Canon has just released their new Rebel T4i – their first (of hopefully many) adventures into the touchscreen dSLR world. This camera is a step up from the Canon Rebel T3i (also making it the third dSLR Canon has released with a flip-out LCD).
We’ll be taking a look at the Canon Rebel T4i digital SLR, plus a giveaway — yes, we’re actually giving a brand new unit away! Find out more after the review.
Price and its competition
The Canon Rebel T4i‘s body tops out at about $849, and with an 18–55mm kit lens it comes out to be around $949. This is just a little less than the professional level Canon 60D, which comes out to be $899 for the body and $1199 to add on the 18-135mm kit lens. Furthermore, the T4i a bit pricier than the T3i which has dropped down to $749 with the kit lens. Over on the Nikon side of things, we have a simliar price at around $846 for the D5100 (with a current B&H discount).
Generally speaking, it’s a fantastic camera, but if you already have a Canon camera, you may want to reconsider buying it. Then again, with features such as the touchscreen and STM lens support, you may want to take a stab at it. But you may not have to spend out of pocket — MakeUseOf is giving away one of these T4is, so stick around and you may have one for yourself!
The Canon Rebel T4i comes in the same packaging that pretty much all Rebels have. You won’t find anything spectacular here. As always, it comes with the standard manual and a pamphlet full of photography tips. Included in the box was the camera body itself, an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, a camera strap, the manual, and a pamphlet on basic photography tips.
My first reaction to the Rebel was neither positive or negative. Maybe I was super tired, or maybe I’m just around cameras too much, but after picking it up, well, I decided that it’s just a camera. Never mind how amazing it is that we actually have a device in existence that instantly records images – sometimes I forget how nifty that just is.
Right out of the box, the Canon Rebel T4i does have a little bit of a plastic-like feel to it. However, it is sturdy. Seriously, I think I could throw this at my neighbors who play loud music at night, hit them, pick it back up, hit them again (knocking them out, of course), and the camera would still be okay. Maybe that’s a little extreme, but I think you get the picture.
As you can tell, there are some nifty features with this camera. However, despite how great these features are, the camera just hasn’t changed very much since the T3i. Yeah, I haven’t forgotten about the touchscreen — we’ll get to that.
Canon Rebel T4i Review
Let’s talk about the new touchscreen for just a moment. What can I say? This is the T4i’s selling point! Seeing that this is Canon’s first touchscreen DSLR, the T4i is revolutionary. The feedback from the screen is incredibly practical, and not once did I find myself wanting to throw the contraption against anything (save for the situation with my neighbors).
Just to give you an idea of how great the touchscreen is, I just want you to simply think about the iPhone’s mechanics. Personally, I believe that both devices’ user interfaces are quite similar. Ultimately, everything about it is incredibly fluid and natural.
When viewing pictures, a pinch-to-zoom feature is available, and when browsing both pictures and videos, simply swiping will do the trick. Surprisingly, the camera does not offer pinch-to-zoom for focus assist, but seeing that this is Canon’s first time out with a touchscreen camera, I see no need to set the expectations too high. Besides, they need to leave some features for the T5i to use, right?
However, I’d like to just give you a little bit of a taste of my rant on touchscreens. Number one, I’m not a huge fan of touchscreens when it comes to cameras, and that is simply due to my fear of the screen losing calibration. In the past, I actually owned a camera with a touchscreen (consumer model, mind you) that totally lost its calibration, and since all functions of the camera depended on that touchscreen, the machine became useless. However, with the Canon Rebel T4i, there is no need for such concern.
Fortunately, to use the new Rebel, you are not forced to use the touchscreen. The device operates just fine on its own using physical buttons, and I would say that the touchscreen is more of a shortcut system. For instance, consider how many menus you have to go through to get to the white balance settings on the typical Canon. With the touchscreen, you simply push whatever you see on the camera info overlay to change it – easy enough.
Furthermore, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed can be changed with the touchscreen itself. All one needs to do is scroll through the numbers, reducing the need to use physical buttons. As I mentioned, my personal preference is to simply use the actual buttons for changing settings. However, I found myself using the touchscreen for on the fly changes.
The Canon Rebel T4i is also designed to use the new STM lenses which are able autofocus smoothly and quietly for video. With these lenses, no longer are users subjected to the constant obnoxious CLCH–CLCH sound that the original autofocus mode made. Unfortunately, I was not able to get my hands on a new STM lens, but I just thought I would make a note of it.
I did some tests in low-light settings with the camera on the street when I first used it, and despite how dark things were, I didn’t see very much noise. That’s always a plus. (Granted, the pictures were terrible.) With that said, I’ve heard that this camera is just the Canon 60D packaged into a smaller body, and honestly, that may be true. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the specs of the new Canon Rebel T4i:
- 18.0MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
- DIGIC 5 Image Processor
- 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
- ISO 100-12800, Expandable to 25600
- Full HD movie mode with continuous autofocus
- 5.0 FPS continuous shooting
- 9-Point all cross-type autofocus system
- Multi-shot noise reduction
- Compatible with Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Another feature that the Canon Rebel T4i packs in is the addition of a stereo microphone. Realistically, you wouldn’t be using this microphone if you were shooting video to be presented somewhere (you’d likely pick up a shotgun or a lav mic), but when you’re in a bind, it works.
Ultimately, I have to say that the touchscreen is the only major feature of the T4i that is worth writing home about. However, it’s still a great camera.
Living With The Canon T4i
Admittedly, I’m not a photographer, but I am a videographer. Due to this, I’m not used to setting the shutter speed different from 1/50 or 1/60 of a second. Yes, I’m in the thick of the DSLR videography world, but when it comes to photography using the same camera, I still fight my battles. Below are a few of the “decent” pictures I was able to grab with this thing just for fun.
Although I’m a fan of the subject (my girlfriend Ashleigh), I’m hoping to get a little more experience with photography. Video-wise, I did some tests, and I did discover that there is a bit of a rolling shutter effect (especially in 30fps). Furthermore, I can confirm that the onboard microphone isn’t that great, but this is expected with any camera. However, for little clips where no microphone is available, it should be fine.
Once again, I want to emphasize that the Canon Rebel T4i is a great camera. But I wouldn’t let it be the reason that I let go of the camera that I already have.
Should you buy it?
If you don’t have a camera body, I would buy it. It’s a great introductory body, and it fits right into our touchscreen world. However, if you already have something like the Canon T3i or even the T2i (which is now obsolete), I wouldn’t worry about it. Wait for something new to come out.
We’re giving a brand new unit away to one very fortunate MakeUseOf reader. Are you a photography fan? Then join the giveaway!
How do I win the Canon Rebel T4i?
This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, August 10th. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.
Spread the word to your friends and have fun!
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