Reviewed
February 2014
by ConsumerSearch
Est. $495 (with kit lens)
Canon EOS Rebel T3

Pros
  • Impressive image quality
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy for beginners to use
  • Exposure bracketing
Cons
  • "Claustrophobic" optical viewfinder
  • Shoots only 720p HD video

Bottom line

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 is Canon's least expensive DSLR camera and "a great choice for anyone on a budget, whether the proverbial Soccer Mom or serious enthusiast," says Imaging-Resource.com. Other experts largely concur, saying the EOS Rebel T3 delivers high-quality photos in a low-priced package. Reviewers say these budget DSLRs offer plenty of features, with durable bodies and impressive photo quality.

Ease of use

Extremely easy for beginners. Testers find the Canon EOS Rebel T3 generally comfortable to hold, with well-placed controls, although some say the handgrip is too smooth. There aren't very many buttons, but enough that you can make all key adjustments without delving into the menu. For novices who may not know what all those buttons do, Canon builds in a helpful Feature Guide. Of course, you can always just slip the T3 into Auto mode and let the camera do all the work, and owners say the T3 makes it a breeze to take beautiful photos. "Without even a read of the manual, I was up and running in two minutes testing out all the features," writes one customer at Amazon.com.

Performance

Impressive photo quality. It may be inexpensive, but the Canon EOS Rebel T3 delivers lovely photos, experts say. Thank the "sensible" 12.2-megapixel compact sensor, says Mark Goldstein at PhotographyBlog.com. In Imaging-Resource.com's tests, reviewers praise the Canon's accurate color and detail; in a shot of the federal courthouse in Knoxville, "each and every brick is clearly defined." As for speed, WhatDigitalCamera.com finds the Canon T3's autofocus "far more decisive" and quicker than the Nikon D3100's (Est. $400 (with kit lens)) . Shooting speed is a slow 3 fps, but CNET's Lori Grunin says, "In practice, that's just fast enough to capture kids and pets, but only if they're moving predictably." Battery life is one of the Canon EOS Rebel T3's particularly strong suits at 800 shots per charge.

Durability

Plastic body feels lightweight but sturdy. Like other entry-level DSLRs, the Canon EOS Rebel T3 cuts costs by building its lightweight body mostly from plastic. Fortunately, owners and most experts report that the camera still feels sturdy. They say it "definitely doesn't have the solidity" of the pricier Canon DSLR cameras, "and there's no question that you're handling plastic, but we're happy to report that there's no panel flex or creak, so it doesn't feel hollow or cheap." CNET's Grunin disagrees: "The whole camera feels very cheap and plasticky," she says, although she still names the Canon T3 to her list of the best budget DSLRs.

Features

"Most of the features you'll actually use." Entry-level cameras always omit some features, but the Canon EOS Rebel T3 gives you "most of the features you'll actually use every day," says Goldstein at PhotographyBlog.com. In fact, it's a "fairly rich feature set," says Imaging-Resource.com's Mike Tomkins. It even includes exposure bracketing, a highlight missing from some comparable cameras. You can have the Canon T3 shoot three photos instead of just one -- one at a normal exposure, one slightly lower and one slightly higher -- just in case the normal exposure wasn't quite right. But Grunin at CNET calls the T3's features "uninspiring," and recommends stepping up to Canon's next level.

Where To Buy
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR Camera & EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens with EF 75-300mm III Lens + 64GB Card + Battery + Backpack + 2 Lenses + Accessory Kit

 
2 New from $659.95

In Stock.

 
Featured StoresStore RatingNotesTotal Price
Walmart.comWalmart.com rated 2.96 (495 reviews)495 store reviewsIn Stock. $749.00
 

Our Sources

1. Imaging-Resource.com

Experts here recommend the Canon EOS Rebel T3 as one of the best beginner DSLRs you can buy, right alongside the rival Nikon D3100. In an ultra-comprehensive test, the T3 delivers true DSLR quality at a price beginners can afford.

Review: Canon T3 Review, Shawn Barnett, Dave Etchells, Zig Weidelich and Mike Tomkins, Sept. 23, 2011

2. PhotographyBlog.com

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 -- aka the EOS 1100D -- makes this site's list of the best budget DSLRs. Mark Goldstein finds it very beginner-friendly, with most of the features people actually use day to day and "excellent image quality even in low light."

Review: Canon EOS 1100D Review, Mark Goldstein, March 24, 2011

3. What Digital Camera

Here's another high-quality source that recommends the Canon EOS Rebel T3 after thorough testing. Mike Lowe finds it more advanced overall than the comparably priced Nikon D3100, with very good autofocus and image quality.

Review: Canon EOS 1100D Review (Rebel T3 Review), Mike Lowe, March 10, 2011

4. PCMag.com

Will Greenwald gives the Canon EOS Rebel T3 3.5 out of 5 stars for its very fast speed and good performance in low light. He calls it a "decent" entry-level DSLR camera, but adds that you can get better performance in a smaller camera body for a similar price. If you can spend just a bit more, he recommends the Nikon D3100 and the D5100.

Review: Canon EOS Rebel T3, Will Greenwald, Oct. 19, 2011

5. CNET

Although she names it to her list of the best entry-level DSLRs and gives it a "very good" rating, Lori Grunin says "there are better options for the money than the Canon EOS Rebel T3." Photo quality is excellent, but she finds fault with the T3's speed, features and "claustrophobic viewfinder." She recommends the Nikon D3100 or a step-up Canon model instead.

Review: Canon EOS Rebel T3 Review , Lori Grunin, July 7, 2011

6. Amazon.com

Outstanding reviews make the Canon EOS Rebel T3 one of the top-rated DSLRs here. With about 660 owners posting feedback, a remarkable 94 percent give it 4 stars out of 5 or a perfect 5 stars. Many users are beginner photographers, and they're thrilled with how easy the T3 makes it to take beautiful shots. The very few complaints come mainly from a handful who got defective models, and another handful who decided to step up or down to a more advanced or simpler camera.

Review: Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014

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