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on November 24, 2011
The T3 is in the bottom of the entry level line up, but it performs very well. In terms of picture quality when compared with higher end models all the way to the 60D, it is difficult to determine any differences between them.

The biggest sacrifices are ergonomics and features like frames per second and flip screens, but I have to tell you that it is a great starting point for any enthusiast wanting to discover DSLR photography. ISO 6400 is really helpful when compared with models like the XS which Canon stop showing in their website; the XS was Canon's entry level before the T3 but it only had ISO 1600 (useless). ISO 6400 with Photoshop Lightroom 3 makes unwanted grain a thing of the past.

The camera is small and convenient; I recommend buying the body only and getting and upgraded lens instead of using the 18-55 kit les that comes with it. Good quality pictures come from high quality lenses, so save the money from the kit lens, and buy an upgraded lens like the Canon 24-70L for people with money or the Tamron 17-50 2.8 for people on a budget that want a good balance between price and quality.

The bottom line is the lens is more important than the camera if comparing all Canon models under $1000.00. Good luck with your choice.
143 helpful votes
144 helpful votes
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on February 28, 2014
I have found these features to be most useful:
Partial metering, spot selected focus, exposure compensation, bracketing, ettl 2 flash control, full manual control of shutter speed, ISO and aperture, the ability to shoot in raw format. It still has fully automatic settings for those that just want to point and shoot.
There is also a live view function which works great for setting manual focus while using a tripod. You can zoom all the way in and move anywhere in the frame to focus exactly where you want to.
The body is very light, made from what feels like a very durable smooth plastic. However this plastic is very slick- use the strap so you don't drop it!
The LCD is very large, with good image quality.
I found the menu system fairly intuitive to use.

Now what it is lacking:
There is no mirror lock up. This is not a problem if you have a good tripod, but is worth mentioning if this is a deal breaker for you.
It also does not have spot metering, but instead uses partial metering. I have very little experience with spot, but have had no problems getting the exposure I want with partial.
This camera does not shoot video in 1080, it is limited to 720. I personally could do without video all together, I bought it to take pictures.
There is no built in remote sensor. You will need a cable release or to buy a third party wireless solution.
The cache is somewhat limited. This is only an issue if you want to shoot continuous action in raw format. It will bog down after 4 pictures. If you shoot in jpeg you can shoot continuous all day long without delay so long as you have the proper sd card.
Lastly there is no auto sensor clean, just a manual function that flips the mirror up so you can blow the dust away, or clean it physically.
These really have not been issues for me and for $279.00, I am not complaining, just pointing it out to help you make an informed decision.

If you are looking for a new hobby, want to learn your way around a dslr, or expand your subject capabilities without breaking the bank, this is the camera for you. With a little bit of learning , experience and the proper lenses you can still get professional looking results with this body. If you are a landscape purist, action/sports photographer, professional photographer, want to make fully detailed poster sized prints, or are looking to make 1080 videos then there are better options out there, but you will pay a lot more for them.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on September 15, 2011
If you already own a Canon dSLR, get the body only. Canon kit lenses on the budget dSLRs are simply not that good. Why pay extra for mediocre glass?

I am a passionate hobbyist and a Canon user since 2006. I bought this T3 body only to replace an ailing Canon xS with auto-focusing problems. Both are selling at the same price, but the T3 offers a few upgrades: 12MP vs 10 MP, faster burst mode, video mode and more focusing points on the sensor. I already have a plethora of good Canon and Tamron lenses and didn't want a cheap kit lens the Rebels are notorious for, so I bought the camera body only.

I take this dSLR into town, on long hikes, camping trips and backpacking adventures, so the lighter weight of a lower-end Rebel made from polycarbonates is ideal for me. My cameras take a beating. I leave my 7D home for more indoor portraiture shots.

The Canon T3 looks smart. It feels more solid than the xS and the handgrip has a slight rubberized coating for better grip that the xS does not have. The buttons are almost all in the same place except for the SD slot; on the T3 it is with the battery slot on the bottom which may be an issue with battery packs. The bodies look very similiar, so there was no great time wasted reading the manual. For those new to the Rebel line-up, however, I greatly encourage to read the manual to better understand this camera, as it has many great features for an affordable price. Most people who are dissatisfied with a camera or lens usually just don't take the time to learn the many capabilities of that piece of equipment. There are differences between a Nikon and a Canon dSLR as there are different terms and physical layouts for everything. It's like studying French and German simultaneously.

I shoot mostly in A-DEP and Manual mode, although P and Auto are also used when doing snapshots. When using the first two modes, however, the photographer must be aware of proper settings in white balance and ISO modes as otherwise photos will appear washed-out or over/underexposed. This is the fun and creative part about photography that I enjoy.

The T3 ia better suited for sports photography than the xS as it has a rapid-action burst mode that lets you take ten shots in a row. This is faster than the xS.

As all lower-end dSLRs, this camera is made in Taiwan.

I am happy with the photo quality of my photographs. Colors are vibrant. I now carry it in my camera bag as a side-kick to my Canon 7D.

I will update this review as times goes on.
review image
38 helpful votes
39 helpful votes
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Enthusiast: Photographyon December 1, 2016
23 year shooter, my Wife finally got the Photography Bug and wanted a good starter camera. Ive shot about 6 brands in my career and Canon in my opion is geared towards those just getting into Photography and is the best of the lot. Easy to learn controls, set up and very user friendly buttons. This is her Xmas Gift, my 5d M3 is a lil much for her. Photography is not an overnight Art form, it takes patience and practice.
1 helpful vote
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on June 27, 2012
Having really bought into the Micro-4/3 rage, I did not purchase this camera body to replace my Lumix -- just wanted to use a few lenses from my old EOS Elan film camera, and had had little success adapting them to the Lumix because of no auto-focus capability.

Well, I must admit to being pleasantly surprised. This camera takes SHARP photos with an old Tamron 100-300, and beautiful macros with an even older full-manual Tamron lens that I used to use with a full manual Fujica. (I jammed the f-stop pin in!) AND all that with no image stabilization!

Not everything is clouds and teddy bears, though. I also have a "multi-element" Tamron zoom from the Elan days, 28-200. Looks like fungus infestation -- lots of "fog". Can still get good pictures by focusing manually, but wish I could get this thing to work so I don't have to change lenses. What's worse, put a CP on it and NOTHING comes out, whether auto or manual focus. That's not the camera's fault though, so no problems there...

Just a couple minor complaints about the camera:

1) Toggling between f-stop and shutter speed (or exposure and f-stop/shutter balance in program mode) is difficult because you have to find a pushbutton with your thumb while spinning the wheel. C'mon! I'm taking pictures, here! (EOS Elan had a wheel on the back, so you could adjust both options simultaneously...)

2) When in program mode, the camera always seems to want to open the aperture. See item no. 1 above!

3) Seems like the sensor and mirror are dust magnets. One of my first outings was a water-fight. I had to crop a "blob" out of the sky on a great many of the photos. Scared me and I thought I had a bad sensor until I read up on it and figured out how to photograph the sensor to see the dust. I got one of those Giotto rocket blowers and took care of it, but now I see it's also a problem with the mirror. (Photos are still awesome, though...)

I bought this camera because it was comparatively "cheap", but I discovered it's not built cheaply. I had low expectations (based on the Elan I owned previously, by the way... Gray market?), but I'm very happy I got a T3, and would recommend it to others.

3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on November 9, 2017
Fundamental camera.
1 helpful vote
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on July 18, 2013
Camera was a little hard to get used to. It is my first "nice" camera. Read most of the reviews before I purchased said camera. Got lost in all the camera jargon. Best bet......Make friends with a photo enthusiast and have them show you all the bells and whistles, the instructions are hard to follow.
1 helpful vote
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on April 23, 2013
Great first slr camera for the photo enthusiast looking to take it one step further then the ol' point and shoot. Bought this for my brother and I am a pro photographer, lacks some feature's of my 1D and 7D cannon's but the overall processor, sharpness, and shutter release all function very well in this camera. 12 megs is sufficient for most uses in photography, so overall a great camera for a very affordable price. This camera is also nice because you can begin to purchase canon lenses that you can use with all different levels of camera's so the lenses you buy for it, you can use down the road if you choose to upgrade your camera. My brother is very happy with his camera, and is using it all the time, so great purchase!
1 helpful vote
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on July 23, 2015
I knew this wasn't a top-of-the-line unit, but I expected a solid level of performance and I got it. It worked fine with my old Canon lenses from the pre-digital era. The unit looked as good as new and is a very good value overall. It takes high-quality digital photographs and when taking video is superior to my old DV video recorder under marginal conditions (bad light, etc.).
1 helpful vote
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on July 21, 2012
Bought this Canon EOS digital camera body to replace Canon EOS film camera. Already had 2 lenses, carry bag and tripod, this T3 can use them all. It is everything I want and care for in a nice digital camera. The Ti's are great for those deep into photography, but for the average person just wanting a clear sharp pictures with some of the bells and whistles, this Canon T3 will do the trick. Delivery was prompt, exactly as promised.
14 helpful votes
15 helpful votes
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