June 7, 2012

Introducing the Canon T4i/650D, the First Canon DSLR with Video Autofocus

The Canon 5D Mark III was arguably one of the most anticipated cameras in Canon's existence, and while much of that excitement has died down as people go back to their working lives, there are still plenty of new cameras just around the bend. The first, which will be announced tomorrow, is the Canon T4i, or 650D, as it will be known outside of the United States. Canon stuck to its guns on the Mark III so that it wouldn't upset professionals, but with the T4i, they are introducing a touchscreen, as well as a feature many have asked about - real autofocus during video recording. The full specs and photos are below.

Here is a quick list of the important specs people really care about, with the full specs below:

  • 18 MP APS-C
  • SDHC slot, UHS-1 complaint
  • Current xxD’s AF system (9 cross-type points, found in 40D, 50D, 60D)
  • T3i metering system (63 zones like 7D and 5DIII)
  • ~5 fps
  • Pentaprism Viewfinder
  • ISO 100-12,800 expandable to 25,600
  • Articulated touchscreen LCD
  • Hybrid AF during video shooting

A partial spec list is below, but for a full list, check out Canon Rumors (they could still change slightly by tomorrow):

Canon EOS Rebel T4i Specs

  • Image sensor size 22.3 x 14.9 mm approx.
  • Approximately 18 million pixels Effective Pixels
  • Can simultaneously record RAW (14-bit) + JPEG Large
  • RAW: Approximately 17.90 megapixels (5184 x 3456)

Autofocus

  • Type of image-registration, phase detection TTL 2
  • Nine cross-type AF points AF points (f/2.8 at the center AF point detects cross-type AF)
  • Focusing brightness range EV-0.5-18 (23 ° C in, ISO 100)
  • AF operates One-Shot AF, AI Servo AF, AI Focus AF

LCD Monitor

  • Monitor size and dots wide, 7.7cm (3.0 inch) (3:2), approximately 1.04 million dots
  • Angle can be adjusted
  • Adjust the brightness manually (step 7)
  • Capacitive sensing touch screen technology

Live View shooting

  • Set Aspect Ratio 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 1:1
  • Hybrid CMOS AF focusing system * (+ tracking, FlexiZone-Multi, FlexiZone-Single), phase difference detection method (quick mode)
  • Manual focus (approximately 5x / 10x magnification possible)

Video recording

  • Variable bitrate MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression
  • MOV video recording format, Linear PCM audio recording format
  • 1920×1080 (Full HD): 30p/25p/24p
  • 1280×720 (HD): 60p/50p
  • 640×480 (SD): 30p/25p
  • * 30p: 29.97 fps, 25p: 25.00 fps, 24p: 23.976 fps, 60p: 59.94 fps, 50p: 50.00 fps
  • File size 1920×1080 (30p/25p/24p): approximately 330 MB / minute
  • 1280×720 (60p/50p): approximately 330 MB / minute
  • 640×480 (30p/25p): Approximately 82.5 MB / minute
  • Manual focus (approximately 5x / 10x magnification possible)

Interface

  • Audio / Video output
  • Digital terminal analog video (NTSC / PAL selectable) / stereo audio output
  • HDMI mini OUT terminal C-type (resolution, auto-switching), CEC-compatible
  • External microphone input terminal - 3.5mm diameter stereo mini-jack
  • Remote Switch RS-60E3 Remote Control for Terminals
  • Remote Controller RC-6 Wireless Remote Control compatible

Battery Life

  • Video recording time approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes at 23 ℃
  • About 1 hour and 20 minutes at 0 ℃
  • (Fully charged Battery Pack LP-E8 is used)

Many have been asking for autofocus in video mode, but up to this point, the technology just hasn't been there to do it reliably. It seems like Canon has finally worked out a passable autofocus in liveview mode -- so for those who really need it -- it should be somewhat usable. The touchscreen is an interesting option, and it will be interesting to see how responsive it will be compared to a smart phone with a touch screen. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, many monitors and companies are moving to touch screens to make the screens bigger without adding more buttons. It also seems like Canon has kept the megapixel count the same, and they are doing what they did with the Mark III -- lower noise for better image quality. I would expect at least a 1-stop improvement for low-light as compared to the cameras that currently use an 18mp sensor: T3i/T2i/60D/7D.

It also seems like there is a headphone jack in addition to the microphone port, but it's tough to tell with the small photos. If there is anything else to be learned, it will happen very late tonight or early tomorrow when the camera is announced.

[via Canon Rumors]

Your Comment

60 Comments

Why should any professional or advanced person give a shit about autofocus again?

June 7, 2012

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john jeffreys

Because sometimes you might actually want to be in the video and most people do not have the skill to operate a camera that doesn't have some auto functions. I take my 7D with me everywhere, it would be nice to be able to hand it to someone else with out getting out of focus video back haha.

June 7, 2012

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It it works correctly and you use it for the right shots. I could actually see it being used effectively for a close-up where your depth of field is shallow and your actor is moving a bit. If it locks on one of the eyes the shot will never be out of focus if it works correctly.

June 7, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Because sometimes you've got to run and gun - no time for manual focusing. (I'm thinking video-journalists or any kind of on-site, on-the-fly handheld work here.)

June 7, 2012

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cultureshot

Highly doubt it could ever focus as well as i or an AC. And the party/social video argument works, but I bring my film camera to parties and stuff, not my DSLR

June 7, 2012

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john jeffreys

What about Steadicam shots or shots where focus is inaccessible? I would much rather try autofocus have to guess and leave it. Most people cannot afford remote / wireless follow focus systems.

I fly a Steadicam Merlin with my T3i, and it's a real pain to have to stop down because I know I can't focus - especially at night when I have to bump up the ISO to 1600 or so.

June 7, 2012

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I own a sony A55 which has autofocus. Its incredible on a steadicam, to get a shot instantly that would require a lot of planning with a traditional rig is good for production. I would be confident of being able to do moves on my own without needing a camera assistant. I think it is more accurate than the majority of DSLR owners could achieve. The sony cant autofocus in video below f3.5. I wonder if there will be this issue on the new canon???

June 7, 2012

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Robert Groves

That's terrible!

You HAVE to have wireless FF (or at least an onboard operator operable focus motor) to do steadicam without an iphone or similar sized chip. The Pilot and those lightweight rigs were fine when people with cheap rigs used 1/3" or 1/2" CCDs...but with giant CMOS sensors, those rigs just don't work anymore. You can overload the weight beyond spec if you have to (and void your warranty), but you need a wireless follow focus.

Don't compromise the image when it comes to focus, or have terrible center punched images in order to attempt to trick an autofocus.

June 11, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

Well... it's a must if the budget is right. But when there is no budget for an assistant and a wireless follow focus, then I'd rather have a few steadicam shots on autofocus than no steadicam shots at all.
You can make a lot of things work pretty well when you know the limitations. If you can always spend as much money as you want on a production then you're lucky, but most of us can't.

June 12, 2012

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Heiko

I understand about having the money or not, Heiko...totally.

But if you don't have the money, don't try to get the shot with a D-SLR. Use a cheaper video camera (a small sensor camera) or, i'm not joking...literally, use an iPhone on the steadicam. It will look way better than a centerpunched and/or out of focus image.

June 12, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

I can see bringing a DSLR out for a night on the town but you bring your film camera to parties? ...lol.

June 7, 2012

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Austin

I assume he means film as in celluloid rather than film as in moving pictures. I know that I often take my Lomo out rather than my dslr, it's point-and-shoot, small and much less indimating than a dslr.

June 7, 2012

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My canon t50 film camera cost me 45 dollars, and I'd much rather break that when i'm fucked up than my 5d.

June 8, 2012

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john jeffreys

That is a short-sighted response. How about event videography where the subject is walking towards the camera. (like a bride down an isle). Autofocus is a blessing in those scenarios.

June 7, 2012

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APU

exactly :)

June 8, 2012

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I make real movies, not event photography cancer

June 8, 2012

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john jeffreys

So, you don't consider event videographers professionals? You asked why professionals would want autofocus. That's the answer. Don't be such a pretentious fool.

June 8, 2012

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Chris

It's not pretentious when you are already at a point where you can evaluate others. Wedding, event, and night club video/photo is a lower form of art than actual cinema. Don't even try to argue that isn't, because you really don't have any valid reasons as to why. Your entire "profession" is just catering to people's bloated sense of vanity and over-entitlement.

June 8, 2012

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john jeffreys

Wow... John Jeffreys... such pretentiousness coming from a comment made on a blog on sub $1,000 DSLR. Really now...

I wish I could continue the snarky tone... but I'm in too much of a reflective mood.

My dad died when I was 19. How wonderful would it be for me to find an old wedding film of him when he married my mother. Or maybe his Senior year play. It may not mean anything to you but my mom still a recording of the last voicemail he left before he died. That CD is worth more to her than any commercial produced "art"

Although I do agree with you that cinema art is more "artsy" - every time I do an "event video" (and I still do them because they pay - mostly school programs) I remind myself that I am capturing a moment for my customers. Yes it doesn't ask of me all my abilities. Yes it's not "artistically fulfilling" - but I am touching my customer's lives in a way that may not be relevant today but sometime in the future.

If you can understand that - maybe you can actually make true art...

June 9, 2012

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Bravo Mr. Hess... A true and well thought out point, of capturing a moment in time. Not for fame or money, but to hold a fleeting point in a persons life. It may not be creative or filled with special affects... but in this day in age it will last longer in their hands then anything made by small minded film makers.

June 9, 2012

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Joseph Nemie

I totally agree with you. Cheers...

June 14, 2012

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Simon

First of all, this camera is made to non professional users who need to shoot for example their children IN FOCUS, so auto focus is a must.

But, at the same time, fast and reliable autofocus saves time when you are shooting events. Shooting events (weeddings, commercial fairs, business meetings, etc) is a large business and autofocus is also a must. There are many things that happen only once in an event and being able to record them in focus is just essential to make a good video for your customer. You can make good videos without autofocus.. yes of course, but having autofocus makes things easir and faster.

I was once sitting at the back of a motorbike, shooting a race at night, following the runners. The image was superb with the people running, the city lights, etc etc... but it was hard to find the right focus with the shallow DOF of this cameras (in my case the Mark II) so to me, autofocus is very welcome.

June 8, 2012

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Wow, for me this is great news.. I´m a videographer/photographer from Norway, worked with film and video for almost 15 years, but have lived in Sao PAulo the last 4 years.. where i shoot making of, commercials and documentaries.. By this time.. i have also stepped over to become a steadicam operator.. For small production, using a T4i in autofocus mode.. would be great on my steadicam.. dont need to rent a wireless followfocus, dont need to hire a focus puller.. so for me.. this is great news.... You have to use it.. for what it´s good for.. i see clarely a great potensial in it..

June 8, 2012

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Jonny

I agree with John Jeffries about autofocus. You can't frame it how you need (unless you have a center punched subject that doesn't ever move out of frame)... Even with a touch screen, you're upsetting the camera just to point to the right place...and you can't control the speed of it...these are all things that weren't ever necessary for camera operators pulling their own focus with cameras designed to be motion picture cameras, not still cameras with free spinning lenses.

One thing I've seen that I *really* like is Nikon's face detection. It a focus assist, which is 100% different than autofocus, but (I believe) it is using some of the same technology.

On images without much contrast (like blonde people with light colored eyebrows)...it's really hard to find focus...and when you're doing doc work, you can't exactly zoom in to check focus during the shot. I've found the Nikon face detection to be awesome for that--it was one of those jobs where they don't have enough lights (they didn't want to rent mine) and I'm wide open at f1.4 on a 50mm. Handheld of course. I would've been screwed without that feature.

June 11, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

Boy am I looking forward to that " center-weighted pyeonggyuncheukgwang"

June 7, 2012

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Mike

"How a single image, image display, image 100 sheets of 10 hawk jump, jump a CAT scan, folder, jump, jump video, still images, jump, jump grade"

CAT SCAN?!

June 7, 2012

1
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What?...

June 7, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I see, those lines have been deleted. Obviously Canon Rumors missed that, too.

June 7, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I think they put a poem in the middle of the spec sheet.

June 7, 2012

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alex

translation errors i assume? haha or the canonrumors blogger was giving us subliminal messages about a future canon cat scan machine

June 8, 2012

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john jeffreys

if you're doing video journalism style stuff and a lot of run-and-gun, this is the wrong camera system for you. That'd be better suited by an EX-3 or similar camera setup.

Autofocus on this camera is to appeal to the high-end consumer, not a serious professional. Though, the entire camera is designated for the high-end consumer level.

June 7, 2012

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pat

Say that to everyone over at DSLR NEWS Shooter dot com

I think DSLR is a wonderful platform for that type of work, Everything I see on there drops my jaw...

I think those guys will eat it up.

June 7, 2012

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Tom

more than anything, i hope this camera could be the one to come close to eliminating the jello wobble effect.

June 7, 2012

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guy

While not a perfect solution for every shot, After Effects CS6 Rolling Shutter Repair is pretty exciting for those that shoot DSLR. I've messed with it some, and I've been impressed. But a camera that eliminated the problem in the first place would obviously be a better solution.

June 7, 2012

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They cant. Its limited by the CMOS sensor. Just dont shoot like a noob to promote rolling shutter.

June 7, 2012

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jon pickles

What is USH? Is that the next generation of UHS?

June 7, 2012

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V.

It was a typo.

June 7, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Hmm, i was kind of hoping for a little more with Canon's first upgrade of the lower end of their video capable dslr's. Hopefully the official spec sheet adds some additional sought after features.

June 7, 2012

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Darius

The (rumored) spec sheet says it has a digic 5+ sensor. So that would give it more like two stops of noise reduction, wouldn't it? Same as the 5DmkIII? I mean, I personally could pass on the full time autofocus (given my kit of mostly manual lenses) but that improvement in noise (and perhaps aliasing and moire?)...that's good stuff. Throw in a headphone jack and I'll buy two.

June 7, 2012

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USH-1 compliant*******

June 7, 2012

1
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ian

UHS** lol double typo

June 7, 2012

1
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ian

Wow, whereas professional B4-mount servo zoom lenses and even fixed lens amateur class video camcorders have been using AUTOFOCUS for like 2 decades, Canon had just figured out how to do this? "Real autofocus," huh? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

I just love the overcranking capability for slow-mo -- all the way up to 30p in 1080 resolution, ha-ha-ha again. Cheaper Sony SLT cameras can easily do 1080p60. What slowpoke cave is Canon living in still?

Other than this questionable actual quality AF, what else is to take note here with this new fish of their? Looks just like the old one. Good try with it, Canon. Almost -- but not quite. Let's hope that they actually will have something different here.

June 7, 2012

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Jorge

You have to remember though, that HDSLR was never intended to be a video camera. They are a stills camera. Perhaps you have to remember that when you go over the specs and have to compare them to VIDEO cameras. In anycase, i am still with you, theres no reason why they cannot have the features that you say, but the Magic Lantern devlopers still CANNOT get reliable high FPS @ 1080p with the old Digic 4's. They have already started on the 5DMKIII, so no doubt they (Magic Lantern) will have some great firmware hack for the Digic 5.

June 7, 2012

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jon pickles

Correct me if I'm wrong, but low light performance is going to be the only REAL difference between this model and the t2i, 60d, 7d, etc... right?

Bitrate, sensor size, 1080p... everything else is pretty much the same, huh?

June 7, 2012

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dv

I have a 550D with Magic Lantern with a bunch of manual focus primes and zooms and its excellent. For run'n'gun though I use a Canon SX230 which films at 1080p/24. The quality is very good and the auto focus rarely lets me down. Check one out.

June 7, 2012

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Rob

Auto-Focus would be good for crane shots (at live events)... :-P

June 7, 2012

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not a word yet on moire and anti-aliasing. thats NOT good. it may have the same problems as their current cameras which would just scream protecting their higher end models... except they will drive everyone out of this market range for just about any other camera.

June 7, 2012

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Digic5 will have much improved processing power to help alieviate moire and aliasing, but it is the aa filter (a phsyical filter that goes over the sensor) that performs AA and moire duties. You can buy 3rd party AA filter for CROP sensors, but they are heavily overpriced.

June 7, 2012

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jon pickles

Does Canon have an allergy to video resolution or something? 60fps, it still only shoots 720p? WTF?!?! Canon still thinks it's 2008. Even the $15K C300 only does half res slow motion. In fact, is there currently any Canon camera that does proper 60fps? The $300 point and shoot Sony that I got for my wife does 1080p 60fps.

I can understand crippling to an extent, but Canon is crippling themselves out of people buying their cameras. I'm just happy that now there are other companies out there like BM and Sony who are actually trying to make a splash.

I was planning on maybe getting the T4i as a inexpensive B-Cam, but now.... I just feel wrong given Canon my money.

June 7, 2012

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Gene Sung

Canon's leadership days are seemingly over. They seem to be cooked well done. Right, go with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Panasonic exchangeable lens digitals & professional video camcorders, Sony SLT Alpha-cams & professional video camcorders, maybe something from JVC, or perhaps the odd-ball Digital Bolex.

June 7, 2012

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Jorge

@ Jorge - You may be right in theory, but in practice Canon DSLRs are still more prevalent and accepted in many markets than most other cameras. I do a ton of freelance video work for small agencies that specifically request Canon DSLRs because they know what they are and understand what they will get back. These aren't video and film people per se; they are marketing and advertising people, but that is what they want. Canon has made a lasting impression with their HDSLR line, and that isn't going to go away quickly.

June 8, 2012

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Video record time? 12mins or 29.99???

June 7, 2012

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Fat 32

June 7, 2012

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jon pickles

Why Autofocus?
Actually this a feature I've been dying for - i do a lot of live event recording where I can't take a chance on missing the ring going on the finger type shots - but I'd rather be doing working making documentaries and shorts such as "Uncle Jack" (youtube) or Caine's Arcade. Autofocus would allow me to use one camera for both worlds, the one I'm in and the one I want to be in. Thank you Canon and thanks for listening. Happy photographing!

June 8, 2012

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Jamie

why would anyone need a shallow dof if they're journalists? imho, this is again just another gimmicky camera. focusing a damn image doesn't require a diploma with 10 years of hands on experience... and no, this isn't the type equipment used for that kind of stuff, BUT if you ARE using it, than you better know damn well how to use it and not call yourself a camera operator by just knowing how to press the record button

June 8, 2012

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ave

If (and it's a big IF) the autofocus works reliably, then we have ourselves something very special.
I don't manually focus to prove to others how capable of a videographer I am. I do it because I have to.
Give me a solid alternative, and it becomes an additional tool in the box.
I imagine pulling focus between the fore/background with the touch of a screen is comparable to sipping an ice cold lemonade while mowing the lawn.
In any case, I'm enthused to test it out.

June 8, 2012

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Let's not forget - this is a T4i... its a consumer HDSLR.

I'm not putting it down, but it wasn't meant for the rigors of professional work - let along professional filmmaking.

But a roaming C-Cam at an event the hands of someone who doesn't have a tone of experience... sounds like progress!

June 9, 2012

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Mr. Joe Marine,

Thank you so much for this wonderful information!
i just want to ask....Can this camera do 1 hour continuous video recording?

Thank you so much.

June 11, 2012

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ibrahim

Ben comment dire... Si ça permet de gagner en place dans l'iPhone pour une technologie plus perfectionnée ou une plus grande batterie, je dis oui tout de suite..

July 27, 2012

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Just found this thread and want to chime in, albeit a year on, the argument remains valid.
As well as working professionally in event and corporate/educational fields, I have been involved in recording my community involvement in Scouting since a teen, now going back (and still being active) some 40+ years. Starting with Reg 8 then Super 8 (inc. anamorphic), progressing to VHS, SVHS, Hi 8 to DV and finally AVCHD and including DSLR's these days. This has resulted in an mazing visual archive in the life of a community spanning several generations including my own now grown up sons.
As I developed my film making skills, any artistry with which I was endowed was put into each and every production and every subsequent cut. The resulting depository of captured emotions and memories is a legacy for future generations and is treasured by everyone who was there, becoming increasingly priceless with the passage of time. The medium is no the message, but the message remains in the memories.
A short Vimeo clip titled appropriately "Looking Back", encapsulates the best moments of our 50th Jubilee anniversary camp held in January of this year. https://vimeo.com/61076071
Yes, it can be thought of as a home movie, but I know that the emotional investment in it's creation represents a lot more to me and participants than being Medium Cool, pun being a deliberate homage to the Great Haskell Wexler who exemplified the philosophy of the autuer approach to lensmanship.

thanks for the rant.

August 1, 2013

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