The Canon EOS T3i (600d) review – Very affordable Vari-Angle DSLR
The new Canon T3i (EOS 600D)
Canon Rebel T3i (600D) Review – Canon released the Canon EOS 600D (Rebel T3i) and the Canon 1100D (Rebel T3) in February 2011. This is effectively a new Top-end consumer EOS DSLR and a new “Entry level” DSLR. The CanonT3i (600D) is a step up on the Canon T2i (550D). The Canon T3 (1100D) replaces the other very successful Canon DSLR, the entry level Canon EOS 1000D. In 2010 the Canon EOS T2i (550D) was considered by many to be the best consumer DSLR of 2010. No doubt the new Canon EOS T3i (600D) with its nifty extra features will be a contender for the same accolades in 2011. The reasons for the Canon 550D’s popularity are demonstrated in the HD video top left.
These new Canon DSLR Cameras were announced in Feb 2011. The announcement lowered the prices of the Canon 1000D (Rebel XSi), Canon EOS 500d(T1i) and the Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) making them very attractive buys to those of us who need to watch the pennies and do not need to be on the crest of the technology wave.
See the prices for the Canon 550D by clicking on the DigitalRev link or on the Amazon links in the image on the right.
The exciting new Canon EOS 600D (T3i)
The Canon 600D introduces a new Generation of DSLR sophistication. Just a few of the key features of the Canon 600D are:
- 18MP APS-C Sensor
- A Vari-Angle (Fold out and twist.) 3″ 1040 Pixel LCD screen equal to that to the semi pro Canon 60D.
- Wireless remote Flash control
- Scene Intelligence in a variety of new functions.
- Added Video functions
- An on screen Feature Guide
See below for more…. Pricing is generally around $800 for the body only which is very competitive, being close to the price of the Canon 550D in December 2010.
How does the Canon T3i (600D) compare to the rest of the Canon line-up?
(Open the Canon Features Comparison chart in a second tab as a quick reference to follow this article)
The Canon EOS 600D (T3i) is now at the top of the Rebel range or what is viewed as the Entry level Canon EOS DSLR range. ”Entry level DSLR” these days is a gross understatement. All of these models take photos at over 10MP, have shutter speeds equal to or faster than 1/4000 per second, with a lot of very sophisticated features run by processors and memory that used to be enough to run national banking networks. See the Canon Features Comparison chart for a more extensive comparison between the models.
The features that distinguish the Canon EOS T3i (600D) can be summarized as follows:
- 18 MP APS-C sensor. The 18 MP is high by any standard and it is unlikely that 99% of photography applications should demand more. The APS-C sensor is the same throughout the Canon entry level and midrange level and has proven itself healthily in professional applications.
- HD movie mode of the 600D is very sophisticated, giving in camera crop features, remote sound recording, and variable Pixel density for professional HD applications. These features were introduced in the 500d and upgraded in the Canon 550D and Canon 60D models. With the Canon 600D, Canon introduced a range of added function for user modes, scene detection, HD Digital Zoom and specifically Video Clip functionality in camera and in the PC Software.
- ISO Ranges for low light Photography. The Canon 600D is in the league of the Canon ESO 60D and 7D, with ISO at 50-6400 pushable to 12800.
- Size, weight and ruggedness delineate the Pro-levels. The Canon 600D (T3i) is of light weight construction which, along with FPS at 3.7 places the 600D just below the MidRange and Pro models. Look after your camera and the ruggedness is not an issue and you don’t have to lug a brick around.
- Vari-Angle LCD Screen with smudge resistant coating. The Canon 600D (T3i) sports a fold out and twist 3″ 1040 MP high definition LCD with smudge resistent coating. This is a major distinguishing factor. The flexible screen function means that the LCD folds out and can be manipulated so that the scene can be viewed from a different angle than the camera view. No more lying on the ground to take low level shots or standing on a ladder to take shots from a higher vantage point. It also means that the photographer does not have to be seen to be aiming at a scene. This makes a big difference in getting candid shots of otherwise camera conscious subjects. Smudging on the LCD is an irritant and I find myself forever wiping the LCD on my cameras. A small but welcome improvement!
- A new Generation of Smart Technology? With the 600D Canon introduced a whole range of new technology features under the covers. These include Scene Detection Technology, that recognises and analyses faces, movement, contrast, brightness and distance in the scene, with information provided as feedback to the Scene Intelligent Auto mode. In auto mode or other creative modes. The camera gives feedback in manual mode and automatically compensates in the auto modes, such as softening facial features for portraits or highlighting backlit faces through the Auto Lighting Optimizer (ALO). A slew of additional functionality include Creative Filters, Highlight Tone Priority, Picture Style presets and more. Picture Style selectable presets can be likened to choosing different film types to give photographers control over saturation, sharpness, contrast and colour tone.
- Feature Guide With so much functionality, an on board Feature Guide is a welcome further feature. The guide provides a simple description of each mode and its functions on the LCD.
In Summary, the Canon EOS 600D (T3i) offers a lot more than repackaging of familiar features to fill a gap in the range. It introduces a new generation of very powerful smarts compacted in a small and light body. I have no doubt that there will be enthusiastic queues of enthusiasts and professionals as soon as the first models become available.
Where does the announcement of the Canon T3i leave the earlier models like the Canon T2i (500D) and Canon T1i (550D)?
Also see the post on Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i and 60d on this site.
The Canon 500D (T1i) was released less than two years ago. It’s video functionality is not as sophisticated as the 550D and 600D, but it includes an impressive and up to date array of DSLR features. Being largely overlooked by the excitement of the 550D and now the 600D’s state of the art features, the 500D is a gift with very attractive pricing if you want a high class 15MP DSLR with nice but not wow HD movie capability.
The Canon 550D (T2i) was released less than a year ago and is as competitive today as it was before. It does include the wow High Definition Movie capability and a few other attractive features. I don’t see the 600D as a replacement, but as a new level, just slightly above the 550D.
The 600D announcement lowered the prices of the Canon EOS 500D(T2i) and the Canon EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) making both very attractive right now. See the prices for the Canon 550D by clicking on the DigitalRev link or on the Amazon links in the image on the right.