My New Canon Rebel T4i

OK, I own them both, the Rebel T4i AND the Canon Rebel T3i.

My new Canon Rebel T4i
This is me with my new Canon Rebel T4i

Why? Good question.

I think the plan is to sell the old one, but it’s so hard to part with old friends. Actually, the T3i is not all that old. I got it about a year and a half ago.

It has been an awesome camera. I bought it just to try it out. My plan was to send it back before the month was up (Amazon has a great return policy). But I still have it because it turned out to be an amazing camera.

The T4i has already proven that it is a “keeper.”

What follows is an assessment of the “new and improved” stuff on the T4i. Actually, it is a comparison of the Canon Rebel T4i vs T3i.

Canon Rebel T4i VS T3i

At first glimpse, the brand new Canon Rebel, the T4i (aka 650D) looks indistinguishable from the elder but highly well-liked Rebel T3i (aka 600D). But don’t let outward appearances fool you. Look closer, and you will see that there is, certainly, reason for consideration that may change your camera-buying path.

You have to “go under the hood” to see the most dynamic changes. Before getting into the “innerds” of the camera, let’s take a look at a few things that actually do show up on the camera exterior. You will have to find the name on the front of the camera to know which Rebel it actually is. Take a peek down at the top of the camera. Look at the mode dial. It’s different.

The T4i Mode Dial

There are two additional settings that do not appear on the T3i. They are “Hand Held Night” mode and “HDR with Backlight” mode.

“Hand-held Night” is kind of self explanatory. The user can use this setting when light levels are extremely challenging.

“HDR with Backlighting” is something that manufacturers have been adding to camera software only recently. The way HDR happens is that it uses 3 different exposures (with different light values) of the same image to create one “high dynamic range” photo. The sudden popularity of HDR makes this one feature very desirable to many camera buyers.

New DIGIC 5 Processor

The brand new DIGIC 5 image processor is what drives this digital SLR. Canon hasn’t enhanced the processor for a long time, but Canon’s press release claims is that the DIGIC 5 has “four times the processing power of the DIGIC 4.”

Hybrid 18 Megapixel CMOS AF Sensor

The Canon CMOS 18-megapixel sensor has not changed in size over the span of quite a few releases. Similar 18-megapixel sensors inhabit the bodies of such models as the Canon 60D and 7D.

Even though size matters, it is not the same sensor. The sensor is new in that it is a “hybrid CMOS AF” sensor. The improved technology adds significant performance in continuous focus in Live View and video, as well as facial detection. Of all the new and improved features, this one has impacted my personal experience with the Canon Rebel T4i VS T3i most.

New Touch-Screen LCD

Here is a first from Canon. The Rebel T4i is the first digital SLR with a touch-screen LCD. This is very cool, and it will entice some of you tekky folks with iPhone-like actions such as pinch to enlarge and swipe through your images by moving your finger across the LCD panel. Not only that, you can now select settings by touch. You don’t have to learn which button to push or which direction to go using the myriad of selectors on the right side of the LCD screen.

Continuous Shooting Rate

The continuous shooting rate is yet another upgrade. This is how fast the camera can take pictures, and it comes into play during photos of kids sports (or any sports, for that matter) or photographing your pet or your children playing. The new T4i has a continous burst rate of 5.0 fps vs 3.7 fps in the T3i.

Additional Improvements

Also improved is the increased ISO. It is now doubled to 25600 vs 12800 on the T3i.

A new focus system which includes 9 cross-type focus points vs just one for the T3i is another impressive improvement. It would seem that this one item will push the T4i to a level playing field with the 60D.. just sayin’. (I’m no expert, just a casual observation)

Video Enhancements

There are three important changes to think about with respect to superior video operation when considering the T3i and T4i.

  • The T4i now has continuous auto focus in video mode. This is huge if you are one who shoots a lot of video.
  • The second point also has to do with focus. It is “touch screen” focus while in video mode. Just touch the point on the screen that you want the main focus on, and the camera does a great job of keeping that point in focus.
  • Additionally, there is also better audio input. There are now two stereo mics repositioned on top of the digital slr to pick up sound so much better. The videographer can also adjust the sound input level, something new for a Canon Rebel camera.

Perhaps it’s time for a Rebel in your life? Or maybe you already have one. I would love to hear from you. Add your question or comment below.