accuracy all around, but particularly in low contrast situations, like in the evening.

      For that reason alone, I’d choose the 60D over the others, but of course there are other reasons. Also keep in mind that the 60d is now going for about $699 (on amazon), so I’m not sure how far the difference will get you in purchasing a telephoto lens… But that is up to you.

      That said, the T4i does have an improved AF system, very similar to the 60d’s , and the frame rate is improved. For wildlife photography, I’d go with the T4i rather than the T3i, but both will give you good image quality… Virtually identical. SO for you, perhaps it will come down to cost.

      – Matthew

       

  • DaveB says:

    Matthew,

    I received the 4i for Christmas to replace a Rebel XT (yea.. has some age on it) that I have been using for Sports (High School Football). for a number of years with good results. I use a Prime 85mm F1.8 Lense so I can keep the speed up in the low light I have to deal with (the XT only goes to 1600 ISO but very little noise). While I do not consider myself a Pro, I get very good results and have many photos published (Followed the OSU Quarterback, Braxton Miller, all through high school).
    My question… I really have never done much Video shooting, I am use to running most of my shoots in the AV mode and chasing the Speed due to low light… I like the number of shots I take in bust mode with the XT… I shoot near 1200 shots a game. I do shoot JPEG because I really do not have time for much post processing. I post all shots in Photobucket for the Fans and Parents…This is a hobby…

    Should I return the 4i and get the 3i? The kits come with the 55-250 ISM F4 Lense…. Will I see a lot of noise at max ISO on these 2 Bodies? Will the F4 lenses be useable in low light with the higher ISO?

    Thanks for your thoughts….

    Dave

  • Cyrus says:

    Hi, there is currently a sale on both the T3i and T4i. Which one should I get?

    T3i + 18-55mm IS lens + extra battery + carrying case = $499.99

    OR

    T4i + 18-55mm IS lens = $599.99

    Help!

    • It really depends on what you’ll use it for. If you plan to shoot video and want Autofocus, get the T4i. It also has a faster frame rate and s somewhat better autofocus system.

      If you’re going to be shooting photos only (or don’t care about AF for video), and you don’t need the boost in frame rate, go with the T3i.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

      • manju says:

        Mattew,

        I am looking to buy Canon DSLR my budget would be $1000. I am looking for both photography and video shooting. Can you please suggest some good models.Your help highly appreciated.

        Manju

        • Hey Manju,

          My advice is always to buy the least expensive camera that will fulfill you needs and buy the best lenses you can afford. With a budget of about $1000, and if you’re interested in shooting video, the T4i might be the best bet, if you’re interested in using the camera’s autofocus system for video; it’s really the only camera that Canon currently makes that can autofocus while shooting video. That camera, coupled with the 18-135 STM lens would be a great choice, since the lens has high optical quality, and also uses a quiet STM motor so that you won’t get noise when focusing while shooting video.

          However, if you’re more interested in professional video (using follow-focus rails, matte boxes, external mics, etc), then I’d recommend the Canon 60D instead, along with whatever lens would be suitable for your work. What do you have in mind when it comes to video… casual or professional?

          – Matthew

          • manju says:

            Hi Matthew,

            Thanks for your suggestion…

            Video I am looking for professional. I have 3 models in my mind
            Canon T4i, Canon 60D and Canon EOS 7D, which you would
            suggest. Please help me out regarding this.

            Thanks in advnce
            Manju

            • The 7D would be very hard (if not impossible) to work on a budget of $1000 with a decent set of lenses. All three cameras have comparable sensors, so there’s not any particular reason (for image quality) to choose one over the other, and they all have the same video features except for the AF… as mentioned above.

              I’d probably go for the 60D, which will give you the best all around performance for video and photography, and for pro level video, the AF will not be used anyway. You should also, of course, look into getting the Magic Lantern side-car for doing video.

              http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Lantern_Firmware_Wiki

              – Matthew

              • manju says:

                Hey Matthew,

                I was thinking to stretch my budget little bit.
                Whats your choice about Canon 7D and Canon 60D.

                Thanks
                Manju

              • There’s no practical difference in image quality between the two, but the 7D is a much nicer camera; it has a very superior autofocus system, higher frame rate, and a variety of other features.

                I think that the Magic Lantern build for the 7D is not as sophisticated, so keep that in mind.

                That said, if you don’t need the extra features of the 7D, the money may be better spent on lenses.

                – Matthew

              • manju says:

                Thanks Matthew,

                I will go for Canon 60D. Can you suggest some good lenses, my budget would be around $300.

                Manju

  • hutch says:

    Mathew: I currently own a Rebel T1i EOS 500D. (I know it’s old). Instead of body upgrades I’ve focused on high quality, image stabilized, lenses. For example I use a Tamaron 10mm often. However this Xmas I was gifted a 100mm macro (about 800 bucks) I was thinking of returning it and using the cash for a new body. Maybe a dumb question; but I assume that all the new technology in focusing, processing and whatnot in the bodies will help increase my photos. I use it almost exclusively for photography (not video) and have placed in the top 10 in various contests in the Bay Area. I take more experimental shots AND photos of natural majestic scenes. I think I’m due for a body upgrade, but according to your articles it looks like the T3i would be fine. (however I have noticed some focusing issues with my T1i, will that be solved by both the T3i AND T4i?) The touch screen seems cool, and the way of the future, but I’m fine with all the little button navigation. Also, I assume all my lenses for the T1i will work for either the T3/4i…..Or do I need to upgrade my lenses as well? IN other words do I just purchase a new body. thanks for any support you can give…..hutch

    • Hi Hutch,

      If you get a new body, all of your old lenses should work (unless you have some REALLY old 3rd party lenses… like from the 1990s; a few of those have reported incompatibilities). Canon’s mount and AF system has stayed the same since they went autofocus, so all Canon AF lenses will work with all Canon AF cameras.

      A newer camera will give you some extra resolution, of course, and probably better dynamic range and high-ISO performance, but between the T1i and the T3i, the differences in the autofocus system are not dramatic; you’ll probably get about the same performance.  The T4i has 8 extra cross-type sensors in the AF system, but from my (somewhat limited) experience with the camera, it still seems about the same. It may be a little better; the Canon 60D is certainly more reliable than the T3i in terms of peripheral focusing.

      In the lab, the image quality from the T3i is actually a little superior to that of the T4i, though it’s unlikely that the difference would be visible without testing equipment… so I agree, the T3i would probably be a good fit for you, unless you want to go for the 60D. Its price is already down to $699, and the camera is significantly better than the T3i.

      – Matthew

      • hutch says:

        Matthew,
        Thanks so much for your advice. It was very helpful. After reading your article again and doing some more digging around on my favorite site (B&H) I found a t4i kit for 689.00 (cheaper than the t3i). I think I will go with the “newer” of all the stuff. The touch screen, processor, upgrade in focusing and it’s cheaper! No brainer – eh?. Thanks again! Hutch

  • Mark Schneider says:

    I have heard that the T3i has video zoom and the T4i does not. Is this true? Also, is the T3i video audio mono or stereo? If mono then if I purchased an attachment mike would it then record in stereo? The T4i is attractive but I would like to have video zoom. Is the video auto focus a good swap for the video zoom? Thanks for your advise.

    • Hi Mark,

      You’re correct; the T4i has dropped the 3x-10x digital zoom at 1080p. It may be possible to make it a firmware add-on, but I don’t know of any plans to do so.

      The built-in mic for the T3i is mono, but it has a stereo input for external mics, so it can record in stereo with a more sophisticated setup, as you suggest.

      Personally, I’d much rather have full-time video AF… but it really depends on how you use your camera. If you were planning on doing professional film work, most of it is done with manual focus anyway, and sometimes people prefer to use the 3x zoom setting to reduce moire or artifacts from the rolling shutter. But, since I don’t do much with video, the convenience of simple video operation would be a big plus for me with the T4i. I’ve done a fair amount of video with my current Canon (not a T4i!), and it’s a real pain for anything that’s not a composed shot from a tripod.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • Gurpal says:

    Hey Matthew,
    I am planning to buy my first DSLR and have narrowed it down to either the t4i or t3i, i live in india and here the price difference between the 2 is not $100 but around $250 does it still make sense to get the t4i over the t3i. I am mostly going to use it for still photography and a little video. Do the touchscreen, the digic 5 processor, the 8 cross type af points and the increase in burst speed make the price difference justifiable and if so is there a visible difference in picture quality.

    • Hi Gurpal,

      The touchscreen is a matter of taste. Personally, I find that I don’t really find a touchscreen to be a big advantage on a camera, but some people might like it.

      The processor really only improves the shooting speed (might help control noise at high ISO if you shoot JPG, which you shouldn’t); the T4i will give you about one more frame per second than the T3i. Whether that is important to you will depend on what you’re likely to be photographing… and unless it’s a lot of action and sports, you probably won’t really notice it.

      When it comes to image quality, there isn’t a significant difference between the two cameras…. and where there is a measured difference, it seems that the image quality is actually slightly better on the T3i. From what I’ve seen, this isn’t field relevant, though; expect images to look the same.

      So, what it really comes down to, I think, is the AF system. Most people don’t have trouble with the T3i for shooting stills, even with action and tricky light. You’ll get the same AF performance if you use the center AF point on both cameras. If you want to use a lateral AF point, you’ll probably have a somewhat higher success rate with the T4i in certain situations (where you’re trying to focus on horizontal lines).  I find that most of the time when I’m shooting action (when AF performance is most critical), I’m using the central AF point, but not always. When I’m photographing wildlife, I tend to use one of the upper-left or right points.

      Shooting video with the T3i is really not very easy, since there’s no autofocus (for practical useage, anyway) while shooting. I have years of experience with manual focus cameras, and I still find it tricky. Most people just don’t bother. So, if video is important to you, then the T4i is probably the way to go.

      So, for the way I shoot, the video AF and the cross-points would make spending an extra hundred dollars for the T4i easy; probably even an extra $250 (though I’d probably look into the Canon 60D, too). However, if you’re not very interested in shooting video, I’d probably lean towards the T3i.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • Brian says:

    Considering the purchase of a T3i vs T4i:

    For primarily still photography, how big a difference do the extra cross-type AF sensors make, and does that difference warrant spending the extra money? Most of the reviews I’ve seen mention this as a big deal, but never get around to talking about the impact on peformance.

    I have also read recently that the T4i actually underperforms the T3i in terms of photo quality (in terms of lines and jargon I only somewhat understand); is there a noticeable difference in practice? It might have been the PCMag review/lab test article, I don’t quite remember…

    • Hey Brian,

      Sorry for the delay; I’ve been up at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York (I’m currently in the airport waiting for my flight).

      First, when it comes to the AF system, having cross-type AF points makes a very significant difference. A cross type point, as you may know, is essentially like having two AF sensors at the same point, making it sensitive to twice as many lines (ie, a horizontally oriented sensor will only focus on vertical lines, but a cross type would be able to focus on horizontal AND vertical lines). I’m working on a video that will describe the difference a little better than I can do here, if you’re still curious in a few days.

      Anyway, I have also seen tests (lab tests, not field tests) in which the T3i outperforms the T4i. I seriously doubt that the results are field relevant, though I have not done any comparisons myself. The fact is that photographers generally don’t come close to taxing most of the limits of a camera’s abilities. In general, when there are problems with colors, etc, the problem is with the conditions or the post processing. So, that’s just to say that I’m not concerned about the lab tests in question.

      – Matthew

       

  • Vil says:

    Im just your everyday photographer looking to purchase a new canon but am undecided as to getting the t3i with all the sale bundles they have right now or going with the t4i. I mainly want to take things like portraits, wedding everyday pictures. What is my best bet? Also what is the difference with all the lens? Like 18-55, 75-300? Are they used for different situations? Thanks

    • Hi Vil,

      In general, the advantages of the T4i over the T3i are for video. For portrait, travel, and event photography, there’s no important reason to go with the T4i over the T3i, unless you’re interested in the convenience of having a touch-screen. I’d probably go with the T3i, unless you’re also going to want to shoot video.

      Longer focal length lenses (like a 200 or 300mm lens) give you greater magnification, so your pictures will seem closer to the action. With wider angle lenses (18mm, 24mm, etc) will make stuff look smaller so you can get more of it into a single picture. The “F” number associated with the lens (like f/5.6 or f/2.8) tell you how much light the lens lets in. The smaller the number, the more light it lets in. I have some lens recommendations here on the site… just look for the “Lens Recommendations” menu to the right —> for more info.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • Lily says:

    I have enough money to buy a canon T3i this Christmas. would it be worth it to wait ANOTHER year? I’ve already waited one.. and also, you said that the T3i price could still be dropping (if I’m not mistaken)… what do you expect the price to be when its all set and done?

    • Hi Lily,

      Today, it looks like the T3i body costs only $549 at Amazon, which is pretty low for this camera; I’d be surprised if it gets much lower… and the T2i has been discontinued, though old stock is still available (in kits, mostly).

      I can’t think of a good reason to wait another year. Even if the Canon T5i were coming out next year (not likely), I wouldn’t recommend waiting for it, or for price drops. Is there something in particular that you think is missing from the T3i?

      – Matthew

  • Molly says:

    Hi, can you elaborate on “would appreciate the convenience of a touch screen LCD, and are willing to take the necessary precautions to keep it from breaking” – what does that entail. I am a little worried that I could break the touch screen, though am slightly comforted that it has redundant buttons that will do the same thing… I am EXTREMELY new to photography – as in will buy the camera and take a “fundamentals of photography” course. I want to learn and grow with my camera and capture some important life things coming up (honeymoon, etc) so I want to get a really nice DSLR. Am I right in thinking I want a t4i?

    • Hi Molly,

      My concern about breaking LCDs is simply because of experience with other touchscreen devices (which require glass instead of plastic screens). I don’t have any reason to believe that the T4i is particularly fragile, and it can be easily protected by turning the flip screen towards the camera while you’re running around with the camera. I suspect that if you’re new to photography, you’ll appreciate the touch screen. That said, you’ll end up changing most of the exposure settings with buttons… it’s just the custom functions and browsing photos where the touch screen will really be useful.

      The T4i seems like a good choice. That said, the photo class you’re going to take will probably make a much bigger difference in your photography than the camera itself.

      If you have a few spare minutes, you might also want to check out my article “The Three Basics of Photography”, and the other articles in the “Learn Photography” menu in the right-column of this site.

      – Matthew

  • tesla says:

    There is improvement for sure, but does it make the price difference? I don’t think so. The entry price is quite high for what it is. T3i does %95 of what T4i can do but of course, if AF in video and touch screen is your thing, go for it.

    • Tesla,

      I tend to agree; people who are already comfortable with using SLRs may not find the T4i to be worth the extra cost, though the modest improvement in high ISO performance and perhaps the combined-shot noise reduction may be worth something.

      The real advantage of the T4i will be for people who want to shoot video like they would with a point and shoot; that’s something that most SLRs still just don’t handle very well… and the T4i seems like a big improvement there, though it’s still a little slow, and of course, some people will be more comfortable with the touch screen.

      – Matthew

  • G c says:

    Error in your article. The 18-135 lens is only compatible with canon dlsr’s that can take an efs lens. It isn’t compatible with any canon full frame dslr or film slr.

    • Hi GC,

      Perhaps I could have been a little more clear about that; the point of the comment was that the T3i is just as capable of using the lens as the T4i… it’s not specific to the T4i, even though I was speaking of it in the context of the T4i.  So, yes, as an EF-S mount lens is only compatible with APS-C cameras, but this EF-S lens is no different than any other EF-S lens. I’ll edit this to make it a little more clear, though.

      – Matthew

  • ..billg says:

    Sorry I did not find this site prior to purchasing my Rebel Ti3 but happy to have discovered that I got the right camera for my purpose quite by accident.

    Thanks for the good information in a format that doesn’t overwhelm a newbie with details.

  • Khaila Dallas says:

    I found this article very helpful but I’m still a little iffy on which camera I want to get (the T4i or the T3i). I am a fairly new photographer and this will be my first DSLR camera. I want to be able to take a good quality video and good photos but for it to still be fairly simple as I learn the more complex and manual settings of the camera. The main question I have about the T4i is about the 18-50mm lens. You said that the 18-135mm lens is perfect for all around everyday use but the price difference between the two is significant so I was wondering what your opinion is on the 18-50mm lens. As for the choosing of which camera to get based on your article the T4i seems like the ideal choice but would it be smarter for me to spend less on the T3i becasue I am new to DSLR cameras or should I spend some extra money for the T4i?
    Thanks,
    Khaila

    • Hi Khaila,

      If you’re interested in shooting video, then I’d definitely lean toward the T4i. The camera’s new hybrid-AF system will work with any of the Canon AF lenses, including the 18-55mm, but it’s going to be quieter and faster with the new STM lenses like the 18-135 and the 40mm pancake. If the lens is going to push the T4i out of your price range, it would make more sense to get the T4i with a different lens instead. I can tell you from personal experience that trying to use manual focus while shooting video with an SLR is a serious pain unless it’s mounted on a tripod and the light is dim; I think you’d be disappointed and wish that you’d bought the T4i.

      The 18-55mm kit lens is optically a great lens, and it is image-stabilized, which also helps when shooting video. Unfortunately, it uses an older micro-motor (instead of a USM or STM), so when you’re shooting video, you might record the sound of the lens focusing. It’s not a big deal, but not ideal, either. It is probably better than anything else in the same price range, though. The 40mm STM lens is a great little lens, but I think you’d find it very limiting to have as your only lens, since it doesn’t zoom.

      – Matthew

      • Robbie says:

        I am considering to buy the t4i as my first DSLR and I would have a question for you regarding the continous AF. I have seen some videos on youtube showing the continous AF with non STM lens is just noisy not smooth at all. With STM, the system is just trying to keep the focus on moving objects and finally ruins the videos. Many commentators say that it is better to use manual focus but reading you, I feel like I wont be able to manage this difficult task. Maybe I should wait for t5i and a more complete version of the continous AF? Can this be solved with a firmware update?

        thanks

        Robbie

        • Hi Robbie,

          Sorry for the delay, I’ve been out of town.

          With non-STM lenses, the AF performance depends on the type of focusing motor in the lens. There are 4 others: USM (ring type), micro-USM I, micro-USM II, and then standard micro-motors (non-USM).

          The best of these are the ring-type USM, which are very fast and quiet, followed by the micro-USM and then micro-USM II (though these are almost identical in performance to the first series, they’re just smaller), and the standard micro-motors are the slowest and noisiest.

          Although you’ll get better performance with some lenses than others, the T4i AF system is still going to be a little slow compared to something like a full phase-detect system found in the very fast Sony A65. This is a hardware issue, and I wouldn’t expect major improvements from firmware upgrades, though a little optimization may be possible.

          I think that most casual videographers will do just fine with the T4i in most circumstances, but there will always be tricky situations (especially with a fast movement) where the camera won’t be able to keep up (this is probably true for any camera, to some extent). Professional film makers always use manual focus, though, to use focus creatively and to keep from ruining a scene with the camera hunting for focus… so it really depends on how you’re planning on using the camera.

          – Matthew

  • Rob says:

    [[Most importantly, the sensor found in the T2i and T3i was retained in the T4i which, frankly, is disappointing]]

    This is not true. Canon has stated that the T4i sensor is not the same and that the re-design included the Hybrid AF functionality.  Further evidence of a new sensor is given by the fact that they increased the default ISO range.

    • Hi Rob,

      Thank you, you’re right. It looks as though I made the mistake of trusting some early misinformation; I’ve corrected the article now, and my opinion.

      – Matthew

    • Aleks says:

      “This is not true. Canon has stated that the T4i sensor is not the same and that the re-design included the Hybrid AF functionality.  Further evidence of a new sensor is given by the fact that they increased the default ISO range.”

       

      I would beg to differ…

      One just needs to look at the image quality of the 650d to see that nothing has changed and the photo quality has not improved. In fact, it can be argued that the image quality from the new 650d is worse than the 600d or even the 550d!  Considering that this is allegedly a “new”  3rd generation 18 megapixel sensor, i find it bizarre that the image quality has stayed the same. As a canon user, i find it offensive that they believes they can pass off this old sensor to its consumers!

      If your new to DSLR photography, i would recommend you save yourself a lot of money and choose the 600d or 550. I however have had enough and dumping canon altogether!

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