Canon EOS Rebel T4i First Impressions Review$1,199.00
The Canon Rebel T4i is the new flagship of Canon's line, offering 1080p video recording, a new 18-megapixel image sensor, improved autofocus, faster shot-to-shot time, and a greater ISO range than last year's T3i.
In shooting with the T4i, it's clear that the sum of all those spec upgrades is a camera that truly feels new. That's a good step for Canon, as we felt the T3i was a lackluster, marginal improvement on the massively successful T2i that preceded it. With the T3i staying in the line as a mid-level option (above the T3 and below the T4i, for now), that separation was necessary for the T4i to be relevant.
In our time with the camera, we loved the snappiness of the new autofocus and more responsive shutter. The camera itself is very familiar, as its body is almost identical to the T3i, with only some minor handling differences. On the inside, the new Digic 5 processor chugs through bursts much quicker than the T3i did, and the autofocus is a hair sharper.
The major improvement to AF is seen in live view shooting and video recording. In either mode on most DSLRs, the normal method of phase detection autofocus is not available, forcing the camera to rely on contrast-detection AF. With the T4i's new image sensor, the camera has a hybrid phase/contrast detection system available in the middle of the frame, combining with Canon's new stepping motor lenses to provide smooth, silent autofocus tracking to the subject.
The other major addition that's sure to grab headlines is the T4i's touchscreen, making it the first digital SLR to feature touchscreen operation. With that technology already in place on competing mirrorless system cameras, this is hardly earth shattering, but it should aid beginners who are buying their first DSLR.
Overall, the T4i doesn't radically alter what has been a successful formula for Canon. The Rebel series cameras are lightweight cameras that feature a simple menu system, high-quality video, and generally decent image quality at a sub-$1000 price. The T4i checks all those boxes, but with enough hardware upgrades that it may represent a significant step ahead of what last year's T3i offered.
We'll have to wait until we get a production-level T4i into our labs for a full performance breakdown, but on paper and in our short time with the camera, we were impressed. If the camera holds up under the bright light of testing, this might be the first Canon Rebel worth turning in your aging T2i for.