Is it worth Upgrading to Canon Rebel T4i from T3i?

by Mavis on July 9, 2012

There’s a myth that one of the reasons the T4i is SO dramatically better than its Rebel predecessors is because it has a faster burst rate (5 fps compared to 3.7 fps for the T3i). But that stat is deceptive and highly misleading. In fact, both cameras have exactly the same buffer (internal memory) capacity for RAW images (6), while the T3i has a superior buffer capacity for .jpegs (34 compared to 30 for the new T4i). The buffer data on both, by the way, has been widely reported by at least two professional reviewers on different websites. The bottom line is that for all practical purposes, the cameras will capture images at virtually the same speed, although the T3i may be slightly better with .jpegs. Buffer size is what counts, not burst rate (and the Canon 60D is better than both in that department).

Upgrading to T4i from T3i

But there’s a bigger issue. The real reason most people will make the decision to purchase this camera is because of video auto-focus, and the new lenses which are designed to work especially with that function. Read any favorable review of the T4i and you’ll see that’s the main topic of interest with everybody. But one reviewer within the past few days who DOES OWN the camera said the video auto-focus system is a mess, unless you’ve got a completely still object (and if you do, for what do you need the auto-focus feature?). That hands-on reviewer, by the way, wrote: "The T4i did a lot of hunting around trying to get good focus so if you plan on chasing a 2 year old while recording good luck! I will say that I used a regular photo lens and not an STM lens, but I just can’t see see how the focusing can keep up with moving objects other than snails or turtles! It is still too new a technology and I’m sure the T5i will be much better at it."

A professional videographer with news journalism experience — and who loves Rebel cameras, by the way, especially the T3i — recently encouraged his readers to think carefully before "upgrading" to the T4i. He described the video auto-focus as a "deal breaker" for him, since he always turns off that feature, even when using a dedicated video cam. He noted that HE wants to make the decision when to shift focus, rather than have the camera do it for him every time he moves it a few inches one way or another, or every time the subject moves slightly. It makes very good sense, if you think about it.

The bottom line is that both an amateur with actual T4i experience and a pro videographer believe that the video auto-focus component of the camera will be a negative, not a positive, for most users.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you, it makes sense to wait for further MAJOR improvements which will appear on the T5i. And it makes even better sense to wait for the next upgrade to the Canon 60D, which cannot be far off given the age of the 60D. The next generation of that camera (60D) likely will cost only slightly more than the T4i, and will leave many purchasers of the latter with buyer’s remorse.

May you like:
T3i vs t4i
T3i or T4i, Which is Best DSLR Camera for beginners?
Canon EOS Rebel T3i vs T4i Vs 60D Specs Comparison

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