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Consumer (Canon T4i) vs. Professional (Canon 6D)

LensesWhen I first jumped on the bandwagon of DSLR shooting, I bought a Canon T4i. Later on, I was looking into getting another camera and using the T4i as my back up. I had never used a full frame camera before and was skeptical to dish out the thousands more to purchase one. I remember asking our technician at work what the difference between the two was and he laughed, “It’s like comparing a Ferrari with a Sunfire. You just can’t compare.”

It wasn’t until I bought my professional, full-frame Canon 6D and shot with it for the first time, that I realized how true those words were. That being said, I love both cameras for different reasons, and when you are on a budget a consumer camera can get the job done and get it done well.

Image Quality

The first thing I noticed when I took my first shot with the Canon 6D was the color of my image and the sharpness. The image quality of the 6D is 82.0 compared to the 62.0 of the T4i. This score is calculated through various factors of color depth, dynamic rang, and low light performance. 6D’s resolution is 20.9MP compared to the T4i’s 17.9MP.

Canon 6D

canon 6d

Canon T4i

canon t4i

Interface Layout

Although the Canon 6D is a newer model, Canon failed to include the amazing screen features of the earlier make, T4i. The Canon T4i’s flip out touch screen is incredibly useful in getting those awkward shots and allows you to effortlessly autofocus.

Canon 6D and Canon T4i

canon 6d and t4i

Sensor

These photos were shot with the identical settings in the near identical place. The Canon 6D however has a wider scope of the scene and this is due to its larger sensor. The 6D is a full frame 36.0 x 24.00 mm while the T4i is a APS-C 22.3 x 14.9mm. The Canon 6D has about a 2.5 times larger sensor than the T4i.

Below are shots taken at the same place using identical lens settings.

Canon 6D (24 – 70mm lens) and Canon T4i (24-70mm lens)

Canon 6D and Canon T4i

Focus

Although the 6D outranks the T4i in image quality, the T4i really is the pioneer of consumer cameras with its additional features. The Canon T4i offers continuous video focus and faster video autofocus (phase detection), which is not available in most DSLR cameras. These focus features of the T4i allow your video to stay in focus when recording, compared to the Canon 6D when you will have to manually adjust while shooting.

Low Light

Every videographer and photographer curses when the sun goes down, because that usually means our shots will be too dark and have too much noise. The Canon 6D has revolutionized low-light shooting. The Canon 6D has a 2,340 ISO compared to the T4i’s 722 ISO. The 6D has 1.7 f-stops higher ISO than the T4i, which makes it able to capture low light situations with less noise and more brightness.

Canon 6D and Canon T4i

canon 6d and t4i

Compatibility

The 6D and T4i both use the same SD cards, which can be beneficial if you are looking to have both like I do. As much as I love the fact, I don’t have to go out and buy the expensive compact flash cards for my 6D, they are of sturdier quality than an SD card.

Compatibility - Memory Cards

Currently there are more lenses available for the T4i at 162 lenses compared to the 125 lenses the 6D can use. That is still a lot of lenses to choose from!

Price

Of course the consumer will beat out the professional camera in price. The Canon T4i goes for about $650 while the 6D is around $1,700. For a first time buyer, I always suggest it’s best to go with the less expensive model so you can practice with it and not be overly cautious and worrisome you’ll break your new toy. For their prices, they are both value for their buck.

Conclusion

Both the professional Canon 6D and consumer T4i have their disadvantages and advantages, and depending on your needs and budget, one will serve you better. Finding a camera right for you isn’t dependent on the best specifications a camera has, rather what is the best features and specs for how you will use it.

 

Join the conversation

4 Responses to “Consumer (Canon T4i) vs. Professional (Canon 6D)”

  1. Rodney jones on August 29th, 2013 3:11 pm

    Anne: The 6D is not a professional camera.

  2. John P. Thiel on December 24th, 2013 11:32 am

    Professional filmmakers have told me they can shoot an entire feature film on the T3i. Of course the T4i is a major upgrade on several features, and while it can’t achieve the stellar quality of the 6D it will put professional level filmmaking power in more hands at a consumer price. It’s also an especially good high grade filmmaking camera for when you’re a film crew of one or are both the one shooting and appearing in the scene.

    Speaking of price, you stated the T4i is only $650. That must be for the body only. One difference with the T4i is that you would be foolish to buy it without one of the STM lenses which provide virtually silent and fast autofocus–only the T4i and now T5i can use this technology. When I bought mine in July 2013 the regular price with the 18-135 STM lens included was $1200, but I bought mine directly from Canon, factory refurbished, for only $700 after receiving an additional 20% during a promotion.

  3. Graham Orbell on March 9th, 2015 5:14 pm

    Rae-Anne, I completely agree with your very good report
    (I have been a TV professional shooter for 50 years with broadcast cameras. Not that, that means much)
    I also own a 5D3 as well as a T5i. In most situations my T5i (700D) gives practically as good results as the 5D3.
    They each have advantages as you have reported.
    The main reason FF cameras have better image quality over APSC is that the image does not need to be enlarged as much for viewing. Your advice to start with a T4/5i is very good. Not many people will notice the difference in the final result. Of course the 5D3 is a better camera but we don’t always need the best. Otherwise we would all shoot in 70mm film. Graham O

  4. Sally on November 10th, 2015 8:08 am

    Rodney : its not the camera, its the eye! I know many sucessful photographers who don’t own a ‘professional’ camera. If you’re creating amazing images, who cares???

About the Author


Rae-Anne LaPlante is a video journalist at Shaw TV Nanaimo and owner of Kasba Media. She is currently working on her first independent documentary, “S(t)able Island: The Beauty of the Free”, a film about Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Sable is an isolated and government restricted island that is home to the only protected wild horses in Canada. She successfully funded her dream through a 30 day Kickstarter campaign. Rae-Anne became passionate about television and film production as she saw the influence media can have on society, and as cliché as it sounds, she always wanted to work in a field where she could influence positive change. Rae-Anne believes in creating meaningful productions that gives back to society and the environment. She wants to inspire others to dream BIG! With whatever you do, do it with all your heart. You can find more about Rae-Anne through her documentary website, www.stableisland.com or email: kasbamedia@gmail.com.

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