Canon T4i Review

 
Camera Reviews / Canon Cameras / Canon EOS i Review

Canon EOS Rebel T4i Performance

Timing and Performance

Generally good performance for a consumer SLR these days.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.7 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~2.8 seconds

How long it takes camera to turn off.

Buffer clearing time
3 seconds
after 20 large/fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
4 seconds
after 6 RAW files*
5 seconds
after 3 RAW+L/F JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Canon Rebel T4i turned in a reasonably fast startup time of well under a second, though shutdown was sluggish. (Automatic sensor cleaning which runs at power-up and power-down was enabled, by default.) The Canon Rebel T4i's buffer clearing times were quick with a fast UHS-I card.

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.7 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.4 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

The Canon T4i's mode switching times were quite fast; no complaints here.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Optical Viewfinder, 18-135mm IS STM

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF

0.269 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Auto Selection AF

0.112 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
TTL flash enabled
0.280 second
Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.
Continuous AF
0.111 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.094 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.074 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Live View, 18-135mm IS STM
Full Autofocus
Live View
"Quick Mode"
(Phase Detect)
Auto Selection
1.07 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is phase-detect autofocus, the camera drops the mirror to focus, then raises it to grab the shot.
Full Autofocus
Live View
Hybrid AF
Single-point
0.833 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is using the new Hybrid-AF system.
Full Autofocus
Live View
Hybrid AF
Auto Selection
1.42 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is using the new Hybrid-AF system.
Prefocused
Live View
0.062 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Canon Rebel T4i's full autofocus shutter response was a touch slower than average these days when using our standard single-point AF test, at 0.269 second. Interestingly, switching to Auto Selection AF and allowing the camera to choose the focus point reduced shutter lag to 0.112 second, which is very fast for a consumer SLR. As expected, enabling the built-in flash increased full AF lag, to 0.280 second. (The camera emits flash metering pulses and analyses the results before taking the final flash exposure.) In Continuous AF mode, shutter lag was a fast 0.111 second, though the subject may be out of focus in this mode. Shutter lag with Manual focus was very good, at 0.094 second. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of only 0.074 second, which is very good for a consumer SLR.

The Canon Rebel T4i's AF lag time in Live View mode was quite a bit longer than using the optical viewfinder (as expected). We measured 1.07 seconds using "Quick Mode" (phase-detect AF) with Auto Selection. The T4i's new Hybrid AF in Auto Selection mode was noticeably slower than "Quick Mode" at 1.42 seconds, but switching to single point mode sped it up considerably to 0.833 second, though that's still pretty slow compared to using the optical viewfinder. Prefocused shutter lag in Live View mode was surprisingly fast at only 0.062 second, probably because the mirror is already up and out of the way in Live View mode.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

Impact of lens on Hybrid AF shutter lag
Mode   /   Lens
18-135mm
IS STM
40mm
STM
17-85mm
IS USM
18-55mm
IS II
Full Autofocus
Live View
Single-point
Hybrid AF
0.833s
1.277s
1.425s
1.741s
Full Autofocus
Live View
Auto Selection
Hybrid AF
1.419s
1.822s
1.894s
2.378s

Since the type of lens used for focusing in Live View Hybrid AF mode makes a big difference to full autofocus shutter lag, we tested the Rebel T4i with a number of Canon lenses. As you can see, the new STM lenses are faster than some older lenses we tested, but these results are still much slower than most Compact System Cameras using only contrast detection, and also much slower than Sony's SLT cameras with full-time phase detection.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.37 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 1 second to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.34 second

Time per shot, averaged over 9 shots, 4 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + Large/Fine JPEG
0.37 second

Time per shot, averaged over 5 shots, 5 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.21 second (4.84 frames per second);
19 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 19 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.32 second or 3.1 frames per second when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.20 second (5.05 frames per second);
6 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 6 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.69 seconds or 1.45 frames per second when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW + Large/Fine
JPEG

0.18 second (5.56 frames per second);
3 frames total;
5 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 3 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.99 seconds or 1.01 frames per second when buffer was full.

Flash recycling

3.3 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times in the Canon T4i's single-shot mode were quite good for a consumer SLR, at 0.37 second for large/fine JPEGs, 0.34 second for RAW mode and 0.37 second for RAW + large/fine JPEGs.

Continuous mode speeds were also good for a consumer model, at about 4.8 frames-per-second for large/fine JPEGs, 5.1 fps for RAWs, and 5.6 fps for RAW + large/fine JPEGs. It's interesting that the camera was a little faster when RAW files were present.

Measured buffer depths in continuous mode were fair for large/fine JPEGs frames at 19 frames, but quite shallow when RAW files were included. We were only able to capture 6 RAW frames or 3 RAW + large/fine JPEGs before the frame rate slowed. (Note that in our cycle time testing we shoot a target consisting of a fine-grained digital noise pattern, designed to be very hard to compress. This gives us worst-case buffer capacity numbers for compressed files: You're likely to see greater buffer capacity when shooting more normal subjects.)

The Canon Rebel T4i's flash took an average of 3.3 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is pretty good.

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

11,217 KBytes/sec*

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, the Canon Rebel T4i's download speeds were very fast.

Bottom line, the Canon Rebel T4i offers generally good performance for a consumer model. Buffer depth is quite shallow when shooting with RAW files, though, and the new Live View Hybrid AF system isn't nearly as fast as most CSC or SLT cameras.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for a lithium-ion SLR design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
440
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)
180

The Canon T4i uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is below average when using the optical viewfinder even for a consumer SLR, and of course Live View mode draws more power reducing battery life. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The Canon T4i is however compatible with an optional BG-E8 battery grip, which can double capacity with two rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs. The grip also accepts AA batteries.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon Rebel T4i is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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