Canon T4i Digital Camera Review$1,199.00
The T4i has a total of 14 shooting modes on its mode dial. These include the standard PASM (Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual) and automatic (in this case, "Scene Intelligent Auto") modes, as well as Flash Off, Creative Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, and HDR Backlight Control. Video recording is no longer located on the main mode dial (as it was on the T3i), but rather enjoys a dedicated position on the on/off switch.
Like other Rebel-series cameras, the T4i is equipped with just one control dial, mounted on the top of the grip just behind the shutter release. The function of the control dial changes depending on the shooting mode currently in use; for instance, in Av mode it changes the aperture, and in Tv it changes the shutter speed. When shooting in Manual mode, pressing the exposure compensation button toggles the control dial between changing aperture and shutter speed.
Like the T3i, the Canon T4i has nine autofocus points, but in this case all nine sensors are cross-type (the more accurate variety). It also boasts a new "hybrid" live view autofocus system, which uses phase-detect AF pixels on the imaging sensor itself to quickly determine subject distance, and then uses contrast-detect AF to add extra focus precision.
Autofocus is quite accurate and pretty quick in traditional TTL phase-detect mode; there's no real speed improvement over the T3i, but it does feel slightly more accurate. Live View is definitely quicker, and very accurate. It also over-shoots its target much less often in its attempts to achieve a focus lock.
Performance in low light is pretty good, though it still struggles and often simply fails to find focus in situations with very poor lighting and a low-contrast subject. Historically, this has been pretty standard behavior for DSLRs up till now, though with the advent of AF systems with -3 EV focus sensitivity (such as the Pentax K-5 II and the Canon EOS 6D) this could change. The T4i also lacks a focus assist beam, instead using a short pulse from its pop-up flash to illuminate a scene and grab focus. This is a little annoying in practice, and definitely an inferior solution in terms of actual effectiveness, so we're sad Canon couldn't pony up for a LED-based beam.
JPEG image quality settings on the T4i range from Large (18mp) to S(mall)3 (0.3mp), with Medium, S1, and S2 inbetween. There are also higher-compression options for Large, Medium, and S1, which give you more shots at the expense of slightly fuzzier images. Finally, you can also shoot in RAW or RAW+Large JPEG. The user can also select from among 4 aspect ratio choices: 3:2 (default), 4:3, 16:9, and 1:1. As on most cameras, the non-default aspect ratios simply crop the sensor area and give you slightly lower megapixel images.