Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
Best available under $1000
on October 23, 2012
A lot of research went into this purchase. I used two T3i's that belonged to friends and made sure they would work in low-light conditions. I also reviewed consumer reports, and this was the overall highest rated DSLR under $1,000. I also used my sister-in-laws 40D. It is much more rugged, but the photo's aren't really any better.
About 1000 photos in, I haven't found anything not to love about this camera. It has functioned flawlessly. It has quick point-and-shoot modes or allows you to go as low-level as you wish. I shoot telephoto in some unusual lighting situations, and I have found that the custom white balance settings work perfectly. I've been able to take great action photos of night high-school football games using the expanded ISO option.
The T3i contains no weatherproofing, so keep that in mind. Increased toughness would be the advantage to going to the pricier professional-level cameras. The 1/4000 second shutter speed was fine to stop a hummingbird's wings in action so I can't imagine the typical user needing a faster speed. The ISO expansion allows you to go all the way to 12500, which is about as far as is practical currently. It allows decent photos under very weak light conditions.
The built in flash isn't that great, but you wouldn't expect it to be. It's mainly for have-to situations and anyone taking regular flash photos would want a better flash for the hotshoe. The viewscreen can be tilted to almost any angle, which allows some great shots over obstacles or from waist level. It's great for photos of the kids when they're playing. Can easily shoot from waist level and avoid the impish look you can get from photographing down on kids.
The only quirk I have found is that the wireless remote (optional) only works from in front of the camera. It's designed to use when you're helping a person pose or you're in the photo yourself. Being able to activate it from the rear would be nice for wildlife shots.
I didn't buy it for videos, but I was amazed at the quality of them. Sound is mono unless you buy additional microphones, but that's not why I bought the camera anyway.
Yes, I would like to have the 60D, but you just aren't going to beat the T3i for under $1,000. With a little shopping, you can get the additional 55-250 lens which is wonderful. The image stabilization works perfectly. Until I can afford the 60D, I'm very satisfied.