Best Budget DSLR for Video? Canon EOS Rebel T4i (650D) DSLR Product Review [Reel Rebel #22]

Best Budget DSLR for Video? Canon EOS Rebel T4i (650D) DSLR Product Review [Reel Rebel #22]

For this episode of Reel Rebel, Stephen Schweickart provides a brief video product review of the new Canon Rebel T4i digital SLR (DSLR) camera, also known internationally as the Canon EOS 650D.  With the improvements Canon has made from previous models like the Rebel T3i, the Rebel T4i could possibly be the best budget DSLR in the market for an amateur photographer or videographer.

Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i DSLR Review for Video

First let's take a look at pricing. You can get the Canon Rebel T4i and starter lens (18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens) on Amazon for about $850 (see widget to the right). We recommend upgrading the lens or buying the body and then purchasing a lens separately. The price is an increase from previous models but there are some significant improvement that make it well worth it including a new sensor, image processor, extended ISO range (100-12800), and a new auto-focus system. These changes will give you crisper, more colorful images.

As with all Canon products, this one continues Canon's reputation for quality.  It comes with an 18 megapixel sensor and new Digic 5 Processor which will allow you to shoot full 1080p HD video that looks as good, if not better than what you can get from many camcorders.  Since the sensor was designed to assist the user when taking still shots, it's larger much larger than what you would find in most cameras/camcorders that were designed to be used primarily to capture video.  The increased sensor size gives you better resolution as well as better quality when capturing low light shot.

Additionally, the Rebel T4i is also the first DSLR to have a variable angle, 3.0" LCD touch screen.

Canon Rebel T4i vs. Rebel T3i for Video

Best Budget DSLR for Video? Canon EOS Rebel T4i (650D) DSLR Product Review [Reel Rebel #22]They've also upgraded some features for shooting video including:

  1. Faster Autofocus: A new Hybrid CMOS AF system that increases autofocus speed when shooting video in Live View and Movie Servo AF to provide continual focus on moving subjects.
  2. Better Audio Controls: Manual audio level adjustment and built-in stereo microphone (though it's always better to use an external microphone.)

As an additional benefit, the T4i gives you all the control you need over the look and feel of your video by using the manual settings.  Simply go into the menu and turn off all settings that are set to auto.  Then turn the dial to manual mode and set your aperture as wide as it will go to give you the best depth of field.

Using the Canon Rebel T4i, along with our other video tips, is a surefire way to take your videos to the next level.

Check out these articles for more information on using DSLRs for videography:


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View The Full Video Transcript:

Hey, I’m Stephen Schweickart with VScreen where we make videos for companies. And, today, in conjunction with ReelSEO, we’re going to be doing a product review of one of the best DSLR cameras for amateurs called the Canon Rebel (I like that word) T4i.

Alright, guys, we know that the world of digital camcorders can be overwhelming and deciding which one to buy makes you feel a bit like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner. But don’t fret, viewers. We’re going to tell you why picking up the Canon T4i will give you the most bang for your buck in under three minutes. Start the timer....NOW.

You can get the Canon T4i body and a starter lens for about 900 bucks. It costs a little more than it’s predecessors the T2i and T3i, (go figure) but it has some really significant improvements over those cameras as well, including a new sensor and image processor. Not bad considering how much prosumer video cameras cost to begin with. This is well above entry level and will give you crisp, colorful images and video right out of the box.

The T4i upholds Canon’s reputation for quality. With an 18 megapixel sensor as well as the new DIGIC 5 Image Processor, it can shoot full 1080p HD video that is vastly superior to most traditional camcorders – even ones costing thousands of dollars more. The difference lies in the sensor – since the T4i was designed to function primarily as a stills camera, the sensor is much larger than most cameras intended just for capturing video. This increased sensor size not only results in increased resolution – (5184 x 3456 for you pixel peepers out there), but also allows for much better low light capabilities and the ability to capture images w/ the shallow depth of field that smaller sensors will not allow. This will be great for shooting really artsy b-roll close-ups of flowers, or for getting your first quirky indie rom-com (romantic comedy) in the can and off to Sundance.

With the T4i, you get all the control you need with the manual setting. Go into the menu, switch off everything you see that says “Auto” and you’ll be stylin’. Then set the dial to Manual and open that aperture as wide as possible to crush your depth of field. When shooting images with tricky or mixed exposure – like a backlit portrait or an interior with bright windows, the T4i really comes in aces by allowing you to shoot multiple consecutive shots that expose for all parts of the scene and then combines them to output one properly exposed image – pretty sweet! The T4i doesn’t stop there, not only does it have a killer articulating screen, which makes it easy for you to shoot from a variety of angles; it also breaks new ground by being the first HDSLR with a touch screen.

Here’s the real kicker. Even though it’s a DSLR, this baby is no longer optimized just for shooting stills. It has a ton of video-friendly features, including full time auto focus for video and adjustable gain control for the internal audio. This alone is enough to put the T4i on the top of your list.

Overall, the T4i will be a great choice when you’re trying to take your videos to the next level. Just make sure you check out the rest of our videos to learn just how to shoot video and not shoot yourself. As always, subscribe, tell us what you think, tell me how your day’s going, I really don’t care.

About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://twitter.com/aaronbooker Aaron Booker

    Still no output to HDMI recorders like the Ninja though, correct? That's the main pain point we see with Canon. :-(

  • Grant Crowell

    I'd be interested to hear if anyone has a preference of the Canon EOS 60 DSLR over the Rebel T4i. I've also been looking at the Nikon D7000. They all appear to be great DSLRs for the price, so maybe it's just a matter of what feels best in your hands?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      definitely go for the 60D IMO. better low light capabilities and only ~150 more....

      • Grant Crowell

        Thanks you Sir Mark of Robertson, Oh Wise One and Master of All Things Video. ;-)

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          ;-) Also go with a low aperature lens, like the sigma 17-50mm 2.8 or the cannon ef-s 17-55 f.2.8 - Dont go with the starter lens. You're welcome my little video sweetheart.

  • Mike

    i have been looking for a dslr that can shoot video extremely well in night club situations where par cans, led lights, and roaming scanners change the light frequently and drastically .would the t4i do well in this scenario? the mkiii is out of my range even though i have used it and love its cinema effect it . what do you suggest?

  • Victor

    Hi,
    What would you recommend instead of the starter lens (18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens). I would want something that is good for both photo and video but mainly the best bang for my buck.
    Your video was very informative and I am now feeling better about going with the T4i. This would be my first dslr.
    Thank you in advance.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      If you have the money, I'd buy a f2.8 lens. Take a look at the Canon EFs 17-55 f2.8 - http://amzn.to/VJDic8 or if you have less, the Sigma http://amzn.to/Vzmk3L

    • MesaMK

      For video, the ultimate companion to the 650D is the 18-135mm STM lens. It's optimized for video shooting with the autofocus features with its fast steppermotor (STM). It's the best bang for your buck.

  • Creative Flows R&D

    Does anyone know if this camera overheats during interview sessions?

  • http://www.facebook.com/larryvaughn Larry Vaughn

    Obviously you just took sales points from press release info without testing anything at all.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/sabot96 Ethan Vanderbuilt

    If you are looking to save a lot of money when you are starting out you can go with the Canon EOS M 18.0 MP Compact Systems Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and EF-M18-55mm IS STM Lens it is only $311. It uses much the same technology as the T4i. It has a slow auto focus, but I mainly use manual focus. Video image quality is great and it has a mic input. I use the HDMI port connected to a LCD monitor as my video monitor because it does not have a flip out LCD screen. Make sure you buy a second battery as well.
    http://ethanvanderbuilt.com/video-making-tools/