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Canon T3i Comparison Review

The Canon EOS Rebel T3i (called Canon 600D in some regions) is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was officially introduced in February 2011 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 17.9 megapixel.

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The Canon T3i has a Camera Elo of 1686. This rating puts the T3i below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the T3i also falls below average. – Well, the Canon T3i is more than 8 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2011.

Headline Specifications
Canon T3i
Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)
Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge
133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Canon T3i relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Canon T3i vs credit card front
T3i versus credit card top view
T3i and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon T3i alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon T3i 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
 
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
 
Canon T6« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
 
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
 
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
 
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
 
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon T3i was launched in the US market at a price of $599. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Canon T3i:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Canon T3i features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon T3i among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Canon T3i sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
 
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon SL2
 
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon T6
 
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
 
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
 
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
 
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The T3i indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the T3i can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the T3i has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.53x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T3i in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
 
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon SL2
 
Canon T6« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T6
 
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
 
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
 
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
 
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon T1i

One convenient feature of the T3i is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T3i
 
Canon SL2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon SL2
 
Canon T6« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T6
 
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
 
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
 
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
 
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T1i

It is notable that the T3i has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

 

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the T3i. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon T3io77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
 
Canon SL2« »++78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon SL2
 
Canon T6« »o73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
 
Canon T5« »+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
 
Canon SL1« »+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
 
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
 
Canon M« »+-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
 
Canon T4i« »++77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
 
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
 
Canon T2i« »++77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »++74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon T3i FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the T3i.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the T3i based on?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Canon equipped the T3i with the DIGIC 4 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the T3i?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the T3i is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS Rebel T3i?

Canon mentions a shutter rating of 100 000 actuations for the T3i. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the T3i over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Does the Canon T3i feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The T3i's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Which battery does the T3i use?

The camera gets its power from the LP-E8 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the T3i?

Yes, Canon offers the BG-E8 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Canon T3i
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011
    Launch Price USD 599
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-12800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 793
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type LP-E8 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 100 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 570 g (20.1 oz)

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