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Weekly Video Tip: Product Review of the Best DSLR Camera for Amateurs (Canon Rebel T4i)

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By Stephen Schweickart

Alright, guys, we know that the world of digital camcorders can be overwhelming and deciding which one to buy makes you feel a bit like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Roadrunner. But don’t fret. We’re going to tell you why picking up the Canon T4i will give you the most bang for your buck.

You can get the Canon T4i body and a starter lens for about 900 bucks. It costs a little more than its predecessors the T2i and T3i, but it has some really significant improvements over those cameras as well, including a new sensor and image processor. Not bad considering how much prosumer video cameras cost to begin with. This is well above entry level and will give you crisp, colorful images and video right out of the box.

The T4i upholds Canon’s reputation for quality. With an 18 megapixel sensor as well as the new DIGIC 5 Image Processor, it can shoot full 1080p HD video that is vastly superior to most traditional camcorders – even ones costing thousands of dollars more.

The difference lies in the sensor – since the T4i was designed to function primarily as a stills camera, the sensor is much larger than most cameras intended just for capturing video. This increased sensor size not only results in increased resolution – (5184 x 3456 for you pixel peepers out there), but also allows for much better low light capabilities and the ability to capture images w/ the shallow depth of field that smaller sensors will not allow. This will be great for shooting really artsy b-roll close-ups of flowers, or for getting your first quirky indie rom-com in the can and off to Sundance.

With the T4i, you get all the control you need with the manual setting. Go into the menu, switch off everything you see that says “Auto” and you’ll be stylin’. Then set the dial to Manual and open that aperture as wide as possible to crush your depth of field. When shooting images with tricky or mixed exposure – like a backlit portrait or an interior with bright windows, the T4i really comes in aces by allowing you to shoot multiple consecutive shots that expose for all parts of the scene and then combines them to output one properly exposed image. The T4i doesn’t stop there. Not only does it have a killer articulating screen, which makes it easy for you to shoot from a variety of angles, it also breaks new ground by being the first HDSLR with a touch screen.

Here’s the real kicker: Even though it’s a DSLR, this baby is no longer optimized just for shooting stills. It has a ton of video-friendly features, including full time auto focus for video and adjustable gain control for the internal audio. This alone is enough to put the T4i on the top of your list.

Overall, the T4i will be a great choice when you’re trying to take your videos to the next level.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s site at http://www.vscreen.com/.

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