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on April 17, 2012
Coming from an ameture's POV rather than an expert, I really LOVE this camera. I had previously done a lot of research because I was looking for something a little better than the point-and-shoot digital camera's. Here are some things I noted:

- Being a DSLR, this camera is a bit heavy, especially if you're using a telephoto lens. This doesn't terribly bother me because it does not feel "cheap" in any way. To note, the T3 actually feels lighter than the T3i.
-I am REALLY a fan of the swivel screen which is newly introduced in this model. As others have said, I do fear accidentally bumping it and snapping it off but I really do like it. Plus, you can rotate it around so the screen is against the camera to protect it from scratches when not in use.
-Picture quality blew me away. Even before I knew the right settings, just using the auto, this camera handles color really wonderfully. I have taken several outdoor photos with my dogs in the grassy backyard and the grass is a beautiful bright and vibrant hue. No photoshop edits necessary! :)
-The camera itself actually has a few image filters you can apply to your photos after you take them. They're fairly simplistic but a neat addition.
-The battery life when taking photos (and not using live view) is really fantastic compared to typical point and shoot digital cameras. Since the camera does not take photos with live view (unless you turn on the setting) I've gotten many photos before having to recharge.
-The exception to the above: If recording video, especially in HD, that REALLY eats the battery life up. I probably only get a few hours out of the battery if recording straight video.
-I found that it was really easy to learn the functions of this camera, and although I don't know them all, it has great functions and modes both for professionals and beginners. Even just using the auto modes and letting the camera decide the settings, it works fantastic.
-I am not a huge fan of the built in flash. Though I've read that most built in flashes on cameras aren't great, I usually do not use it unless it's really needed. In good light, the camera really performs great without it. Images with the flash tend to be blown out or too dim (if you adjust the brightness)
-The display screen is really gorgeous (and large). Really the best way I can put that. It's a lot more crisp and clear than my other point and shoot digital cameras.
-This model, as opposed to the T3 which does not, has a built in sensor to use wireless remotes (which I also purchased) Just wanted to point that out.
-One thing I can't seem to figure out (and I'm not sure if it's a computer issue or not), when uploading pictures (by plugging in the camera into the computer with the cord provided), it takes FOREVER for my computer to recognize the camera. At first I thought it was because I hadn't installed the software that came with it, so I did that. It still takes at least a minute or two before the software will open up and allow me to download the images. That's truly my only beef which may NOT have anything to do with the camera itself. ***EDIT: This issue was solely to do with my computer. I recently upgraded it and now it instantly connects to my camera.**

Overall I would definitely recommend this to any beginners looking to get their first DSLR. It's a higher end beginners DSLR for a fairly affordable price and if you keep an eye out for those Amazon deals, you can snag a nice bundle. I've had mine for about 5 months now and I absolutely love it!

**EDIT: After a couple years of having it, I still have and LOVE this camera! Now that I've learned more about it's functions, I find it easy and versatile to use with great functions for both beginners and pros. This was worth every penny! **
55 comments77 of 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2012
Received this as a gift (it was bought @best buy but it's cheaper here!) and felt compelled to share my initial reaction to the T3i. I've been wanting an SLR camera for a while but could never decide on one. Well when I received this as an anniversary gift, the decision had been made for me. I was considering a Nikon so I was a little worried at first but I immediately took it out of the box and started messing around with it. First thing I noticed was that the controls were easy to navigate for someone like myself who never used an SLR and the pictures taken just fooling around looked really nice. I read parts of the little booklet to see how to get the image screen to come on as I was not used to taking photos through just a viewfinder. After a while though, I actually had fun using the viewfinder, it has 9 points of focus. However I would probably turn on the view screen if I were to ask someone to take a photo for me, because it's more like a point and shoot and easier for most folks. I did this at a family gathering and the in-laws appreciated using the view screen. Either way the photos come out extremely well. My husband usually takes terrible pics no matter what, on all of our cameras, which he readily admits. They're usually out of focus, dark or just bad, we don't know how they turn out that bad but they do. But he's been able to take plenty of good ones with this, which in my book is pretty amazing! Switching between MF and AF is very easy as well, there is a switch on the side of the lens near the button that disengages the lens. Using this camera is much easier than I imagined. It came with the EF-S 18-55 and my hubby got the EFS 55-250 for me as well. So far I have been using the 18-55 but the 55-250 worked well for some photos I took in the expansive lobby at the Grand Calfornian. I'm still learning about the camera and plan on buying the guide for this specific camera that is sold here on amazon. I will try to update my review after I get a macro lens and have it for a little while longer. I added some photos of a mother hummingbird and her 2 babies that I have shot for the past week in my yard using the 18-55. I know this review might not be helpful for the experienced but for the amateur I hope it helps. I don't think anyone would be disappointed with this camera especially if you are new to SLR photography.
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0Comment46 of 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 27, 2012
I initially bought a Nikon D5100 with these TWO "kit" lenses: 18-55 and 55-200mm. As background, I have 45 years "serious amateur" experience in photography, but little in digital photography. My first "serious" digital SLR was a SONY A100 that I bought so I could use my Minolta AF lenses. At this time, I wanted to update my camera because technology had advanced so much! It was a major decision to change camera brands because of my investment over the years in Minolta AF mount lenses. BUT, I wanted something lighter than the SONY "professional" cameras, and something with a better imaging reputation.

I shot approximately 90 test images with each of the Nikkor lenses. After carefully reviewing them at 100% magnification in Photoshop, I can honestly say that only 1 of the 180 photos was genuinely sharp.

The 55-200 had trouble focusing under certain circumstances even in mid-day on a mostly cloudy but well lighted day. In addition to the lack of sharpness either the lenses, the sensor or the in camera software did a poor job with contrast and color rendition. Neither zoom ring moved "smoothly." Both felt "rough." I understand that they are relatively cheap "kit" lenses, but I expect much better from a lens with the Nikkor name!

The mirror in the Nikon DSLR body did something indicative of poor design, poor quality and/or poor manufacturing. It shifted at the last moment as it seated itself. It was not aligned properly for its travel and seating.

There is something about the design of the D5100 body front where it is supposed to fit your right hand that was VERY uncomfortable for me. This could be a personal issue since hand sizes vary.

Fortunately, I was able to return the camera for a full refund! Overall, I was EXTREMELY disappointed! I expected MUCH better from Nikon.

I then bought a Canon T3i with 18-55 and 55-250mm "kit" lenses, which is roughly equivalent to the Nikon D5100 package but $100 more. I had read MANY reviews, both professional and user. They almost unanimously favored the Nikon which is why I first tried the Nikon. I have now had the Canon for about two weeks and shot perhaps 200 "test" images. Out of these, most are extremely sharp even magnified to 200% in Photoshop. While both lenses appear to focus quickly and properly in all lighting conditions, I had trouble at the 250mm end. In defense of the lens, I do NOT yet know how to change the focusing parameters (spot versus wide area)and I was trying to capture either a distant deer or bird both partly hidden in a mess of branches or trees. The camera did not know what I wanted to focus on. Exposure, color and contrast rendition are excellent!

Oddly, in the full automatic setting, the camera wants to use the flash in situations that I do NOT believe call for flash. Interestingly, and useful for idiot-proof photography, in full automatic the camera's brain alters the ISO setting to afford "optimum" settings for a decent photo. They may not be the settings a knowledgeable photographer would choose, but they work!

The camera body appears to be solid, properly designed, engineered and manufactured. Unfortunately, it is slightly heavier than the Nikon, which is a major factor for me. However, it fits my right hand very comfortably. To help with the weight, I bought an Op/Tech USA Bino/Cam webbing harness (I did NOT buy the "elastic" version because these things tend to stretch out of shape after not too long). It is available through Amazon with the ASIN #B000GTRBQQ.

If you are looking for a DSLR in this price range, I highly recommend the Canon T3i (aka EOS 600D ).
55 comments46 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 19, 2012
I bought this package being new to photography (SLR's, I've had point and shoots for years). I understood what did what in terms of exposure, and factors that were important to consider, but without the application of actually spending time taking a lot of photos and learning by experience. That said, the only thing I would've done differently would be to spend a little extra buying the components separately.

I bought the kit that included the 600D body, 18-55 lens, and 55-250 lens. I'm a little torn on this package because I don't really like the 18-55 lens, but the 55-250 is actually nice for macro work--I get great color and detail with it. The site photozone has great reviews and specs on lenses, actually perfect for people that want clear answers on what drawbacks and benefits lenses have. Both of the lenses included in this package matched up well to the descriptions on this site, which actually got me shooting macro with the telephoto.

Besides the lenses, the T3i/600D body is great for me. After playing with a friend's 5DMarkII, I appreciated the full frame capabilities and quality, but I wanted to take this backpacking and the weight and size were much more suitable for me. The EF-S lenses were also designed to be smaller and lighter, so this just makes cropped sensor a good match for me.

I gave this package 4 stars because the kit is great for beginning, and the body will last you a long while. You will probably start reading about lenses however, and find that the ones included in here were fine to learn on and more importantly learn what you don't like. I would give the T3i body 5 stars because it is a pleasure to shoot with, and I plan on keeping it for several years, and migrating to a higher end cropped sensor, not full frame. The lenses for this would be 3 stars--what you would expect.

My only advice getting this would be to get a nice circular polarizing filter. Getting a bad filter ruins a good camera. I got the B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating) with step up rings (a couple dollars) and they can go on any lens. Such a difference; I know its expensive for a filter, but it honestly makes the lenses better.

But I digress, this is a great package. The body will last you a long time and the lenses will guide you on what you want to move towards in the future.
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on January 11, 2012
I purchased this camera with both the kit lens (18-55mm) and 55-250mm lens from Canon. I am very pleased with the picture quality. Mostly, I have used this camera for taking pictures at youth soccer games. Using the 55-250mm lens, I was impressed by how close I could get to the action and have gotten many amazing action photos. The cameras abilities were good enough to freeze the action for nice crisp pictures. The 3.7fps speed is very helpful for making sure I don't miss an important moment. I know it does not take sports photos as well as professional cameras, but I feel it certainly does a great job for the money! I have not yet tried it in indoor lighting. I also took some pictures of a social event I attended (using the 18-55mm lens)and the 18 megapixels really helps the people in the photos to stand out and look sharp. The camera was also quite easy to figure out how to use. I spent maybe 30 minutes browsing through the manual and another 30 minutes or so watching some tutorials and I felt comfortable with pretty much every setting on the camera. An excellent purchase!
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on August 25, 2012
This is a truly great camera. For other buyers, I am a male teenager that wanted to buy his first SLR camera but I was in between this one, the T2i and the Nikon 51100, after reading many pages and many reviews, I found this one better because of the flipping screen that truly makes a difference. Don't worry, it doesn't go loose or anything.

THE ONLY REASON why I gave this review a 4 is because the shutter (the button you press to take the picture) is a bit loose, it doesnt fall or anything, but its a bit uncomfortable and it's something that I think only happened to this camera.
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on December 30, 2011
Years ago, I had a Canon AE-1 35mm. I've been using my wife's Sure-Shot for years but decided to buy a digital. After shooting 1360 pictures at Disney World last week, I am thrilled with this purchase! I got some great pictures with the standard 55mm lens and the 55-250 zoom, especially in low light. Amazon did a great job of shipping also, I couldn't be happier!
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on December 23, 2011
My 15 year old Sony MVC CD-1000 was swept out of an overhead bin by another passenger's coat on my return from vacation. I was unable to find a repair shop for such an "old" camera, so I needed a new one. My first 'serious' SLR was a Canon AE-1P, so I naturally gravitated to the Canon product line. I also research the Nikon cameras. After a quick trip to a local big-box store to compare the feel and weight of the Canon and Nikon offerings, I selected the T3i and couldn't be any happier. On a recent trip to Europe, the camera operated flawlessly in sun, rain and snow.

The auto-focus is superb and it takes only 3 or 4 shots to understand how to use the focus points in the viewfinder and get the image focus where you want it. The T3I uses the semi-depressed shutter button to preview the focus and also took only a few shots to be able to use it instinctively.

Since I only had the camera 10 days prior to my latest trip, I stuck mostly to the A+ (point and shoot) and flash disabled modes. Despite this, I came back with over 650 pictures, all of far better quality than my old trusty Sony.

- ease of adaptation, within an hour of starting to use it, the camera was instinctively just there';
- instruction manual was actually readable - the final editor and proofreaders appear to actually speak English (thank you Canon!);
- light weight body;
- very good ergonomics - even with my big hands, the buttons and dials do not interfere with each other;
- clear LCD display even without my bifocals (showing my age :).

- its taking a lit bit to become comfortable with swapping lenses quickly. I haven't had to swap lenses for 15 years, so practice will probably get me back to the old AE-1 days;
- my old AE-1 lenses don't fit, but they are almost 30 years old, so I'm probably not missing anything.

Again, its a new camera, so it will take 6 months or so of experimenting to get familiar with all the features. But at first glance, this camera is certainly a 5-star piece of equipment.
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on December 27, 2011
In short, the lens became defective in the first week and I had to pay to ship it back. I love the camera so far and it takes amazing pictures and video, however I'm not happy about the lens becoming defective so quickly.

The long.
This is my first digital SLR and I actually love the camera a lot, however I'm marking it down to 3 stars for a couple reasons. The main reason has more to do with the lens itself. It came with the 18-55 and 55-250 lenses. I have been using them for about a week now and the 18-55mm lens is broken already. I went to take a picture and it said the contacts needed to be cleaned and there was a communication error between the camera and the lens. It's brand new and the contacts are bright and clean. A quick Google search and apparently it's a known common issue. There were tutorials on how to fix it but it takes 45 minutes if you know what you're doing. Since it is brand new and under warranty I figured I'd just send it in for repair. This is where I got annoyed the second time. I haven't had to send too many things in for warranty repair in the past but I feel like they should have paid for the shipping. Instead the "shipping label" I was supposed to print wasn't a shipping label as much as an address that I printed on a piece of paper. The instructions said to mail it to that address with my choice of carrier. So it ended up costing me $8 to mail and insure it. $8 in the grand scheme of things is not a huge deal, however I seem to remember getting a shipping label for anything that was broken under warranty in the past, but it has been a while, maybe things are different these days.
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on December 23, 2011
This is my first electronic gadget purchased with my own money, and its awesome and worth buying.

I am entering digital photography world as a novice, and I am sure CANON will help me improve my skills.
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