Update 3/22/2013: The Canon T5i has been announced, with minor upgrades. The T4i with 18-135mm STM is currently a better value and the best price is now  B&H, bundled deal with 55-250 is still possible.  For serious photographers T5i does not offer any improvements.   T5i vs T4i and 18-55 STM Lens info.

The T4i with 18-55 lens is available at B&H or Amazon. If you want to shoot easy video with the T4i buy with 18-135 for at Amazon or B&H.  The bundled deal saves $130 over the cost of the same package at Costco, repeat the Costco T4i deal is not as good as the  B&H & Amazon deals linked above.

Ask me if you have any questions. Seriously, if you have a question shoot me an email or use the little chat widget. 

Canon T4i with 40mm STM lens

Canon T4i Bundle Options

T4i body only  Click to buy at Amazon

T4i with 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens  Click to buy at Amazon

T4i with 18-135mm EF-S IS STM Lens  Click to buy at Amazon  (Best Value!)

T4i with 18-135 & discounted 55-250  Click to buy at Amazon (NEW!)

There is also a deal with the ProMark 9000 Printer – this is an excellent printer but probably more than most folks need but the deals means it is basically free and worth investigating if you need a printer. – Canon and Printer Bundles

4th option – Buy the body only and pickup the 40mm STM lens – Perfect for video interviews and an all-around great lens for only $149.

Do not buy the bundled deals that come with SD card and mini tripod and bag – almost always those bits are not worth owning and you will save money and frustration by buying just what you need – see below for recommended accessories. Be wary of places that sell for significantly less – what are their return policies? Amazon allows you to return no re-stock fee and no questions asked for 30 days!

Scroll past the next section for a little Q&A to help you with which model you should purchase.

Other Canon T4i Accessories

My Recommended T4i Kit and Accessories

Canon T4i Recommended Bundle:

Which Canon T4i Bundle is Right for You!

Do you currently own any Canon lenses?

Just the 18-55 that came with my earlier Canon
You may want to consider Spending the extra $100 for the T4i with 18-55, allows you to sell the T3i for a little more.  Unless you are a parent excited to video your child playing soccer, in a play etc – if this sounds like you, consider upgrading to the 18-135 IS STM which will let you shoot video that autofocuses silently, the 18-55 lens and other non-STM lenses will autofocus during video but you will likely hear the errrr errr sounds as the lens focuses during video.

I own several lenses –
Probably should just get the body, if you are really excited about silent video, pick up the affordable and svelte 40mm STM 

I don’t own any lenses –
If you are excited about the silent video features and you don’t plan to learn focusing manual during video, which if filming moving children (sports or otherwise) is very difficult you should consider the T4i with 18-135, My Full review of the Canon T4i with 18 – 135 if you don’t plan to do a whole lot of video or controlled video shots where you can manually focus -this is how the professionals do it – then the 18-55 kit lens will be just fine.

Budding videographer –
If you are serious about using an HD DSLR for video you need to learn manual focus, no professional that I know of relies on Autofocus, especially from a DSLR – even with the improvements Canon has made with its hybrid CMOS sensor the focus can sometimes hunt(not find focus quickly) and when used with any lenses other than the two current STM lenses -the 40mm and the 18-135, will make noise while focusing that will be picked up by the on board mic.  These statements are not meant to dissuade you from buying a T4i – the camera is an excellent value and with the oodles of Canon lenses available can give you a range of style and clarity that is unmatched in this price range, in fact you really need to spend several thousand dollars to get something similar in the camcorder world.

But. . .

If you are a parent mostly interested in capturing video of your child, playing sports, on stage or just running around the backyard you either need to pickup at least one of the STM lenses so you don’t need to worry about learning to manually focus OR consider another camera like the Panasonic GF5 or the Sony A65.

My Recommended T4i Kit and Accessories

Canon T4i Recommended Bundle:

Canon T4i Accessories with explanation –

For a complete list of recommended Canon lenses

A memory card – The T4i does not come with a memory card. No worries, they are now quite affordable- I am going to narrow down the bazillion options for you.  Get either the SanDisk Extreme 16GB SDHC or Transcend 16 GB SDHC  Don’t worry about ALL the other models, brands etc.  The SanDisk can be slightly more reliable but the possibility that you will run into issues with either is very, very small.  UPDATE 6-19-12: Wirecutter just did a test and review of all the popular SD cards and found that the SanDisk I linked above is simply the best.  Remember to always format your cards after removing images- keeps them clean and avoids potential issues down the road.

Another option for memory – you can pick up an Eye-fi Card (step by step directions for using an Eye-Fi card with Canon T4i)- for $40 you now have a card that can wireless upload your photos to your Computer, Facebook, your phone or iPad.  The T4i has eye-fi support and the result is an excellent and affordable way to add wireless capabilities to your phone. Even when you are away from Wifi, if you have a smartphone or tablet, you can beam the images directly to your device and then share online.  The iPhone camera is pretty sweet but it is no match for the Canon sensor and the Eye-fi card allows you to share so easily.

Unless you already own the nifty-fifty I think you should consider the new 40mm, that is a great focal length on a crop sensor camera.  My tests show the lens to be quite sharp and at $149 a nice value. (buy from Amazon)

I like camera bags that don’t broadcast to the world you are carrying around an expensive camera and the little Vanguard Sydney (My video review of the Vanguard) looks like a pretty non-nondescript messenger bag. It will nicely hold a T4i with kit lens and a spare lens or flash plus little pockets for the spare memory cards and other doodads.  Another bag that is a bit more camera bag like but excellent for the 18-135 T4i kit is the Case Logic Zoom Holster, Holds the camera with room for spare memory and battery, offers a great deal of protection.

Without a bag you want a good strap and the boring old Canon neck strap is not the best way to use your camera- You should consider a Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap (Black) Every time I see the price I think “I paid $60 for this strap?!?!” and then I put it on and use it and realize I would be willing to pay a good bit more.  The strap stays on your shoulder and you slide the camera up and down the length.  Additionally it never gets in the way of your viewfinder, I can’t tell you how many times a traditional strap gets in my way as I bring the camera up to my eye.

I am generally not a fan of filters, they just add unnecessary glass between your and your subject, cheap UV filters often degrade your image quality- you just spent nearly a thousand dollars on a camera, do you want to stick a $27 piece of glass on there that will lower the image quality?  One filter I am a huge fan of is a circular polarizer. It depends on the size of your lens (diameter) the size polarizer you need.  Let me know what lens you have and I would be happy to share which polarizer is right for you.

Looking for a tripod that won’t break the bank?  I love the budget minded Dolica 62″ I usually strongly recommend folks stay far away from budget but this Dolica Tripod is solid and has a tons of features that you don’t get in any other tripod until you spend a good bit more.  I am calling it the best tripod under $50!! – Full Video Review

Do you have questions?  Send me an email or leave a comment.

 

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Hi,
    First of all, thank you for taking the time to post all this great information. I’ve decided that I want to invest in the T4i for video purpose and I am grateful that you posted some suggestions of add ons.

    In addition to what you have already suggest, can you provide any input to other video related accessories for the T4i? For instance, is there an XLR audio adapter that can be purchased? I am also interested in an affordable Matte Box as well. Lastly, any lower budget stabilizer rigs you could suggest? I appreciate any info you can provide.

    • Hi Scott – You are very welcome, glad I could help. The T4i will make a serious little video machine.

      XLR to 1/8 Stereo http://goo.gl/AUOru – For my own audio work I feed a Zoom H4n into my camera http://goo.gl/cDSXN a bit cheaper our the shotgun mics like the http://goo.gl/10uD8
      Matte Box And Stabilizers – it is hard to buy one without the other, most MBs mount to the rails of a stabilizer. http://goo.gl/zLd20 I am not entirely sure they are critical but I also don’t do a ton of video. I reached out to a friend that runs a wedding videography company and will report back his recommendations.

  2. Toby,
    I am making my first DLSR purchase . I have decided to puchase the Canon t4i. I now am trying to decide which lens to start out with.Two questions. I like the 18-135 stm lens for evryday use based on the reviews, but should I consider the 18-135 usm lens? Secondly for low light situations which lens should I start out with on a limited budget. Thank you in advance for your insight, the amount of data is overwhelming and very conflicting on lens.

    • H Gary. There are two version of the 18-135 – STM and non-STM which is not actually USM. In my opinion the 18-135 STM that comes with the T4i Is significantly better than the other, older 18-135. For low light you could start with the 50 f/1.8 or the 40 f/2.8 STM – both of these are prime lenses, no zooming but the benefits are nice quality for cheap and wide open apertures for letting in lots of light. The 50 is a bit cheaper but I do like the focal length of the 40 on the T4i just a bit better plus you get the STM or video. Don’t hesitate to ask more questions – the lens choices can be over whelming. If you plan to buy from Amazon I would appreciate it if you could click through my links above before purchase. It helps me keep this site and service free. Thanks!

  3. Hi Toby,

    Can you please share your thoughts and suggest me my first DSLR?
    I am looking at Canon T4i and Nikon D5200…

    interested in still as well as videos

    Thanks in advance,
    ~Waqas

    • Hi Waqas – I have a post that compares the Nikon D5200 and the Canon t4i. The D5200 is not out yet but I expect it to be excellent and likely to produce low light images that are slightly better than the T4i. In day to day shots the two cameras should be very similar and it comes down to – do you like the idea of a touchscreen and slightly better live view auto focus that the T4i offers over the D5200s image quality. I am happy to answer more specific questions and I will be posting more detailed comparisons of the two soon. The D5200 is expected to be available in the US sometime in January or early February.

      • Thanks Toby. I have to get something by mid December at the latest, so I guess T4i it is… :)
        the whole setup is costing around $1100 which I think maybe expensive for my first DSLR.

        btw, what are your thoughts on the D5100 vs T3i if the overall budget is ~$700-800?

        • Waqas, The T3i and the D5100 are very close- I give the T3i a slight edge mostly in the room it gives a photographer to grow, having wireless flash control is sweet plus the in-body focus motor so you can Autofocus with all of Canon’s primes makes it nice not to have to worry about which lenses it will AF with and the Nikon D5100 does not have that motor but in the last few years they have released just about all the equivalent primes that will still AF with the D5100, D3200 etc. On Amazon the T3i with 18-55 is down to $599 which is a pretty sweet deal. This leaves some room in your budget for a nice prime lens – certainly the nifty-fifty would be a worth while addition.

          I hope that helps and feel free to ask followup questions.

  4. Hi Toby,
    Thanks for the great information you posted. I didn’t see any recommendations (but perhaps overlooked) with respect to flash attachments. I recently bought the T4i and am getting a fair amount of red eye even with that feature enabled (I frequently photograph dogs). The Canon flashes are fairly pricey and I wonder if they truly outweigh the alternatives. Do you have any suggestions on flash attachments? Perhaps different levels depending on need and experience?

    Thanks for your help,
    Ann

  5. Hey Tolby, I’m looking to get my first SLR and considering the T4i. I love the idea of the touch screen and the improved autofocus for video that my wife could pick up and not need a class to use. That being said I am torn between what bundle I should get: the kit 18-55 and the 55-250 IS II or the 18-135 STM. I can see using the video for horse and kids’ events, but I also would like to venture into wildlife and landscape photography.

    Thanks,
    Eric

    • Hi Eric, I strongly recommend the 18-135 – if you(and your wife) want to be able to shoot easy video you need the 18-135 STM. The STM allows for silent and smooth auto-focus during video. If you try to auto focus during video with the 18-55 you get noise and a herky jerky motion. You can still add the 55-250 for $150 off and it’s not great for video but it will get you closer to the action. Happy to answer followup questions and if you buy from Amazon please use my links above.

      Thanks!

  6. Hi, Toby
    Just like others I’d like to buy my first DSLR. I guess Canon T4i great one, however, I have a question to ask you before purchasing one. Should I buy T3i with better lenses or T4i with bundles offered? Thank you so much.

    Jasmine

    • Hi Jasmine,

      The T4i(body only) is now the same price as the T3i and the savings just aren’t big enough for me to recommend getting the T3i. So I say get the T4i with 18-55 or 18-135 if you plan on doing video and want easy autofocus. Shoot for awhile and then come back and chat about the next lenses you could consider. But for starting the 18-55 or 18-35 are fine lenses to learn with and use on a daily basis.

  7. Hi Toby – thanks for all the information on your site! I am going to be buying the t4i with the 18-135 and adding the 55-250 (can’t pass up at effectively less than $100 currently with the $150 discount factored in) and the 40 pancake ($149). I am also looking at getting the Case Logic SLRC-205 sling bag and the polarizer for the 18-135. This is my first SLR since my Minolta SRT-101 went on the shelf in the 80’s and look at it as a nice compliment to my Canon Elph 300HS which is so convenient but we have outgrown in terms of image quality. I already have a 32 GB SanDisk Ultra memory card and a 4 GB Connect X2 Eye-Fi card that I plan to use with it.

    Our planned use is for casual but varied photos – everything from vacation (flowers, waterfalls, sunsets, etc) to family and friends (and their kids), to some indoor photos and videos of people my wife needs to do for her work (don’t need to be professional quality but preferably better than the Elph can do). I would normally wait on the additional lenses, but the deal on the 55-250 seems too good to pass up and the 40mm seems suited for the indoor stuff with the relatively lower aperture and is currently 25% off.

    Do you have comments or suggestions? Do I need a little lens bag for the 40mm if I want to carry it and the 55-250 in the extra lens compartment of the SLRC-250, and if so do you have a recommendation for that?

    Also, for you to get credit on Amazon do I need to use your links above when putting items in the cart, or just to navigate to Amazon via your link when I go to checkout?

    Thanks!

    • Marc,

      Sorry for the delay in responding- I was traveling. Looks like you were on the right track and I agree with everything you said 😉 you do not need an extra bag for the 40mm, with it’s lens caps on you can just thrown that in the little side pocket of the bag. I do agree that the discount on the 55-250 is to good to pass up, the code to get the discount now seems to be M8PSHMER and you will likely be able to sell the lens for more than you paid if you find you are not using it at all. I hope you have liked my facebook page and don’t hesitate to ask questions once you get your camera.

      And I get credit when you start with my links before you add things to your cart, I appreciate you asking. The cookies stick around for a bit so if you have clicked one of my Amazon links early in the process you are probably good.

      • Thanks Toby – no problem, I saw that you were traveling and wouldn’t be back until the 9th. I used the links to add to the cart, so hopefully you got credit. The shipment from Amazon arrived yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to do more yet than just unbox and charge the battery, but I’m looking forward to diving in and will be reviewing your videos on all the settings!

  8. Toby – I put my order in on Amazon last night (added a spare battery to the above and still came in under $1200) and used your link to get to Amazon so hopefully you will get compensated.

    One thing to note though – the t4i direct from Amazon is now on back order (saying 1-3 months), so the links take you to 3rd parties vendors selling through Amazon that have it in stock but at a higher price and without the deal on the 55-250. I was still able to get the Amazon deal using the More Buying Choices box on the page and then added the 55-250 and entered the discount code GNWNIQRV to get the $150 savings at checkout. Now I am hoping the early February to mid March delivery timeframe is overly conservative!

  9. Just a follow-up on my earlier comment – Amazon has the t4i back in stock and mine shipped today! Looks like the price is still holding steady ($859 with the 18-135).

  10. I just received my T4i this week based on your recommendation and now I’m looking at a bag to buy. I like the one recommended above, but that seems to be only for the camera and one attached lens. What about if you end up with multiple lenses that you need to carry around? Any bag you would recommend in that scenario?

    • Hi Shane – I just finished a week of traveling the Sydney 18 never left my side, I love it. When using it with the t4i I can get one extra lens in there plus the camera and attached lens, but it is tight. They make a 22 that is larger – Sydney 22. I’d probably buy the used one. There are lots of other bags to choose from – backpack style, sling style. . . I like Kata 3N1-10 3-In-1 Sling Backpack or Lowepro SlingShot 202 AW Want more suggestions?

      • Thanks! I did buy the SLR Zoom Bag for now, but if I need to upgrade in the future I really like that Lowepro SlingShot 202 AW. So thank you for the recommendation.

  11. Toby – I’m really excited, because my T4i is being delivered from Amazon today. Thanks very much for all the valuable information you made available here and on YouTube to assist in the decision-making. I went for the 18-135 STM kit and I added the 55-250mm zoom (awesome deal for a Canon zoom with IS; around $83 once the $150 savings kicks in), as well as the 40mm “pancake” lens. I threw in the Dolica tripod (I got that yesterday and it seems very sturdy and a solid bargain), as well as your recommended camera bag and polarizer. I clicked through your Amazon links for everything, and I hope you get credit.

    The hardest part was deciding which lenses to buy. Your videos are so helpful that it occurred to me it might be a cool idea if you had a video showing what results might be expected from the Canon 50mm f/1.4, the 50mm 1.8 (nifty fifty), the 40mm 2.8, and the Sigma 30mm. I’ve read interesting discussions here and elsewhere about each lens, but viewers might find it valuable to see just how much wider the 30mm or 40mm views are on a 1.6 crop sensor compared to the 50mm options, and get your input on sharpness, bokeh, etc. for each lens. Maybe you have already done something like this; if so, sorry I missed it. It didn’t seem I could go wrong in the end as all these lenses looked to be excellent values, but I still wonder how they vary in actual usage and exactly how the differences show up in the images.

    Thanks again, Toby. Awesome site, great value, and much appreciated. – Keith

    • keith,

      I am excited for you – you are starting out with a sweet setup. I have done a few comparisons of the 50 and 40 focal length but a complete and semi scientific test of those lenses would be a good idea. I will add it to my ever growing list :)

      Don’t hesitate to ask questions as you get your hands on everything.

      Best,
      Tobias

  12. Toby- Just purchased the T4i w/ the 18-135 STM lense. I’m going to be shooting alot of video, primarliy indoors for my wifes speaking engagements. 3 questions- Can you recommend a light that isn’t too expensive that will do a good job? Shooting in auto a problem? Recommended memory card?
    Just found your site…thanks in advance for your help!
    Dan

  13. Hi Toby,

    I’m very new to photography and really appreciate your advice. Your polarizer advice here was for the STM lenses. For a new photographer who doesn’t want to spend a fortune, but wants decent quality, what do you think about the Hoya 58mm Circular Polarizer Glass Filter – G Series? This would be for my 18-55 and 55-250 IS II lenses. Looking to spend $30 or less. Also, do you advise using a lens hood? If so, what is the purpose and do you have any suggestions for these lenses? Thanks!

  14. Hi Toby,

    Came across your website, as I was looking to buy a DSLR… A BIG THANK YOU, for providing great wealth of information. After browsing many of the articles, I’ve added these things to my shopping cart (following your link above), and wondering if you can help me with couple of questions..
    1 – Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 18-135mm EF-S IS STM Lens
    2 – Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
    3- Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens
    + SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling backpack + Extra battery

    I’ve been a Point & Shoot type camera user for a long time, and I feel like it’s time to upgrade myself to Digital SLR world.. We are a family of 4 (2 daughters), will be mainly using this camera to shoot short videos, vacation pictures, dance recitals, orchestra sessions, family events etc.,

    Am I doing the right thing by going with 18-135 lens rather than 18-55 ?

    I’m getting 55-250 lens mainly to take advantage of promotional offer. I’m sure I will use this lens, as I become more familiar and learn this technology.

    Since I prefer not to carry lots of lens and a big camera around my shoulder, I’m thinking of pancake lens for walk-along.. Am I on the right track with this pancake lens ?

    Thanks,
    Sam.

    • Sam, You are on the right track and then some – the setup you are considering is excellent. The 18-135 is a convenient lens and really makes the T4i a joy to use for photo and especially video. The 40mm is so tiny it makes the camera almost jacket-pocketable:) and having a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 is great in lower light situations. The only downside of the 18-135 is at the zoom end you end up at f/5.6 so for some dance recitals et al that are not well lit you may find yourself at higher ISOs – not bad and we can certainly chat and I can share some solutions if that is often going to be the case.

      Now I have lots more video on how to use your T4i that you want to start watching :)

  15. Hi Toby,
    I just found your site today as I was researching canon dslr cameras. Thank you for all of the great information. I need your advice on purchasing my first DSLR. I would like to primarily use my camera for taking photos of my two-year old daughter–portrait, active shots, etc., to document her childhood. What lens do you recommend if I were to purchase the T4i? 18–55 or 18-135? I read your notes above regarding the video, but aside from the benefits for video on the 18-135 what do you recommend for the way I wish to use my camera? Would you recommend the T4i over the SL1? Thank you!

    • Hi Elaine,

      I do think the Canon T4i with 18-135 STM is likely the best option for you. The SL1 is nice but with a slightly slower burst rate you may miss some of those cute faces and cute moments. You also sacrifice the articulating screen, which I find very nice. Sl1 is lighter and smaller but once it has a lens on it those weight and size savings are mostly gone. The 18-135 STM is optically very nice and I don’t see you needing more zoom until your daughter is on the swim team and you want to get very close. Let me know if you have any questions.

  16. Toby – Thanks again for your awesome videos and “cut to the chase” approach. Based upon your summaries, I”m leaning towards the T4i with the 18-135 STM lens, but I’m only seeing the prices going up and the deals you mention ($799) no longer to be found. Would you recommend waiting to see if inventory comes online or do you think this is end-of-the-line? If so, would you recommend pulling the trigger @ $900 or going with a T3i and getting a nicer lens? I’m looking for a camera for both photography and video that will last me many years, but i’m a little concerned that I’m giving up some video quality by going T3i. Thanks in advance for your recommendations! Will use your links when I buy.

    • Hi Brian,

      You have a good grasp of the situation. You can go with the cheaper T3i but you do sacrifice ease of video and general use. Also – by the time you add in a lens that is better than the 18-135 STM that comes with the T4i you are right back up in price. The $799 deals are gone and I doubt they will return. The T5i has replaced the T4i but doesn’t offer enough improvements that I recommend it over the T4i, as long as the T4i stays at the $899 price. In short – get the T4i with 18-135 STM, it should suit your needs well, it does a great job of being a video and photo machine.

      I am happy to answer more questions.

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