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Canon T3 Digital Camera Review$599.99
The T3 offers a range of shooting modes that will be very familiar to anyone who has used a Canon DSLR in the past two years. There are the typical shutter/aperture-priority, program auto, and full manual modes. Complementing those are the full automatic, automatic (no flash), and Canon's "creative auto" mode. There are also fully automatic scene modes for portrait, landscapes, macro, sports, and night portrait, with a fully automatic movie mode as well.
The T3's phase detection autofocus system works well, with nine cross-type AF points. The center point is cross type at f/5.6, so it will work very well, even with the kit lens. The camera by default makes use of contrast detection AF when in live view or recording video, which is frustratingly inaccurate and slow. It's typical of entry-level DSLRs, however, so it's no worse than the other cameras in this class. The menu does include a face detection mode as well as the "Quick AF" function, which will allow you to compose in live view and then, by holding the shutter button halfway down, swings the mirror back down to make full use of the phase detection autofocus system. It's far faster to use Quick AF, though the screen goes blank while focusing and the mirror must return up with focus achieved before the photo can be taken, so your subject may move in the interim.
The 18-55mm kit lens on the Canon T3 has a hard AF/MF switch, so there's no constant MF override. The camera does offer a hard focus stop at both ends, though as expected there's no focus scale and the hard stop is a hair past infinity. When in live view, manual focus is aided well by a 5x and 10x digital zoom option, triggered by the zoom in/out buttons located just above the thumbrest. There is no peaking function.
The T3 offers a fairly basic setup of picture quality and size options. There are ten total options, including "fine" and "normal" quality large, medium, and small JPEG settings, RAW shooting, and RAW+JPEG. There are also two extra small settings that are really only useful for images that will be put online, as they're just 2.5 and 0.3 megapixels, respectively.