Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i Review - Digital Photography School

Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i Review

There was a lot of excitement recently as Canon launched its EOS 5D Mark III, which answered many ‘wants’ that arose from the previous Mark II model and, while not replacing the earlier camera, the newcomer still kept the excitement going.

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Similarly, I feel, with the Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i: evolution not revolution!

The review camera appeared to be spanking new and not grubbed up by a previous reviewer’s greasy mitts. Sorry fellers! But thanks!

The camera was dressed to kill with the f3.5/18-135mm IS STM lens: a useful zoom range.

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Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i Features

Having had a slew of point and shoot digicams through my hands recently, I was at first surprised at how immediately user-friendly the 650D appeared.

Mode dial.jpg

The mode dial carried all the usual settings — auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority plus manual; then there are positions for intelligent and creative auto actions as well as direct commands for landscape, close up, sports etc on the same dial …plus handheld HDR shooting. As you can see, the camera is operable for many situations without any need to access the finder menu.

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The rear of the camera has a few more buttons, taking you to AF settings, aperture compensation, replay, live view etc. There’s not a forest of controls to bewilder the newcomer so the camera could be quickly grabbed and deployed without a lot of fuss or preparation. There is of course an extensive menu system to open the doors to more sophisticated picture making.

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Handling? The camera sits well in the hand and is not a bulky monster. A comparison: the EOS 5D Mark III is roughly one fifths larger overall and weighs more than 50 per cent more. Quite a difference!

It’s only when you know that the body construction employs stainless steel and polycarbonate resin with glass fibre in its makeup that you realise how the weight saving was achieved. Having said that, when the 18-135mm lens was strapped on, the camera became quite noticeably forward-heavy.

The camera can pull 18 megapixels of still image, so that means the maximum image size of 5184×3456 pixels can lead to a 41x29cm print — or a mess of image cropping! Don’t knock it!

Movies? 1920×1080 Full HD is on board, captured in MPEG4 and written to an SD card of at least Class 6 rating. A 4GB card will hold 11 minutes of full res video; the camera can record a video sequence of 29 minutes and 59 seconds maximum length at a lower res.

In movie mode you can adjust AF by a gentle squeeze on the shutter button or the camera’s system will do it for you; in reality, it is possibly better to leave focus as it is. No, you can’t shoot stills while shooting video.

I normally shoot video with a DSLR by holding the camera at waist level, tilting the vari-angle finder upwards to view. You may notice some shots in my test are off level. Why? To tilt the LCD upwards it has to be swung off to the side; this was enough to give me a mistaken impression of level. Watch out for the same effect!

The touch screen vari-angle LCD screen will please many as it swings 175 degrees laterally and rotates 180 degrees in a vertical arc. With the touch screen, you can touch the face of a person and the camera will remain focused on them while they remain in the picture. Touch focus can also be used in video mode, however the effects of continuous AF will only be achieved with the use of an STM lens. The STM lenses offer another benefit in video shooting with reduced noise when AF is operating.

The AF system uses a nine point cross-type array for focusing, along with a dual-cross point in the centre allows for faster, precise focusing when using f/2.8 lenses. Two different focusing systems — phase detection and contrast detection — have been used to to deliver rapid focusing performance, a big help in stills shooting and, even more noticeably, in movie capture.

If you need continuous shooting the maximum rate is a useful 5fps.

Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i ISO Tests

Canon EOS 650D ISO 100.JPG

Canon EOS 650D ISO 400.JPG

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Canon EOS 650D ISO 12800.JPG

Only when the ISO figure reaches 6400 do you see some deterioration in the image in the form of increased noise but no loss of sharpness. At ISO 12800 the setting could suit some subjects but not all.

Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i Verdict

Quality: top level, accurate colour, excellent sharpness.

Why you’d buy the 650D/T4i: easy to use; reasonable price; powerful camera with excellent video capture (but see below).

Why you wouldn’t: stabiliser not very effective in video shooting with similar bumps to those found while walking with the EOS 5D Mark III.

A very price effective camera. Well set up, easy to use.

Canon EOS 650D Specifications

Image Sensor: 18 million effective pixels.
Metering: multi zone, centre-weighted, spot, partial.
Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-S.
Exposure Modes: Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Effective Sensor Size: 22.3×14.9mm CMOS.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 1.6x.
Shutter Speed (stills): 30 to 1/4000 second and Bulb; X-sync at 1/200 sec.
Continuous Shooting: 5 fps.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): Stills: 5184×3456 to 480×480.
Movies: 1920×1080 (30p/25p/24p), 1280×720 (60p/50p), 640×480 (30p/25p).
Viewfinder: Optical plus 7.6cm LCD screen (1,040.000 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, MPEG4.
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 25,600.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, EyeFi, mic, remote.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 133x100x79 WHDmm.
Weight: 575 g (inc battery).
Price: Get a price on the Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i

Summary
Reviewer
Barrie Smith
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Canon EOS 650D/Rebel T4i
Author Rating
4

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Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • http://www.pingable.org/ Simon

    Hi Barrie, thanks for the review. I just purchased this camera this week and I am very excited playing around with it and exploring the options. It’s my first DSLR camera, so the quality of pictures are awesome to me. I purchased off eBay, and it came with 3 lenses, the standard lens 18-135mm, a 50mm and a 250mm zoom lens, but none are STM…I am keen to take plenty of videos with it….do you think one of the STM lenses would be a good purchase…. or is it more of an extravagance?

  • Juan

    Thanks for the review. However, you did not compare it to the EOS 600D. At http://www.dpreview.com some readers found the 650D to deliver the same or worse IQ than its predecessor (though some suggest, and maybe they’re right, that the sample images at dpreview should be reshot because they appeared to be out of focus), suggesting no improvement, no change overall, or, worse, a step back in sensor technology. Could you comment on this, provided you have used a 600D? I’d really appreciate your opinion, cause the video features and the new focus implementation could lead me to update from my 450D. Thanks again.

  • http://www.livingdisney.com Elizabeth

    Hello, Nice review. I have the Rebel T3i and I love it. If this is improved than it must be great. My camera is very nice for the price range. Thanks!

    http://www.livingdisney.com/2012/07/photographs-of-week-79-715-2012.html

  • Barrie Smith

    As I did not review the 600D and 650D side by side I cannot give a realistic, comparative assessment of the pair.

  • Kennath

    In movie mode you can adjust AF by a gentle squeeze on the shutter button or the camera’s system will do it for you; in reality, it is possibly better to leave focus as it is. No, you can’t shoot stills while shooting video.

    Read more: http://digital-photography-school.com/canon-eos-650drebel-t4i-review#ixzz217scypwr

    Are you sure that you cannot take still whilst shooting video!
    I fail to agree!!

  • http://www.christianbodden.co.uk Christian

    One thing I would like to see in reviews like this is ISO tests in dark conditions – I understand the need to show a subject which can be shot across the rannge, but I am not going to use ISO 12500 to shoot a picture of an orange – I would use it out in the dark, or at a concert, and it it is there we need to see how it performs…

  • http://www.stumblepod.com Stumblepod

    I am a little disappointed about the camera battery life. But I get the touch screen and AF came at a price. I wrote a small piece on how to increase battery life. For those curious check url :

    http://www.stumblepod.com/2012/07/increase-battery-life-on-canon-t4i-650d.html

  • Barrie Smith

    To Christian

    the problem in shooting ISO tests in dark conditions is setting up a consistent test environment for each camera.

  • Barrie Smith

    Just to clear up the matter of shooting stills while recording video:

    From the manual:

    If you take a still while shooting video the movie will record a one second still moment.

    The movie will resume when the Live Video display resumes.

    So, more accurately, you can shoot stills while shooting video, but the latter will be interrupted.

  • ccting

    ” you can shoot stills while shooting video”

    THis is a great feature!

  • Jim

    If I have the choice between t4i and 7D, what should I get? For me, the most important thing is image quality for still.

  • http://breathtakingimages.wordpress.com/ images by walter

    Thanks for posting this great review, I currently own the Canon EOS 650D and I really enjoy it.

  • Cheryl

    Can someone guide me step by step on how to do raw shoot on my T4i?

Some older comments

  • Cheryl

    June 12, 2013 11:03 pm

    Can someone guide me step by step on how to do raw shoot on my T4i?

  • images by walter

    May 28, 2013 10:26 am

    Thanks for posting this great review, I currently own the Canon EOS 650D and I really enjoy it.

  • Jim

    August 7, 2012 01:53 pm

    If I have the choice between t4i and 7D, what should I get? For me, the most important thing is image quality for still.

  • ccting

    August 2, 2012 05:24 pm

    " you can shoot stills while shooting video"

    THis is a great feature!

  • Barrie Smith

    July 22, 2012 10:01 am

    Just to clear up the matter of shooting stills while recording video:

    From the manual:

    If you take a still while shooting video the movie will record a one second still moment.

    The movie will resume when the Live Video display resumes.

    So, more accurately, you can shoot stills while shooting video, but the latter will be interrupted.

  • Barrie Smith

    July 22, 2012 09:40 am

    To Christian

    the problem in shooting ISO tests in dark conditions is setting up a consistent test environment for each camera.

  • Stumblepod

    July 21, 2012 12:41 am

    I am a little disappointed about the camera battery life. But I get the touch screen and AF came at a price. I wrote a small piece on how to increase battery life. For those curious check url :

    http://www.stumblepod.com/2012/07/increase-battery-life-on-canon-t4i-650d.html

  • Christian

    July 20, 2012 06:16 pm

    One thing I would like to see in reviews like this is ISO tests in dark conditions - I understand the need to show a subject which can be shot across the rannge, but I am not going to use ISO 12500 to shoot a picture of an orange - I would use it out in the dark, or at a concert, and it it is there we need to see how it performs...

  • Kennath

    July 20, 2012 12:33 pm

    In movie mode you can adjust AF by a gentle squeeze on the shutter button or the camera’s system will do it for you; in reality, it is possibly better to leave focus as it is. No, you can’t shoot stills while shooting video.

    Read more: http://digital-photography-school.com/canon-eos-650drebel-t4i-review#ixzz217scypwr

    Are you sure that you cannot take still whilst shooting video!
    I fail to agree!!

  • Barrie Smith

    July 20, 2012 07:28 am

    As I did not review the 600D and 650D side by side I cannot give a realistic, comparative assessment of the pair.

  • Elizabeth

    July 19, 2012 03:25 pm

    Hello, Nice review. I have the Rebel T3i and I love it. If this is improved than it must be great. My camera is very nice for the price range. Thanks!

    http://www.livingdisney.com/2012/07/photographs-of-week-79-715-2012.html

  • Juan

    July 19, 2012 01:54 pm

    Thanks for the review. However, you did not compare it to the EOS 600D. At www.dpreview.com some readers found the 650D to deliver the same or worse IQ than its predecessor (though some suggest, and maybe they're right, that the sample images at dpreview should be reshot because they appeared to be out of focus), suggesting no improvement, no change overall, or, worse, a step back in sensor technology. Could you comment on this, provided you have used a 600D? I'd really appreciate your opinion, cause the video features and the new focus implementation could lead me to update from my 450D. Thanks again.

  • Simon

    July 19, 2012 12:08 pm

    Hi Barrie, thanks for the review. I just purchased this camera this week and I am very excited playing around with it and exploring the options. It's my first DSLR camera, so the quality of pictures are awesome to me. I purchased off eBay, and it came with 3 lenses, the standard lens 18-135mm, a 50mm and a 250mm zoom lens, but none are STM...I am keen to take plenty of videos with it....do you think one of the STM lenses would be a good purchase.... or is it more of an extravagance?

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