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on September 28, 2011
BEFORE YOU START READING: This is a pretty comprehensive review of the T3i and some lenses at the end of the review. Be prepared to read a lot, or just skip to the other reviews that say things like "Great camera, takes pretty pictures of babies!" if that is more your style. I have tried to offer an unbiased and comprehensive review of the T3i.

The T3i / 600D is such an excellent buy. Let me get this out of the way first though, it only has a few small advantages over the T2i, so if you don't need the things I'm about to list, then save some money and buy the T2i. For me though, I absolutely needed the following:

T3i advantages over the T2i
*Flip out LCD screen
*Digital zoom in video mode
*Adjustable Audio levels in video mode
*Built in flash control
*In camera guide (Ok, I didn't need this feature but it is great for beginning DSLR users)

The T2i will still offer the exact same image quality and processing. The only main difference is that the T3i is much better for video as a result of the things listed above. My review will be on the T3i, but if you are only plan on using your Camera for still images, you can save $100 or so with a T2i. I use my camera a lot for video so the T3i was an essential upgrade for me.

Ok, now on to the T3i full review! Excellent image quality and potential movie quality HD video (it's all about the lenses). The camera shoots pretty sharp images with the 18-55mm kit lens. It has amazing sharpness and contrast with the 50mm f/1.8 lens that I bought additionally for $107. (Prime lenses, i.e. non zoom lenses will always offer sharper images and perform better in lower light settings due to a wider aperature.) If you are dissatisfied with pictures from this camera, then get a better lens or learn how to use it better. It is definitely NOT the camera itself. The T3i is capable of world class quality images/video if fitted with the proper lens and in the hands of a good photographer.

The botton layout and overall camera functionality is a 10/10. I have no complaints at all and everything just makes sense with the location and useability. It has dedicated buttons for almost every fruntion and the menues are quick to access and it is very easy to adjust settings. It has good locations for all of the ports and the battery/memory card slots.

The LCD is super bright, detailed and the best in the Canon line at this time. The flip out feature is amazing if you are shooting overhead or have your camera low to the ground. It may help you avoid crawling in the mud for that great shot. It is also nice for self portaits and any other time you won't be directly behind the viewfinder/LCD screen.

The quick burst mode allows me to take 8-9 photos in rapid succession, so it is great for action / sports photography. The 18-55mm kit lens that it comes with is great for non professional photographers and offers amazing image quality compared to my old Canon Powershot S5. Eventually if you want to get into more serious photography, you will want to upgrade the kit lens to something better with a lower aperature rating. (aperature essentially means how much light your lens takes in. This has two benefits, it allows you to shoot in darker settings, and allows you to have a faster shutter speed set.)

The 1080p HD video can be shot at 24fps or 30fps. It also has standard video recording options as well. The camera has a dedicated video mode selection and can be set to manual mode in the menu for a full customization of settings including shutter speed, aperature, ISO, ect. The video this thing shoots is just stunning. A small note though about the T3i and all other DSLRs on shooting video. When using them for video, there is a max video size that SD memory cards will allow you to use. When shooting in 1080p HD video a typical limit to videos are either around 12 minutes or 4GB, whichever comes first. These are the stats for this camera, but all DSLRs have similar numbers. You can extend the time by shooting in standard definition, but it still has a cap. Most videographers shoot in shorter sequences anyways, so this isn't really an issue. It is just something to take into consideration if you want to do interviews or other long scenes. Again, this goes for all DSLR videography though, and not just the T3i.

The build quality is good for what it is; a pro-sumer camera. It doesn't feel cheap by any means. It is a lighterweight DLSR and does not feel as solid as the pro level DSLRs but it costs MUCH less. The T3i still has a solid construction. Though, I would not want to drop it or leave it out in bad weather. I got a Delkin Pro Skin for the T3i, and a battery grip and it feels much more like a pro level camera now and feels better balanced with larger lenses. It is not sealed, dustproof and waterproof like the 7D or the 5D. The 60D has a better build quality and not much more expensive. It is also worth checking out. The 60D is slightly better for stills photography while the T3i is slightly better for shooting videos. You can see a number of reviews and comparisons on youtube.

It has great auto settings, though I CERTAINLY recommend learning how to really use your camera and you can take your photography to a whole new level. Having said that, IF you choose to only use the full auto / creative auto settings, you'll have a jaw dropping quality point and shoot camera. Again, I would recommend learning the settings, but for those of you who want great quality photos for birthdays and family get togethers, the T3i will exceed your expectations and is still very easy to use, thanks to the "In Camera Guide." If you really want to use your camera to the best of it's abilities, spend some time reading through the manual, watching how to videos on youtube and read online articles on improving your photography. There are an incredible amount of resources available online for free. spend some time, do the work and it will definitely pay off in the long term.

The accessories that come with this package are great for beginners too. I'll eventually be upgrading the tri-pod and the camera bag, but they will certainly be in use for a while until I decide to spend the big bucks on nicer gear. The 16gb card is great, the gear bag is decent quality, the screen protectors were a nice touch and the extra battery is an essential item for any photographer.

Overall, the T3i was the perfect camera for my needs. Of course I would love to have a 7D or a 5D, but it is much smarter to spend money on better lenses than to get too hung up on the camera body. Overall, I would recommend the T3i 100%. I am completely satisfied with my purchase, how much I spent, and the value I really recieved from such a great quality camera.

Here is an bonus list of lenses worth buying to build your collection. I will provide a list of lenses that are great for the value, and a list of my want but will probably never be able to afford lenses.

Great lenses for the value (notice I didn't say cheap, but excellent for the value):
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II SLR Zoom The kit lens that comes with this package. (The only reason not to buy this lens if if you are upgrading to a more expensive lens pretty quickly. This is probably THE BEST value lens around, Period. It has good contrast, sharpness, and overall image quality. There is definitely room for improvement, but at the price, this thing is a steal. This lens will suit many peoples needs for a long, long time. For photographers on a budget, this lens is a must have.)

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II - $110(BEST lens for the value aside from the 18-55mm kit lens)

Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto - $390 (A super great lens for indoor and darker settings. More expensive the than 50mm f/1.8 but if you have the money, this lens is worth the upgrade).

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom - $670 (MUCH better than the Canon 18-55mm kit lens. Not cheap, but an excellent substitute for the Canon 17-55 f/2.8 and about $440 cheaper than the canon with only slight differences in image / video quality. Some people even prefer the Sigma. This is a great lens with excellent walk around ranges. This will be my always on lens for probably 90% of the time. This or the Canon 17-55 are a must have for video users).

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM - $400 (Great 30mm prime lens at a decent cost.)

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto - $400 (Great for macro photography and a decent telephoto distance.)

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM - $570 (One of the best lenses for micro/macro photography)

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom - $675 (One of the top rated telephoto lenses around and a must for sports photographers.)

A lens that isn't quite as good but definitely deserves some attention:
Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP Aspherical (IF) Zoom - $460 (A cheaper alternative to the Canon 17-55 and the Sigma 17-50mm. It is still better than the Canon 18-55mm kit lens. It has great image quality but lacks the Image stabilization that the other two offer (which is essential if you want to use your camera as a handheld often). Tamron offers an IS version of this lens, but tests have shown that it isn't quite as sharp and it is slower than the Sigma and Canon and the autofocus isn't as good. Based on the research I've done online, I'd prefer to buy the Sigma for $50 more than the IS (well Tamron calls it VC) version of this lens.) All that said, this is an excellent lens at a good price if you plan on using a tripod most of the time.

Amazing lenses that are expensive list:
Tokina 11-16/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX - $720 (Best wide angle lens around, in many people's eyes.)

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens $1600 (One of the best lenses on the market if not THE best. Great image quality, excellent contrast. The only thing this baby is missing is Image Stabilization.)

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM - $1075 (Excellent range, Image stabilization, contrast and picture quality. One of the best lenses after the Canon 24-70mm. For some it may be the best, if they need the IS.)

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - $1100 (Not to be confused with the 18-55mm Canon kit lens. Many people consider this to be THE best lens available for APS-C body cameras, i.e. T2i, T3i, 60D ect. The only downside is that this lens CANNONT be used on full frame cameras. i.e. 5D, 1D.) It is essentially an L quality lens as far as image quality goes. Amazing quality sharpness, contrast, minimal fringing and flaring, and just a fantastic lens. It does lack the L lens quality build though.

Final Note: This is not a comprehensive list, nor am I a professional photographer. I am simply a guy who did a ton of research and wanted to contribute and give people a decent place to get started with camera and lens selection. I certainly encourage each of you to do you own research and find out what suits your needs best. You can certainly find cheaper cameras and lenses out there. I take photography pretty serious and want the best quality images/videos possible for a reasonable price. In most cases, you really do get what you pay for. Thanks for reading.
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on August 7, 2013
My son is required to have a DSLR Camera for his HS photo class. We considered the plain vanilla Rebel, but this T3i based on the reviews, seemed worth the additional $150. Then we spotted this 10pc Bundle. What a deal!

We love this T3i camera. I'm an avid amateur with a larger Cannon including a few lenses which I was not going to risk for a HS class. This T3i is loaded with features and easier to learn than my larger Cannon.

The accessories are pure gravy. I would have had to buy an extra battery and a memory card anyway, so they saved me that dough.

The bundled, non-cannon battery seems kinda iffy. It seemed to die quickly during first use. It's supposed to take two hours to charge, but I was back to whatever a full charge yields in probably less than hour. I haven't used it enough to determine it's worth.

The 16G memory card works fine.

The camera case is nice! Haven't tried the tripod or rest of the stuff yet. But it's the same price with the bundle as without, so it's the best deal I've seen for this camera!
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on January 15, 2015
I WOULD NOT BUY FROM HERE AGAIN. The camera is great as to be expected. HOWEVER The CHEAP package of "extras" probably cost this company $10 at most.

The bag is super CHEAP and flimsy. The camera flip flops all over it. The light as a feather flimsy tripod blew over in a breeze and banged up my camera.

The dvd looks useless. The cleaning supply extras probably cost 25 cents and are super CHEAP and don't waste your money.
I wish I hd not bought this package.

I WISH I HAD OPENED IT RIGHT AWAY TO SEE HOW CHEAP IT IS A SEND IT BACK, BUT I WAITED UNTIL CHRISTMAS. This was a big mistake.

SUPER DISAPPOINTED. BUY ONLY THE CAMERA SOMEWHERE ELSE.
DO NOT BUY THIS!
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on January 10, 2017
My daughter took photography for 3 years in high school, and I wanted to get her a nice, quality camera set up that would last her a lot of years. This set definitely fit the bill. I actually bought this many years ago but am just now getting around to writing a review. The photos come out amazing...clear, crisp, vibrant. She uses it quite a lot and it has held up great.
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on May 17, 2013
I bought the T3i after carefully comparing a number of similar cameras from Nikon and other manufacturers. I've been totally happy with the camera and the rest of the package. There are plenty of reviews of the camera itself, so I'll just comment on this entire bundle. The lens is sharp and easy to use. I would like to have more f-stop ranges, but that gets expensive no matter who makes the lens, and this one is a good balance of cost/performance. The bag is excellent quality. The tripod is a bit flimsy - I'll get a heavier-duty one eventually, but this one works fairly well. The 16GB card works well for me - I download my photos after every session and clear the card, so I never come close to filling it up. The DVD is a decent introduction to digital SLRs for newbies. I recommend that you get a book dedicated to using the T3i. The manual tells you what the buttons do, but it doesn't tell you why you would want to use them. I bought the David Busch guide to T3i's and can recommend it as a great way to learn what this wonderful camera can do.
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on November 16, 2013
The Camera itself is fantastic! I bought it just for that reason cheap for being a bundle deal. Camera and lens are just what you expect from canon great quality pictures and amazing video quality (but if your thinking of shooting video at night might want to buy a different lens) (Examples of videos on YouTube under "TheSDRChannel" look at most recents). As for the rest of the items...Wow, I thought I was going to get a bunch of low quality items but that's not the case. The memory card I got was sony and camera stand is great quality, same goes for the camera bad and back up battery. The video I haven't watch but I'm pretty sure that it give beginners good pointers. Highly reccomend this product if your on a budget or not and want a great camera.
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on February 17, 2014
For the price I figured this was refurbished.
However, I assumed they corrected all mistakes prior to reselling.

First Warning;
Put in a freshly charged battery and the camera did not turn on.
After switching it on and off 2/3 more times; It turned on.
I immediately sampled the video recording option, as I would
mainly be using this feature for shooting website commercials and short films.
2nd Warning:
When I connected the headset for live audio recording, the screen went black.
I wasn`t sure what was wrong, so I disconnected my attachments(mic and head set)
The screen came back on. When I reconnected the headset, again the screen went black.
(This occurred every time I connected the headset)
I turned the camera off and it wouldn`t turn on again.

Frustrated at all the issues I had on the first day, I decided returning it for a refund.
I have other cameras, so I`m able to continue my work.
Next time I`ll probably just shop at a major retail chain for these types of products;
As the return/refund process, in total may take up to two weeks.
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on April 20, 2014
I went from a wonderful Sony point and shoot to the Rebel T3i. As good as the Sony is, and I was very happy with it, this Canon produces a sharper image. The 18 megapixels really do count for something. Combine the flawless lenses with the Megapixels and the photo is incredibly sharp. I paint watercolors, sometimes on location but often indoors basing them on my own photos and being a realist sort of painter I appreciate accurate source material.
The Rebel is easy from the get-go. The kit comes with an actual printed instruction book! It also comes with two batteries and charger along with many other items I didn't know I would need. The camera bag is especially useful.
Love this camera and the cool stuff included.
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on August 5, 2014
The purchase came on time and in fine condition. The package contained everything I needed (including an appropriate memory card and extra battery), except for a remote switch which I had to buy separately. Also, as I will be using it primarily for video, the "super-economy" tripod is somewhat useless---I will have to purchase an oil-damped video tripod separately. However, as the price for the package was well less than other sellers were asking for the camera alone, I have no complaints.

If we we find ourselves using it as a still camera (aside from video), I'm sure I'll want to spring for a telephoto lens.

This is my first SLR camera, and it'll be quite a project to learn all the bells and whistles, so I'll be in a better position to evaluate the camera itself after a few weeks. However, researching many reviews on various sites led me to understand that this is about the best deal out there for an economy SLR camera.
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on December 23, 2013
This is my first "real" camera. Have been using a cheapo tiny camera for a long time and decided to finally spend some money a a nicer one. This camera takes awesome pictures and it's easy to use. The accessories that come with it are handy but only a few are useful. Some of it's just cheap junker stuff but this is a great set for someone that's just starting out and is cheaper than buying the needed pieces individually.
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