on February 27, 2011
The Canon Rebel T3i takes the consumer level dSLR a couple steps closer to the mid-level Canon 60D with the addition of the rotating rear LCD screen, remote flash firing, and in-camera processing features. The already highly competent, older Rebel T2i already shared many important features with the 60D (and even features of the semi-pro 7D) including the 18 MP sensor, 63-zone exposure metering system, high ISO performance, HD movie capabilities, and Digic 4 image processor. With these new upgrades, it might make it even more difficult to choose between them. But there are some important differences.
If you are considering the Rebel T3i vs T2i, the Rebel T3i is replacing the T2i. Since both cameras share the same 18 megapixel sensor and Digic 4 processor, both the T2i and T3i will create images with exactly the same image quality, produce the same low light/ high ISO performance, shoot at 3.7 frames per second, and have nearly the same size and build quality. They are both offered with the same 18-55mm kit lens (with some minor cosmetic differences on the new T3i kit lens). The T3i is very slightly larger and heavier due to the addition of the rotating rear LCD monitor. And that is one of the biggest differences between the two cameras. Do you want and need a vari-angle rear screen or not? The other major difference is the ability of the T3i to remotely control multiple off-camera flashes. Like the 60D and 7D, you can use the built-in flash of the T3i to trigger other Canon Speedlites. Some other minor additions to the T3i include the Scene Intelligent Auto Mode, which is a feature borrowed from point and shoot cameras. When in Auto mode, the T3i will make a determination of what type of scene you are shooting - close-up, portrait, landscape, etc. - and automatically configure the camera settings accordingly. However, if you want to use a powerful and costly digital SLR as a point and shoot, you should probably save the money and just buy a nice, high quality point and shoot like the Canon S95. Other additional but not essential upgrades include the in-camera processing Creative Filters, and the ability to choose different image size ratios and to rate your images. (Helpful hint: press the Q Button while in image playback and you can access features like rating, rotating, and Creative Filters.) There is also a marginally helpful Feature Guide which gives brief descriptions of various settings and some additional video features like Video Snapshot, which you can use to shoot short video clips that are automatically joined together into a video, with music.
Canon Rebel T3i vs. 60D vs. 7D
Sensor and Image Quality: All three cameras share a very similar sensor and 18 megapixels, and so their image quality will be virtually the same. All are capable of taking professional quality images.
Exposure Metering: The three cameras all share the latest 63-zone, dual-layer exposure metering system and 4 metering modes. That means they will all determine the exposure virtually identically and enable you to take properly exposed photos in most every situation, including difficult back-lit scenes. The size of the areas metered for Partial and Spot metering vary slightly between the cameras, but that isn't anything critical.
Autofocus: The T3i shares a similar autofocus system to the 60D, with 9 focus points and three auto focusing modes. However the 9 AF points of the 60D are more sensitive than those of the T3i: all are cross-type in the 60D, only the center is cross-type in the T3i. The 60D autofocus system is much less complex than the sophisticated AF system of the 7D with its 19 AF point system and its additional Zone, Spot, and Expansion focus modes. These various modes address how you want to deal with and group the numerous AF points. Plus the custom settings of the 7D allow one to customize how the AF system works - how it tracks subjects, how it deals with objects that come between you and your initial subject, how quickly it responds to these changes of possible subjects that are at different distances from you, etc. However, if you are not an avid sports photographer, a wildlife shooter, or someone who understands, needs, and will use the elaborate features of the 7D AF system, then this shouldn't sway you.
Construction: As you can probably figure out from the prices, each camera is not built the same. The T3i has relatively strong construction of a stainless steel frame with polycarbonate body. The 60D has a stronger and lighter aluminum frame and polycarbonate body, but not as strong as the 7D's magnesium alloy construction. The 60D also has some amount of weather sealing - more than the T3i, less than the 7D. But for most users, including even those using the camera daily or in travel situations, the construction of any of these cameras is far more than good enough, strong enough, and durable enough.
ISO: Since they all share a very similar sensor, the ISO sensitivity and performance at high ISO settings is virtually the same for these three cameras. But don't take my word for it, don't be swayed by pixel peepers on forums, instead check out the camera sensor tests at dxomark to verify this. As you can see, they all share the exact same overall score, and show very similar performance.
Controls: As with construction, the buttons and controls vary with these cameras. Unlike the T3i, the 60D and 7D have nearly every control an advanced photographer needs on the exterior of the camera and they also have the top LCD panel and rear Quick Control Dial that are not on the T3i. With all the cameras, any controls can also be easily accessed with the Q Button and Q Menu or in the other menus on the rear LCD monitor. The top buttons of the 60D set only one setting each, so this is less complicated than the multiple-setting buttons of the 7D. Canon has removed the white balance (WB) button on the 60D that the 7D has, but that isn't a big deal - use the Q Menu. Another change on the 60D is that the Multi-controller has been moved from the thumb joystick like the 7D and 50D and placed in the middle of the rear Quick-control dial. This doesn't change how it functions, and should just be a matter of getting used to the difference. If you plan on using your camera on Auto or Program most of the time, then the controls of the T3i are more than sufficient for your needs. If you work in Av, Tv, or M modes and need quicker and more direct access to your controls and the additional top LCD screen to view and change your current settings, then you need to consider the 60D or 7D over the T3i.
Menus and Custom Functions: These allow for greater control over customizing how the camera functions. The T3i has less Menu and Custom Function setting options than the 60D, and the 7D has yet a few more than the 60D. These settings enable you to customize the operation, function, and controls to work how you want them to, including things like exposure increments, peripheral illuminations correction for lenses (fixes dark corners), tweaking how the autofocus system operates, setting more precise white balance settings, and customizing which button does what. There are ebooks such as my Canon T3i Experience - The Still Photographer's Guide to Operation and Image Creation With the Canon Rebel T3i / EOS 600D and Your World 60D - The Photographer's Guide to Operation and Image Creation with the Canon 60D which walk you through all of the Menu settings and Custom Function settings so that you can set up your camera to work best for how you photograph, and also begin to learn to master all the advanced features, settings, and controls of these powerful dSLR camera.
Wireless Flash: Like the 7D and 60D, the T3i incorporates wireless flash triggering. This allows you to trigger multiple off camera flashes at different output levels. The T2i does not have this feature.
Articulating LCD Screen: The big new feature that the 60D and T3i have that the 7D and T2i do not is the articulating rear LCD screen. This may prove useful for videographers, as well as for setting up compositions while the camera is on a tripod, for macro use, or for using it from unusually low or high vantage points. Some users will be able to avoid buying an expensive angle finder because of this feature. There is also an electronic level in the 7D and 60D, visible in the viewfinder, rear LCD, or top LCD.
Viewfinder: The T3i has a pentamirror viewfinder with 95% coverage of the actual resulting image. The 60D has a large, bright pentaprism viewfinder with 96% coverage, not quite as nice as the nearly 100% view of the 7D pentaprism.
Processor: The T3i shares the same Digic 4 processor as the 60D. The 7D has dual Digic 4 processors. However, if you don't need to shoot dozens of continuous images, you probably won't notice any processing speed issues.
Continuous Shooting Speed: The T3i can shoot 3.7 frames per second. The 7D can shoot a blazing 8 frames per second, in which the photos barely change from frame to frame. The 60D can shoot a respectable 5.3 fps which is actually a more useful rate. If you need the extremely high fps for sports, wildlife, or other action shooting, get the 7D. If not, don't be swayed by this excessive feature.
Memory Card: The T3i and 60D use the SD memory card. The 7D uses the CF card.
Battery: The T3i and T2i use the smaller LP-E8 battery with less capacity than the LP-E6 battery used by the 60D and 7D.
Size and Weight: The T3i is smaller and lighter than the 60D, which in turn is smaller and lighter than the 7D. Go to a store and hold them to get a better feel for their size, weight, and feel. The 60D and 7D "feel" like the more substantial cameras that they are. A nice improvement of the T3i is that its hand grip area has been modified, and has a different feel than that of the T2i - the area where the thumb rests is contoured differently and has a nice channel for the thumb, which allows for a much more secure one-hand-grip of the camera.
AF Microadjustment: The 7D has this feature, the 60D and T3i and T2i do not. This allows you to adjust the focus of each of your lenses in case any of them are slightly front-focusing or back-focusing.
Locking Mode Dial: This is a new feature for a Canon dSLR, only on the 60D, that keeps the Mode dial from accidentally rotating. A nice touch.
Full HD video: Of course they all offer this capability. Note that this is not video for your kids' parties and soccer games. It does not have continuous autofocus while shooting, as a camcorder does. It is not designed for that kind of use, but rather for serious videographers who typically manually focus. You can adjust autofocus while shooting by pressing the shutter button or the AF button, but it may have a less than desired looking result and unless you are using an external microphone, the autofocusing sound will be picked up. The T3i has the digital zoom feature in video, which allows for nice smooth zooms while filming.
Flash Sync: the 60D and T3i do not have a PC sync flash socket to plug in PC sync cords for off camera flash use. The 7D has this. However, they all offer wireless remote flash capability with the built in flash as a commander.
Ease of operation: While beginners may find all the buttons, controls, and menus of any dSLR difficult and confusing at first, the menus and controls of the T3i and T2i are pretty basic and simple to learn for a dedicated user. The additional controls and menus of the 7D and 60D are all quite intelligently designed, intuitive, and straightforward for the more advanced user. Again, have a look at helpful guides such as my Canon T3i Experience - The Still Photographer's Guide to Operation and Image Creation With the Canon Rebel T3i / EOS 600D and Your World 60D - The Photographer's Guide to Operation and Image Creation with the Canon 60D to begin to learn to master all the advanced features, settings, and controls of these powerful dSLR cameras.
on March 21, 2011
I am not a camera expert, but rather, I'm a busy mom who likes to take pictures and who adores my subjects. This, then, is a review from a mom/amateur's point of view.
I have always been a photo fiend, taking my camera everywhere and pulling it out at any opportunity. While I'd gotten to a decent level of archiving important moments with my point-and-shoot cameras over the years, I wanted to take my photography to the next level. I was inspired by my brother-in-law's photos of his kids to take the dSLR plunge. But I knew (and still know), very little about professional photography. I wanted to start taking better photos right away. But I also wanted to have room to grow as a photographer and a camera that would grow with me.
I also wanted the focus to stay firmly on my family - while I was willing to invest some time and care into the camera, I didn't want it to become like a pet I had to constantly watch over. While any dSLR takes some care and consideration, I've found the T3i has been an excellent camera for me and I've been quite pleased with it.
* VERY USER FRIENDLY: The auto mode (or auto without flash, my favorite) is highly forgiving, taking fantastically sharp images, true to color. They look so clear that I feel I'm capturing as close to real life as I've ever seen before in a camera.
* FAST: While I sometimes go in for trying out new modes and manual settings, I often leave the camera in auto or auto-sans-flash mode and just click away so that I can at least capture a moment before it's gone. I then play with manual settings if my kids stay still long enough for me to try something new. My previous cameras always had a horrible delay for the autofocus (the only mode they usually had), meaning I nearly always lost the moment when the toddler was on the move. The t3i is so ridiculously fast that I can snap multiple pics in the time one picture took before.
* BEAUTIFUL PICTURES: This kind of goes without saying at this tier of camera, but the pictures are just amazing quality. Coming from the land of point-and-shoot, I'm pretty blown away. And I know I'm only touching the tip of the iceberg for what's possible.
* BEAUTIFUL VIDEO: This is the nice new feature of the t3i. I wasn't sure I'd want or need the HD video. But hey, when you've got it, you use it. I've gotten some amazingly clear footage of the kiddo playing in the park with daddy and I'm so glad we went for the model with that feature.
* BIG, CLEAR DISPLAY: It's really easy to see what pics you've just taken and adjust your photo-taking accordingly. Just by seeing what I've gotten, I'm able to try again and improve a shot almost immediately.
* CLEAR MENUS/ABILITY TO IMPROVE: The interface on this is so intuitive that I've been able to learn a lot without even cracking open the manual (though that manual is my new reading material). The entry point for a new user is just a step up from normal photography - the possibilities, however, are nearly endless.
* NICE KIT LENS: For all that photographers get into new and better lenses, the kit lens on this is really nice and easy to use. I think it will hold us for a good long while before I get to be more of an expert. It gives me the range of zoom and focus I need for now.
* EYE-FI COMPATIBLE: WOW. I cannot even tell you how much I love this feature. If you get an eye-fi card, your pictures can be set up to automatically upload to your computer whenever you are within range of your synched wireless network. My husband set up a SmugMug account and the eye-fi capabilities. I take pics to my heart's content while out on walks, in the park, etc., and come home, then leave the camera on (auto-shut off after 8 minutes) to upload the pics. I can then tag and sort pictures later at my leisure. For me, this is amazingly useful. I don't have to take time out of my day to upload the pics - the camera does that for me.
* BATTERY LIFE (for common use): So far, the battery we bought for the camera lasts very well during normal photo-taking. It's just a standard Canon battery for the rebel line and it charges quickly. Even when taking pics like a mad-woman, it lasts through a shoot. HD video eats it up more quickly, so be warned. Still, I rarely run out of juice during the day so long as I pop the battery into its charger in the evening. However, uploading is another story (See below in cons).
Those are just the first few things I love about this camera. Here, however, are the...not cons, really, just challenges:
* dSLRs ARE EXPENSIVE, DELICATE, BIG AND BULKY:
And parents have enough precious and delicate things to worry about - namely, the kids. No getting around it - you can't just toss a dSLR into a pocket and go. I'm in a quest for a good bag/carrying solution (heh, yeah, wish me luck with that.) and I'm trying to get used to having one part of my brain keeping an eye on the camera as well as keeping the majority of my focus on the kids. When I'm in photo-journalist mode, it's no problem, but switching back to mom-mode is the hard part. I've already seen the camera knocked onto the ground (a very short distance onto very soft ground, so it was okay, but still, the experience practically gave me a heart attack) and once, when bending over, I caught the toddler on the temple with the kit lens (She sobbed. I felt so awful!) This thing requires constant awareness to both the camera AND the kids when using it. I'm quickly adjusting, but if you're not totally committed to learning to use and love the dSLR, you may want to stick to really good point-and-shoot camera if you're a busy parent.
^ That's the big one.
* BATTERY LIFE (when uploading pics via eye-fi): Uploading pictures by eye-fi seems to eat the battery alive. It appears that the camera won't autoshutoff when uploading, so this morning, after a few hours of uploading big, glorious pictures to my SmugMug account, the battery finally ran out of juice. I wish there was a plug-in mode or some sort of docking-station I could plug the camera into when I return home. If it's only a few pics, they upload and the camera shuts itself off. But if it's a bunch of pics (and when the weather's nice and the lighting's good, I take a lot of pics), the camera requires a battery recharge just to finish uploading my pictures.
* SWIVEL SCREEN WORRIES: I find that the swivel screen, while hugely useful, is something I constantly worry that I'm going to snap off. However, you can keep it closed with the screen facing in(a nice feature) or tuck it onto the camera with the screen facing out. I also find if I'm looking out of the eye-piece, I leave cheek smudges all over the screen when its facing out.
* MANUAL-MODE GOOFS: Some of my manual mode forays have been less than stellar. I've taken a shot - set up so nice, focus just perfect, subject just so... only to find out I left it in white-balance adjustment for indoors and I was outdoors so the whole picture looks like I dipped it in blue. I've learned to take pics in auto-mode first before experimenting too much. I also learned to check the screen a LOT before proceeding.
SUMMARY: While the dSLR has required me to make some adjustments for including it in my busy life, I really love this camera, am pleased with the investment, am inspired by its ease of use, and I LOVE the pictures I've gotten of my family.
5 STARS: And so I give it 5 stars - my whole point in buying a nice camera was to make and preserve FAMILY memories - and the t3i records those memories beautifully - in .jpg, raw, or HD video - with a minimum of dSLR fuss.
*** UPDATE: about 6 months later ***
STILL AWESOME: I totally stand by the above review. If anything, I've come to adore this camera even more than I did when we first got it. When baby #2 arrived, the quality of pictures that we got far surpassed the pictures from the first baby's photo shoots. I'm truly pleased with this investment, as the pictures we get are lovely, clear, true-to-light/true-to-color, and just capture the memories so well. Really, this is EXACTLY what I was hoping for as an amateur photographer/mom.
Battery Woes: We invested in an A/C adapter for the camera and now no longer eat the battery alive when leaving the camera to upload pictures via the Eye-Fi connection. It's a little annoying to have to swap over to the A/C and then back to a battery all the time - I would rather have a charging station of sorts - but it works and it means I stick the battery in the charger so it's almost always ready to go.
Ease of Use: I adjusted to using this thing pretty quickly. I invested in a LowePro FastPack 250 and it works nicely as a diaper-bag/day bag/camera bag. Not the most attractive purse, but it works well. I'm much better at being ready for any photo situation now.
Swivel Screen: No problems to report. I just leave it screen out all the time.
SAME: Awesome camera all around. Truly, truly impressive. There might be higher tiers of quality out there, but for what I use in following the kids around, this captures amazing shots quickly. Love it.
GOT (just a little) WORSE:
Eye-Fi Annoyance: This is going to differ from person to person, but our Eye-Fi stuff has had some kinks to work out. The card we bought required several updates lately, then we had to change SmugMug account stuff, but the changed password meant Eye-Fi couldn't upload. Blah, blah, blah, I'm sure most of the problem is ME not getting the changes my hubby made. Still, Eye-Fi is usually automatic, but from time to time, it requires maintenance and understanding from all parties uploading stuff. Just be warned, it isn't so automagical as I hoped it would be.
Getting used to the dSLR bulk: I'd be lying if I said the size of the camera wasn't occasionally an issue. There have been quite a few times I think, "Oh, where's the camera? That's right, I left it at home/in the car because it's kind of a pain to pack around." On many occasions, the hubby's phone camera stood in for us (and it takes pretty decent pictures, so it's okay). But if I'm not being really deliberate about bringing the dSLR and using it, this camera becomes a very expensive toy that I never play with.
Other than that ^ though, awesome camera. I'm truly loving it. On the whole, a Lotta camera for Low maintenance.
on January 25, 2012
Check out my full T3i review video, video clips, sample photos and time lapse on YouTube. On YouTube search "2012 T3i Best DSLR"
Okay, now let's take a fresh look at the Canon EOS Rebel T3i (600D) DSLR and compare it to the 60D and T2i. In this review I'll also talk about some "MUST HAVE" accessories for this camera.
The Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR was release in March of 2011 and has quickly become one of the most popular DSLRs available.
As if the Rebel line wasn't popular enough with budding photographers... The introduction of the T3i has captured the imagination of thousands of aspiring videographers... with it's ability to capture FULL HD video... bright, articulating 3 inch LCD screen (which comes in really handy when shooting video in the field), and the ability to select from a host of lenses... which is common to DSLRs in general.
Professionals prefer DSLRs because they allow for an accurate preview of what they are shooting, at the moment they push the shutter button. DSLRs also have larger sensors than compact point-and-shoot digital cameras (which means a better quality and high-resolution image)...
Full HD video and interchangeability of lenses are particularly attractive to wannbe videographers (especially in a sub-$1000 DSLR... like the T3i)... because NOW they can shoot amazing HD video footage for a fraction of the what it would have cost... just a few years ago... PLUS they end up with a great camera for still photography...
The Canon T3i (600D) ships with the body, battery, battery charger, USB interface cable, AV cable, EOS solution disk (that contains the really handy EOS utility - I'll talk about this a bit more later...) and a suitable strap (although I quickly replaced mine). AND if you desire... a kit lens...
The T3i is considered a compact DSLR at 5.2 inches wide, 3.9 inches high and 3.1 inches deep (not including a lens)... compared to the larger and more expensive 60D at 5.69 inches wide, 4.17 inches high and 3.09 inches deep.
The T3i is very similar in size, weight and features to the less expensive T2i. The T3i feels solid and well made and is comfortable in the hand...
But I do have smaller hands... So if your hands are larger you may want to look to the 60D OR grab the Zeikos battery, power grip... for your T3i...with an additional battery...
This battery grip doubles the amount of shooting you can do between battery changes AND provides a much large grip surface.
At the heart of the Canon T3i is an 18 megapixel CMOS digital sensor and the DIGIC 4 processor. This sensor and processor are also found in Canon's 60D and T2i.
The camera has one SD card slot that can take a regular SD, SDHC or SDXC card... The T3i does not ship with a card. So plan on adding that to your your list.
I highly recommend using nothing less than a class 10 SDHC card for with this camera, especially if you want to shoot HD video. Even if you don't, you'll want a fast card when shooting continuous photos at 18 mega pixels. I personally like 32 GB cards because they are pretty cheap now and give you enough room to shoot photos all day. Plus 32 giga bites is large enough to hold almost 2 hours of HD video.
The T3i has what Canon calls "Live View Shooting"...which provides a very accurate simulation of photos and video using the LCD screen... This is especially helpful when doing a video shoot without a separate field monitor.
The 3 inch variable angle LCD monitor is bright enough for shooting in full sun... and can be flipped so that if lays flat against the camera back or can be positioned at various angles for high and low shooting.
But remember... as with any camera-powered monitor, it will consume your batteries faster when you are using it. Brightness also effects battery consumption (which can be adjusted in the camera's setup menu). That being said, the flip and twist capabilities of this monitor make it a priceless asset for videographers and creative photographers.
One of the major differences between the T3i and the 60D is it's continuous shooting speed of 3.7 frames per second verse the 60Ds 5.3 frames per second.
For me, this was not an issue as I purchased my T3i primarily for shooting video. But if you like to shoot action, you may want to consider the 60D.
The controls of the T3i are easy to access with the thumb and four finger. And are pretty easy to master with little effort... I do suggest keeping the manual near as it will prove a valuable asset and will save frustration as your skills progress.
One thing that really impressed about this camera was a real world example of how easy it is for a beginner to get professional results, with this camera... out of the box.
One day my son... who has never used a DSLR camera before, went on a walk with my new T3i. When he came back I could tell from his face that he experienced something really special. His big smile made me very curious to see his photos.
I was amazed at the stunning images this camera enabled him to capture... as he simply used the camera's scene "intelligent auto mode" and the dial-selectable "creative zone modes."
When you select a different dial mode, the camera shows a short and helpful description of that mode. This feature can accelerate your progress and help to quickly hone in on a mode that is best suited for the type of shooting you are doing.
My son's experience helped me realize what a fantastic job Canon did skinning over this formidable professional-level camera... with a simple and easy to use point-and-shoot-like interface... that enables the novice (like my son) to achieve very satisfying results.
I am convinced that results are one of the reasons that owners rate this camera MUCH higher (close to 5 out of 5 stars) than professional reviewers who usually rate this camera at less than 4 out of 5 starts... and tend to nit pick about technical details and specifications.
I'm not saying that specs are not important... but what I am saying is that, at the end of the day... all that matters is that you have good quality photos and videos to show for your effort, regardless of your experience level.
The T3i allows you to easily select and scroll between ISO 100 (for well-lit scenes) to ISO 6400 for lower lighting scenarios.
Photo quality generally looks great up through ISO 800 and begins to show some small signs of degradation from ISO 1,600 on.
The little scrolling wheel toward the front of the camera makes selection of a variety of functions... including ISO... really easy.
The 9-pt autofocus systems is accurate and quick for photos... but does struggle in very low light situations.
The T3i camera does have the ability to autofocus while you are shooting video... but often takes a few seconds to refocus focus...Plus the noise of the camera while focusing.... will likely be heard in your video. You will also find that the battery life will deplete rapidly when autofocusing a lot during a video.
All this being said, the T3i's video autofocus is pretty useless. Fortunately there are plenty of other great reasons to like this camera...
As with most cameras these days the T3i includes optical image stabilization that works well... with off-hand shooting.
The T3is battery life is generally good... however, battery life is so subjective and is very dependent on how you shoot, the brightness of your LCD screen... and things like... whether you are using autofocus or not...
For shooting photos, I have found the battery life to be excellent allowing me to take 400 to 600 shots before needed a change.
Shooting video will consume your batteries at a much more rapid rate if you are using the camera's LCD screen to monitor your video.
So I would recommend that you pick up a few additional batteries. I have found a very inexpensive, after-market brand... that have proven to be just as reliable as the OEM battery that came with this camera. See my YouTube Review for more info on the accessories that I mention in this review...
And if you want to seriously extend the battery life of this camera (which is especially useful on location during a video shoot)... you should pick up the Zeikos Battery Power Grip for this camera that I mentioned earlier.
This is a high quality accessory that matches the camera in look and feel in every way and is less pricy than Canon's version.
It easily and securely attaches to the camera and has a removable tray that allows you to power the camera with 2 batteries instead of one.
This grip also comes with an additional tray that allows you to use 6 double A batteries to power the camera in a pinch. This is a great safety net for those involved in remote shooting... away from a power source.
If you don't want to be limited by batteries, Canon offers a DC power unit. There is a battery sized coupler that you simply insert into the battery port to power the camera by plugging it into a wall outlet.
For this accessory, I would only recommend the Canon brand.
One nice feature for those who wear corrective lenses (like me)... is the quality dioptric adjustment knob for the camera view finder.
This knob allows for plus and minus adjustments to ensure that you see things clearly through the view finder. Although this feature is common in many DSLRs... I was glad to find out that the T3i had it after the fact...
The T3i has a built-in mono microphone that sounds pretty good for general video shooting and includes an effective wind filter that can be toggled on and off in the camera's setup.
However, for serious video production I recommend that you use a quality external microphone to capture your audio. I use a Zoom H4N for a large range of purposes and really affordable Audio Technica lapel mics for shooting interviews and promotional videos. A Rode shotgun mic is another that you may want to consider.
On the side of the T3i there is a 1/8 inch stereo mic input. With the appropriate adapters you can send audio from 2 different mics directly into the camera's left and right channels. The camera allows you for manual adjustment of the record levels which is very useful.
There are several other camera ports which include... A remote control terminal. I picked up a very affordable timer remote that I use often for time lapse videos and low light situations.
There's digital audio / video out terminal and a mini HDMI out terminal this is great for using an external field monitor or hooking your camera up to your HD TV.
The SD card slot is on the other side and the battery compartment in easily accessible on the bottom of the camera.
When it comes to video the T3i really shines. It offers full HD video at 1920 by 1080 pixels at 30, 25 and 24 frames per second... on the high end... and also offers 1280 x 720 pixels at 60 frames per second (which is nice for slow motion) as well as 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second.
You can get exceptional results from this camera with a little attention to detail and by experimenting with the automatic and manual video settings... and by trying different lenses.
For low lighting situations, you may want to consider picking up a Canon 50mm F1.8 lens. It's been dubbed "plastic magic" because it captures surprisingly good quality photos and video for a a lens with a street price that hovers around $100.
The T3i also offers a 3x and 10x digital zoom that produces amazingly crisp video in movie mode.
The camera also has a new video snapshot feature that takes short clips of video and stitches them together. It's a fun feature for walking around town and shooting short video clips or having some fun at a party.
There's one VERY important aspect of shooting video with most DSLRs, and in our case, the T3i that you should be aware of.
To protect the camera from internal heat generated when shooting video... the T3i will stop recording video when the file size of a single movie clip reaches 4GB.
This means that if you are shooting in FULL HD that your maximum record time will be around 10 to 14 minutes. This can be a bit annoying yet, it's easy enough to restart the video.... and if you only need to shoot clips shorter than 10 minutes you will probably never experience this issue.
However this function can be problematic in situations where you need to shoot longer lengths of video, like at a conference, a sporting event, or a church sermon.
One very helpful surprise that Cannon includes for free with this camera is the EOS utility software. With this software, the T3i, a reasonably modern computer (I use my MacBook Pro... 2010 vintage) and the included digital interface cable... you can extend the use of your laptop computer as a field monitor and command central for the camera.
You can remotely control all important camera functions from within the very intuitive interface of this program.
The EOS utility functions well for both photo and video shooting and provides a very nice simulation of what you will get... This bonus has been particularly helpful to me for shooting video since it eliminated the need to purchase a $1,000 field monitor. Note though, that using the EOS utility will deplete your camera and laptop batteries faster than you would think. So I recommend plugging in your laptop and having a few extra batteries for your camera of getting the Canon DC coupler and power unit.
The camera also has a very useful built-in flash that will automatically pop up when needed or can be accessed manually with the touch of a button.
For more advanced photographers... the T3i supports the latest developments in wireless flash photography.
SO who is this camera for?
The T3i is best suited for those who want an easy to use, fast, reliable high-end prosumer DSLR that shoots incredible 18 mega pixel photos and FULL HD video... all in compact package for well under $1,000.
If you plan on doing a lot of high speed photography you may want to consider the 60D for it's faster 5.3 frame per second continuous shooting... which is the only real major difference between the two. However this upgrade will cost you between $300 and $400.
Also... if you want to save some money and don't really need the flip and turn LCD screen of the T3i... you many want to consider the T2i. This will save you around $100....
I will caution you though... if you ever think that you are going to want to shoot video, macro-zoom photographs or anything at high or low angles... you may be sorry that you didn't get the T3i with it's flippy screen.
The T3i is also NOT for you if you want a compact, carry-in-your pocket camera to take with you everywhere... Even though the T3i is compact compared to many larger DSLRs... it's not small... So... if your main purpose is finding a camera to document life and have with you at all time... the T3i is probably not the camera for you.
Also... If you want to eliminate your camcorder with the T3i, look somewhere else... that's not what the T3i is purposed for. It lacks seamless autofocus in video mode and is not as easy convenient to set up and use as many mini-camcorders.
However, if you have a creative flair and want to shoot HD quality video productions, the T3i will help you get off to a great start.
All this aside the Canon EOS Rebel T3i is an amazingly popular, all-around DSLR camera... which is evidenced by the fact that... at the time of this video review... the T3i is the #1 best selling DSLR on Amazon.
The Canon T3i is an impressive value rivaling the Canon 60D in just about every way... and with it's full HD video, easy-to-use interface, exceptional 18 mega pixel image quality, large flip-and-turn LCD screen and a full set of professional functions... The T3i is a great place to jump into the wonderful world of DSLR photography and video... all for an astonishingly low street price of less than $800.
VIEW MY FULL T3i VIDEO REVIEW with Test Video, Sample Photos and Time Lapse Video on YouTube by Searching "2012 T3i Best DSLR"
on February 28, 2011
I was so surprised how light is the T3i, (in comparison to 7D /50D or 60D) with its 18.0 mega pixel the CMOS sensor captures superb image quality with low noise and natural color
The EOS T3i, positioned between the EOS T2i and EOS 60D, features scene intelligent auto, 3-inch vari-angle clear view LCD and a selection of five creative filters including the new fish eye effect (which is awesome!!)
honestly, once you get this camera, no need for Photoshop.
I initially purchased the 7DCanon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-inch LCD (Body Only), but then I returned it due to the more complicated usage, and the post-photo processing/ editing necessary for making pictures look better.
T3i comes with an instructional guide built in, like the Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens. The guide tells beginners (or rusty intermediates) how to set the camera to get specific types of shots. For instance, if you dial up macro mode, it says "for closeups of small objects such as flowers, shoot as close as possible."
the T3i gives me all I want, clear and hassle free pictures, ready to upload/print.
it uses normal SD cards, no need for the expensive CF flash cards.
longer battery life, and low consumption.
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens comes with the camera, and it is a great lens for beginners, and gives a great opportunity to practice Manual Focus!
Do not invest in expensive lenses from the start, you might like the point and shoot, and reselling the lenses might be a great loss.
I'm not a professional photographer, nor an electronic specialist, so I reviewed the item as a myself, so if you like my review, please rate it.
on May 28, 2011
I bought the T2i first, then decided to upgrade to the T3i. For a period of two weeks, I had both cameras in my possession, so I could make a direct comparison, and decided hands-down that the T2i is the one I will keep. Why? The T2i is FAST. I shoot my toddler in continuous mode, and the camera delivers the 3.7 fps it's supposed to. It makes a huge difference knowing you can press the shutter and the camera will instantly take a picture. The T3i, however, adds frequent and unpredictable delays when "busy" flashes in the viewfinder and the red light is on -- even in continuous mode.
I used the same exact settings on both cameras (large Jpeg, P-mode, Quick AF). Compared to the instant responsiveness of the T2i, this was plain annoying and caused me to miss numerous shots. I used the same class 10 SDHC chip in both cameras, but -- this is interesting -- even without any memory chip in the camera, the delays are still there.
on June 24, 2011
As another reviewer posted, I'm not sure of my qualifications or ability to make a detailed review of this camera, but I love it and will do my best. Having only ever used a Canon PowerShot SD610 and cell phone cameras before, this was a huge leap for me.
I use the camera primarily to take pictures of the kids and flowers/gardens.
I have read through the manual and found it a great asset (I have written techmanuals and read a lot of manuals, and find this one to be very easy to use). With its use I have tried every mode on the dial and used the Q - Quick Control to try the different functions. With the exception of the "M" -Manual Exposure, I have taken great pictures (OK - Excellent/Awesome by my standards, the people on the photo blogs may disagree with my assessment of my photos:)).
The video capability is truly amazing, but does require a fast card (class 6 and up) I have a Class 10 and noted some lag when my son was running around in a low light living room. The Grandparents will be able to watch HD movies on their big screen.
The weight is a bit hefty compared to the Point and Shoot but feels right in your hands. I have larger hands and the grips feel really nice even when holding the camera for extended time.
Battery life appears to be good, I have yet to have the battery fail on me when I need it, but I have only had the camera a short time. Time will be the judge of this. I did by a second battery (Canon clone, not OEM).
File size requires a SD card of decent size (Large .jpg High Quality = 6.4MB, RAW = 24.5MB) the camera is compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards, I have a 16 gig SDHC Class 10 (A-Data 16 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card 16GSDHC10 (Blue)). Not sure what the SDXC brings to the table but if I pick one up I'll update this review.
Live Mode (like a standard point and shoot - LCD screen shows image to be captured) is great for videos and can help when composing shoots from various angles (taking pictures of the dog near floor - without kneeling). There is even a Live Mode with facial recognition and tracking, chases my sons face all over and gives me the correct focus. The Live Mode was the only mode I figured I would be able to use, but I find the standard viewfinder eyepiece to be very easy to use and has all of the information you need.
I plan to have this camera for years to come and hope to someday master all of the settings (high expectations). I feel this camera is the perfect match for my current ability (A+ Fully Automatic Shooting allows me to take excellent pictures while using the camera like a Point and Shoot) and my desire to become the photographic artist I hope to be).
Anyone thinking about make the change from Point and Shoot to dSLR should really consider this camera. May I also suggest a camera bag, and cleaning kit.
I have posted a few of my images on in the photo gallery here on Amazon.
I typically write, while we have professional photographers who do a lot of our legwork at events. But recently, at an engagement party, I was using my trustworthy Canon Powershot and when it came to photos, for every one photo I took, my friend with his T2i was take 10 or more. And even indoors, his pictures looked great!
Because I travel and cover so many events and there are times where our photographers are busy covering things, I figured...It would be great to have a DSLR. I was at E3 and using my point-and-shoot, I knew right then and there, it was time to get a DSLR. I've been wanting to get one but frankly, the thought of me having to invest in the camera and several lenses and knowing they are not cheap... I hesitated.
But no longer. It was time to get a DSLR!
I have to admit....I was struggling between a Nikon 5100 or a Canon T3i (EOS 600) or even considering going a little higher-end.
But I've read from professionals who say, "It's the glass, not the body" and even our photographers, some of them are still using DSLR's made in the early 2000's and are quite content with the body, just focusing on the lens.
For me, I wanted the best of both worlds of having something to shoot photos and video. While I was close to getting the Nikon, the video review on digitalrev was enough to convince me to go for the T3i (EOS 600) and for its price range, I was comfortable with that. Maybe in the future I can get something high-end but for now, I need something entry-level and with the T2i having dropped in price and selling out online and at stores, I noticed the T3i can be found and sure enough, while there are a few more technical things that it has compared to the T2i, for me, the swivel lens was something that I liked. Especially for shots that require taking photos from weird levels and angles. So, that was a plus for me!
Upon opening the box, I realized that the T3i felt good but the higher-end cameras were more to my liking and are much more tougher. But I figured, you get what you pay for and with the T3i, I just need to make sure I take care of it.
WHAT YOU GET:
I bought the version with an EF-S 18-55 IS II, so I got the lens with the two caps, inside are also the USB cord to transfer images and the Canon EOS Digital strap. Instruction booklets, warranty registration and more.
SO FAR, SO GOOD:
Since owning the T3i, I have put this camera through hardcore use in a short amount of time. Different events, different weather and have purchased quite a few things for this camera.
If there is only one thing that I WISHED this camera did have was an easier menu to change things. Aperature or Shutterspeed. Granted, higher end models may have a display right at the top but looking at the LCD, definitely read the manual and experiment how to change various settings and experiment how you can change on the fly.
And here are my thoughts that will definitely be different recommendations from others but it works for me:
* Get a good prime lens - 50mm 1.8 (preferably a 1.4) Canon lens. I have the former which works great for portrait shots but I know already that the 1.4 works much better...it's also several hundred dollars more.
* Third party - I went third party for batteries, grip, hoods and they work perfectly. I know there are diehards who purchase official Canon products but they are expensive and if you want to save money, look toward third party products.
* Read the Manual - I know there are people (like myself) who are impatient of reading manuals but in this case, read the manuals, especially those Canon-based brochures of lenses they recommend.
* Lenses - L lenses are great if you can afford them but if you can get yourself some Canon glass with image stabilization, this works great for entry-level photographers! But if you are in it for the video, you want to get better glass!
* Research and Flickr! - I did a lot of research before buying this camera and for the most part, camera sites have all been positive. But definitely do your research. I call my photographer friends and staff with questions but seriously, I learned that they are used to their high-end cameras and used to their lenses that they can give you some advice but it's best to experiment on your own but also go on Flickr and study other photographers, look at their exif data and get an idea of what lens they shot, what aperture, what shutter speed, etc. And try to experiment with those settings. Granted, lighting and setting is different but it's good to research and see what others are doing and what they were able to capture and knowing what lens they use.
* Last - Shoot Raw and consider purchasing a 10-speed, 16-32GB card. Shooting at RAW gives you more options when using software like PhotoShop or Lightroom but you definitely want to shoot at RAW. Nothing wrong with shooting via JPG, if you can manually fix those images on your own but I regret going to one event and shooting in JPG...I wished I shot RAW. Now I do most of the time. I say most of the time because I am in the process of purchasing a 32GB card (10-speed) and I have shot RAW 90% and 10% of the space, shot in JPG.
The T3i definitely delivers in picture quality and video. Granted, if you have another $1,500+ to spend and money is no object...then go for the higher end Canon DSLR's. But if you want to spend under a $1,000 but want very good quality for photos and video...the T3i is great! There is not a humongous jump in features vs. its T2i brother and for some, the T2i may be enough, in fact, if you are not planning to shoot video, some people may want just the XSi which I still see people using and have taken great pictures with it.
But for me, the extra features that I saw with this camera, I have seen the potential that I can utilize in different settings of event coverage that I go to. If there is one thing that I wish I had...better lenses. The kit lens is a good entry level but at 18-55, there are times when I needed to switch to the EF75-33 (f4-5.6 III) and I see that my photographer had the convenience of having an 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens and saw how it would make my life easier to have such a lens.
In fact, I really like the IS (image stabilization lens) and now looking towards those lenses for my T3i. The kit lens is good but you will definitely want a good zoom! And also, I felt that using the cheap Canon 50mm 1.8 gave me more vibrant photos and better bokeh than the 18-55mm that came with the kit.
As for video, the mic on the T3i is not the best, so you may want to consider purchasing a mic (one person I know uses a boom mic, another uses a mic that attaches on top T3i). Taking video is very good but once again, if you are going for the T3i...plan to invest in larger GB cards...8GB is very good but I'm learning that I need more than that! You may as well if you do cover events or take a lot of photos.
While the menu interface could have been better, part of the convenience that Canon does give to those who spend more money...so, for under $1,000...the T3i is still a great deal for the quality it gives.
I love this camera and I'm still learning as I go but so far so good! I still have yet to buy a Speedlite Flash (I do have an older Canon Speedlite from the late '70s (which I have used on a Canon A-1 SLR) that does work with the T3i but rather purchase something more modern. And a few other things but for now, I'm just enjoying the pictures I take (and not enjoying the pictures I take, which is part of the learning process) but I'm quite content and happy that I bought this camera.
If anything happens 6 months or a year down the line, I will definitely update this review.
on November 27, 2013
The camera is a gift for Christmas. I can not review it for that reason but would like to make sure you are all aware of the freebies and discounts that come with the purchase of this item. Scroll down just below the description of the camera and you will find this verbiage........"Purchase This Camera and Take Advantage of Any or All of the Following Promotions. Free camera bag, 16 GB memory card, monopod, and up to $300 off select Canon lenses."
These items are all free (EXCEPT THE LENSES) but the discounts on the lenses are HUGE. Don't miss out on the freebies if your spending the money on the camera. It is easy to miss and is not offered again in your shopping cart. Look the camera page over good. You'll find the offer.
on July 13, 2011
Purchased this, got it in 2 days, had it ONE day only when started having problems.
First off...I am a long time Canon user and pro photog. I have other EOS and Canon cameras. Digital and film.
Wanted to try this new model as it had the flip out back which I wanted.
The first day it worked great. Took some great photos.
Next day, I went a few miles from home and took what i thought would be a great series of shots. Never used the swing back as it was a very bright sunny day. Just used the view finder. It took photos...BUT...when I got home I flipped out the swing back to look at some of them real quick and discovered that there was an error code showing... Error 01 Failure of lense to communicate with camera. Ok, fine...went to look at the photos I took and discovered I had no photos. apparently the error happened immediately on me turning the camera on at the spot i took the photos. I was not happy because you do not get an error code through the viewfinder if there is a problem..least not one that I saw. Triedf to resolve the error code..as explained by support, and though nothing worked at the time, I continued trying different things and finally the error code disappeared and camera working. Ok, fine...next day...went to take some more photos..checked the screen.and the error code was back. This time nothing i did helped.
Contacted Canon support and was told to return the camera or send it to one of their repair centers. I called because on the Canon website when i clicked on their support icon for this model with lense since they dont have a listing for body only, I would get a screen saying that they were not repairing this model. Kind of strange.
So am returning it to Amazon for replacement rather than sending it to the Canon repair center as I didnt want to wait possibly weeks. Amazon is great about it especially since I had it only a few days. They are shipping a new one immediately which is fantastic and gave me a return label for return shipping for the defective camera.
Not sure just what is wrong with this first one as I have never had a problem with any of my Canon cameras other than normal wear and tear over time. So I was very surprised. But I guess with all the ones I have bought over the years, there was always the chance to get one with problems. This time, I did. I still like the camera and I will always use Canon's. Just diappointed that I am now having to wait a couple of days to get the new one before I get out taking photos with it. I would still recommend it, buy which and gave 4 stars..but cant give 5 because of being disppointed at getting a defective one.
I will update this review after I get the new one and see how it does.
///////////////// OK, I RECIEVED THE NEW CAMERA. //////////////////////////////////////
And have been using, also purchased the battery grip for it and extra batteries.
First, the new one is great. No problems and I dont have the error with it and my EF lenses. Though the weather hasnt permitted much outdoor photography for me, I was able to attend the photoshoot that I had had scheduled and because of Amazons wonderful service, I was able to use my new camera. And it performed as I had nticipated. It is as good or better than any of my other canon cameras. I am going to upload some photos shortly taken with this new camera. Its a good camera. Fast, sharp and easy to use. The controls take a little getting used to as placement is some different from my older canons. But once I was familiar with them it didnt take long to change settings or to switch modes or whatever I wanted to do.
//////////////////Another Update //////////////////////////////////
Been using it even more. And the error code 1 has begun appearing again. And after alot of discussions with Canon support, it seems that this new camera is not going to be compatible with so-called 3rd party lenses. Right folks, if you have Sigma or Tamron lenses or otherss for the EOS system, then there is a good chance they might not work on this new camera. Just wondering if this is planned? Now in order to use this camera, I have to buy new lenses. I have Sigma lenses and only one canon lense. My sigma lenses arent cheap ones either. So now, only canon lenses will work. Not what I liked to hear. Makes we wonder why. Of course, its obvious when you consider the cost of 3rd party lenses compared to buying a canon brand lense. 3rd party leanses are alot cheaper in cost and at little difference in quality.
More I find out, the more I am disappointed in this camera. I still like it, but am NOT happy at having to buy lenses just to be able to use it now. Not the camera, but Canon. Sigma is being great and as a long time customer is allowing me to trade my old lenses for new ones. Still going to be out more money, but now where near as much as I would have
//////////////////////////////// NEW UPDATE //////////////////////////////////
Have gotten my new Sigma lens. Used it extensively testing it the last few days. It works perfectly. No problems and am really happy with the images. Very bright and color saturation is good. Photos look great. I print mine on a Kodak printer which I am very happy with. My small prints anyway. I have larger ones done by a specialty shop.
Regardless, the problems seem to stem from the camera and older 3rd party lenses being incompatible in some way. New technology...?? Very possible. And likely designed in by canon. They will fix any canon lenses to work with the newer cameras. So what the change was...who knows. I do know that Sigma does stand behind their lenses. They have a program for long time customers, so if you experience problems, like I did, get in touch with them. You will not be disapponted. Just dont expect something for nothing. I didnt...and I love my new lense.
on December 1, 2011
I could go on and on about the picture quality of the DSLR, but I'm sure anyone looking to buy one already knows about all those things. I will instead focus on the camera itself (the hardware/software) instead of the picture quality, which is SUPERB.
The sheer amount of features allowed is nice. As my first DSLR, I can only judge this camera against point and shoots.
Everything can be tweaked and tuned as expected in a DSLR, but it also has a "auto" mode, which is nice when you just want to take a quick shot and not have to worry about ISO settings, etc, etc.
The shutter itself feels much better than a point and shoot, and the focus time, and the downtime between shots is also WAY lower than the run of the mill point and shoot.
A feature I haven't seen as flexible in point in shoot is the timer shots. You can set it to take anywhere from 1-10 pictures with 1 timer. This is great for big family photos where you prop the camera up on a tripod and just want to do 10 photos in a row - and hopefully everyone will have their eyes open in one of those 10 photos (especially hard with little kids).
The software/hardware feels sort of undated. Canon has stuck with this same layout for a long time for continuity, but new point and shoots have a much more streamlined interface. For example, the wheel on the top (where you switch between modes), does not allow for 360 degree rotation, only like 300 degrees rotation. This means, for example, if you were in Video Capture mode and wanted to go to Macro Mode, you have to spin the wheel 300 degrees instead of just 60 degrees.
The software is one that takes getting used to. They use a "tab" system to tell you which settings you are messing with in the Menu. The tab system may be familiar to long time Canon users, but the way the tabs are labeled sometimes make it confusing. Instead of using words, they use symbols, which I feel do not match well. For example, there are "tabs" with a Wrench icon. Unless I memorize which setting is where, there is a hard time remember exactly what settings are changed in the "wrench" tab.
The battery must be charged separately from the device. I don't know if this is a standard for DSLR, but I liked how I could just plug in my camera itself and charge it on point and shoots.
There is no arguing the picture quality, it is basically the same as the T2i, and professional reviews all across the internet rate this as the top entry-level DSLR. It has settings for a beginner like me, and it has settings for advanced users as well.
For those wondering between T2i and T3i, the main difference is a spin-out LCD screen, and digital zoom during video. These differences are small, and I know I was confused when I first researched this DSLR. The T2i and T3i are much more similar than the T3 vs T3i.
T2i or T3i - Get either, T3/T2 are a lower-end model, they are made for two different budget targets.