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Author Topic: Rebel T4i vs 5D Mark III - $850 vs $3499 - Is it really worth 4 times the price?  (Read 35312 times)

shunsai

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I've been shooting with a Rebel XTi for as many years as it's been out now and have been quite happy with it. I've somewhat outgrown it however and have been itching to dive into full-frame for some time. I withheld grabbing a 5D Mark II in anticipation of the Mark III. Now the Mark III is here. It looks like a wonderful camera- definitely an upgrade from the Mark II. But I'm still finding it hard to get past the sticker shock of $3500.

I know the Mark III is a class ahead of the Rebel line, but I'm curious as to just how much. Is it really 4 times better than the Rebel? Is there a huge difference in IQ between L-glass on a Mark III and L-glass on a 4Ti? What are the main, must-have features that would make the Mark III outclass the 4Ti? I know it comes down to what your specific camera needs are, but I'd really like to hear some ideas. Thanks!

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JerryKnight

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Simply put, I don't think they are designed or intended to be compared to each other. They are intended for two very different types of photographers. I would argue that the 5D3 is at least two, if not three, classes ahead of the T4i. Rebel series, 60D, 7D, 5D3, 1D series.. Although, the differences between the 60D and rebel seem to be shrinking..

(I won't comment on the subjective differences in image quality. Huge can of worms.)

First, the sensor is entirely different, so the sensor debate ultimately boils down to the age-old full-frame vs crop, which has been hashed out endlessly in every online forum on the Internet. The main thing is that full frame sensors simply cost more than crop sensors.

Then there's the build - materials, quality, weather resistance, etc. Magnesium alloys cost a lot more than plastic, and it costs more to shape magnesium alloy than injection-molded plastic.. More has been spent in design and testing (although maybe not enough?), and they're making far fewer 5D's than rebels.

There are countless other upgrades from the rebel line to the 5D line, but those are the main two in my mind. The sensor, build quality, materials, and manufacturing scale, mixed with complex economics, all combine to get the prices we see.

Bottom line, yes - it's well worth the price difference for those who need it. Should everyone go buy a 5D3 instead of a T4i? No way. If all you need is a rebel, get a rebel. If you need better construction and fast performance, get a 7D. If you need a full frame sensor, get a 5D. If you need the absolute best Canon offers, get a 1D or 1Ds series.

Of course, if you have the money to burn, by all means - get a 5D3 or better, whether you really "need" it or not. If you can't justify the cost, then there's nothing wrong with going with the rebel. It's still a superb camera, and it will give you great images, but it simply cannot do everything that some photographers need, which is why the 5D3 was made and priced as it is.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 03:09:44 PM by JerryKnight »

cliffwang

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My friend bought a Samsung 60" 8000 series TV.  The price is 3x of my 6000 series.  I can see the different only when I go to the BustBuy and compare them side by side.  I feel my TV is great when I watch it at home.  My friend and I have different value for a TV.
Compared to your XTi, T4i has better AF and better IQ.  Do you think that's good for you?  Do you see the benefits from FF?
My idea is simple.  Do you really need / want a 5D3?  If so, are you willing to pay 3.5K for it?  Now you should have an answer, right?
I have 5D2 and had 7D.  For me I want 5D3 because of the AF system.  However, 5D3 is overpriced FOR ME.  I will not upgrade my 5D2 to it for now.
If you have budget and think 5D3 is what you need/want, go for it.  Otherwise, T4i may good for you already.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 04:13:51 PM by cliffwang »
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Kernuak

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When he still used Canons, Ole Liodden once wrote on his blog about people using different cameras on some of his Arctic/Antarctic trips. He didn't mention Rebels, but he did say that he'd had a number of clients using 40D's and 5D MkII's, that had failed due to the weather conditions, yet the 7D (and of course the 1D's) kept on working. The build quality and sealing of the 5D MkIII is supposed to be the same as the 7D, so if you are in less than prime weather conditions, then it could be the cost of getting the shot or not. If you're a hobbyist, then it may not matter, unless you're on the trip of a lifetime, but you can imagine the cost to a pro who is trying to earn a living. Reputations are easily lost and difficult to regain. So basically, whether it is worth four times the cost is as much down to your circumstances as the needs for the type of photography.
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shunsai

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Simply put, I don't think they are designed or intended to be compared to each other. They are intended for two very different types of photographers. I would argue that the 5D3 is at least two, if not three, classes ahead of the T4i. Rebel series, 60D, 7D, 5D3, 1D series.. Although, the differences between the 60D and rebel seem to be shrinking..

(I won't comment on the subjective differences in image quality. Huge can of worms.)


Thanks very much for your thoughts. I am curious though and apologize in advance if it is a can of worms, but what are people's thoughts on the difference in image quality? Right now, there is no other full-frame option and I'm pretty determined to upgrade on that level. But as far as image quality, dynamic range, not so much high ISO ability, but image quality in general- what's the difference between an L-lens on an 4Ti and an L-lens on the Mark III? Any thoughts?

cliffwang

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Thanks very much for your thoughts. I am curious though and apologize in advance if it is a can of worms, but what are people's thoughts on the difference in image quality? Right now, there is no other full-frame option and I'm pretty determined to upgrade on that level. But as far as image quality, dynamic range, not so much high ISO ability, but image quality in general- what's the difference between an L-lens on an 4Ti and an L-lens on the Mark III? Any thoughts?
I am using 5D2 and I used to use T2i and 7D which have same sensor.  T2i, 7D, 5D2 have similar IQ for outdoor and low ISO shoots.  However, I really see the difference from ISO 400+.  T4i has newer sensor, so I guess ISO 400 and 800 might be okay.  For me it will still be about 2 to 3 stop difference.
By the way you will also have better DoF and wider angle on FF.
Canon 5D3 | Samyang 14mm F/2.8 | Sigma 50mm F/1.4 | Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 VC | Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 IS MK2 | Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro L | Canon Closed-up 500D | 430EX | Kenko 2x Teleplus Pro 300 | Manfrotto Tripod

AdamJ

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I've been shooting with a Rebel XTi for as many years as it's been out now and have been quite happy with it. I've somewhat outgrown it however and have been itching to dive into full-frame for some time. I withheld grabbing a 5D Mark II in anticipation of the Mark III. Now the Mark III is here. It looks like a wonderful camera- definitely an upgrade from the Mark II. But I'm still finding it hard to get past the sticker shock of $3500.

I know the Mark III is a class ahead of the Rebel line, but I'm curious as to just how much. Is it really 4 times better than the Rebel? Is there a huge difference in IQ between L-glass on a Mark III and L-glass on a 4Ti? What are the main, must-have features that would make the Mark III outclass the 4Ti? I know it comes down to what your specific camera needs are, but I'd really like to hear some ideas. Thanks!

The 5D II has considerably less sticker shock. You mention that the 5D III is definitely an upgrade from the 5D III, should we infer from this that there is something troubling you about the 5D II's IQ?

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shunsai

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I am using 5D2 and I used to use T2i and 7D which have same sensor.  T2i, 7D, 5D2 have similar IQ for outdoor and low ISO shoots.  However, I really see the difference from ISO 400+.  T4i has newer sensor, so I guess ISO 400 and 800 might be okay.  For me it will still be about 2 to 3 stop difference.
By the way you will also have better DoF and wider angle on FF.
Thanks for your thoughts!

Better DoF is a major plus for me. So far, the bokeh I've been able to get has been nothing to write home about.

You said they have similar IQ for outdoor- is there a big difference when shooting indoor with studio lighting?

Historically, I've held back from shooting anything above 400 ISO. I know ISO performance has improved dramatically since the XTi. I've only used the 5D Mark II a few times, but I did notice a big difference. And the Mark III seems to be an even bigger difference.

Basically, coming from an XTi, pretty much any Canon offering within the last 2 years will be a major improvement for me. Since I don't upgrade very frequently, I'm hoping to get something that won't easily make me envious within 2 or 3 years.

I was considering upgrading to a 5D Mark III with a 4Ti as a backup, but that's edging pretty close to $5000, which is a bit more than I'm willing to part with at this time. Maybe a 5D Mark II with a 4Ti as a backup would be more appropriate? I'm curious to see what the high ISO performance and autofocus improvement will be like on the new Rebel compared to the Mark II. Any thoughts on that?

shunsai

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The 5D II has considerably less sticker shock. You mention that the 5D III is definitely an upgrade from the 5D III, should we infer from this that there is something troubling you about the 5D II's IQ?

No, I don't think it was the image quality of the 5D Mark II that made me hesitate. As far as I can tell, the 5D Mark II IQ is still impressive. I don't have much experience with the Mark II, but for years I heard people complaining about the unimpressive autofocus, and that kinda made me hold off for the Mark III. Granted, since I don't have much experience with the Mark II, I haven't personally run into the autofocus annoyance, but given the not-so-great autofocus of the Rebel series I've shot with, I figure that autofocus improvement is something I would like to have in my next EOS body.

shunsai

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When he still used Canons, Ole Liodden once wrote on his blog about people using different cameras on some of his Arctic/Antarctic trips. He didn't mention Rebels, but he did say that he'd had a number of clients using 40D's and 5D MkII's, that had failed due to the weather conditions, yet the 7D (and of course the 1D's) kept on working. The build quality and sealing of the 5D MkIII is supposed to be the same as the 7D, so if you are in less than prime weather conditions, then it could be the cost of getting the shot or not. If you're a hobbyist, then it may not matter, unless you're on the trip of a lifetime, but you can imagine the cost to a pro who is trying to earn a living. Reputations are easily lost and difficult to regain. So basically, whether it is worth four times the cost is as much down to your circumstances as the needs for the type of photography.

I mostly use my camera for travel photography. The most extreme climate I've taken it through was a glacier hike in Argentina where it was freezing cold, and lots of drizzle and light rain. It held up pretty well for a camera that's not weather-sealed or anything. Other than that though, I use it for studio portraits, weddings or in moderate outdoor climates. Nothing too extreme.

I am contemplating a trip to a few African countries by the end of the year, but weather-sealing is not a major concern for me. I've missed shots before, but not so much because of climate as much as autofocus and ISO limitations. That's something for me to think about. Thanks for your thoughts!

chrisdeckard

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As others have said, you can't really compare the two.  If you are shooting once in a lifetime moments (weddings, newborns, etc.) then having the backup of dual memory cards makes it worth the money.  Are you going to shoot in potentially wet situations?  The Rebel may not hold up.  Do you need spot on AF in almost every area of the view finder, or will 9 points meet your needs?  Do you need lens microadjustments, or are you fine with a lens being slightly off?  There are a billion questions you need to ask yourself.  Maybe sit down and put dollar amounts to them.

Would it be cool to have a 1DX?  Yes.  Do I need to shoot 12 fps?  No, at least not yet.  Same types of questions for completely different classes of cameras.

If you need full frame, then go with the 5DIII.  If not, and you don't need a camera right away, maybe holding out for the 70D is a better option.  But again, you have to ask yourself all the same questions.

I didn't have to justify the need for a 5DIII, nor did I have to justify the need for two of them.  The work we do requires it, and it has paid off.
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D_Rochat

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You know the saying about opinions being like...... well you know. Rent one, or even a mkII and see for yourself. For me, the low light shooting is enough to win my heart over.

Hillsilly

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...And yet a lot of pro's still shoot APS-C. Some even micro 4/3.  Ultimately, it depends on what you need it for.

For studio portraits where you can control the lighting or general photography in good, available light, you're unlikely to see much difference - especially if you are using good lenses.  In fact, I often see portrait photographers using rebels and it doesn't seem to affect their business.  (Hey, if you can keep costs down and customers are happy - its more profit for you).  But you also mention weddings.  Here you are relying on the prevailing conditions on the day.  I agree with the above comments that the 5Diii will give you a greater chance of better shots in deteriorating light.  And ultimately, that's what being a professional is about - having the skills, knowledge and equipment to get the results you are paid to get. The 5Diii is more capable.  By how much?  Its difficult to really tell.  In my opinion, the 5Diii has two benefits - slightly more background blurring capability and the ability to use higher ISO's and maintain good image quality.   Whether this is worth 4 times more is a question that you have to answer yourself. 
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shunsai

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These are some really good and useful replies! Thanks so much.

I'm starting to form my conclusions and am leaning towards the 5D Mark II + Rebel 4Ti combo. There's a good chance I'll take the full frame plunge before the end of this week. I'm still eager to hear more input. Thanks for all the good input so far!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 12:03:43 AM by shunsai »

Wilmark

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If you would like to see the 5D3 performance in low light look at this gallery. It was shot at a Nissan Launch under very poor lighting (basically street lighting) most of the pictures are shot at ISO5000 and up. While they are less than optimal for Weddings and more discerning uses, they are OK for photo journalism etc. There were 5 other photographers there and all of them were using flash, none of these pictures used a flash.

http://www.wilmark.johnatty.com/ariapita
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 09:00:34 AM by Wilmark »

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