June 8, 2012

The Canon T4i is Available for Pre-Order: Vari-Angle Touch Screen and Video Autofocus for $850

Canon has now officially announced the Canon Rebel T4i (or 650d as it will be known outside of the U.S.). If you've read the other posts before the official announcement and were hoping for something additional, you may be waiting for the next Canon camera, as it looks like the earlier specs were accurate. The big features in this update to the T3i are autofocus during video recording, a vari-angle touch screen lcd, and improved low-light sensitivity. Canon is also introducing two new lenses for the T4i, an 18-135mm kit lens and a 40mm pancake, both designed to be silent during video recording.

Here is a little bit from their press release about the new features in the camera:

When used with Canon’s new EF and EF-S STM lenses, the camera can provide smooth and quiet continuous AF while recording video. When shooting video with Canon’s STM lenses, AF also remains silent, helping ensure you only capture the sound of the scene being recorded. The EOS Rebel T4i features a built-in stereo microphone, a first for the Rebel line, that includes an attenuator function to reduce audio distortion in extra loud situations.

This bit about the autofocus is interesting, and could open up a new world for shooting video with Canon DSLRs (assuming it works better than the touch focus AF for the RED Epic):

Using the touch panel, parents can select their child on the LCD screen and the camera will remain focused on that child while they stay in-frame, ensuring sharp focus in crowds and group shots. The new AF system enables Touch Focus for shooting photos and movies in Live View. To make capturing photos even easier, a Touch Shutter function can also be enabled, whereby selecting a subject on the LCD screen, the camera will instantly take a photo, once focus is locked.

While autofocus during video and touch screens are nothing revolutionary, they are perfectly logical evolutionary steps in Canon's line. For a camera that will retail for under $1,000 ($850, actually), it is a great option for someone buying their first DSLR. If you've got a Canon T2i, T3i, or 60D, it's not likely you're going to see much of an improvement in video mode, with the exception of better noise performance in low-light. This camera should be 1-2 stops better than those previous 18 megapixel cameras thanks to Canon's new Digic 5 processor and better noise reduction algorithms. If low-light performance is something you really need, then this is an upgrade that won't break your wallet.

The T4i will have two kit options, an 18-55mm IS lens without silent AF for $950, or the new 18-135mm STM lens designed with silent AF for $1200. By itself the 18-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 will retail for $550 and the new EF 40mm f/2.8 pancake will come in at $200 (it will cover full frame 35mm unlike the other two lenses). All of these should be available sometime this month, and you can pre-order if you'd like using the links below. All of them are available separately to pre-order except the 18-135mm STM.

The ability to lock on a face with AF during video could be very interesting, but as many professionals will say, autofocus will never be as fast or as good as an assistant camera person with a good follow focus. That may be true for many situations, but if the autofocus is implemented well, it could surprise even some seasoned professionals. If that's not enough to warrant an upgrade, the improved low-light performance may convince you. While this camera won't beat the low-light king 5D Mark III, the 6400 ISO on this camera should be a lot more usable than it was on the previous versions. It will also be interesting to see if the video autofocus makes its way into any of the full frame cameras down the line since the new 40mm covers that frame size.

Links:

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32 Comments

not too excited about this one. I think i would go with the 60D at this price point.

June 8, 2012

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Very nice as a default recommendation to anyone getting started with DSLR video. If you don't need clean HD video monitoring or weather sealing, it's much cheaper than a 7D. Probably even better once Magic Lantern works on it, though.

June 8, 2012

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neither too excited about this!

why not improve the audio? why not improve moire/aliasing?
canon exactly knows what their costumers want in a camera at this pricepoint.

i'll stick with my 550d.

June 8, 2012

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cody

I have the sony A55 and the autofocus is amazing. It only works at f3.5 or above. Be interesting to see if this camera can focus below that. In manual mode on the sony the camera tells you when you are in focus in a much easier to view way than focus peaking. I hope they have something similar on this camera.

Although the Magic Lantern canons can get great results, you need lots of other equipment to ensure accurate focus. To complement the sony A55, i bought a slider and a steadicam and use the autofocus a lot. This allows much more creative control and the ability to concentrate on composition far more than if I was manually focusing. When I look at my footage it is 99% perfect focus with a couple of errors at most.

I think most canon owners will shoot this camera down mainly because they own primes without autofocus capability. Maybe new canon users who buy this camera will have more usable footage and might buy quality zoom lenses and use creative zoom effects which can look very professional.

June 8, 2012

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Robert Groves

I wonder what F. stop the autofocus will work. And on what kind of mm. As most people know the focal area at 3.5 is smaller at 50mm than at 20mm. Wich would make it harder for the the autofocus to keep up.
On the other hand this is great for those of us using steadicam a lot. Have been having focus trouble when shooting at 28mm and 50mm when moving from close to distant subjects.
So I am somewhat excited about it!

June 8, 2012

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Andreas Lange

So -

AF during recording
New ISO settings
Touch screen

Really worth it? Meh.

June 8, 2012

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Tyler

Wait for the GH3.

June 8, 2012

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moebius22

I wonder if Panasonic will still cripple the HDMI on that camera. They should just forget the low end video line and make the GH series as fully featured as possible. Let us record it and get nice, clean 4:2:2 8-bit at whatever codec we want.

June 8, 2012

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

Once again, it look like Canon didn't listen to the people that are trying to get professional results out of consumer cameras, but instead surveyed the masses that want to use auto-everything.

What Canon (and to a lesser extent, Panasonic) fail to realize is that people that know cameras well are the opinion leaders for the masses--their friend, family, co-workers, blog readers, etc.--and it actually makes good marketing sense to give your biggest fans what they are begging for.

I understand crippling the $800 models to sell pro-features in the $2000-$3000 models, but you had damned well better make the high-end model have everything (fulltime clean video out, maybe 1080p 60fps).

Unfortunately, this release feels like many features were strategically withheld, rather than being eliminate for a cost reduction to keep a low price point to benefit us.

The good news? T2i and T3i prices on the used market are probably gonna drop (fingers crossed).

Built-in stereo mics? Really? Was that on anyone's list?

However, I will say that better low-light/high-ISO performance is always a worthy goal for each generation of camera. I applaud that, especially since it is not something that is easy to show on a spec sheet.

June 8, 2012

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David James

Panasonic, like all the big Corporations, are cynical opportunists.

They tried so hard to lock the firmware in the last production run of the GH1. I would not be surprised if they try again to block Ptool...then it would be back to the old glorious days of "give the monkeys a few peanuts" by simply by changing the factory firmware presets on new models.

The discrepancy between what PanaSonyCanon engineers can do and what their Marketing Departments let then do must be incredible!

June 11, 2012

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Skeptikal

Panasonic actually welcomed the hacking this time around, and if they'd wanted to block new cameras from being hacked they could have, but they've chosen not to because it probably helps them in the long run. What I think is happening is that the GH2 is making them plenty of money on a volume basis, so they aren't as worried about the high-end market being cannibalized by the GH2.

June 11, 2012

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

Panasonic AG-HPX250 gives me 4:2:2 chroma, 10-bit color, HDMI and HD-SDI outputs, XLR audio inputs for 4-channels of audio recordings, a 22x range servo zoom that is F1.9, and so on. Why people are always ganging up against Panasonic, I haven't a clue.

June 14, 2012

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Jorge

That's a small sensor camera, hardly a comparison. That's a great camera if you're lighting for interviews or you've got a depth of field adapter but the 1/3" sensor is not something I'd want to use for narrative work. That's the reason people gang up on on these companies - why couldn't Panasonic have made the AF100 record 10-bit 4:2:2 internally? Cost could have been a factor, but that's the reason people get upset.

June 14, 2012

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

These small adds give nothing more at T2i/550D... and then why they should add stuff that it's on 5D? so if nobody will buy that and just go with the cheapest... so if you want more get a Blackmagic or stay with your T2i with magic lantern that works just fine!

June 8, 2012

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So is it absolutely confirmed that there is no improvement in video IQ other than high ISO NR? The crude downrezzing is still causing aliasing, moire, and poor practical resolution? The HDMI out is still low-res and is the same as 600D even with Digic5? Did they keep the digital zoom video feature of the 600D, and does it have awful pixel-level artifacts still?

June 8, 2012

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Peter

I have to think whatever is less than pleasant about the camera they will attempt to leave out of the press release. So unless they state otherwise somewhere, better noise might be the only major improvement. It's possible that the HDMI will at least be 720p, but we won't know until people show off their reviews or start getting the camera.

June 8, 2012

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

Are journalists/bloggers/reviewers (ones who understand what professionals want to know) able to confront Canon at these press events and ask those questions? Or does Canon insulate itself from such discomfort?

Thank you for your continuing coverage this site is one of the best resources. I await detailed reviews, this could be a decent reach camera far cheaper than the BMD if Canon was willing and able to make it one.

June 8, 2012

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Peter

Canon did not have a press event for this camera that I know of since it is not a flagship camera.

June 8, 2012

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

From a photography perspective, I'd much prefer the Pentax K30. The 650D looks like it's going to go for £700 body only in the UK according to amazon whereas the K30 is going for £600 and consider the specs of the K30 over the 650D:

Built in image stabilisation
Weather sealing
100% Viewfinder
6 fps
11 point AF with 9 being cross types

June 8, 2012

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canon should've made it a 35mm 1.8

June 8, 2012

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its called a 35 f/2 and its been on sale since the 90s

June 8, 2012

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john jeffreys

10 bucks says one of the upcoming blog posts is going to be about the new IOS app "Shotlister", given that is already hit other popular blogs... just watch.

http://www.shotlister.com/-/Shot_Lister_-_The_only_profesional_shot_list...

June 8, 2012

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Chet

Does anyone know if the HDMI signal drops to SD while recording?

June 8, 2012

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Travis

No mention of IPB or all-I, and bitrate numbers that match the old codec, so maybe aliasing/moire are still there too... and if that is the case the biggest difference between this camera and the not-young-anymore 550D (T2i) is PRICE

June 8, 2012

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IPB and ALL-I compression are professional features, and they are available on professional cameras. Not Rebels.

June 8, 2012

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john jeffreys

Is this confirmed? I'm considering buying this camera....

June 12, 2012

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Laurel

God.... that would be almost hilarious if this new Rebel still had the moire and aliasing after they fixed it in the 5D3. With Canon, I would not put it past them since they are so cheap and stingy with their up grades. Look at Sony. The FS100 came out 1 year ago, and the FS 700 is going to be 3 times as good, and that's in one year. Sony is making huge strides, while canon releases the 5D2 4 years ago, and their cameras have just the bare basics upgrade. It's even crazier that many people still defend their super lame business practices.

June 8, 2012

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Gene Sung

The first problem I have just seen is: not usable iso 100 200 400 800 1600 3200 6400 12800 http://youtu.be/Uk2s_wSFwRY

June 8, 2012

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Thats bad... but maybe you can somehow expand it? I dont know...

June 12, 2012

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Laurel

Best iso for video http://wiegaertnerfilms.com/tutorials/the-best-iso-settings-for-canon-vi...
You need Magic Lantern in the T2i, T3i, and now in the T4i to get the best iso.

June 14, 2012

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Canon's competitors had these "features" (autofocus, tiltable LCD screen) for many, many years. As usual, Canon is bringing too little too late to the table, and as usual, for too much money.

June 14, 2012

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Jorge

Interesting comments, especially to someone that is considering starting in DSLR video. The specs and features sound good to me, but I'm not experienced with DSLR video. I have only shot with prosumer camcorders. The price point is also a plus for me as I would like to enter this field at the $1200 range if possible. I know most of you probably have cameras in this range or higher, thus the comments are based on your experience with what you have, and what you would like to see. I do like the autofocus features and the option of the packaged lens 18-135, however I did watch some sample videos and how they were made, and there was a LOT more used than just these cameras. I would welcome a "REAL" review once the camera is on the market, not just opinion based on features and specs

June 14, 2012

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Bill R