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Friday, June 8, 2012

The new Canon Rebel EOS T4i/650D camera

Canon USA today has officially announced the new Canon Rebel EOS T4i/650D camera. The specifications are exactly what I have reported yesterday. It will have the 18 MP APS-C Digic V processor with the 3.0 inch Touch Screen LCD monitor, ISO 100 - 12,800, expandable to 25,600, 9-point all Cross-Type AF system, 5 fps burst mode, full HD movie mode with continuous AF and compatibility with all EF and EF-S lenses.

Canon claims the AF system is all new and revolutionary. It includes a nine-point all cross-type sensor array and achieves faster focus when shooting stills and video in Live View mode. The EOS Rebel T4i/650D includes Canon's new Movie Servo AF for recording videos. When used with Canon's EF and EF-S lenses, the camera can provide smooth and quite continuous AF while in record mode. This enables the subject to be in focus while the background can be blurred, like other more expensive video cameras.

The vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor has over 1.0 million dot resolution. It has multi-touch capabilities and limited touch-menu controls right on the screen.  The camera is available for sale at the end of June for $850 for the body and $950 bundled with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens kit and $1,200 when bundled with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

As with any new camera introduction, the marketing department is pushed into overdrive with their hyperbole and spin but in my opinion, the only feature worth exploring is the claim of continuous AF while panning the camera, in record or Live View mode.  This is one thing that would be very useful and bears a thorough investigation.  Besides that, there is nothing to be excited about the nine-point AF system or the ISO 25,600 with expansion. That is the minimum AF system to be expected on an entry level DSLR and the maximum useful ISO will probably be between 800-1000, at best. Anything over that will produce 'unacceptable' noise, at least to me. That is nothing to despair about. Even my Canon 1D MK IV produces 'unacceptable' ISO noise over 3200 when I try to photograph moving subjects. That's why I am very anxious to receive my new Canon 1D-X and try out their claim of superior ISO performance over the MK IV.

The Touch-Screen menus and limited controls are to be expected in today's Apple iPhone-centric world. That means in addition to having our nose prints on the back of the LCD screen, now we will also have our greasy finger prints as well. I will put the EOS Rebel T4i through a rigorous, real world photo shoot once it is available and have an analysis posted on my Blog.

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