The T5i has been released. It performs identically in low light to the T4i. There are other slight differences between the T4i and T5i.   

Ask me if you have any questions. Seriously, if you have a question shoot me a message on my Facebook Page.

Back of the Canon T4i vs T3i - Very slight stylistic differences
Back of the Canon T4i vs T3i – Very slight stylistic differences and ONE big difference

What the T4i has that the T3i doesn’t

  • Continuous and silent* Auto focus during video thanks to the Hybrid CMOS sensor, T3i is not able to continuously auto focus during video.
  • Stereo Microphone, T3i had Mono – both have mic port
  • Touchscreen – Very good, makes camera a bit more user friendly, especially for photographers new to DSLRS
  • Higher Iso, can now hit 25,600 thanks to the Digic 5 processor, T3i had a Digic 4
  • Digic 5 Processor also allows in camera HDR
  • Digic 5 Processor also allows 5 Frames Per Second burst, T3i was 3.7 FPS
  • Better Focus with 9 cross type AF points, T3i has one cross-type(center) and 8 single axis points.

* Silent Af only possible with the two new STM lenses, the 40mm and the 18-135

Canon T3i Body only: $599.99
Body+18-55 IS II Kit: $599.99
Body+18-135 IS Kit: $769.99
Canon T4i Body only: $599.99
Body +18-55mm IS II: $699.99
Body +18-135mm IS STM: $799 (Bundled deal w/ 55-250)

With the recent price drops the T4i with 18-135 really becomes the best option for most folks.

Should you upgrade? If you are a video shooter or a parent looking to have one device capture all and do it more easily than previous models I say upgrade. If you are primarily a still shooter the T4i would be a nice but certainly not necessary upgrade. Or if you don’t already own Canon lenses maybe you should consider other options.

Update: Review of the 18-135 STM lens – Canon’s new best walk-around lens?

Q: I don’t understand the difference between the auto focus during video of the T3i and the T4i- can you explain this simply?

A: Most DSLRS have a mirror that bounces the light coming into the camera up to the viewfinder and the big brains of the camera(responsible for focusing), when you go to take a photo the camera focuses(very quickly) and then the mirror flips up(this usually is louder than the actual shutter) and the light hits the sensor and you have a photo.   In live view or while filming (basically the same as live view) the mirror is flipped up and stays up, this blocks the big brains from being part of the focusing and as a result the camera focuses much more slowly as it uses the littler brain connected to the sensor and can only do it when you ask the sensor to focus, it is not capable of continuous AF.  You also have the option of letting the mirror flip down for a second, refocus, and continue filming. This does cut off light to the sensor for a moment and interrupts the video.    Canon has made changes to the sensor, it is now a hybrid CMOS sensor that basically has a bigger brain and is capable of continuously auto focusing while filming without flipping down the mirror or being very slow about it. – MORE Q&A at Canon T4i – Everything you want to know

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Leave it all below or find me on twitter @camerarec, Facebook or email

I have answered nearly 400 reader questions in the last few months, most wonder if they should get the T3i or the T4i, If you want your own answer send me an email – include what you like to shoot, what gear you have now and I will be happy to share my thoughts.


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 Shadow Riders - Now I kinda wish I had photoshopped cowboy hat shadows for each of us! From family adventures in Saguaro National Park, Arizona
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  1. Hi, no idea if anyone is gonna see this, but i have a sort of dilemna that I was hoping someone could help me with! I love photography and filming but I have a very weak understanding of cameras, especially DSLR’s and eos canon cameras. I really want a top-of-the-line camera, but whenever I compare different models I get lost in all the camera-terminology! (for example things like frames per second, CMOS, ISOS, etc etc)

    Could you possibly direct me to a website/video/post that could help me? I was thinking of getting a powershot camera but someone told me that the t4i and t3i are significantly better. I feel as if after watching powershot sx40 clips, the quality is comparable to the iphone 4s front camera. I REALLY want a camera that takes excellent videos that are FAR superior to the iphone 4s camera. I recently downloaded final cut pro x because I want to make music videos and movies with my friends.

    Sorry if i was unclear with anything! Please help if possible!

    • I responded with a more detailed email to Josh but I thought it would be worthwhile to summarize here –

      I think I can summarize this with the following statement “You want a camera that takes REALLY nice video”

      Yes the Canon T4i will take gorgeous video and you have loads of flexibility by switching lenses – this is a very good thing. What you don’t get is reliable autofocus with any of the current DSLRS so you would need to learn to focus manually – this isn’t necessarily as difficult as it sounds but it really depends on how you setup your shots and what your lighting situation is, it is NOT a camera that you can just whip out to easily capture a moment – though it is possible once you learn some tricks.

      You are right – those powershot sensors are not that much bigger than the iPhone and give comparable quality. Another option that is better – kinda of inbetween is something like the Panasonic GF3 Excellent video and it does autofocus better.

      Something else you want to consider is sound – the T4i and G3 have stereo mics but if you are serious about your music videos and movies with friends you will need to buy an external audio capture device like

  2. Great videos and reference pages! I am looking to upgrade my photography skills from camera phone to a DSLR. I intend to learn the jargon and settings, probably with a combo of books and night classes. What would be a good starter camera set-up for around $1000.00.

    My intention is to shoot the Utah landscapes and National Parks, and anything else that catches my eye. The ultimate goal would be create prints for friends and family up to 6 x 36 for stitched landscapes. I am already somewhat versed in Corel and Photoshop, so don’t anticipate any post photo issues.

    Just looking for advice on what to buy.

    • Thanks Rob! I think the touchscreen of the T4i makes it a bit more friendly for beginners but is certainly not essential. However the T4i + 18-135 is an excellent value. The 18-135 STM lens is excellent and covers a very nice range. You didn’t mention anything about video so you could consider the T3i, As I just told another commenter -it really is an excellent value if you don’t mind giving up a few features of the T4i and leaves you some money to consider other lenses. Utah and the southwest. . WOW, gorgeous country. We should talk more – I have ideas where you can start your learning process and how to tackle the whole travel photography thing 🙂


  3. Hi, Im going to buy my first DSLR and I’m mainly going to be shooting wildlife and scenic pictures. Also will take it when I go home for family pictures and everything. So the main difference I got out of the T4I and T3I is that the 4i is better for videos. So if I’m going to just mainly take pictures the T3I would be the way to go I assume.

  4. Hi Toby,
    I appreciated your video comparison. I have been reviewing the 60d, T4i and T3i. I was wondering about the ‘gimic’? of the touch screen, as well as the quality of the lenses in the kits. I friend also suggested a 55mm is the key/main lens to have.
    I have a film Rebel that has now been sitting in my closet for way too many years, and a couple of lenses (28-100?) and 100-300. I like Canon, and would like to continue using those lenses if possible. I took a few classes using that camera years ago, but am ready to go digital. I have 3 young children that will be my main focus, and want to get a camera that will carry us through these years and into activities/sports (video). I also enjoy shooting nature/wildlife (well, I guess the kids cover that too!)
    Price is something of a factor, but I don’t want it to be the main deciding factor. Suggestions? Thank you so much!


    • Hi Abby- I too thought the touchscreen was going to be more gimmick than useful and found that in fact it is quite useful and for folks new to DSLRS makes the use and operation of the camera much more user friendly. The 18-55 kit lens that comes with the one bundle is OK – it is a fine lens to start with, a few years ago the kit lenses were pretty poor but the latest are improved. The 18-135 STM lens is excellent and when paired with the T4i makes a lovely combination and I think an excellent value. Your friend meant the 50mm prime lens, also called a nifty-fifty. It is a nice lens to have – allows you to really explore the world of photography and shooting at very low f-stops. I wouldn’t call it the main lens to have because it is limiting, no zoom and when indoors it can be a little tight, especially if you wanted to take a group shot.

      T4i with 18-135 is now selling at 1128

      Does that work for your budget? You could hold off on getting the 50mm mentioned above – the 18-135 is really a much improved lens over the 18-55 kit. happy to answer more questions.

  5. Hello Toby,
    I have always loved photography and am now really getting into it. I am thinking of buy a nice camera for a starter and not sure which way to go. I currently own a small kodak 6.2 mp camera. I would love to have a nice canon but not sure where to start. I would really like photographying nature and people. Could you please point me in the right direction? Also not wanting to spend to much!


    • Hi Crystal – two important questions. What is “not much” and how big a camera do you want to carry around? I am happy to provide some thoughts. If you wanted to stay in the realm of P&S the Canon S100 is an EXCELLENT P&S – very small but takes great photos and has a very nice user interface. If you want something more we could chat about DSLRs like the Canon t3i or t4i. Let me know.

      • I would like something more than just a p&s camera. Would like not to break the bank either. Just would like to have a real nice camera that could trade in and that would be a good start. I have been looking at the dslr camears. Just don’t Know were to start!


  6. Thanks for the straight forward and easy-to-understand video. I’m moving from the Canon F-1 film genre to DSLR’s. Which means I’m old. I used a Nikon F2 back in the Air Force. I’m looking between a full frame camera and the T4i. I do appreciate your video. Keep up the great work.

    • Jim,

      Thanks for the comment. You have a couple of full frame options – the most affordable being the 5D Mark II which is a lovely lovely camera. . unless you are photographing high speed action! You could even buy used to save some money. I am happy to answer any questions you might have. The T4i is excellent and quite user friendly but is not going to be able to compete with the image quality coming out of a 5D, really depends on what you are looking to achieve.

  7. I plan on using it a lot for filming skate boarding, which would be better to catch the flips with out a blur in shutter speed. Also which one would have the best video quality?

  8. I’ve narrowed my search down to a D60 or the T4i. I’m leaning toward the D60. What are your thoughts between the two? Thanks again.

    • I have a post comparing the 60D vs the T4i I think since I have published that post I lean a bit more T4i, for most people the t4i is a better purchase but there are a few that the 60D does make sense for. Tell me a bit more about how you shoot and what you like to shoot and I can make a recommendation.

  9. Your site is super helpful! I’m so glad I found it. I write a bit for those new to dslr photography on my site and I’ll be sure to mention you.

    I shoot on a T3i with a 50mm prime but am wanting to take more video of my kids. Based on your review, I think I should upgrade. My question is this- I didn’t get the kit lens with my t3i because I heard that kit lenses are poor quality. You seem to recommend this kit lens, though- so if I upgrade, should I go ahead and get the kit? And if I tried to shoot video with 50mm (which is all kinds of frustrating, by the way), I won’t get automatic zoom… right?

    • Hi Sarah – you have some lovely photos(and kids). The 18-135 Kit yes, it is significantly better than the standard kit lens and provides for silent and continuous AF during video. But I am not super impressed with the continuous AF, slow enough to keep your littlest one in focus but anyone moving faster than a toddler is challenging for the little focus brain. What did you find frustrating about shooting with the 50mm? On a crop sensor camera like the T3i the 50 is a little long. Meaning a bit too zoomed it to be useful in all situations, though it is a lovely lens and a great value. I assume this is the 50 f/1.8? I wonder if you would be better staying with the T3i and adding a nice lens like the Sigma 30 f/1.4 – this lens offer full time manual focus, lovely shallow depth of field and would be an easier lens to do some video with. I’d also be happy to show you my automatic and then manual method of shooting videos. One last thought that may or may not be helpful, T4i does have a nice stereo mic. I’d like to chat more with you about this and see if we can figure the best solution for you.

  10. I’m looking for a Canon camera that will take excellent portraits and also photo’s in stage low light environments. What do you reccommend? thanks for your help!

    • Any of the Canon cameras currently for sale i.e T3i, T4i will provide lovely photos. What is more important in answering your question is the lens(es) you will pair with your camera. I would probably go with the T3i to save a bit of money and spend the savings on a lens or two that will give you excellent low light performance. A few options – For portraits the 85 f/1.8 is excellent. That will also work for some stage photography but you might want to go a little wider and get the 50 f/1.8 or the Sigma 30 f/1.4 which is an excellent lens to pair with the Canon and performs beautifully in low light, because of the large (f/1.4) maximum aperture. So I just gave you lots to digest, feel free to ask followup questions.

  11. Your video was a wonderful find, thank you for making it. I am going to be buying my first DSLR camera and have narrowed my search to cannon and specifically the T3ia and T4i. My goal will be to take portrait, landscape, and people in action photos. I do not care about the video feature as I have a video camera. My goal is to start a small buiness in the next year or two.

    • Judith, I think you would be fine with the Canon T3i, the only reason you might consider the T4i is action photos. T4i has a slightly faster burst rate that can make it a little easier to capture. If you want to start in the photography business you need to start thinking about lenses beyond the kit lens. See my reply to Teri(just a few minutes ago) for some lens recommendations that are excellent for portrait photography. The kit lens will work just fine for landscape. Action photos – well you want a good zoom lens that will get you close to the action. I really like the 70-300 IS USM . Happy to answer more questions.

  12. Hi Toby, So I am a college student in Southern California and I wanted to see which camera would best fit my needs. I recently gained the position for historian for both my fraternity and my club and each require me to take extensive pictures of people. I’m a rookie but I have a sony dslr alpha 200 and as great as it is, it doesn’t take the highest quality of pictures maybe because I don’t have the right lens and I also want to take videos. So I guess my main objectives would a camera that can take pictures at the moment action kind of thing, good quality, can take pictures at night, affordable, and has good video quality. My goal for historian is being able to capture awesome moments and memories with my colleges with high quality. Thank you

    • Hi Jenny, I keep coming back to the T4i with 18-135 lens as the camera I recommend to most folks. The T3i is a great deal right now but as soon as you add a good lens that rivals the cost of the 18-135 you are almost back up to the same price as the t4i + 18-135 and I feel like you should just go ahead and spend the extra. You get a stereo mic which is great for movies and the touch screen makes the camera a bit more user friendly for beginners. If you are going to primarily photography and only occasionally video you could get the T3i and add an external flash which will allow you to take great photos of people- I have a how-to video coming soon on bounce flash technique for people.

  13. Hi Toby,
    I was shopping around for a camera to take pictures of jeweleries, fashion accessories, and in the near future: model shots, for my shop. I will be using these pictures for web, posters, catalogs…
    I just purchased the T3i because I thought it would be a great starter camera. I was wondering if I should consider the T4i (it is now on special at $700 CAN) But is it really worth getting the T4i for what I’m going to do with it? Or would you recommend something better for higher quality shots? I don’t mind spending a bit more either.
    What package do you recommend for accessories & model pictures? (I know I need to buy flash/umbrellas when I’m going to be taking pictures of the models )
    *I’m a newbie with cameras, just starting to learn the basics and settings*

    • Stick with the T3i. The T4i offers a few more features but none worth the hassle or the loss of $ switch over. You should get a nice macro lens like the Canon 60 or the 100 – The 100 is fantastic lens, so sharp. There is a non-L version for about 1/2 the price which is good too – just not quite AS good 🙂

      The T3i can communicate with off camera flashes – if you pick up a 580EX and umbrella. You will be in good shape. Note that the T3i communicates optically which if you are outside the studio can be problematic.

      I’d be happy to chat about this more especially when you want to start talking about studio setups.

  14. I am brand new to the DSLR party. I have long borrowed a friends 5D and figured it was time to just get my own. I want it mainly for photos but I do enjoy shooting short films on occasion and will be shooting quite a few music videos for some local groups. Which one of these Canon deals is best for me?

    A Canon Rebel T4i with a EF 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens for $687
    A Canon Rebel T3i with 18-55mm IS II & 55-250mm IS II Lenses, 16GB SDHC Card and a Lowepro camera bag for $600

    • Hi Michael, sorry for the delayed response – I am traveling and not checking email as often as usual! Which Canon is best for you. . . your case is a tough one. Primarily a still photographer I often lean T3i but I’d likely spend the savings on lenses other than the 18-55 and the 55-250, neither of those lenses is exciting – just gets the job done and when you thrown in the mix of shooting video. . .those lenses aren’t great and the T4i is a bit better at handling video but I wouldn’t want JUST the 40mm. Do you need to stay under $700? Do you have a way to capture audio for the music videos? What do you spend time photographing? If you can answer that back I may be able to provide a bit more direction.

  15. Considering the purchase of a T3i vs T4i:

    For primarily still photography, how big a difference do the extra cross-type AF sensors make, and does that difference warrant spending the extra money? Most of the reviews I’ve seen mention this as a big deal, but never get around to talking about the impact on peformance.

    I have also read recently that the T4i actually underperforms the T3i in terms of photo quality (in terms of lines and jargon I only somewhat understand); is there a noticeable difference in practice? It might have been the PCMag review/lab test article, I don’t quite remember…

    • It really depends on how you use the camera – I almost always use the center focus point, choosing to select what I am focusing on as opposed to the camera deciding. In that case those two center points are identical in their abilities. But if you do let the camera choose focus the increased number of more accurate points can make a difference. Does it translate into a real-world differences? In low light shooting the T4i does perform a bit better but the real-world difference is pretty slight. The other difference of course is the touchscreen, not just for changing settings but review and pinch to zoom is nice – certainly doesn’t make someone a better photographer but it is a nice feature.

      In day to day shots I don’t think ANYONE can tell the difference between these two cameras. In my shots I saw no noticeable differences.

  16. Toby – just wanted to say thanks for your video comparing the pros/cons of both the t3i and the t4i. I have a t3i that I use at the office but I think I’m going to buy the t4i with the 18-235mm lens for personal use. Your video helped me a lot.

  17. i found 2 deals for canon, one on t3i and other on t4i.
    Canon EOS Rebel T3i Digital Camera with 18-55mm IS II & 55-250mm IS II Lenses and PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Printer Kit for $600 after $400 rebate

    Canon EOS Digital Rebel T4i 18MP SLR Camera (Body) + EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake Lens + Pixma Pro9000 Printer + Photoshop & Premiere Elements 10 $687 after $400 rebate +Free Shipping

    what is the EF40 lens ?

    • The 40mm is a pancake lens and a prime lens. It is a great little lens but if you are not used to shooting with primes (lenses that do not zoom) and you don’t plan tor have the budget to add new lenses soon you will likely find it limiting. So for you I vote the T3i deal. Be warned that the Pro9000 printer is awesome but huge and takes up a full desk space. You can sell it but it has been around for a few years and has been bundled with lots of cameras so the resale value is pretty low. You found these at B&H? Please use my link for B&H Purchases. Thanks.

  18. I am brand new to quality cameras DSLR. I am going to buy a camera but I am not sure if it will be a T3I or a T4I. I will be taking pics of action (motorcycle racing) scenes and still shots of friends. how is the battery life on both these cameras. any help would be a bless because I am torn. The cost between the two, weighs in a little. Is the touch screen that much easier to use.
    thank you

    • Hi Kirk,

      I lean toward the T4i for you – the slightly faster burst rate and the increased, higher-accuracy focus points will make a difference in photographing higher speed action – like motorcycle racing. Battery life between the two is very similar – they both use the same battery. And I honestly didn’t think I would like the touchscreen all that much and now find myself wishing that all the cameras I used had that feature, it is a very quick way to access settings and features that are traditionally buried beneath a pile of button presses. Hope that helps. Happy to answer further questions. If you plan to buy from Amazon I would appreciate it if you used my link. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the advice the T4I was the way i leaning and your advice pushed me over the fence towards the T4I.
      Kirk Harris

  19. Thanks so much for the video on the t3i vs the t4i — it was very helpful to me. I’m upgrading from the t1i and have decided on the t3i because video quality isn’t terribly important to me. My question now is: has the quality of the kit lens changed since the t1i? If there isn’t much discernible difference between them, I’ll go ahead with the body only option. But if they’ve made significant upgrades, I might go ahead and purchase with the 18-55 kit lens.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Melissa- The 18-55 kit lens has improved but not by any large amount. I think you should buy body only, maybe even consider refurbished and put the savings toward a nicer lens. Happy to chat about lens options depending on what you shoot with now.

      • Thanks for the advice. I just went ahead and ordered the body only (using your link). I use the kit lens a lot more than I’d like to just for simplicity’s sake. I do have a 70-300 lens I use on nature trips and safaris — and a 10-22 that I use for shots of my kids. Any advice on a good walk around lens that’s not too expensive would be great.

        Thanks again for your help!

        • Melissa, Always appreciate folks taking time to use my links. I have a post on “walk-around” lenses but it is quite tricky to write. What one person consideres a good walk-around lens might be very unappealing to another. Hope that helps and feel free to ask questions about specific lenses you may be considering.

  20. Hi Toby,

    I film videos for my beauty/fashion channel on YouTube, and for the past 2 years have been using my Sony HandyCam camcorder. I’m looking into investing in a rebel as I’ve seen other YouTuber’s amazing video quality with their Rebels (usually the t3i as the t4i is so new). I am 100% new to DSLR cameras, and so I don’t know any tech stuff about how to actually work the camera, but I’m a fast learner. I’ve heard that the t4i, although has the autofocus feature, is quite noisy unless you get the special lens. But are you really limited to that one lens? Will is still be noisy if you use other lenses say from other companies? I do a lot of videos where I’m constantly focusing from me to products I’m showing and back to me, so it’s obvious the autofocus would be super helpful. I’m wondering you would even do it with the t3i, just constantly refocus manually? Anyway, I guess I just wanted your opinion on what I should look into, what you suggest, and also would you reccomend any camcorders over the rebels? I really just want exceptional video quaity! Another quick tidbit is that I do use softboxes but a lot of the time my room is pretty dark to start out with so I’d need a camera that does well with low light/color balance/white balance. Okay that was a novel… looking forward to your response!

    • Hi Alzie – that was a bit of a novel but I love it, the more detail I have the better a recommendation I can provide. So the good news is DSLRS like the T3i and the T4i are excellent in lower light and can provide some really nice quality. With the right lenses you can do shallow depth of field too – bringing the attention to you and softening/blurring the background. The bad news is the focus isn’t so speedy and not nearly as fast as a camcorder and you are right, unless the T4i is paired with the new STM lenses either the 18-135 STM or the 40mm f/2.8 STM, the focusing is noisy. Truthfully the 40 even makes a little bit of noise. Now I do make my videos using DSLRS but I sit a bit further away and I am not usually holding up products for close up – when I do I usually shoot that separtely and it looks like you do that sometimes? I watched a few of your videos. You have done a good job with the lighting, that is so important! A good example of a shots that would be trickier are in your Florida Haul video – every time you hold something up to the camera and it is in focus almost instantly – the T4i would be slower so you would need to edit those in as separate shots or just be a bit more patient. Personally I would still go for the DSLR – the quality of the video is just so nice. Pair it with the 40mm set at a decent aperture and you have a fairly portable camera capable of excellent video. With a little practice and patience you can be turning out some very high quality videos in no time.

      • Hi Toby,

        Thank you so much for your reply! I think that I’m definitely set on the t4i. Another question, my dad bought me a Nikon COOLPIX P500 for my birthday 2 years ago, and I’ve used it literally twice. Do you know where/how I can sell this or trade it in towards the t4i?

        • Alzie- great, I am glad that was helpful. If you plan to buy the T4i from Amazon I’d love for you to use my link. For selling the Coolpix I would try Amazon too, on the P500page there is a link for trade in though that is a pitiful amount of money so don’t do that unless you are desperate – better is click the Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon down below the trade in and it is just as easy as eBay without all the dude’s asking if you take Western Union and other scammers.

  21. hi Toby,

    I have taken an interest in photography and am an amateur. My main use would be to catch my kids and dogs in action, as well as still shots. this would be my first DSLR and I want to do it right . I have been more interested in the t4i because of the speed and the packages are great right now. I saw your video, but was wondering if the 18-55 and the zoom lens would be a good choice, or just go with the 18-135mm STM? Also, should I just go with the t3i? I am taking a class on photography in the spring. Also, have you shopped at B&H photo? I am looking at this package and can get the zoom lens for $63. I would really appreciate your input!

    • Hi Lynn, I think you are right to pick the T4i – there are only a few differences between the two cameras but if capturing kids and dogs on the move the increased number of higher accuracy focus points and the faster burst rate can make a difference between catching the action and only getting a butt or tail in the frame 😉 I really like the 18-135 and feel it is an improvement over the just the kit lens. If you feel strongly that you need the extra reach you can certainly go for the bundle deal. I have shopped B&H, B&H, Adorama and Amazon are all fine and reputable stores. I am not quite sure I see the deal you mention – I do think it is similar to Amazon where you can pick up the Camera, 18-55, Free 16GB SD Card for $799. Add the bag (lowepro) B&H is selling and you still come out saving $60. You can also bundle in the 55-250 there if you’d like for about $70 bucks. I am happy to chat about this more.

  22. I currently have an Rebel EOS. I used to just use it at the race track and used the 75-300 lens because I was far away from everything. I currently have a job at a university and I am now taking pictures in a gymnasium. My 18-55 isn’t enough to get the pictures I want at the other end of the floor. I am currently looking at the t3i and t4i, but I don’t know which way to go. I hate the lights in the gym and have to slow down the camera to get the light, but the pictures are not the quality I have grown accustomed to with the natural light with the cars and the tracks. Is there one of the cameras you would support over the other for my purposes.
    I would also like to find a new bag because the one that came with the bundle I have is pretty much only big enough for the body, two lenses, mono-pod (strapped to the bottom), charger and paperwork. I am looking for something that will comfortably hold at least three lenses and maybe a spare battery.

    • Hi Lucas, Both cameras perform the same in low light so no clear choice there. The T4i does offer slightly faster burst rate and a greater number of more accurate focus points so those would help in a gymnasium setting. So the T4i becomes a better pick, now the real question is the lens – the 75-300 closes down the aperture as you zoom which makes it really tricky in low light and as you said the 18-55 doesn’t provide enough zoom. What you want is something that can zoom and provide a nice wide aperture which will let in lots of light so you can keep your shutter speeds higher. The lenses in this category can quickly get very expensive. One way to save here is to buy a prime lens, it is a fixed focal length but often offer wide open apertures. First choice is the 85mm F1/.8, often used by indoor sports shooters. Next choice would be the 70-200 F/4 L lens, fantastic lens – does allow you to zoom but provides a constant F/4 aperture. It is also one of Canon’s best value lenses. I can make more recommendations if your budget allows it. I’d take your existing 75-300 into the gym, zoom it just a bit to 85 and see if that reach would be enough for you. Overall I would snatch up the T4i with 18-135 for $899 (price today and tomorrow only – I think) Sell the 18-135 for $400 and get the 85 or spend a bit more and get the 70-200.

      For a bag take a look at the Lowepro Flipside 300 – Should hold everything you need. If you want to go bigger and have room to grow consider the Tamarac

      Hope that helps. Feel free to ask any followup or further questions you may have.

  23. I’m about to buy my first DSLR, I do not know which one to buy the t4i, T3i or Nikon D5100, the video is not a priority for me, I’m looking for a good quality picture. The touch screen is not relevant to me. I’m looking for something under $ 1000 including the body and lens, maybe 2 lenses. I will use it for my travels, I am from Peru and I travel a lot by South America. What do you recommend?
    sorry for my bad English.

  24. Which of these cameras t3i or t4i would be better for sports action shots that require zoom across an athletic fields? And how does the burst mode work for each? Are either of these cameras good for this type of photography?

    • Hi Bobbie, The T4i is better for sports/action shots – it has faster burst rate and it has a greater number of more accurate focus points which help when focusing on fast moving objects. You have to pay a good bit more before there is anything else I would recommend for this type of photography. Have you considered lens purchases yet? The T4i on Amazon has a deal with the 55-250 and that’s a decent starter zoom lens that will get you closer to the action. I am happy to chat more about this type of photography and gear.

  25. I have a sony sx44 camcorder and want to upgrade to HD video to get better video of outdoor scenes, mountains, rivers, wildlife etc. I was thinking of the Canon 3Ti or 4Ti, but should I upgrade to a better camcorder instead?

    I also want something simply to use that can stand up to backpacking atv use etc.

    Thanks, you gave a great review of these cameras.

    • Dale, The T3i and the T4i produce stunningly gorgeous HD video but they are not nearly as friendly to use as a camcorder. The T4i will autofocus during filming but it is a bit slow. And this only works with the STM Lenses – either the 18-135 STM or the 40mm STM. I think you will be better off with a Micro 4/3 model like the Panasonic GH2 Think of it as a cross between DSLR and Camcorder and for video it offers the best of both worlds. Small enough to go with you everywhere but capable of producing gorgeous quality video. Happy to chat more about these options.

  26. Hello I really like your video reviews.

    I’m really new to DSLR cameras and was looking into buying one of these two. I just wanted to make sure I understood your video. is it impossible to many any type of zoom at all once video recording has started on the t4i?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Neil, You can zoom with either camera – DSLRS zoom by physically rotating or pulling the lens and this can be done during recording. The T3i does have a form of digital zoom that you can also use during recording. The T4i does not. Hope that helps, feel free to ask more questions.

  27. I am trying to determine the best camera to shoot pictures of my son who plays ice hockey . I have been reading the reviews on the ti3, ti4, and 60D . My main focus is on taking action shots that aren’t blurry . I don’t plan on taking a lot of video but like to have the option. Also what is the best lens to use so I can zoom in since I usually am standing in the stands and not close . Thanks so much.

    • Hi Melea, The T4i is currently the best value (the T3i isn’t cheaper anymore and the 60D doesn’t offer any better quality) Now you have two choices with the T4i – you can get the T4i with 18-55 for $649 and add the 55-250 for just $100 more. The 55-250 will get you lots closer for your son’s hockey pics. Now you could go with the 18-135 lens which will get you close AND let you do easy video and you can still bring along the 55-250 to get even closer. The 18-135 is a really nice lens – it lets you avoid switching lenses as often and allows the easy video, you cannot easily autofocus during video with the 18-55. Get the Canon T4i with 18-135 from Amazon, they currently offer the best price. Add the 55-250 to your cart and on checkout use code M8PSHMER (sometimes they automatically apply the discount if you add both) I am happy to chat more about this and once you get your camera we can talk about the best method to get crisp photos of your son on the ice.

  28. Hi there,

    I will be shooting mostly stills of auto racing. Most of the time it will be dusk and not lit very well. I am looking at getting back into the DSLR world. The last one I owned was the Rebel T2. Any suggestions re T3i or T4i as well as lenses for shooting pics of car racing from the stands as well as the infield would be appreciated.

    • The T4i would be better with its slightly faster frames per second and increased number of higher accuracy focus points. The lens is what is going to be most important here – There is a deal on Amazon for the t4i with 18-55 and 55-250 for just $750 once you add it all to cart but that 55-250 lens isn’t going to be the best, it is a start but in lower light it gets a bit slow and that might be challenging. At the same time when bought all together it basically costs $100 bucks and that is hard to pass up. The next lens I would recommend would be the 70-300 IS USM

      There are other lenses and other bodies that you could consider but they cost a good bit more. Let me know if you want to chat further about other possibilities.

  29. I have been storm chasing for 5 years and I love both photography and videography . I have been doing my work with P&S and I realize it is not going to cut it anymore even with help from Photoshop so I have looked into the Canon DSLR’s for the past month I have bounced around between the T3i, T4i, and the 60D. It is looking more likely I will be going for the T4i just because it seems like it is geared best for both photos and videos. I am definitely looking to do the 18-135 STM bundle with a tripod if I do. Since I will be doing some landscape, nature, and weather footage in both daylight and low light, what other lenses/equipment do you suggest? I will have a budget of around 1500 bucks to at least get me started on a decent setup. Thanks

    • Hi Josh, I just liked your FB page – I am excited to see some photos once you get your gear and storm season comes, you got some nice stuff up now too. I think you are on the right track with the T4i, it really is excellent especially when paired with the 18-135 STM, a nice range and that silent auto focus during video can be handy. You may want to consider the 55-250 to get a bit more zoom, there is a bundled deal with that lens on amazon right now, when bought with the T4i it is only about $100 and at that price it is a serious deal. It doesn’t offer the silent auto focus during video but you can shoot manually focus at those longer distances without issue. I really like the Dolica tripod as a budget tripod but I wonder if you should also consider a nice monopod for quick setup and escape back into the car like. Get a nice lens hood for the 18-135 to protect, you also want a nice circular polarizer – this filter really makes the clouds standout from the sky, also adds saturation to the foliage that cannot be recreated in post. You could also consider a battery grip and/or spare batteries. A bag would be good too -lets decide on what gear you are going to end up with then I can recommend a bag to hold it all. I am happy to answer more questions. Oh a suction cup mount in the car may be handy too. I am full of ideas so I will stop here 🙂

      • Hey thanks for getting back with me! And yes I have already placed those items on my list along with a receiving a recommendation for a Lowepro 202 AW. I am wondering with the built in Stereo Mic if an external microphone (such as the Rode brand) will be practical (or needed). Cant wait till next month when this is all finalized!

        • I think there stereo mic will be fine for most of your work. Use manual levels though and if you do want to do some talking head type shots I love this little wired Lav mic I have been using. Just buy some spare batteries and keep them with you. They last longer than I expected but always seem to die when I don’t want them to 🙁

  30. Toby, thanks for all the info.
    I’m new to DSLR’s and have decided to go for a Rebel series camera. I thought I’d decided on the T3i, until I realized the T4i with the 18-55mm lens is only $50 more on Amazon.
    My primary use of the camera will be for video. I do understand that the T4i is a better choice with the 18-135 lens, but that’s going past my comfortable price range. I’ve got the idea that the kit lens will suffice for beginner experimentation(?)

    In any case, what’s most most most important to me is video image quality, and the capabilities in low light situations.

    Much of the filming I’ll be doing is by myself, of myself, although that will be quite stationary, and not involve movement any more drastic than hand gestures and tilting back and forth.
    Autofocus does sound tempting, but overall doesn’t seem like much of a draw because of it’s subpar/slow performance.

    considering all that, if I were to stick with an 18-55 kit lens, would the T4i still be that much better for video?

    (I could persuade myself to go with the T4i 18-135 combination, but only if necessary. Cost is a limiting factor, especially due to additional needed purchases such as tripod, camera bag, and memory card).

    greatly appreciate your advice!

    • Hi Justin,

      My latest video ( was made with the T4i and 18-55 lens and in it I explain the setup – so in short the t4i with 18-55 will be just fine for you.

      T4i with 18-55

      The SD card I recommend, especially if shooting lots of video

      Bags are a bit harder to recommend – I have a few I like that carry the t4i well – it depends on what style you like – let me know and I am happy to provide some recommendations.

      Don’t hesitate to ask more questions.

      • thanks Toby, a few more questions…
        As a newbie, I’m wondering if I should be concerned about the lack of digital zoom in the T4i?

        Also, could you help me understand the basic differences between the 18-55mm and 18-135mm lens? As I’ve said, I’m not so interested in using the autofocus, but is there a huge difference in video image quality?

        thanks again!

        • Justin,

          The quality of the video is about the same. The difference is the 18-135 STM is silent when it autofocuses so you can use autofocus during video. The 18-55 makes err erre errrr noises that the microphone easily picks up so it is not really a good idea to autofocus during the video with any lens other than the 18-135 STM.

          The digital zoom is a very minor feature – No other DSLR has it and it is a bit buried in the menu. It is a fun feature but I know of few people that actually use it on a regular basis.

          Hope that helps.

  31. Toby
    Thank you for the videos on the comparisons on the t3i and the t4i and nikon D5200 boy what a choice i have to make but in the end i think im going to go with the canon t4i because it a little faster speed for my kids sports and user friendly and an all around camera. you have been a great help and plan on watching more of your videos cause you give a wealth of infomation. thank you so much


  32. Toby,
    I just purchased the T4i last week. It is my first DSLR camera but I am a pretty quick learner 🙂 The main reason I purchased this was to take better quality pictures for my blog but to also take videos for my youtube channel. The T4i kit that I purchased came with the 18-55 lens and I am very disappointed that I can not use the AF setting for videos because it is SO LOUD. Do you think that this would be quieter if I purchased a different lens?
    Thank you for your informative videos. I love how easy they are to understand.

  33. Hi, Toby

    I am looking to upgrade from a point and shoot camera, although I have used before a DSLR camera. I am an architecture student, and i am looking for a camera that will be great to take pictures of my project. As well as looking for a camera to take good pictures while walking around the city as well with family. I dont really use video, so thats not really important for me. Not really sure if I should focus more on the T3i and buy better lenses, or the T4i?


    • Hi Lisa,

      I like the idea of saving money with the T3i, if you don’t need or aren’t interested in video, but the reality – it is hard to find a lens that is better than the 18-135 STM that comes with the T4i. The non STM version sold with the T3i isn’t nearly as good and the price of the STM when bundled with the T4i makes it hard to beat. You could go body only T3i and pick up the tamron 28-75 f/2.8 but I worry that as an architecture student you may miss the wider angle of that the 18 provides and that combo is still T3i ($550) + 28-75 f/2.8 ($500) and you are more expensive than the T4i with 18-135 STM. So in short I think T4i at $899 is way to go. I am happy to talk about other options too.

  34. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Hello, I just watched your T4i vs. T3i video and I found it very helpful, but I just wanted to see what you would recommend specifically for me.
    I’m an amateur photographer – at best – and have always been interested in it but never plan to take it commercial. In general, I know my way around a camera but I’ve never owned a DSL camera (my current camera is a Canon Powershot). I’m student and I’m about to travel and start doing research. My research includes ethnography and collecting multimedia data. So lots of really good photos and a few videos – some of me interviewing people, some of cultural festivals. But for the most part, just photos. The T4i clearly appeals to me more, but since I’m not professional or anything, I don’t know if it’s worth the extra $250. (I want to get the 18-135mm lens…I watched your video about that too. =) With the T3i – I like the in video zoom they exclude from the T4i…I’m not sure how important that is but I’ve always liked being able to do that when shooting video.
    I should also mention that this research project is VERY important. It’s not some semester project, but rather a 2 year endeavor that I’m been given a generous scholarship (part of which I am using ot buy this camera) to complete it – needless to say, great results are expected. In addition, I’ll be completing my research in Dakar, Senegal and Harlam, New York so lots of travel and movement involved.
    Hope this helps and I look forward to your response! Thank You!

    • Hi Omolayo,

      This sounds like an exciting project. I know someone that just did work comparing and contrasting the education systems in New York City and I think Senegal – lots of video and photos support. Neat!

      So The T4i with 18-135 STM is a really nice all around package. If you weren’t doing any video or only a very little you could go with the T3i to save money but then you miss out on the STM lens as well and that 18-135 STM is better than the old 18-135 that comes with the T3i. And to confuse matters further the T4i price has gone up as that camera is being phased out and replaced by the t5i. So in short I would recommend either the T5i with 18-55 STM or 18-135 STM. The video quality these camera + lens combos are capable of are lovely but it will take some work and practice, don’t wait til you are starting the actual work to use – practice practice practice 🙂 and I am always happy to answer questions.

      Best, T

  35. I want to get into photography (as a hobbie) and making short films. I used a friends camera that was a Cannon Rebel t3i and I loved it! I want a camera that has the setting for different kinds of picture taking (the circle dial thing) I’m not sure which camera is for me. I liked the Sl1 but would the t4i or the t5i or even t3i be best? I also don’t want to spend $600.
    Thank you!

    • Hi – If you don’t want to spend more than $600 the Canon T3i is the best place to start. The T5i is more expensive and does have a nice touchscreen but the image and video quality is the same. Start saving up for a nice prime lens.

  36. I’m completely new to DSLRs and the rebel series really appeals to me. I plan on taking photos of everything and simply carrying my camera nearly everywhere. I’m not sure what I want, but the t5i has an interesting extra for me which are the filters and effects. The amazon price difference between the t5i and t4i is only $65( with the 18-55mm lens), but then again I’m not sure if I could even just use the t3i?
    For more detail as to what I’m shooting; soccer games, track meets, landscapes, family, etc., it will mostly be a hobby for me. I’ve decided to upgrade to a DSLR mostly for the quality and I”ll most likely keep it for years. Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Catherine, Because you will be photographing faster action – track and soccer I think the T4i/t5i would be a better choice over the T3i. The T3i isn’t a bad camera – just the T5i has a greater number of higher accuracy focus points and has a faster burst rate – both of those matter when shooting action. Amazon is offering free bag and SD card with purchase – all the details are at Happy to answer more questions.

    • Hi Jason – I’d start in manual mode. In this case your shutter speed is going to be the priority – probably need 1/250 of a second or even a little faster to catch the action(if you are close) if further away you can shoot a little slower. Now – keep your aperture as low(wide) as possible and your ISO you want as low as possible. So set it on ISO 400 and take a photo – too dark? raise the ISO and repeat or use live view until you get the desired brightness. What lens will you be using? Indoor hockey is not played under the best and brightest lights so having a lens with a wider maximum aperture can really help.

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