Canon EOS M vs T4i / 650D: Performance
Image quality is perhaps the most important comparison in our Canon EOS M vs T4i analysis, and the APS-C format sensor and DIGIC 5 processor show their mettle in the quality of the images that the M produces. The camera’s images are a close match for those from the T4i for noise.
Pictures have plenty of detail, and noise is controlled well from ISO 100-3200. Above this point in the ISO range, JPEGs start to look a little soft at 100% on-screen and are best restricted to around A4 size.
As we’d expect, better results are possible at ISO 3200 and 6400 if raw format files are recorded and processed with bespoke noise reduction to preserve details. We recommend staying within the native sensitivity range (ISO 100-12800) and only using the ISO 25,600 expansion setting for emergencies.
Maintaining image quality to the corners of the frame is more of a challenge for the Canon EOS M vs the T4i because the M’s lens is closer to the sensor and this increases the likelihood of coma distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration at the periphery of the image.
However, our tests reveal that with the EF-M 18-55mm lens mounted, the EOS M captures better image quality across the frame than the Rebel T4i with the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens mounted. Doubtless, this is the result of the superior build (and better optics) of the EF-M lens.
Another point to note in our Canon EOS M vs T4i performance comparison is that, as with the Rebel T4i, the EOS M tends to make scenes look a little warmer than they are in reality. This may not be a completely accurate representation, but the images are usually pleasant.
The two EF-M mount lenses that are directly compatible with the EOS M have the STM (stepper motor) AF drive, which is intended to give slower, smoother focusing when shooting video.
Unfortunately this has a knock-on effect for the M when shooting stills, as the autofocus lacks speed.
If shooting low light photography there’s a pronounced back-and-forth hunting of focus. This is also sometimes discernible (though less of an issue) in good light as well, and it slows down the EOS M’s Touch Shutter feature that sets the camera to focus and fire the shutter with a touch of the finger on the subject on the LCD.
We found that the M’s focusing for stills images is a little faster and smoother than the Rebel T4i / 650D’s in Live View mode, but there were occasions during our Canon EOS M vs T4i head-to-head test when the T4i managed to focus on the subject when the M did not.
Both cameras allow manual focusing and the screens provide a very clear, sharp view (apart from in bright sunlight) with useful magnification options. Focusing manually with the EF-M kit lens feels much nicer and more precise than with the EF-S lens, but the end result is the same.
PAGE 1: Canon EOS M vs T4i / 650D specs and features
PAGE 2: Canon EOS M vs T4i / 650D flash
PAGE 3: Canon EOS M vs T4i / 650D build quality & handling
PAGE 4: Canon EOS M vs T4i / 650D performance
PAGE 5: Canon EOS M vs T4i / 650D verdict