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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 / 650DCanon Rebel T3i / 600D
Canon Rebel T3i
Amazon Price (body only)[aprice asin=B00894YYP6][aprice asin=B004M170YC]
Kit Price
(Body + 18-55mm)
[aprice asin=B00894YWD0][aprice asin=B004J3V90Y]
Kit Price
(Body + 18-135 STM / 18-135 orig.)
[aprice asin=B00894YX2U][aprice asin=B004MN00C4]
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 = [aprice asin=B0035FZJI0]), 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

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Ben Hammond
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Ben Hammond

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

Jon Tewnes
Guest

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?

SEBASTIAN
Guest
SEBASTIAN

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

Yas
Guest
Yas

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
Guest
Craig

This was very informative. Thanks.

Monty
Guest
Monty

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 ?

Long Hong
Guest
Long Hong

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
Guest
alejandro simms

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!

Magha
Guest
Magha

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
Guest
Allison

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?

Patricia
Guest
Patricia

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

Scott
Guest
Scott

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?

Brian
Guest
Brian

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.

Richard Ryan
Guest
Richard Ryan

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
Member
David George

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

Tayler
Guest
Tayler

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.

Toni
Guest
Toni

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?

Cheryl
Guest

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

Christi
Guest
Christi

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

Jill
Guest
Jill

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
Guest
Jill

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!

Larry Hughes
Guest
Larry Hughes

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.

heather
Guest
heather

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

DaveB
Guest
DaveB

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
Guest
Cyrus

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!

hutch
Guest
hutch

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

Mark Schneider
Guest
Mark Schneider

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.

Gurpal
Guest
Gurpal

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.

Brian
Guest
Brian

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…

Vil
Guest
Vil

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

Lily
Guest
Lily

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?

Molly
Guest
Molly

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?

tesla
Guest
tesla

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.

Matthew Gore
Guest

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
Guest
G c

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.

Matthew Gore
Guest

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
Guest
..billg

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
Guest
Khaila Dallas

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

Matthew Gore
Guest

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
Guest
Robbie

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

Matthew Gore
Guest

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
Guest
Rob

[[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.

Matthew Gore
Guest

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
Guest
Aleks

“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!