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Customer Discussions > Digital SLR forum

Is it worth buying?

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Showing 1-25 of 34 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 19, 2012, 12:06:57 AM PDT
jenn says:
is the canon t3 worth buying?

Posted on Jul 19, 2012, 8:16:13 AM PDT

Posted on Jul 19, 2012, 8:17:44 AM PDT
that all depends on your experience and what you intend to use it for. it's a fine beginner/starter camera, if that's what you're asking. give us more info for better responses. what kind of photography do you plan on doing? what is your experience level? we'll mostly assume you're a beginner if you're looking at a t3. what's your budget? what are your expectations? the more you give us, the more we can give you.

Posted on Jul 20, 2012, 6:32:05 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
Any DSLR currently marketed today would be a great camera. The T3 is Canon's most affordable entry-level model. If you're coming from a point & shoot, it'll seem like a huge upgrade.

The T3 is the most basic of Canon's lineup. Above that are the T2i, T3i, and the recently introduced T4i (having the "i" suffix makes a big difference in the Canon entry-level bodies.)

Keep in mind that the camera body itself basically finishes in last place in terms of what will make the greatest amount of difference in your photography. Tops on the list is your knowledge and experience. So along with that camera... make sure you invest in a few good books on the topic. READ the manual (yes really) or if you can't stand reading the manual pick up a copy of David Busch's Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D Guide to Digital SLR Photography which is a lot like an owners manual... only a lot more descriptive.

If this is your first DSLR then I'd suggesting starting with Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera. Bryan's book might actually be the most recommended book for any beginner who has a DSLR. Another great book is The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos Freeman's book assumes you've already learned how to use your camera and already understand all the basic fundamentals of exposure... and he's now moving on to design and composition.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2012, 7:10:35 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
"Keep in mind that the camera body itself basically finishes in last place in terms of what will make the greatest amount of difference in your photography."

You can say that again, TC.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012, 3:25:23 AM PDT
Why does everybody (usually the people with a hunk-of-junk camera) keep saying that? A great camera can improve your photography considerably, assuming you have the skills to use it right. Better bodies free you to act expressively without worrying about the mechanics, at least in terms of dynamic range and low-light noise, freeing you to look at what you're photographing instead of looking at your camera. When I see a great scene taken with a poor camera and a poor lens I just want to scream.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012, 6:34:01 AM PDT
Neo Lee says:
Will $10,000 worth of camera gears make someone who lacks the know-hows on photography a greater photographer? I highly doubt. You should throw your expensive camera stuff at a few random strangers, ask them to take their best picture for a day, see if they would get you any decent pictures. I doubt it. Garbage in, garbage out.

You can ask me to do the same, to give my entry-level DSLR with the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 (poor lens? LOL) to a professional photographer who has the experience in capturing the scenes. He will likely come back with breath-taking photos.

"I just want to scream."

That's usually the people with too much ego.

Posted on Jul 21, 2012, 8:16:46 AM PDT
But you see, a good photographer with better equipment will make better photos. Unfortunately you are neither a good photographer nor have good equipment, so, ego aside, you are not even worth screaming at.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012, 8:50:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2012, 8:58:43 AM PDT
Neo Lee says:
Your photos look much worse than mine, so...

"But you see, a good photographer with better equipment will make better photos."

I agree, and that's exactly why your expensive camera should be with me, not with you. You're a reviews writer. Maybe a more expensive keyboard will help with the word choices.

Posted on Jul 21, 2012, 10:03:06 AM PDT
S. Owens says:
The third post already says that it will depend on your expectations, experience, and ultimately use but I think the T3 can certainly be worth buying. It may not be a great video camera and certainly isn't the highest performing DSLR available but a good photographer should be able to get good pictures out of it. The more expensive cameras available may be able to produce better images more easily but I'm not convinced that the increase in price will usually produce the same improvement in your pictures.

I've had a T3 for about seven months now and it has served me pretty well. I guess my "complaint" about it has nothing to do with the camera but is more that I don't have the "right" lens to use for some of the pictures I've been trying to take. Taking pictures at a friends b-day party recently my camera worked fine but the lighting wasn't so great as the kit lens is a little slow and my other lens was just too long to be really helpful. When I purchased my T3 I was seriously looking at some more expensive models but decided to go with the less expensive camera so I could spend more on lenses to make it work well.

I may be looking at upgrading my T3 to something with a little sealing (I live in the country so dust is a constant) and a bigger body (I have big hands) but I'd still be happy with original purchase.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012, 10:26:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2012, 10:28:32 AM PDT
EdM says:
I agree 100% with T. Campbell's post.

As to the bickering that follows, I'd say this: For the person new to DSLR's, any entry level model will be a nice, even tremendous, step up. That said, there are some benefits to getting a higher capability DSLR that will be felt even by a beginner. The increased focusing speed and accuracy of the AF mechanism of a Canon 7D or Nikon D4 or any other higher end camera WILL give a better technical result. IF a person finds the camera easy to use, even using the PhD technique {auto everything}, they may well become inspired to improve their compositional skills for a love of photography.

OTOH, for the vast majority of people, cameras and lenses that consume a $2k budget off the bat are neither practical nor reasonable. Thus, an enter level camera, whether Canon T3 or Nikon D3200 or Pentax or Sony., etc., can be a great way to go for very practical reasons. Plus, those who do develop a love of the photo game, can always move up over time. One great advantage of DSLRs, e.g., is that you can accumulate a very nice kit on the "installment plan", by getting a better lens the next year, a better strobe the following, a new better body thereafter, etc.

It's not always instant gratification, where you have to buy say 10-20k worth of photo gear right away to make a decent, even good, shot. You can start small and move up over time. This also has the very great benefit that if "small" is all a given person actually needs, there is no need to go for a big budget DSLR kit, and one saves money. Still, better DSLR bodies do matter and can help even a person new to DSLRs. Judging risk/reward is not easy, though. If one can afford it, though, a person seldom goes very wrong by finding the sweet spot of an advanced amateur camera, above entry level, but not the high price spread either. Emphasizing, though, the "if one has the money" aspect.

I have a friend who is a professional artist [painter, not photographer], who shoots photos with a camera phone or inexpensive P/S. Occasionally, technical things go right and she produces a gem of a photo. All too often, though, her photos make me cringe. I wish I could convince her to get even an entry level DSLR ...

Posted on Jul 23, 2012, 8:45:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 23, 2012, 8:46:53 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012, 8:48:33 PM PDT
Se Lee says:
"... assuming you have the skills to use it right."

I don't think there is any disagreement in that the camera body matters. T. Campbell's even agrees but just states that there are more important factors to cover before the actual body will matter or make a difference (like you said, the skills to use it right). I think everyone is in agreement so the arguement seems silly.

As for the T3, it has been a great beginning camera for me (I'm still learning). Even though I upgraded to a 60D, I still use the T3 as well (mostly for travel and well lit places). If you are a quick learner and enjoys upgrading quickly, a T3i/4i or a 60D might be better for the long run. If not and you are on a budget, T3 will do just fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012, 9:48:06 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 24, 2012, 9:52:00 AM PDT
Tom Martin says:
But I'm feeling much better now... says: Why does everybody (usually the people with a hunk-of-junk camera) keep saying that?

The T3 is as good a camera as the Nikon D200.
Even your beloved DxOMark says so.
So, what is your definition of a hunk-of-junk camera?
Any camera over 5 years old?
Because even today's entry level cameras like the T3 have better IQ than semi-pro cameras from 5 years ago.
So, any digital image taken before 2007 is crap? I don't thinks so.

As for poor lenses, even kit lenses have their sweet spots, where their IQ matches that of much more expensive lenses. Do they offer that IQ through out their zoom and aperture range? nope. But, if a person knows their equipment they can take outstanding pictures with a very limited budget.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012, 12:32:52 PM PDT
EdM says:
"The T3 is as good a camera as the Nikon D200."

For some uses, the T3 is superior, not least because the D200 lacks any video, e.g. However, the D200 has the following features which the T3 lacks:

1/8000 sec. shutter, spot meter (2%), wireless remote (optional), the AF focuses in about 1/4 the light of a T3, and burst rate of 5 frames/sec.

I would not suggest a D200 over any number of newer or entry level cameras, but old as it is, it still has features absent from today's entry level cameras. A remark like "T3 is as good a camera as the Nikon D200", is not a sound basis for logical argument.

I'd also take issue with "even today's entry level cameras like the T3 have better IQ than semi-pro cameras from 5 years ago."

A great many images were made with "semi-pro" Canon 40D and published in the likes of National Geographic, e.g. At best, the T3 sensor is only about as good, and not quite as good at low ISO values where best IQ is obtained. See:


This also ignores the performance advantages [spot meter, better AF, etc.] of those Canons over today's entry level Canon T3, taking camera brand out of the equation.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012, 1:26:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 24, 2012, 1:26:54 PM PDT
Tom Martin says:
Since we are nitpicking the Canon 40D was announced on August 20, 2007, so doesn't fit the definition of cameras more than 5 years old. And the T3 outscores the Canon 30D across the board in DxOMark scores.

As for spot metering, frame rate, and max shutter speed, none of those would substantially change the fact that today's entry level cameras are more than capable of matching the image quality of higher end cameras from just 5 years ago, and every pro camera from just a few years before that.

The T3 certainly is NOT a hunk of junk as BIFMBN intimated.

Posted on Jul 24, 2012, 1:35:33 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012, 6:49:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 24, 2012, 6:50:20 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
"today's entry level cameras are more than capable of matching the image quality of higher end cameras from just 5 years ago, and every pro camera from just a few years before that."

I concur, and that's one of the good reasons why we should like history classes. The very digital cameras that professionals used very successfully in the past were no better than the modern T3. To call out T3 as a junk camera entirely because of its specs is an insult to all those great digital photos captured before 2008.

Posted on Jul 26, 2012, 2:23:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2012, 2:24:49 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
I guess I have never used 1/8000 second shutter speed becuase I have never had that facilty and in all my years, nay decades, in photography have I felt the need for it.... such is the foolishness due to ignorance of comparing exotic features of cameras that people indulge in. Some obviously will have the need for it but very few I'd venture so hardly a factor towards the puirchase of a camera unless you actually have the job needing it.
I have once maybe needed a faster than 1/1000 shutter to capture the drip of water from a tap but my reaction time wasn't good enough and I got my winning photo from one of my muff shots, which has happened more than once. LOL

Posted on Jul 26, 2012, 5:58:36 PM PDT
Tom Martin says:
I'll take this over spot metering any day!

Canon T3 Exposure

The Canon T3 adopts the same exposure system which debuted in the company's flagship APS-C format digital SLR, the EOS 7D. Dubbed IFCL -- which stands for Intelligent Focus, Color, Luminance -- the new metering system takes into not only account subject luminance, but also both color information and focus distance. Because silicon light sensors are significantly more sensitive to longer-wavelength light, unless an exposure sensor's response is substantially tweaked via a filter system of some sort (which naturally decreases sensitivity), it will tend to underexpose red-colored objects or scenes, and overexpose ones dominated by blue or green hues. To prevent this issue, the T3 takes advantage of color information provided by its dual-layer autoexposure sensor, with the upper layer being sensitive to Blue/Green light, and the lower layer to Green/Red light. The Canon T3 should hence be able to markedly improve exposure accuracy in situations where the subject is dominated by colors at one end or the other of the color spectrum.

The Canon T3's autoexposure sensor divides the frame into 63 separate zones, the data from which can be evaluated in a variety of ways, depending on the AE mode you're operating in. AE and AF zones are aligned, allowing exposure information to be associated with specific AF sensors and the area around them.

The T3's AE system also integrates distance information from the autofocus system into the exposure metering process, thanks to a rather clever assumption: If you've identified the subject as being located a certain distance away from the camera, nearby objects that are close to the same distance are most likely part of the subject, too. Thus, rather than simply relying on a spot AE reading centered on the primary AF point, or blindly combining exposure information from a cluster of AE points in some arbitrary geometric grouping around the active AF point, the Canon T3 instead gives stronger weighting to exposure sensor segments that lie beneath adjacent AF points showing a similar distance reading.

Posted on Jul 26, 2012, 6:47:30 PM PDT
Wow, and here my Nikon D200, D300, D700, and F100 cameras just take great pictures. Of course you have to be standing in front of something interesting first.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012, 9:08:42 PM PDT
EdM says:
"I have once maybe needed a faster than 1/1000 shutter"

There are numerous advanced techniques which can use a fast shutter to good advantage. Surely, some need more than a 1/1000 sec shortest shutter, or camera companies would not offer the capability. These uses may include capturing a fast military jet on a close fly-by at an airshow, capturing a longish burst for fast planes, car races including drags, or for sports, as well as to use a wide aperture setting in well lit scenes for OOF backgrounds, and other creative uses. Not to mention high speed sync flash which also uses fast shutter speeds. Consider:


"If you have a digital SLR you may well be able to select shutter speeds up to 1/8,000th of a second - incredibly fast!

"What this means is that the shutter opens for just 1/8,000th of a second. In this brief moment, time is frozen. As a photographer you can use this brief moment creatively to capture movement.

"Take a look at the photo to the left here. I set this one up with the help of the wife (luckily she tolerates my experimental photography rather well!)...."

If you are happy with ordinary shooting techniques, 1/1000 sec and slower, that's fine for you. But to suggest that your shooting techniques are the epitome of advanced photo techniques, and that no one should need anything beyond that, is rather ridiculous.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012, 9:26:23 AM PDT
Unfortunately, what most discussions of fast shutter speeds misses is that it means that any particular part of the sensor is only exposed for that short a period...

What they fail to mention is that the total time taken to make that 1/x exposure is still limited by the fastest speed the individual focal plane curtains can move -- and that is the fastest sync speed of the camera. The sync speed is where the entire sensor is open to light (so a flash can expose the whole sensor). For a camera with a 1/250s sync speed, it means the first curtain took 1/250s to traverse (fully open shutter), <flash>, and the second curtain takes another 1/250s to traverse (close the shutter). Any point of the sensor only sees light for 1/250s, but the entire exposure, from start to finish, took 1/125s.

At faster shutter speeds, the second curtain starts following the first sooner. A 1/8000s shutter speed has the second curtain start following just 1/8000s after the first started moving, but both curtains are still taking 1/250s to traverse with sensor.

For common subjects, this traversing slit won't show artifacts. But for really fast subjects moving in the same direction as the slit, this will result in the subject appearing stretched out. Subjects moving perpendicular to the slit will be skewed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012, 10:43:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2012, 11:12:12 AM PDT
Neo Lee says:
Dennis has a point. That's called rolling shutter artifacts. While rolling shutter is commonly attributed to electronic shutter in CMOS camcorder, the artifacts are quite indistinguishable to those attributed to the mechanical shutter for stills. It's more apparent in videos because of the common slower 1/60th shutter speed for 30 fps videos, whereas for a camera the sync speed is 1/200th to 1/250th.


That's one of the reasons why high-speed photography is often limited to using a flash, which will only be triggered when the shutter curtain is fully open so that the whole sensor gets exposed to the same frozen-in-time flash of light. A flash of light at 1/32 power lasts typically as long as 50 microseconds, that is 1/20,000s. High-speed videography is limited to using a global shutter CCD sensor that can read all pixels instantaneously.

Fun fact: Increase of flash power doesn't really increase the brightness (luminance) of the light; an increase of flash power actually prolongs the duration of the flash light. Camera sensor doesn't care whether it's light intensity or duration, since the photons are accumulated anyway. If flash at 1/32 power lasts 20us, flash at 1/16 power will last 40us, 1/8 power will last 80us... and full power flash will last 0.64ms.

Posted on Jul 27, 2012, 1:22:07 PM PDT
I think, that as usual, the discussion has gotten way out of hand. Nobody said anything about flash sync speeds to begin with. By the way, Nikon cameras, at least mine, are capable of using any shutter speed along with Pocket Wizard TTL units. I regularly shoot in bright sunlight using flash at 1/3000th or better.. I also regularly use 1/8000th shutter speeds, in bright sunlight you need it if you have a good lens and want to use wide apertures to preserve depth of field. Yet another case of people with experience versus people that just are fauxtographers. It is not all about stopping motion or using flash, it is more about having a capable camera and the skills to use it.
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Discussion in:  Digital SLR forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  34
Initial post:  Jul 19, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 27, 2012

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