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Canon XS versus Canon T3

The Canon EOS Rebel XS (called Canon 1000D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (labelled Canon 1100D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2008 and February 2011. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The XS has a resolution of 10.1 megapixel, whereas the T3 provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon XS vs Canon T3

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XS and the Canon T3. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the XS – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon XS vs Canon T3
Compare XS versus T3 top
Compare XS and T3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T3 is notably larger (5 percent) than the Canon XS. However, the T3 is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the XS. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XS nor the T3 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 find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the XS gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the T3 can take 700 images on a single charge of its LP-E10 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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 XS» 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon XS
Canon T3« 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T7« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
Canon T6« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon T5« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon G1 X« » 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon SX50« » 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon T3i« » 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon T1i« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon XSi« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Canon 40D« » 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Canon XTi« » 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
Olympus E-450« » 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Canon XS vs Canon T3

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 T3 is 2 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 underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon XS and Canon T3 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the T3 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixel, compared with 10.1 MP of the XS. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 5.71μm for the XS). However, it should be noted that the T3 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the XS, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

XS versus T3 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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 XS» APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon XS
Canon T3« APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Canon T7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p----Canon T7
Canon T6« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon T6
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon XSi
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon XTi
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256Olympus E-450

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The T3 indeed provides for movie recording, while the XS does not. The highest resolution format that the T3 can use is 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon XS vs Canon T3

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The XS and the T3 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon XS, the Canon T3, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon XS»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XS
Canon T3«optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T7
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 G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon T1i
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon XSi
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XTi
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Olympus E-450

Both the XS and the T3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XS was replaced by the Canon T3, while the T3 was followed by the Canon T5.

Review summary: Canon XS vs Canon T3

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon XS or the Canon T3 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XS:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in June 2008).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (700 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the XS launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T3 is the clear winner of the contest (5 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

XS 01:05 T3

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XS or the T3 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why expert reviews 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). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

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 XS»82/100HiRec3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon XS
Canon T3«80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T7« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
Canon T6« »rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon T6
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Canon 40D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Canon XTi« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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