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Christmas Gift Guide

Noise

Color

Sharpness

Bokeh, 18-55mm IS II lens

Distortion, 18-55mm IS II lens

Fringing, 18-55mm IS II lens

Picture Styles

Burst shooting

The T3 has very good midrange ISO sensitivity performance. JPEGs get a bit grainy, but remain usable, up through ISO 800, and start to get soft at ISO 1,600.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
At ISO 3,200, the JPEG photos don't look terrible, but you can see some color noise and images develop hot pixels. As usual, Canon's JPEG processing is pretty good. I couldn't get much better results from processing the raw versions--different, but only by trading off dynamic range for color and grain.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Overall, the T3 delivers excellent color reproduction, though in shadowed areas (like the two middle photos), the white balance gets a little too cool.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
In its Standard Picture Style setting (sharpness at +3), the camera plus kit lens renders very sharp images--possibly a little too sharp.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The 18-55mm kit lens produces nice out-of-focus highlights.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Lens distortion isn't bad at its widest.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Like most inexpensive lenses, the 18-55mm kit lens is pretty susceptible to fringing. I didn't see any purple, however, and it tends to stay on the edges of the frame.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The default Standard Picture Style pushes the saturation and sharpness a bit more than I like, but there are no wholesale hue shifts and the Neutral style works out well if you prefer.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Even ascribing some of the blur to imperfect panning on my part, the old autofocus system isn't great if you want to shoot a lot of action. However, at relatively small sizes the results look OK and the camera's burst performance is just good enough to keep up with subjects moving in a predictable direction.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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