It’s The Best Budget Camera
The canon 600D aka Rebel T3i, is, by definition, an entrance level DSLR camera, or in other words, a reflex camera that does not require a bank loan. It does includes a less number of features and options than the more expensive models designated for experienced and professional photographers.
The camera has an 18 mega pixel resolution C-MOS Digic 4 sensor with a APS-C format, better known as a ‘crop sensor’. This sensor is physically larger than any sensor you would get on your cell phone or compact camera. There are a few meanings to this, most notably is that it creates less noise than smaller sensors.
This results in narrow depth of field shooting and separating the object from the background is quite better as well. Shutter speeds are between 30 seconds and 1/4000 of a second, and ISO goes from 100 to 12,800, though above ISO 1600 the noise becomes very noticeable.
The *kit usually comes with a 18-55mm lens, 3.5-5.6F and an image stabilizer, you can upgrade for a small price and get the 18-135mm lens instead.
Like any DSLR the lenses are changeable and the Image quality depends a lot on the quality of the lens. Shooting with the kit 18-55 lens provides a wide range of possibilities. It is great for landscape-wide shots all the way open at 18 and beautiful portraits at 50. The image stabilizer equipped on this lens helps generate stunning and sharp images.
The colors generated from the camera are beautiful, though a bit on the cold side when using the ‘auto white balance’ function that comes with the camera. This is not a major issue since the user has the possibility of creating his own white balance settings or using one of the camera’s pre-settings. I also always recommend shooting on RAW, and nowadays it is very easy to adjust the white balance settings in post processing.
Two Advantages Over 5D Line
Two advantages this camera has over even the expensive 5D line are the built in flash and adjustable screen. The flash is not the best and most recommended for professional shooting, but provides many creative options and solutions when you just need a flash. The adjustable rotating screen gives the user the option to shoot at many angles that would otherwise be nearly impossible, like over your head in a crowd or holding the camera flat on the ground and still seeing the frame clearly and easily through the screen.
The T3i can shoot video in HD 1080X1920 at up to30 frames per second. If you bump it down to 720X1280 you can even shoot the video at 60 frames per second and get a unique smooth slow-motion video.
The built in microphone is accurate, though it does tend to pick up a lot of background noise.
The camera build is light and easy to carry. When compared to the full frame top-of-the-line Canon cameras it does feel a bit light and not as rigidly built. Having that said, it can still withhold heavy hiking, and usage since it’s not as delicate as it feels. The grip fits in your hand perfectly and all the holding surfaces are covered with an uneven rubber material to increase friction. Total weight is only 570 grams (including the battery, without a lens) and the 18-55 is only another 70.1 grams.
Simplicity is Advantage
The simplicity of the camera is its advantage, and as an entrance level camera it supplies all needed custom settings. All the bottoms and dials are comfortably located and are easy to reach and use and somewhat intuitive which is very helpful for beginner photographers.
With one finger, and your eye still in the viewfinder you can change the shutter speed and ISO. Through the viewfinder you can conveniently see the shutter speed, ISO and aperture.
There is a ‘live view’ button on the rear of the camera, which activates the screen of the camera. This function is a particularly useful combination with the adjustable screen, which allows you to achieve many unique shooting angles.
The screen is 3 inches, with 1.04 million pixels. It is not a touch screen. There are buttons on the rear of the camera for adjusting the light meter, white balance, shooting mode, viewing photos and deleting them.
The menu is simple and easy, yet is not missing any major options. To go through sub folders you only need the wheel like function at the back of the camera, rather than go all the way up or down. When you hover over an option, a small window appears explaining the function.
The camera has HDMI, Micro USB a microphone and remote outlets.
Quick Start Up
The T3i has a quick start up, is ready to take photos within moments, and is equally quick between photos, as long as there is enough light for the lens to focus. I found that in low light scenarios it took the kit lens a little longer to focus and be ready to shoot. In burst mode the camera can do 3.7 frames per second, but don’t forget to have a fast writing memory card, or this rate will decrease.
The battery is strong and lasts a long time, I took over 4,000 frames, had it on standby for a while, shot a few test videos and the battery was still going. I didn’t use the flash, which will use up the battery quicker.
Perfect For Beginners
Overall the T3i is a great versatile DSLR camera. It is perfect for any beginning intermediate photographer looking to advance the technical and artistic skills. The price justifies its purchase, at just over $500 including the kit lens. For beginners who can’t afford a professional full frame camera this is the best option. If you develop as a photographer and invest in new equipment, make sure to buy lenses that will fit a new camera if and when you buy one.
Many photographers believe that the glass (lens) is more important in achieving a beautiful photo than the camera. Therefore, it may be wiser to first buy a more affordable camera, and invest any remaining funds on more lenses.