Canon's t4i: Is It an Improvement Over Earlier Cameras?
The Canon EOS Rebel 650D / t4i is the latest camera in Canon's entry level line of cameras. The Canon t1i made a big splash back in 2009, but each successive camera was just a small, incremental upgrade over the one that came before it.
So what's new with the Canon t4i? Does it offer some substantial upgrades that make it genuinely better than it's predecessors?
Yup, there are a few key differences: the image processor, it's frame rate, it's low light abilities, it's video focusing abilities, and it's touch screen. Let's run down the list real quick.
Image Processor. The Canon t4i comes with Canon's brand new DIGIC 5 image processor. This is responsible for turning light photons into an actual image. It's better and faster than the old DIGIC 4. It doesn't necessarily mean higher quality images, but it allows the camera to create them quicker and do more with them.
Low Light Capability. The Canon t4i has a standard ISO range of up to 12,800. That's ridiculously high, and allows you to shoot in crazy low light situations. The expandable mode goes up to 25,600, although that might induce some pretty high levels of noise.
Improved Frame Rate.The Canon t4i shoots at a full 5 frames per second. This is equivalent to the old Canon 60D, and about 40% faster than the older Canon EOS Rebel cameras. If you shoot sports or other action photography in continuous mode, you might find this a pretty nice feature.
Example of the t4i Autofocusing
Auto Focus in Video. Canon used to lose out to Nikon when it came to video. For whatever reason, Canon decided to launch the Canon t1i, t2i, and t3i without the ability to re-focus with autofocus while you are filming. That oversight is officially remedied with the Canon t4i. Of course, the autofocus may leave something to be desired, but it's definitely better than nothing.
Touchscreen LCD. The newest Canon Rebel camera has a touchscreen on the back that lets you change camera settings and adjust the camera modes. You've still got some buttons back there to play with too, but you might find the touchscreen more convenient.
So Is It Better...? There are some pretty amazing upgrades in there - like the new image sensor, the new ISO capabilities, and the autofocus. The Canon t4i is still an entry level camera, and it pales in comparison to beasts like the Canon 7D and the Canon 5D Mark III, but it's also a fraction of the price.
It's a great choice for an entry level photographer or a photography enthusiast. If you fit that category and you're shopping for a camera, you might want to give a little thought to comparing the Canon t3i vs t4i. While the other Canon Rebel cameras haven't been great upgrades, this one is. For most people, it justifies the extra $100 to $150 that you'll pay over the older models of Canon cameras.