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These days it’s hard to tell the entry level cameras apart from the fully geared up models. The Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) sits between the EOS 1000D and EOS 550D models, looking and feeling like any Canon DSLR, from the lofty 5D Mark II all the way down.
To suss out its personality you have to scratch beneath the surface…
The review camera arrived with the f3.5/18-35mm kit lens as the test optic. It’s quite a modest package, compact and weighing only 700 grams with the 18-35mm lens attached.
The Live View CMOS sensor packs in 12.2 megapixel capture with the maximum image size at 4272×2848 pixels or, in printed form, reaching 36x24cm.
Movies can be recorded at 1280×720 resolution and replayed via a mini HDMI output; there is no AV output on the camera to replay to an analog TV.
The Rebel T3/EOS 1100D has a nine point AF system and a useful 3fps continuous shooting speed; take note that this is a maximum speed, depending on the JPEG level chosen. But — good news! — you can shoot a total of 830 JPEG frames continuously. RAW? Maximum of five shots.
Many newcomers to photography get bamboozled with techo factoids like lens aperture versus shutter speed. The T3/1100D seeks to help this situation by splashing some text across the LCD when the mode dial is swung to a new setting. Example: “Shutter Priority AE: adjust shutter speed to make moving subjects look still …” Get the idea?
Similarly, the camera’s Basic Zone function should help newbies to shoot successful shots without a lot of brain strain.
Moving upwards in the skill department the more eager beavers will embrace the Creative Auto Shooting function, accessible via the mode dial: this gives you simple entrée to drive mode (single/continuous shot), depth of field tweaks (blurring/sharpening of the background) and flash (auto, forced on/off).
In the matter of the viewfinder menu not everyone will be happy with the T3/1100D’s arrangement of options (these are shared with the EOS 600D). You have to range across a row of icons, then swing down through a list to find your target. For me, a bit of a jungle.
Many compact digicams can do Full HiDef video so why can’t a DSLR?
Sadly, the camera has a maximum resolution of only 1280×720 pixels. If you’re moving about you will be pleased to find that auto exposure will adjust the light levels but you will be disappointed that the auto focus does not operate, so you will need to manually adjust it.
Also, you can’t snap a still image while shooting in movie mode.
Clear as a bell up until ISO 800, then definition falls off slightly at ISO 1600.
At ISO 3200 noise becomes more noticeable.
At ISO 6400 noise is up and definition is down. Still useable.
Quality: I was agreeably surprised at the quality captured by this camera. Very good value for money.
Why you would buy the Canon Rebel T3/ EOS 1100D: reasonable price for a DSLR; helpers in the system for beginner photographers.
Why you wouldn’t: no vari-angle LCD screen; no spot metering; card slot is beneath the camera.
Some people will be cranky at the sparse 84 page printed mini manual supplied with the camera: it gives only basic info to get you going. The more adventurous will print out the 292 page PDF file supplied on a CD with the kit.
The 110D is available in two other colours, aside from black: metallic grey and a limited edition Red.
An ideal entry level DSLR.
Image Sensor: 12.2 million effective pixels.
Metering: Evaluative, partial, centre-weighted metering.
Effective Sensor Size: 22.0×14.7mm CMOS.
A/D processing: 14-bit.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 1:6x.
Compatible lenses: Canon EF, EF-S mount.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Shutter Speed: Bulb, 30 to 1/4000 second, Bulb. Flash sync: 1/200 sec.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards; minimum Class 6 recommended for movie shooting.
Image Sizes (pixels): 4272×2848 to 720×480. Movies: 1280×720 to 640×480 at 24/25/30/50/60fps.
Viewfinders: Eye level pentamirror, 6.9cm LCD (230,000 pixels).
File Formats: RAW, RAW+JPEG, MPEG4.
Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 6400.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, DC input, remote control.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, AC adaptor.
Dimensions: 129.9×99.7×77.9 WHDmm.
Weight: Approx. 450 g (body only).
Price: Canon EOS Rebel T3 with 18-55mm IS II Lens.