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Canon EOS Rebel T3 Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Canon EOS Rebel T3

Canon's latest entry-level DSLR offering is the Rebel T3.


The Rebel T3 is Canon's replacement for its successful entry-level DSLR camera, the Rebel XS. The T3 has been a long time coming in digital photography terms. It doesn't offer much in the way of surprises, but it's a compact and easy-to-use DSLR that should appeal to anyone looking to make his or her first foray into DSLR ownership.


  • Resolution: 12.2 megapixel, CMOS sensor
  • ISO: ISO 100 - 6400 (Auto)
  • Focusing: 9 AF points
  • Movie Mode: HD Movie Mode at 720p
  • Flash: Built-in pop up flash
  • LCD Screen: 2.7-inch LCD panel, 230,000 pixels
  • Battery: Li-Ion LP-E10 rechargeable battery
  • Dimensions: 130 x 100 x 78 mm (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in.)
  • Weight: 495g (without battery) (1.09 lbs.)
  • Maximum Image Size: 4272 x 2848 pixels (RAW and JPEG)


  • Basic screens to help beginners learn about the camera
  • Reliable metering
  • Accurate AF


  • Small viewfinder
  • Camera body feels cheaply constructed
  • Limited movie mode

Canon EOS Rebel T3 Review

Canon's new entry-level DSLR camera is aimed at those on a budget who want to make the move to a DSLR. It has all the tried and tested features from previous Canon models, and it is unlikely to give anyone nasty surprises. It's perhaps slightly lacking in features compared to some of its competitors, but it's easy to use and handles well.

Body and Controls

If you want your DSLR camera to be completely made of plastic -- and you almost certainly do not -- the Rebel T3 unfortunately fits the bill, with no rubberized grips at all. Still, the handgrip is much larger than the T3's predecessor, and it's easy to hold and use.

The controls have undergone a fairly major change, with ISO and white balance moving onto the four-way controller on the back of the camera. Personally, I can't understand why Canon has moved the ISO button from the top of the camera, where it can be accessed without taking the camera away from the eye. Instead, the pop-up flash activation button has been placed alongside the mode dial on the top of the camera. You can customize this button to set the ISO but, as it's labeled with a flash symbol, this could prove confusing!

The camera benefits from the addition of the "Q" button, which allows for quick access to the Rear Control Screen (appearing on the LCD screen). The Q button allows fast changing of most shooting parameters as well.

The T3 helps out beginners with the combination of its "Basic+" and "Creative Auto" modes, which allow users to do things such as controlling the aperture (setting a blurred or sharp background) or choosing the lighting type (white balance), without using confusing technical terms. It's a useful feature, but it isn't done as well as on Nikon's entry-level model, the D3100.


The T3 gains two AF points on its predecessor, and the autofocus is very accurate. It slows down, as do all cameras, in low light, but it doesn't ever lock up. However, in "Live Mode," the AF slows down so much that it's almost painful -- regularly taking around 4 seconds to focus! This makes it nearly impossible to use Live Mode with moving subjects.

Image Quality

Like all entry-level DSLR cameras, the T3 needs to be able to perform straight out of the box, at its default settings. And in this respect, it doesn't disappoint. At its default JPEG settings, the colors are natural and there is decent detail. Base ISO is perhaps a fraction softer than with some of the T3's competitors, but you can easily correct this by shooting in RAW.

It's also worth noting that the two highest ISO settings do show significant amounts of noise, and they should be avoided for anything but Web use or very small print sizes.

In summation, results are pleasing throughout the camera's range, and beginners will be delighted with the punchy and colorful results achieved.

In Conclusion

The T3 offers good image quality and a very easy-to-use interface. Anyone choosing this camera won't be disappointed -- it's great fun to shoot with. It doesn't have the best list of specifications, and many of its rivals come with more bells and whistles. However, for beginners, a camera that's easy to use is often more preferable than one with several fancy buttons!

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