The Good Unsurprisingly, the Canon EOS Rebel T3 delivers excellent photo quality.
The Bad Average performance, a nothing-but-the-basics feature set and claustrophobic viewfinder leave the camera an uninspiring shooter.
The Bottom Line Though it's a perfectly fine entry-level camera, there are better options for the money than the Canon EOS Rebel T3.
Canon EOS Rebel T3
Rather than introduce new dSLR models at bargain-basement prices as Pentax and Sony tend to do, Canon traditionally lets its slightly higher-end models gradually fall in price until they're the de facto entry-level models. But its current starter, the EOS Rebel XS, which the Canon EOS Rebel T3 replaces, has been around since the summer of 2008 and even Canon must think it's looking a bit dowdy compared with competitors that, though old, aren't quite that old. So Canon spruced up its low-end models a little with the latest imaging and metering systems--and somehow managed to produce a camera that still feels 3 years old.
That's not to say that the T3 is bad; it's not. In fact, the photo quality is quite good for the price, as we've come to expect from Canon. It has excellent midrange (ISO 400-3,200) sensitivity performance. JPEGs get a bit grainy, but remain very usable, up through ISO 800, and start to get soft at ISO 1,600. 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--I could get different results, but only by trading off dynamic range for color and grain.
Overall, the T3 delivers excellent color reproduction, though in shadowed areas the white balance gets a little too cool. 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. Metering and exposure are solid.
The 12 best Black Friday camera deals we've found so far
Rather than dump every available Black Friday discount on you, we've hand-picked the seasonal deals we think are actually worth your money.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $279.64
That's the lowest price to date on this widely loved model. It's a refurb, but a good-as-new refurb. Plus: Own "Logan" for just $6.
Get a GoPro Hero action camera for $63
Wait, what? Yep, it's the real deal -- but you'll have to wait a few weeks to get it, and there are more capable cameras for the same price.
Google Clips uses AI to capture life's spontaneous moments
The $249 smart camera brings together the best of AI, software and hardware, says Google.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $344
Your phone's camera may be good, but it's nowhere near this good. This top-rated model would normally run you at least $100 more. Plus: a speaker that fits in your pocket and plays FM radio.
Monday mishmash: Great new deals, plus some updates and reruns
For example: the cheapest 1TB portable hard drive I've ever seen, and an unbeatable price on a lifetime of guided meditation.
Want to photograph rockstars? This $13K camera will let you
Leica releases a new special-edition camera as a tribute to late rock-n-roll photographer Jim Marshall.
GoPro has a new 360 VR camera that you can't have
The spherical camera, called Fusion, is small and wearable, but a lot of other details are a mystery.
GoPro will give you $100 for your old Hero, sort of
A new trade-up program lets you send in your old GoPro for money off a new Hero5 camera.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.
This crazy camera could be a boon to VR filmmakers
Researchers have found a way to build a 360-degree camera that's compact but shoots high-quality video. It could be just the thing for virtual reality.
GoPro lays off 200 people, shutters its aspiring media arm
The action-camera maker, struggling with weak sales, makes cuts to save more than $650 million in costs next year.