The Canon EOS Rebel T3i has been launched as a rival to D5000 and D5100. It features a swiveling LCD screen and a bit robust. Engineered with a new 18-55mm IS II kit lens or 18-135mm IS lens, also available with 60D, the new T3i seems and feels like its prosumer sibling. Among other few differences, one is the grip spacing which makes it ideal for those having small to medium hands. 60D might be more suitable for those with larger hands.
Comparing T3i to T2i, it comes with a swivel screen, more reduced-resolution, the new lens, an Auto Picture Style mode and JPEG. The Canon T3i weighing 20.6 ounces (body with battery and card) is a little heavier and also a few millimeters larger in all dimensions than the T2i. People who like swivel screens would like T3i while those with no such likings can settle happily with T2i.
The T3i looks much like the 60D. Though the grip is smaller but the texture is very much alike. The T3i with the new 18-55mm lens attached is much lighter. It houses the usual fare, an IR remote port, an aggressively canted shutter button and a self-timer lamp all in close proximity on the front. On the right, it features a four hole microphone grill, the flash release button and the depth of field preview button making it not too different from T2i at this point.
The top of T3i is also pretty similar to T2i, apart from changes on the Mode dial and a new Display button on the left on the ISO button. Its purpose seems to be able to turn off the rear LCD display while approaching the optical viewfinder and also preventing night blindness since it is now missing the infrared switch from rear of the camera.
By adding the Canon T3i’s 3-inch Vari-angle screen the IR proximity was displaced. Controls on the back are little smaller. The menu button is now to the left for thumb actuation and now the info button replaces the old Display button. Buttons otherwise are generally in the same position. The T3i also has less of a thumb-pad but its design still allows for a secure hold.
In all modes except for the Movie, the small round button located just right of the viewfinder serves as the Live View activation button but when in Movie mode, you use it to start and stop recording. When in still image capture mode, you can’t start a movie but while shooting a movie, you can capture an image and can also autofocus.
The Canon T3i might not be a compelling upgrade for T2i owners but it surely offers great for those who have been looking a 60D for its swivel screen and also some more advanced Movie mode. As compared to T2i, it feels a little more substantial.
Sensor and Processor:
About the Canon T3i’s processor and sensor combination, there is a little new regarding the gap between the microlenses. Maximum image sieze is 5,184 × 3,456 in pixels, with a pixel pitch of 4.3µm. Canon claims that the Rebel T3i’s DIGIC 4 processor and buffer allows capturing about 34 large/fine JPEG images, four RAW+JPEG frames and six RAW frames. DIGIC 4 also enables capture of 14-bit RAW images and 8-bit JPEGs from 14-bit data.
Peripheral illumination correction:
It is introduced in the Canon T3i to reduce vignetting, a darkening of the corners produced by some lens designs. For each lens mounted, the amount of correction is customized using a database of lenses.
The Canon T3i comes with Canon’s latest metering system. It is a 63-zone iFCL sensor and that stands for Intelligent Focus, Color and Luminance metering.
It offers nine-point focusing with eight single-axis points and a central cross-type f/2.8 focus point.
It has an expanded sensitivity ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 12,800. You enable ISO Expansion via Custom Function setting. The T3i provides a much wider +/-5.0EV exposure compensation range.
Picture Style Auto:
It is a separate setting of its own and is naturally selected as one of the picture styles. This setting will enable the camera to change the Picture Style according to the scene.
CA and A+:
CA mode gives the more novice user an easy way to adjust flash, exposure, Picture Style, drive mode and resolution. Shutter speed and setting aperture are converted to simple concepts of background blur. The more complex exposure decisions come under the CA control mode.
The A+ on the Mode dial is similar to Smart Auto on Canon PowerShot cameras. According to Canon, five of the Canon T3i’s systems Autofocus, Auto White Balance , Auto Exposure, Picture Style Auto and Auto Lighting are categorized under one smart exposure mode.
The Canon Rebel T3i also holds other features like Live View, Movie mode, Video Snapshot, Audio level control, Creative filters, Multi Aspect, Flash and HDMI output.
- Good grip
- Excellent image quality
- Swiveling LCD
- Slow frame rate for sports shooting
- Overexpose in bright sunlight
- No microfocus adjustment
The Canon T3i is the flagship Rebel crowning T3 and T2i in features. It the still image quality is among the best in its competitive price range and the video modes are also quite complete which provide excellent quality.
Taken as a whole, it is an excellent digital SLR. The articulating screen stands out particularly as a very useful feature. It has a gorgeous LCD and very high resolution. Either kit lens option is good, with 18-55mm lens handling overall package light and nimble and 18-135mm lens take care of most photographic needs with aplomb.
Prints from minimum to maximum ISO look quite good at 20×30 inches and also ISO 12,800 images make good 8×10 inch print. Overall the Canon Rebel T3i is full of great specs. The only problem Canon has is having three excellent 18-megapixel digital SLRs, priced within a few hundred dollars of each other. All three are excellent but going for the best compromise between the three, the Canon Rebel T3i would be a great pick.
Looking for something else, read: The Rebel On The Move- The Canon Rebel T3i