Canon EOS Rebel T3i

The Good The Canon EOS Rebel T3i delivers excellent video capabilities and image and video quality.

The Bad If you shoot both still and video, the T3i's controls can be frustrating to operate, and it's not terribly fast for burst shooting sports, kids, or pets.

The Bottom Line For the money, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i is a great choice for dSLR videographers--though the cheaper T2i can still suffice if you don't need the articulated LCD--and it's a solid choice for creative still shooters. But though the image quality and general shooting performance are top-notch, if you're upgrading to capture sports, kids, or pets, the T3i may not be able to keep up.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Image quality 8.0
7.8 Overall

Compare

Canon EOS Rebel T3i (with 18-55mm and 55-250mm IS II lenses)
Canon EOS Rebel T3i
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Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D
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Price $949 Amazon Marketplace $399 42nd Street Photo $949 Amazon.com $549 Dell Home $879 42nd Street Photo
Design
7
7
8
7
8
Features
8
7
8
6
8
Performance
8
8
8
7
8
Image quality
8
8
7
7
8

Review

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

If you didn't think the 60D was overpriced when it shipped, you will now. The Canon EOS Rebel T3i (aka the EOS 600D), the 60D's younger and cheaper sibling, offers the same basic camera with some corners cut--most notably a slightly less well-constructed body and a (purposely?) stunted burst shooting speed. You can also think of it as a slightly more expensive T2i, with the addition of an articulated LCD and a few features for the auto-always crowd. Either way, the T3i remains a solid if unexciting follow-up to its predecessor, although one that seems to cater more to videophiles than still shooters.

That's not to say it compromises on still photo quality. Overall, the T3i has an excellent noise profile, unsurprisingly similar to that of the 60D's. JPEGs look very clean up through ISO 400, and even at ISO 800 you really have to scrutinize to see the beginnings of detail degradation; at ISO 1,600 the noise becomes more obvious but still isn't too bad.

ISO 400 is sort of my tipping-point sensitivity; to shoot action outdoors, I generally have to bump up the setting to at least ISO 400 in order to reach a sufficiently fast shutter speed. And because few consumer cameras are fast enough at shooting burst raw+JPEG, the in-camera JPEG processing has to be decent as well. The T3i fared pretty well under these conditions. Overall, I consider shots at this setting good enough to use, but I still wish I would have been able to shoot raw to clean them up.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $1,000
  • Brand Canon
  • Digital Camera Type Entry-level dSLR
  • Weight 18.16 oz
  • Sensor Resolution 18 pixels
  • Optical Sensor Size (metric) 14.9 x 22.3 mm
  • Optical Sensor Type CMOS
See full specs
model with 18-55mm and 55-250mm IS II lenses

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