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Canon T3i vs XS

The Canon EOS Rebel T3i (called Canon 600D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel XS (labelled Canon 1000D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 and June 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T3i has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the XS provides 10.1 MP.

As their names suggest, both the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and the Canon EOS Rebel XS belong to Canon's Rebel line of DSLR cameras. This range of APS-C cameras, which started out with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel in 2003, has been a big commercial success and the backbone of Canon's dominance in the digital camera market. The popularity of the Rebel cameras is the result of them inheriting much of the sensor and shooting technology from earlier released professional DSLRs, while being sold at a much more budget-friendly price point. The strong brand reputation of Canon and the comprehensive EOS system of compatible lenses and accessories further contributes to the appeal of the Rebel cams, including the Canon T3i and Canon XS. Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon T3i
versus
Canon XS
Canon T3i Canon XS
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-800 (100 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.7 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
440 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
133 x 100 x 80 mm, 570 g 126 x 98 x 65 mm, 502 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and the Canon EOS Rebel XS? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon T3i and the Canon XS are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon T3i vs Canon XS
Compare T3i versus XS top
Comparison T3i or XS rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon XS is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Canon T3i. Moreover, the XS is markedly lighter (12 percent) than the T3i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3i nor the XS are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the T3i gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the XS can take 500 images on a single charge of its LP-E5 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
2.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449 i
3.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
5.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
6.
 
Canon SL1 117 mm 91 mm 69 mm 407 g 380 n Mar 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649 i
8.
 
Canon M 109 mm 66 mm 32 mm 298 g 230 n Jul 2012 599 i
9.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
10.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
11.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
12.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
13.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
14.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The XS was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the T3i, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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Sensor comparison

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

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the XS is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of chip-set technology, the T3i uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the XS (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon T3i and Canon XS sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T3i offers a higher resolution than the XS (10.1MP), but the T3i has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). However, the T3i is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 7 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T3i implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3i for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon XS are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel XS are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

T3i versus XS MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
2.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none...... ..
3.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.41041 79
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
5.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
6.
 
Canon SL1 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.3843 63
7.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2681 61
8.
 
Canon M APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.2827 65
9.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
10.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
11.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
12.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
13.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
14.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.3703 64

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

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T3i and the XS are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the T3i has a higher magnification than the one of the XS (0.53x vs 0.51x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T3i, the Canon XS, and comparable cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
2.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon SL1optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.9 Y n
7.
 
Canon T5ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon Mnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.3 n n
9.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
12.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
13.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
14.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
The T3i has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the XS does not have a selfie-screen.

The T3i writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the XS uses SDHC cards.

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Connectivity 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 Canon EOS Rebel XS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SL1YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T5iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon MYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
14.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---

Both the T3i and the XS have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the T3i was followed by the Canon T4i. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon T3i better than the Canon XS or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 10.1MP) with a 33% higher linear resolution.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC 3).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.51x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the XS launch.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 68g or 12 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 440) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T3i is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

T3i 10:04 XS

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3i and the Canon XS place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the T3i or the XS perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
2.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449 i
3.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
5.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
6.
 
Canon SL14/5+78/1004/54/5 Mar 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon T5i....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649 i
8.
 
Canon M3/5+..4/54/5 Jul 2012 599 i
9.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
10.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
11.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
12.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
13.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
14.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon T3i:
Check Ebay offers
Canon XS:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As 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: Canon T3i vs Canon XS

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon T3i Canon XS
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 June 2008
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Canon T3i Canon XS
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 328.56 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 10.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3888 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 5.71 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 3.07 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 DIGIC 3
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 65 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 793 ..
    Screen Specs Canon T3i Canon XS
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3i Canon XS
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.7 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon T3i Canon XS
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3i Canon XS
    Battery Type LP-E8 LP-E5
    Battery Life (CIPA)440 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 100 x 80 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    126 x 98 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.9 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 570 g (20.1 oz) 502 g (17.7 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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