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.
- Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM $199
- Canon Rebel T4i Body Only $849
- Canon Rebel T4i w/18-55mm IS $949
- Canon Rebel T4i w/18-135mm IS STM $1199