Canon EOS Rebel T3 18.55 IS II 12 MP Digital SLR Camera with 12.2MP CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 4 lmaging Processor
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- 12MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- Up to 3 frames per second continuous shooting
- 9-point AF system
- ISO 100-6400
- 720p HD video recording
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The Canon 5157B002 includes the EOS Rebel T3 Digital SLR Camera and the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS type II Lens. This camera and lens is perfect for photographers ready to make the move to digital SLR
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Even though this camera was released back in early 2011, it still is a wonderful and simple camera to use which delivers excellent image quality under any shooting conditions.
The camera has a glossy plastic finish which doesn't exactly exude quality or make it feel like a high-end camera. But construction on this camera is very tight. The plastic is light-weight but its not flimsy like you would expect. There is no rubberized handgrip, which I think was a mistake to omit this on this camera. Especially since its predecessor (and its competitors) have them. Outside of that, the hand grip is a very nice size. The one upshot to the lightweight plastic is that the camera feel very light with the kit lens attached.
One thing you have to watch out for is that the camera feels very out of balance when attaching a heavier lens. The Canon EF-S 18-200, while a good performer optically when paired with the T3, feels way too front heavy. And this will be true with a lot of the pro-grade Canon lenses that you attach to the T3. That said, this camera is a perfect DSLR for hiking due to its light-weight design (when used with the kit lens). It doesn't weigh you down or make you feel like you have a boat anchor around your neck.
The buttons and menu system have the typical degree of straight-forwardness found in most Canons. Canon's menu system is easy to learn and navigate through. That makes the T3 a good candidate for a student or someone that wants to learn photography in general and wants a camera they can grow with. Of course it offers full Auto mode but when you're ready to try and manipulate the more advanced manual controls, the Canon Rebel T3 is about as unintimidating as they come. It's also a great entry into the DSLR realm for hobbyists currently using an advanced point and shoot (and can be found for almost the same price as some advanced point and shoots).
With the exception of burst shooting, this camera's performance is excellent. Excellent start-up, shot-to-shot, and autofocus performance. It has 9 autofocus points compared to its predecessor's 7 points. I do not reccommend this camera as a budget action shooter. It has a slow continuous burst rate (2.7fps) and a very limited buffer. The Nikon D3200 shoots at 4 frames per second, but that is currently retailing for $200 more than the T3. So you'll have to decide whether or not that feature is important to you.
The camera comes with a nice, chunky battery which delivers excellent battery life. The viewfinder is 95% coverage and I found it to be satisfactory, some people say its really cramped but personally I think it's alright. The screen resolution is rather low at 230k, but in real-world use it's not as bad as you would think, and somewhat viewable in direct sunlight. I think both the viewfinder and the LCD are of better quality than the ones found on the Nikon D3100. And overall, the T3 is faster and more fluid than the D3100. After having shot with both cameras, I personally think the T3 is more enjoyable to shoot with... despite the D3100's better plastic and more advanced spec sheet.
The camera ships with the standard 18-55 kit lens but I suggest buying the kit which includes the additional 55-250 lens. The kit lens is sufficiently sharp but it might be worth investing in the newer 18-55 STM lens, as it is reportedly sharper than the 18-55 lens included with this camera.
Despite having a sensor that is of lower resolution than the newer Rebel SL1 and Rebel T5i (12 megapixels is still plenty for everyday use), the camera has image quality that pretty much matches or exceeds those cameras in most areas. It takes a very clean shots up to and including ISO1600 and has excellent dynamic range, color reproduction, and exposure. The camera does a nice job of balancing noise reduction with detail retention up through about ISO3200. And despite being 2 1/2 years old..it still competes very well with newer models on the image quality front.
The movie mode, while delivering solid video quality, is rather limited. It's 1280x720 HD and there are very limited manual controls. It's more like something you would use for quick clips rather than longer videos or movies. I think the Rebel T5i & SL1 are better choices if you're equal parts into videos and photos as they have far better video modes than the T3 does. But if you're main interest is stills photography, this probably won't matter much to you.
The Rebel T3 may not be the sexiest camera around but it is a simple, enjoyable camera to shoot with that delivers nice results with minimum effort and it appeals to a broad range of folks from DSLR newbies, to hobbyist, to even professionals looking for a light-weight backup to their higher end gear. At its current price, it is a great value and I highly reccomend it.
This camera was replaced by the Rebel T5 back in March. The T5 has a number of improvements over the T3. However.. image quality, autofocus performance, and battery life are not among them. Plus I have seen T3 kits at $300 or less lately. It's still a great buy even though it's a 3 1/2 year old camera at this point.
ISO max: 6400. If you need to shoot 6400 or higher, you need more light. Photos in most higher end cameras have too much noise at this level anyway. I don't shoot above 1600.
Frame rate: 3 per second. I don't shoot sports, so this doesn't bother me. If I did shoot sports, I could still make this work. You don't necessarily need 10 frames per second to shoot fast moving things, you just have to think a little more about what you are doing.
12.2 mega pixels. If you have done any research on MP's, then you should know that more MP's doesn't mean better quality. The lens has much more to do with quality. I get amazing picture quality with this. I had some 8 x 10's printed and they are crystal clear. I wouldn't hesitate to get larger prints either.
Some people have complained that it "feels" cheap in your hands. Canon sacrificed some of the rubbery feel of the grip to get the price down. There is still rubber on the grip, though. I have been shooting with this for a year, I have no problem with how it feels. Fact of the matter is, you would get used to how a camera feels regardless, so unless you have had super rubbery grips before and just can't imagine anything less, than you won't have a problem.
Screen doesn't tilt out. Sure, that would have been nice, but I got used to it and don't care.
Screen is only 2.7", instead of 3" like the next model up. Big deal. Screen looks great.
Max shutter speed: 1/4000 sec. This is plenty fast, trust me. I couldn't afford f1.2 lens to shoot with in the full brightness of the sun anyway. I rarely have to shoot that fast anyway, even with my f2 50mm lens, I still don't often get above 1/3200 sec.
9 autofocus points, center is cross type. If you don't know what that means, don't worry. More cross type would be nice, but whatever. I trust my eyes, and I don't often use autofocus anyway. But when I do, its great.
No dedicated DOF button. Again, if you don't know what that is, don't worry. If you do, you can customize one of the other buttons to do this, but I rarely if at all use it anyway.
The battery life on this is amazing. I use my camera at least a little everyday, and when I really go out to use it heavily, the battery just goes and goes. I go weeks between charges. Additional batteries for this camera are only about $12 bucks anyway.
It's not weather sealed. Big deal, I don't like walking around in the rain anyway. I have been out in light rain with no problems, but if I had spent a lot more money on a weather sealed camera, I would probably hesitate more to get it wet. Being out in the extreme cold in a dry bag hasn't bothered it either.
This is a fantastic camera. I primarily shoot full manual in raw, adjustments are quick and intuitive, picture quality is amazing, build quality is great. I tend to take care of my things anyway. I carry this around in a neoprene case in my timbuk2 bag pretty much everywhere I go and it gives me no problems. The menues are easy to navigate, buttons are comfortable. I use it with a speedlight, works great.
Here's a tip. If you are like me and don't have oodles of money, this is a great camera at a great price. The kits lens is fine, not great. I have the 55-250 zoom lens (less than $200 bucks), and I love it. Will it shoot in a very dimly lit room? Not very well, again, not a big deal. It actually has really great shallow depth of field at 55mm f4. Since I shoot in manual, I purchased an old nikon 50mm f2 lens, with an adapter (adapter on amazon for about $10), and it is awesome. Manual lenses on ebay are super cheap compared to their newer fully auto siblings. If you can shoot manual (which you should learn to do anyway), then this is an inexpensive way to get great quality lenses for a fraction of the price. My old nikon lens is 38 years old but shoots like it's brand new. I also purchased a step up ring on amazon (about $7), which adapts the nikon 52mm thread to canon 58mm, so I can use my canon sized filters and caps.
Don't think that you have to spend more money on a dslr to get better pictures. This really is a great camera.