I have been doing shooting with a Rebel XSi for about 5 years now as a hobby, and want to step it up a bit. I am looking at getting a 7D, but I was advised to get the T4i instead. The main arguments were:

  • It is cheaper
  • It has image stabilization
  • It has noise reduction

I started to do some research on the two cameras, and I have found some sites claiming the 7D does have IS and NR, and others say it doesn't. I looked at canon's site, but I couldn't find information listed for either camera.

So, does the 7D have image stabilization and noise reduction? Does it even matter? Bonus points if anyone has experience with the two cameras and can provide an opinion on them.

  • You may want to simply compare the cameras to see the specific differences yourself instead relying on random advice. – Itai Jan 24 '13 at 18:20
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    I don't think you are limited by your Rebel XSi. Check out some books, take pictures, learn, etc. That is how you will "step it up a bit", not by buying new equipment. – dpollitt Jan 24 '13 at 18:45
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    I think the usual question applies here: what are you finding limiting about your XSi which you think would be improved by moving to the T4i, 7D or any other body for that matter? – Philip Kendall Jan 24 '13 at 18:54
  • @PhilipKendall I find that the XSi doesn't perform that well even at an ISO of 400 (which when I am outdoors in cloudy seattle actually matters). I would like to be able to to shoot video occasionally, every so often I find myself wishing I could shoot faster, (mainly when i'm trying to get a picture of our kids playing) and personally I find the autofocus misses a lot. In general, many people have suggested I upgrade. I guess I can look into that assumption. – user6189 Jan 24 '13 at 19:20
  • If you're looking at a toss-up between the T4i and the 7D, have you considered the 60D? – Philip Kendall Jan 24 '13 at 20:23

No Canon dSLR has built in image stabilization. Canon offers it in select lenses, known as 'IS' lenses. So, no, neither offer image stabilization.

All Canon cameras also offer noise reduction, and of course, it can be applied (or not in the case of RAW) on the computer after the fact as well.

Does it matter? Noise reduction matters, because all cameras have noise, and it is inherent in the electronics. What matters is how flexible the camera is in applying it, and your options. Thankfully, both of these cameras feature multiple options for noise reduction, as well as Camera Styles where you can determine your own preferences. Finally, both support RAW format, where noise reduction is provided by you, on the computer.

The Rebel line is typically smaller physically, slower in terms of shots per second, lower fastest shutter speed, and a few other bits. The 7D is Canon's premier APS-C camera, offering every feature you can imagine, incredibly fast shots per second, fastest shutter speeds available, and excellent handling in a larger weather-sealed body which includes a larger 100% coverage viewfinder (the T4i's viewfinder does not show the whole frame).

Rather than go into details, I encourage you to research this on excellent sites such as DPReview.com.


7D is a high quality camera produced to last, fit for pros while the rebel is a low quality production entry-level camera.

7D has much better AF functions, a better brighter viewfinder, better IQ, weather sealing, build quality, battery life, finer controls over everything , faster shutter, amongst other things.

Image stabilization is in the lens, so both have that possibility. Noise reduction they both have but it doesn't matter if you are going to shoot raw.

The recommendation you got is like this quick comparison:


Like it tells the rebel has an advantage on higher iso, but in fact higher ISO is just a gimmick.

ISO noise: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-650d-rebel-t4i/26 Choose to compare with 7D. At around ISO 6400 the noise on the rebel gets notably worse than 7D, and the extra iso range is not useful at all. you can just digitally boost the 7D to the same level and probably get less noise.

Another thing you don't see on specs is the ergonomic handling:

Button driven design on rebel:


versus dial and joystick on 7D:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos7d/8 http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos7d/7

I moved from a rebel to the prosumer style of Canons and the controls plus the pentaprism viewfinder makes a world of difference. If you set out to get the prosumer camera I don't see how anyone could think a rebel could be worth considering.

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    I see no reason to be so rude. The 7D is aimed at enthusiasts, but is old. The T4i is an entry level DSLR, but its one of Canon's most recent models. – Pat Farrell Jan 24 '13 at 18:41
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    @PatFarrell - This isn't rude coming from Michael Nielson, this is just how he talks. Haha. Also - anyone who posts links to camera comparisons on snapsort, I wouldn't take anything too seriously from. It is like using Yahoo! Answers for camera advice. – dpollitt Jan 24 '13 at 19:18
  • Pat: What is rude? Pollit: Notice I used it as an example that quick feature comparisons doesnt tell the whole truth? – Michael Nielsen Jan 24 '13 at 20:21
  • @MichaelNielsen - I was defending you! I just hate that website, snapsort. I woudln't link to it even if I was comparing something I hate, because it is just spam as far as I'm concerned. Your answer was of fine quality overall. – dpollitt Jan 24 '13 at 20:54
  • Your original "pro" versus "toy" comment was rude and simplistic. And not in the helpful spirit that this site tries to provide. – Pat Farrell Jan 25 '13 at 4:26

All Canon sensors include a form of analog noise removal on a per-pixel basis called Correlated Double Sampling, or CDS. This technology has been integrated into Canon's line of 500nm sensors for over a decade. It is effective, but not as effective as digital CDS (as demonstrated by the astounding low-ISO IQ provided by Sony Exmor sensors, which use a form of column-parallel ADC with digital NR.)

To my knowledge, no Canon sensors employ anything other than the basic analog per-pixel CDS from a hardware NR standpoint. Software NR has been employed for some time in firmware, and is only applied to in-camera jpeg output. I would not be surprised if a newer-generation Rebel had better jpeg software processing than the 7D. I would be surprised if any newer camera that used the same 18mp APS-C sensor as the 7D had better NR...especially a lower-end camera. Regarding IQ, there are some key differences between the 7D and the Rebel line that lead to the higher noise on the 7D.

The key differences are the higher readout rate, which demands higher frequency processors and ADC's. Higher frequency electronics tend to introduce more noise of their own into the signal they are processing. In addition to that, the 7D uses a dual Digic design to achieve the high readout rate, effectively providing parallel processing across two separate image processing chips with multiple ADC's each. That is the primary cause of the often pronounced vertical banding in 7D images. The two DIGIC chips don't process 100% exactly the same, resulting in slight differences to each vertical band of pixels processed. The Rebel series only uses a single DIGIC image processing chip, and as such have less pronounced vertical banding, which leads to more pleasing noise (if not necessarily less noise overall.)

Regarding whether "it matters"...possibly. The 7D has many benefits over any of the Rebel line. It has a much faster frame rate, a much better AF unit and drive system. It is a professional-grade body, which means it has weather sealing (not as good as a 1D series body, but still better than having none at all), better ergonomics, and many more features and functionality. The viewfinder is bigger and brighter, with a more advanced HUD. There are many reasons to get the 7D, even if its IQ is not quite as good as the T4i.

So...does it matter? That's up to you. Do you need a higher frame rate? You do if you shoot a lot of action...sports, wildlife, birds. Do you need a better AF system? You do if you shoot a lot of action. Do you need a brighter display? You do if you primarily use the viewfinder rather than the LCD screen to compose and shoot. If you primarily do landscapes, I'd stick with the Rebel line. The Rebel XSi is actually a great camera for no-action photography like landscapes...the only real benefit you might realize by moving up to the T4i is higher resolution and potentially better high-ISO performance (however for the most part landscape and other forms of still photography use the lowest ISO setting.)


The only thing the T4i has that the 7D might not is video AF. The T4i has sensors for auto focus while shooting video which I believe the 7D lacks. Even the 2012 model 5D Miii lacks a video AF. That said, video AF in general, even when "supported" is very lacking and manual will give better results with practice. But yes, both have noise reduction. Even my old XTi had noise reduction on it and supported IS lenses.

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    The 7D supports EF-S lenses; every Canon crop camera since the 300D (aka the original Digital Rebel) and the 20D support EF-S. – Philip Kendall Jan 24 '13 at 20:22
  • @mattdm - thanks for fixing that up for me. I forgot to go back and do it. – AJ Henderson Jan 25 '13 at 13:50

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