Canon EOS Rebel T4i (EOS 650D)
Canon T4i Raw Comparison
We used to convert raw files used for comparison crops with dcraw (an excellent freeware raw converter), as we could count on dcraw not to apply any noise reduction, sharpening or other corrections. Lately, though, we've switched to Adobe Camera Raw with its noise reduction and sharpening options set to zero. We've found conversions made with recent versions of ACR to be almost identical to dcraw when dcraw's demosaicing option is set to match ACR's method, so we're pretty sure ACR isn't applying any noise reduction "under the hood" like it used to.
See crops below to compare the Canon T4i's raw image quality to its predecessor, as well as a few recent enthusiast models.
Although the Nikon D7000 and Olympus E-M5 are a bit more expensive than the Canon T4i, we've included them here because they represent the best each company currently has to offer in the same class.
As you can see, the Canon T4i performs very similar to the T3i, though detail in the red leaf cloth isn't quite as good (something we also saw in camera JPEGs). The Canon T4i does well against the Nikon D7000 except for reds, and is just slightly noisier at very high ISO settings. The Pentax K-30 produces the cleanest output of the group, but it applies noise reduction to its raw files at ISOs above 1,600, something we'd rather not see. The T4i's performance is competitive with the Olympus E-M5's, perhaps just slightly noisier.
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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.