I've got a 5D mark III and a 7D, and I just got my hands on a T4i today. It's an awesome little machine. I recommended it to a friend to get as a first DSLR, and my dad is considering buying one too. For a hobbyist shooter, I think it's a great camera, with intuitive controls and lots of great features, like the ability to tap-to-focus on the touch screen. Sure there are cameras that can push a little farther here and there, but for the above average shooter - this thing blows most cameras away and is more than sufficient. When buying, ask yourself what you want, what you need, and what are you willing to pay. If you need ruggedness and 8fps, go for the 7D. If you need video AF and user-friendly interface, I recommend the T4i. Don't sell this camera short. It's a great piece of equipment. If you're really itching to upgrade from the Rebel line, save up for a full frame camera like the 6D or 5D3. ( just my two cents).