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Author Topic: Rebel T4i vs 5D Mark III - $850 vs $3499 - Is it really worth 4 times the price?  (Read 34175 times)

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.)


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?

It's hard for me to compare the difference in image quality from a crop sensor body to a full frame body. Once I went to full frame with the classic 5D, I've never looked back, so I really don't know how the rebel cameras perform. I can guess that the "good" crop bodies (ie. 7D) have "good" image quality, and I can say that the 5D bodies have "better" image quality, but by how much? That's entirely subjective. You start getting very hand-wavy, hard-to-quantify answers.

Honestly, the T4i seems to have a great sensor and a great autofocus system (the same 9-cross-type on the 7d?). It looks like a great little camera, so it's entirely possible that the subjective image quality could be comparable to the 7D and any other Canon crop sensor. I think the big questions you have to answer is whether full frame is what you need and whether the build quality is important to you.

You've heard the other benefits of full frame: bokeh, wide angle coverage, etc. Since the "pixels" (or photosites) on the 5D3 sensor are bigger (6.25 micron) than the T3i (4.3 micron, and I assume the T4i has about the same 18MP APS-C sensor), the noise will tend to be better on the 5D3. Sure, the DIGIC 5 will alleviate a lot of that noise, but it will have to work harder on the T4i, giving the 5D3 more opportunity to give you better low light images. Another thing you might be surprised by (I certainly was) is how much brighter and wider the 5D3 viewfinder is. For me, it was a night & day difference when I first looked through my 5D classic's viewfinder. A word of warning, if you decide to go with a combo 5D2+T4i: You might start to feel very cramped by the smaller T4i viewfinder.

If full-frame turns out to be less important to you, I would think the 7D would be a strong consideration, since you want to keep this next camera a while. The materials and construction of the 7D are far better than any plastic rebel, so it will certainly last longer. If you decide you need full frame, you'll automatically get a durable camera, either in the 5D2 or 5D3.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 12:13:33 AM by JerryKnight »

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sovietdoc

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Rebel T4i vs 5D Mark III - $850 vs $3499 - Is it really worth 4 times the price?

If you have to ask that question, no it doesn't worth the price.

It does worth the price to you if you don't need to ask this because you already know what it can do.

Wilmark

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There is an important value in having an expensive camera in photography that has almost nothing to do with taking pictures and i hardly hear anyone speak about it. I do work for clients that have large budgets (large companies). When you have a camera with the hype of the 5Dmk3 and the 1Dx it makes for great conversation pieces. Fortunately those two bodies are quite well known even outside professional photography, especially when many 'enthusiasts' can go out and buy them and talk about them (dare say stay up all night before a release on canon-rumors hitting the refresh button, and being in the first day to preorder) many of the persons you deal with have rebels. When they see you carrying the real mccoy, they and you strike up a conversation about the new 61 point auto focus, or bokeh you are almost certain to get the job. And that by it self can land you a project that will pay for your 'overpriced' body. And this is not limited to commercial photography, but will apply to Wedding photography. The most important way to get wedding business is by word of mouth, and not just in the wedding parties camp, there are going to be at least half a dozen rebels at any wedding - and they will be all photo buffs, how will they feel about hiring you when you have equipment just like them? Hardly likely. Those guys with the rebels will be looking at you very closely and the next bride to be in the audience will be looking to them for recommendation.

cliffwang

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You said they have similar IQ for outdoor- is there a big difference when shooting indoor with studio lighting?
I have two studio lights(about 1000W each).  When I used them in my loft(about 16x16), I still can have ISO 200.  The IQ for both 7D & 5D2 are similar.  5D2 might be a little bit better, but not much.  However, I don't use studio lights now because the photos with studio lighting are not natural for me.  Without good light source, you will see the benefit from FF(my 5D2).

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.
XTi uses very old sensor, ISO 400 may not as good as ISO 1600 or even 3200 on 5D2.  Also 5D2 has much more MP, that will make you feel better IQ.
The 5D3 may have only one stop better IQ than 5D2 in RAW file.  However, 5D3 has much better AF system.

If you have to ask that question, no it doesn't worth the price.

It does worth the price to you if you don't need to ask this because you already know what it can do.
Agree the second one, but not the first one.  That why shunsai comes here to get ideas from us.

Everyone has their own value for performance, features, and IQ.  All of them can be traded off.  Thus, don't believe anyone when they go with 5D3 or go with T4i.  That's their choice, not yours.  You only need to know what's good on 5D3 and T4i, and make your decisions.
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cdang

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4x the price does not mean 4x the camera. Im a bit of an audiophile having headphones ranging from $300 to $1400. Is the $1400 headphone 4x better sounding than the $300 ? More like 20% max. Obviously they're many features in a camera. That being said, the mark III is a joy to use. My mark II has become a very expensive lens holder.

My 2 cents. :)

Once you go FF, you'd never go back.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 02:16:58 AM by cdang »

shunsai

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I think what I was looking forward to most in the release of the Mark III was improved video capabilities and improved autofocus. Autofocus is said to be greatly improved, but since I haven't used a Mark II extensively, I have no real frame of reference on its improvement. My biggest worry in getting the  5D Mark II is that I might soon come to understand why so many people complained about it's autofocus. But I'm hopeful that since I'm coming from a Rebel XTi, that even the Mark II will be a significant improvement.

With video, while I don't use it very much, I think I was most looking forward to RAW video output and video autofocus in the release of the Mark III. While I've read that there were some improvements, neither of the specific ones I was looking for were incorporated, so the right decision for me still isn't so clear cut.

I'm wondering if the autofocus of the Mark II is really as bad as I've heard. And even if it is, it's still a big step up from my Rebel, right?

cliffwang

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I'm wondering if the autofocus of the Mark II is really as bad as I've heard. And even if it is, it's still a big step up from my Rebel, right?
AF on 5D2 is really NOT good.  The new AF on T4i is even better than AF on 5D2.  I think T2i might be even better than 5D2.  However, what's the subject you shoot most?  Do you need a good AF system?
You buy 5D2 for benefits from FF.
You buy 5D3 for better AF system.

my 2 cents
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shunsai

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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/p504616586
Wow, I have to say I'm pretty impressed! They look really good for ISO5000 and no flash, albeit I'm looking at downsized photos.


AF on 5D2 is really NOT good.  The new AF on T4i is even better than AF on 5D2.  I think T2i might be even better than 5D2.  However, what's the subject you shoot most?  Do you need a good AF system?
You buy 5D2 for benefits from FF.
You buy 5D3 for better AF system.

my 2 cents

Your 2 cents is much appreciated.  I mostly shoot landscapes and portaits, but I have been doing the odd wedding here and there. I'm sure improved autofocus would be very useful in wedding photography, but I'm not sure I'm at that point yet.

Although they're both dated cameras now, I would be curious to find out how the autofocus of the Mark II compares to that of the Rebel XTi. I can tell the XTi's isn't great, but for what I shoot, I haven't really had any complaints. I think if the Mark II was even marginally better than the XTi I might be okay with it.

Hillsilly

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... there are going to be at least half a dozen rebels at any wedding - and they will be all photo buffs, how will they feel about hiring you when you have equipment just like them? Hardly likely. Those guys with the rebels will be looking at you very closely and the next bride to be in the audience will be looking to them for recommendation.

You could just add a cheap battery grip and tape over the logo and model name.  That'll keep people guessing. They might think you're packing a 1 series.  If you mate this with a battered and scratched 70-200 f/2.8, 600ex and photo vest, your credibility will soar.  You'll be booked out for the next two years! :) 
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kalmiya

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I'm wondering if the autofocus of the Mark II is really as bad as I've heard. And even if it is, it's still a big step up from my Rebel, right?
AF on 5D2 is really NOT good.  The new AF on T4i is even better than AF on 5D2.  I think T2i might be even better than 5D2. 

my 2 cents

Actually, from a previous discussion started on this forum, it looks like the 550D (t2i) and 5d2 have identical autofocus - with the 5D2 having a disadvantage that the AF-points are not on thirds (as in, they are more 'centered' compared to a crop-camera)...

And since I don't like AF on my 550, I'm not jumping on the 5D2 even though the price is okay ( and I'd really like to have an *affordable* FF - for which the 5D3 does NOT qualify ^^ )
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 04:47:40 AM by kalmiya »

Dylan777

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Doesn't matter what kind of backup camera you might have, the MOST important thing is can your main camera delivers the IQ that you looking for - under low light of course?

With 61pts AF from 1D series and ISO 6400 -12800 on 5D III looks better than ISO800 on crop - I say YES, is it worth it.

I started with 40D, 60D, 7D, 5D II and now 5D III....mrk III has all features that I'm looking for in FF.

I have 5D II for less than 3 months, I couldn't stand AF. Unless you doing still shooting, otherwise...it sucks.
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D_Rochat

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I'm wondering if the autofocus of the Mark II is really as bad as I've heard. And even if it is, it's still a big step up from my Rebel, right?
AF on 5D2 is really NOT good.  The new AF on T4i is even better than AF on 5D2.  I think T2i might be even better than 5D2.  However, what's the subject you shoot most?  Do you need a good AF system?
You buy 5D2 for benefits from FF.
You buy 5D3 for better AF system.

my 2 cents

The T4i sounds like it has better AF than the 5D mk II, but how do you figure the T2i might have better AF than the 5D? At worst, they are the same. I don't know if the T2i has the extra invisible AF points but if it doesn't, then the 5D mk II would have a slight edge.

The mk II AF may not be a stellar performer with the exception of the center point, but the 9 point is still capable if used properly. I've shot lots of action with the 9 point and I've come out with some great shots. I might have more keepers with a better AF system, but it's still better than what most will give it credit for.

Razor2012

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4x the price does not mean 4x the camera. Im a bit of an audiophile having headphones ranging from $300 to $1400. Is the $1400 headphone 4x better sounding than the $300 ? More like 20% max. Obviously they're many features in a camera. That being said, the mark III is a joy to use. My mark II has become a very expensive lens holder.

My 2 cents. :)

Once you go FF, you'd never go back.

You need to sell that puppy then, maybe some new L glass?   ;)
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cliffwang

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The T4i sounds like it has better AF than the 5D mk II, but how do you figure the T2i might have better AF than the 5D? At worst, they are the same. I don't know if the T2i has the extra invisible AF points but if it doesn't, then the 5D mk II would have a slight edge.

The mk II AF may not be a stellar performer with the exception of the center point, but the 9 point is still capable if used properly. I've shot lots of action with the 9 point and I've come out with some great shots. I might have more keepers with a better AF system, but it's still better than what most will give it credit for.
That's just my feeling.  I upgraded my T2i to 7D for a while, so I cannot recall why I felt the AF on T2i is better than 5D2.  What I can remember is AF on T2i was faster than 5D2.  That might be some exception, but I really felt that.  By the way, I only use the center point.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 12:27:30 PM by cliffwang »
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shunsai

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I have a 60D and I just got a 5D Mark II yesterday.  With only 15 minutes of shots of birds and flowers with the 5D, I can immediately tell a difference in the images.  With the 5D, the light rolloff is smoother, the depth of field is more isolating and almost three-dimensional, and the shots are more enticing to look at.  This probably sounds excessively flowery, but it's difficult to describe the differences unless you shoot with both full-frame and crop.  If the 60D shots look good, the 5D shots look great. 

Thanks for your impressions. Actually, your description sounds spot on. I actually went ahead and picked up a 5D Mark II last night as well. Since it was already dark by the time I got back home, I didn't get much of a chance to test it out, but what you say about smoother light roll-off, and what others have said about the brightness of the viewfinder I've found to be true.

Actually, I feel I got a pretty good deal here in Japan. A brand new Mark II is selling for 162,000 yen (at today's exchange rate it works out to about $2000 USD; but I still prefer thinking of it as a 1:100 ratio, ie. $1620). The 5D Mark III just isn't what I want for the price I want. So to answer the question posed in the title of this thread: Nope, not for me.

I don't know if I will go back to APS-C and get the Rebel T4i at this point. But with the rumors of 4 more DSLRs on the way this year, maybe there will be a genuine successor to the Mark II, both in capabilities and price. But for now, I'll try to get the hang of my new camera and find out it's limits for myself. Hopefully, by the time I do, I'll have more options to upgrade to.

Thanks again for all your helpful thoughts and insights!

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