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.
Is the Canon T3i a good camera? The T3i has a Camera Elo of 1597. 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 ranks below average. – Well, the Canon T3i is more than 9 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2011.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 6 400 (100 - 12 800)|
|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|
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.
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.
|Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
| WiFi |
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.
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).
|Canon T3i||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|Canon SL2||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon T6s||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon T5||+||..||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|Canon SL1||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|Canon T5i||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon M||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Canon T4i||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T3||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|Canon T2i||+ +||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|Canon T1i||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|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.
|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 Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 184 x 3 456 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 - 6 400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12 800 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|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.7 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||LP-E8 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge|
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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