The DSLR Photographer DSLR Reviews – Guides – Tips

Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i Review


canont3i– 18 Megapixel APS-C Sensor
– ISO 100 – 12,800
– 3.7 frames per second
– Full HD [24|25|30fps] and HD [50|60fps] Video Recording
– 9 Auto Focus Points
– 3.0″ LCD Screen – Articulating
– SDHC Memory Card Slot
– Competes with Nikon D5100


Go to Amazon to see the best prices and deals for the EOS 600D/Rebel T3i!

When it’s time to replace one of your most popular Rebels (550D/T2i), getting the same type of attention is not the easiest thing to do. Not only does the market expect something even better, they assume the price will be the same if not even lower.

That’s what the Canon EOS 600D had to go through in the first few months of its release. While it’s an amazing camera, take a look at the review to see how much stuff Canon has actually changed.

1. Sensor & Quality

canon600d-example-day

Sensor

Maximum Resolution: 5,184 x 3,456

The EOS 600D uses an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor, identical to the one found in the 550D. One could argue that there’s no point in changing what works perfectly, but in the technology world that’s easier said than done. Stick to the same thing for too long and before you know it, your competitors are years ahead of you. Okay I might be exaggerating a bit in this case, as the sensor performed wonderfully! High quality images, loads of details and rich colors; what else could you want?

Typical for the Rebel line, it’s equipped with an APS-C type sensor. They are smaller and less expensive to develop than FF, and also help at making the camera lighter and  cheaper. The biggest advantage is that your lenses suddenly become much more “telephoto-like”, meaning you can get closer to your subject without actually owning a long lens. The disadvantage? Exactly the same thing, because sometimes what you actually want is to get as much possible in you scene.

The differences are only noticeable once you go ultra wide or super telephoto, while for everyday things both types will work perfectly. You can still take pictures of anything you wish (over 60 lenses for all Canon DSLRs available) so don’t worry.

ISO Sensitivity

ISO: 100 – 6,400 (H1: 12,800)

A couple of years ago, it was normal for cheaper DSLRs to have bad low light performance. The technology was still in its early stages, and all the bells and whistles were reserved for professional models. The times have changed a lot though!

The Rebel T3i is one of the best low light performers out today, and even beats more expensive models. All the way from ISO 100 to 12,800, the images come out usable! Obviously you’ll get noise and decrease in contrast when you raise the sensitivity, but even at 6,400 the photographs look clean when printed small/for small previews on the web.

A pretty cool feature is that in Auto ISO (not recommended from me), you can select the maximum sensitivity your camera can select. Useful for extreme situations, but changing the ISO manually is a quick process as well. Remember, your camera does not know what you want. It’s better to use semi-manual, or the manual mode and not let your camera fail at times when you need it the most.

canon600d-5

2. Body & Design

canon-t3i-back

LCD Screen & Viewfinder

LCD Size: 3.0″ – 1,040,000 dots – Articulating

Personally, I find the articulating screen to be the only improvement worth pointing out. It’s not as good as companies are making it look, here’s why:

  • Auto focus in the live view/movie mode is not usable for anything that moves

There, I said it. Reading nothing but specifications will leave you thinking these screens are like the ones at P&S cameras, but that’s completely false. DSLR cameras gather and read light differently, which is why auto focus just can’t be on the same level (yet).

Where can one actually use the screen of the Canon Rebel T3i? I would recommend you to only flip it out when you can’t see your subject. Holding the camera up in the air and waiting for it to focus is easier said than done, so try to use manual focus.

It’s a really good way to protect your screen from scratches, but that’s about it.

Viewfinder Coverage: 95%

Nothing new, with entry level DSLRs you usually see around 95% of what you are actually going to get in the final image. If it sounds scary, don’t worry, even more expensive cameras don’t always offer 100%.

Weight & Buttons

Weight (Body Only): 515g / 18.2 oz

Canon EOS 600D is everything but heavy, so for those of you who want to travel or just prefer lighter cameras, this is it. Once you put on the kit lens, add the battery and a memory card, you are looking at around 800g. I own the EOS 7D (bigger camera) and holding the T3i was not an issue at all. It did take me around a day to get used to how light it is, so it should be even quicker for you! Check out my SL1/100D review for the lightest DSLR ever made.

Memory: SDHC Card Slot

If you don’t know what SDHC is or which one to buy, read my article on best SDHC memory cards.

All in all, the T3i follows the same path as other Rebels; small and easy to use, regardless of your skills.

Check out Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i At Amazon.com

3. Speed

canon600d-3

Speed & Focusing

Auto Focus Points: 9

Out of 9 auto focus points, 1 of them (center) is cross-type. It’s the most accurate one and will also perform better in low light, but the other 8 are still usable of course. It wouldn’t hurt if Canon increased the number of AF points, but I guess we’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

Most of you probably don’t know what you will photograph. Chances are you take your camera everywhere, and are open to anything. The T3i’s auto focus system will allow you to shoot anything from still objects, to tigers running around. It does hunt a bit in low light, but that’s expected (AF speed also depends on the lens you use).

Burst Mode: 3.7 frames per second

For sports, 3.7fps is a a relatively good number. You could obviously photograph action with only one frame per second, so there’s nothing to complain about. Nikon’s entry level cameras tend to be slightly quicker here though!

4. Video Recording & Other Features

Video Settings

Canon EOS 600D is ready to give you the best video quality from day one! Give it some time, but I guarantee you that DSLR cameras will be used much more for professional videos in the future.

  • Full HD (1920 x 1080) – 24/25/30fps
  • HD (1280 x 720) – 50/60fps
  • SD (640 x 480) – 50/60fps

You can finally control the audio levels, and the recording quality of the microphone is better.

If that isn’t remarkable for a camera aimed at beginners, then I don’t know what is. Just think of all the things you could record! For editing Full HD clips it helps if you have a fast computer!

Other Features

Creative Filters: 5

Well, it looks like this is going to be the future of DSLR cameras. It’s not a bad thing to have some fun with your images on the camera itself already, but for the sake of all of us I hope this is not going to be a major selling point. We have Photoshop and other editing tools.

filterfish2-600d

filterbw-600d

filtertoywarm-600d

Fish-eye, black & white and a warm effect to spice up your photographs (3 of total 5 filters). I don’t recommend you to use them on all of your shots but I guess it could prove to be fun, especially for those of you without Photoshop.

A new addition to the T3i is the Feature Mode, which sort of explains what all of the values on the camera do. It also comes with an Integrated Speedlite Transmitter (like the 7D) to allow you to control all of your flash units wirelessly.

Similar Models

Canon has done it again. Actually all of the Rebels except for the T1i were a big success, so I don’t know why I’m surprised at saying that… The EOS 600D is excellent for beginners and more advanced users, the body is light and small but on the inside it’s a tool that will allow you to capture beautiful moments. It’s no surprise that the T3i is one of the best selling cameras ever! I recommend you to shop from Amazon, they are the cheapest and most popular out there!

Where To Buy The Canon EOS 600D?

If you buy the camera or any anything else after clicking on my Amazon links, you support my website! No extra charge, and Amazon is already the cheapest out there!

Buy Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i Body from Amazon here

Buy Canon EOS 600D/Rebel T3i + 18-55 from Amazon here

Buy Transcend 8GB Class 10 Memory Card from Amazon here