Home Buyer's Guide Cameras SLRs Under $1,000 Canon EOS Rebel T3i & T3
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Image Sensor: 18 MP CMOS
Focal-Length Factor: 1.6x
Max. Resolution (Pixels): 5184x3456
Pixel Size (Microns): 4.3
Sensor Cleaning: Yes
A/D Conversion: 14-bit
LCD Monitor: 3.0-inch 1,040K-dot
Live View: Yes
Video: HD, SD
AF System: 9-point
ISO Settings (Expanded): 100-6400 (12,800)
Shutter Speeds: 60-1⁄4000 sec.
Max. Frame Rate: 3.7 fps
Metering: 63-zone, CW, spot
Built-In Flash: Yes
Storage Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Power Source: LP-E8 lithium-ion
Dimensions: 5.2x3.9x3.1 inches
Weight: 18.2 ounces

Image Sensor: 12.2 MP CMOS
Focal-Length Factor: 1.6x
Max. Resolution (Pixels): 4272x2848
Pixel Size (Microns): 5.1
Sensor Cleaning: Yes
A/D Conversion: 14-bit
LCD Monitor: 2.7-inch, 230K-dot
Live View: Yes
Video: HD, SD
AF System: 9-point
ISO Settings: 100-6400
Shutter Speeds: 30-1⁄4000 sec.
Max. Frame Rate: 3.0 fps (JPEG, 2.0 fps RAW)
Metering: 63-zone, CW, spot
Built-In Flash: Yes
Storage Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Power Source: LP-E10 lithium-ion
Dimensions: 5.1x3.9x3.1 inches
Weight: 17.4 ounces

1. New, Bigger Grip: Rebels are small cameras; these come with larger handgrips than those of their predecessors for more comfortable operation. 2. SDXC Compatibility: Like the EOS Rebel T2i and EOS 60D, the new Rebels will accept the new high-capacity SDXC memory cards, as well as SDHC and SD media. They also can use Eye-Fi SD cards, which incorporate a Wi-Fi transmitter and antenna for wireless high-speed transmission of images. 3. Easy Movie Setting: Rotate the mode dial to the Movie icon, and you’re in Movie mode. Then, just press the “Movie/Live” button near your thumb to start and stop recording.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i & T3

(T3i with 18-55mm IS II zoom)
(T3 with 18-55mm IS II zoom)

HD VIDEO: Like the most recent EOS DSLRs, the T3i can shoot 1920x1080p full HD video at 30 (29.97), 24 (23.976) or 25 fps, 1280x720p HD video at 60 (59.94) or 50 fps, and 640x480p SD video at 60 (59.94) or 50 fps. A new Movie Digital Zoom feature provides 3x-10x magnification of the center of the image in full HD mode with no loss of image quality, while Video Snapshot captures short video clips and combines them into a single video file ready to share online or show on an HDTV. You can use AF before or during shooting, and easily control exposure and focus manually when desired. A built-in microphone provides mono sound, or you can use an optional self-powered stereo mic to record stereo sound. The T3 can do 1280x720p HD video at 30 (29.97) or 25 fps.

63-ZONE METERING: Both the T3i and the T3 feature Canon’s 63-zone Dual-layer metering (introduced in the EOS 7D, and also featured in the Rebel T2i and 60D), which takes into account the color and luminosity surrounding chosen AF points. There’s also partial metering (reads the central 9% of the image area), spot (central 4%) and center-weighted average metering.

CREATIVE IMAGE FILTERS: Introduced to EOS DSLRs in the 60D, Canon’s Creative Image Filters let you apply effects to shot images in-camera without altering the original file. The filters include Soft Focus Effect, Grainy Black and White, Toy Camera and Miniature Effect. The T3i has them; the T3 doesn’t.

EASY OPERATION: The new EOS Feature Guide provides a Quick Settings Screen that includes detailed descriptions of camera settings to help those moving up to a DSLR from a compact digital camera “learn the ropes.” Easy-to-understand directions make it simple to use settings. The Basic + Function helps users make appropriate camera adjustments for more creative control.
Canon’s EOS Rebel entry-level SLRs have been popular since the first EOS Rebel 35mm film SLR was introduced more than 20 years ago. The first digital Rebel appeared in 2003. Besides being an excellent entry-level model, it was the first DSLR to sell for under $1,000 (a big deal at the time, although today we have some 20 DSLR models selling for under $1,000—now, that’s progress!). The new 18-megapixel EOS Rebel T3i and its 12.2-megapixel “kid brother,” the EOS Rebel T3, are the eighth and ninth digital Rebels. “Digital” was removed from the model designation with the Rebel XSi in 2008 because the 35mm film Rebels had been discontinued by then.

All the digital Rebels have featured Canon CMOS image sensors in the APS-C format, with a 1.6x “crop” factor—a 100mm lens used on a digital Rebel DSLR frames like a 160mm lens on a 35mm SLR. Like all APS-C-sensor EOS DSLRs since 2004, the new Rebels can use all EF and EF-S lenses. These currently number more than 60, from the new EF 8-15mm ƒ/4L fisheye zoom and the EF-S 10-22mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 superwide zoom to the EF 800mm ƒ/5.6L supertelephoto, providing 35mm camera-equivalent focal lengths from 12.8mm to 1280mm—a focal-length range of 100:1, which can be used for both still and video shooting.

Like the EOS Rebel T2i and EOS 60D, the new EOS Rebel T3i features a Canon-produced 18-megapixel CMOS image sensor, a DIGIC 4 processor and 14-bit signal processing, which can turn out highly detailed images and provide ISO settings from 100 to 6400, expandable to 12,800. The new EOS Rebel T3 features a Canon-produced 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 4 processor, with ISO settings from 100 to 6400.

Like the Rebel T2i, the T3i can shoot its 18-megapixel images at 3.7 fps (in bursts of up to 34 JPEG or 11 RAW files). The T3 can shoot up to 830 JPEGs at 3 fps, but only 5 RAW images in a burst, and that at 2 fps. Like the T2i and 60D, both new Rebels feature a nine-point AF system (the T3i’s with a high-precision X-type center point that provides extra precision with lenses of ƒ/2.8 or faster). Like all current EOS DSLRs, the new cameras incorporate a built-in sensor-cleaning system to keep images free of dust spots.

With so much in common, why choose the T3i over the T3 for an extra $300? Besides an image sensor with approximately 50% more resolution, the T3i has the edge in several areas. If video is important to you, the T3 is limited to 720p HD, while the T3i offers full 1080p HD and adds the ability to use an external microphone for better sound. Then there’s the convenient flip-out, 3-inch LCD on the T3i with more than four times the display resolution of the T3’s 2.7-inch fixed LCD—those extra pixels make it easier to read menus and review details. The T3i is faster, too, with a max continuous capture rate of 3.7 fps over the T3’s 3 fps.

STANDOUT FEATURE: The T3i’s 3.0-inch, 1,040,000-dot Vari-angle LCD monitor tilts and swivels for easy odd-angle and video shooting. The monitor’s 3:2 aspect ratio matches that of the still images (and better matches the 16:9 ratio of HD video), a more efficient use of LCD real estate than the 4:3-ratio monitors found on most DSLRs.
VERDICT: This high-end, entry-level DSLR combines ease of use, high performance and lots of features in a compact package.

Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Fitting in between the T3i and T3, the Rebel T2i features a 15.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, 1080p full HD video (albeit at a slow 20 fps), 3.4 fps still shooting and a 3.0-inch, 920K fixed LCD monitor. List Price: $749 (with 18-55mm IS zoom).
Canon EOS 60D
The 60D provides the same pixel count, AF and metering systems, Vari-angle LCD and video features of the T3i in a larger, more rugged package, with faster operation (5.3 fps), a brighter pentaprism viewfinder and a higher-capacity battery. List Price: $999 (body only).


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