The Good The Canon EOS Rebel T4i delivers extremely good photo and video quality plus improved performance in Live View shooting over the T3i -- as long as you buy the more expensive 18-135mm STM kit. Plus, the camera has a more streamlined shooting design than its predecessor.
The Bad The feature set remains rather blah, and its photos aren't as good as the T3i's at high ISO sensitivities.
The Bottom Line A fine camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T4i's more expensive 18-135mm STM kit (or body with another STM lens) is the only version that merits an unqualified recommendation. You can probably find better alternatives if you just want a sub-$1,000 dSLR for still photography.
Good dSLR choice, but only if you opt for top-end
Editors' note, March 28, 2013: Canon recently discontinued the T4i and has replaced it with the nearly identical EOS Rebel T5i.
People who use Live View with autofocus for stills or video are the biggest winners with this generation of the top model in Canon's EOS Rebel series. The big updates to the T4i (aka the EOS 650D overseas) over its predecessor are the addition of a touch screen and the incorporation of a new hybrid CMOS sensor that includes both contrast autofocus sensors, the type of autofocus used in camcorders and other video AF systems, as well as the traditional phase-detection sensors you find in dSLRs. That said, the new sensor and expensive STM lens that you have to pair with it to take advantage of improved Live View autofocus really serve to bring the T4i into parity with newer technology, such as Sony's fixed-mirror SLT system and mirrorless ILC alternatives.
Overall, the photo and video quality of the T4i still rates as excellent, though at high ISO sensitivities it's slightly surpassed by the T3i; it looks like either the blue channel in the new sensor just isn't as sensitive as the previous one or Canon's processing the heck out of it. JPEGs are fine up through ISO 400 if you're not a pixel peeper; if you are, you'll find even slightly out-of-focus areas start to show some artifacts as low as ISO 200. At high ISO sensitivities the noise reduction is relatively intelligent, with suppression artifacts only in the dark areas and on some high-contrast edges. I suggest you don't use the default Auto Picture Style when shooting JPEG in low light, because it boosts the contrast and you really lose a lot of shadow detail. If you shoot raw, you've got latitude up to about ISO 1600, but you'll end up applying a lot of luminance NR to get rid of the hot pixels.
The 12 best Black Friday camera deals we've found so far
Rather than dump every available Black Friday discount on you, we've hand-picked the seasonal deals we think are actually worth your money.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $279.64
That's the lowest price to date on this widely loved model. It's a refurb, but a good-as-new refurb. Plus: Own "Logan" for just $6.
Get a GoPro Hero action camera for $63
Wait, what? Yep, it's the real deal -- but you'll have to wait a few weeks to get it, and there are more capable cameras for the same price.
Google Clips uses AI to capture life's spontaneous moments
The $249 smart camera brings together the best of AI, software and hardware, says Google.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $344
Your phone's camera may be good, but it's nowhere near this good. This top-rated model would normally run you at least $100 more. Plus: a speaker that fits in your pocket and plays FM radio.
Monday mishmash: Great new deals, plus some updates and reruns
For example: the cheapest 1TB portable hard drive I've ever seen, and an unbeatable price on a lifetime of guided meditation.
Want to photograph rockstars? This $13K camera will let you
Leica releases a new special-edition camera as a tribute to late rock-n-roll photographer Jim Marshall.
GoPro has a new 360 VR camera that you can't have
The spherical camera, called Fusion, is small and wearable, but a lot of other details are a mystery.
GoPro will give you $100 for your old Hero, sort of
A new trade-up program lets you send in your old GoPro for money off a new Hero5 camera.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.
This crazy camera could be a boon to VR filmmakers
Researchers have found a way to build a 360-degree camera that's compact but shoots high-quality video. It could be just the thing for virtual reality.
GoPro lays off 200 people, shutters its aspiring media arm
The action-camera maker, struggling with weak sales, makes cuts to save more than $650 million in costs next year.