It’s that time of the year when Canon decides to put out an updated version of the Rebel camera. We have shot a lot of stuff with the 600D (T3i) because it was one of the first DSLRs with an articulated display which made a lot of special angle shots much easier. You didn’t have to lie on the ground anymore to see what you are capturing. Another big plus was the manual audio control which wasn’t even available on the 5D Mark II or the 7D. For most people this is the DSLR to start with – it’s an entry level crop sensor camera with the ability of creating an incredible shallow depth of field.
In summer 2012 we had the pleasure of travelling with the just announced 650D (T4i) to the Kingdom of Thailand. And now, almost one year later we had the chance to get our hands on the latest version for 24 hours. Even this is too short to really talk about modification and improvement I decided to put together a short video of footage we have been taken within this little time period. All the clips were shot with a flat picture profile to get a high dynamic range.
Everything in the video below was taken with the Canon 700D (T5i) in 1080p at 24 fps. We used the great Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8, the Canon 24-105mm F/4, the 50mm F/1.8 and the Sigma 30mm F/1.4 for some shots at night.
As you can see the results aren’t surprising or different from the previous models. To me it looked like there is a little bit of improvement when it comes to aliasing (moiré) but it’s hard to tell… When filming at night I couldn’t make out any difference to the 650D or 600D. If you want to take a closer look, below are some screenshots of the ungraded footage.
We also went to the forest to capture the fresh and green colors of spring. Unfortunately there was no sunshine but I think this little piece still shows why it’s sometimes fun to shoot very wide open. Some of the moving shots were filmed with 60 frames per second to get a smooth movement and slowed down in After Effects to fit the 24p timeline. When shooting close ups with a small aperture it is possible to scale up the 720p shots to 1080p without noticing the difference in quality. The short film has a contrasty and saturated look to show how far you can push the footage without seeing too much artifacts and image noise.
All in all the camera is just an update to the previous model without much improvement. In terms of video recording you pick up a T3i without noticing the difference – especially not in post production.
I think now it’s a good time to buy the T4i because the price will drop soon… And in 2014 we will probably see the Rebel T6i – next time with a head phone jack, higher bitrate and ISO improvement? Who knows!? But Canon definitely has to respond to companies like Blackmagic Design in the near future or nobody will buy that kind of camera…
Written by Moritz Janisch