Advertisement. The page you requested will display in seconds.
Canon T3 Digital Camera Review$599.99
The first thing you'll notice when you pick up the Canon T3 is the chintzy feel of the grip and body. The grip is a smooth, ultra-thin rubberized material with no texture. While your hands are unlikely to slip from the grip, it provides only a bare minimum of control and comfort, and is a big step down from even the Canon XSi, let alone the other T-series Rebel DSLRs from Canon.
The T3's best asset is its light weight, which makes it is easy to carry around and use for an extended period of time, even at odd angles, without feeling tired of its heft. This is mostly owed to the nearly universal use of plastic on the body, so it's a bit of a trade-off. Overall, we were left underwhelmed by the body design of the T3 compared to rival models from Nikon, Pentax, and Sony, though the relative lack of weight of the camera body will be attractive for many people in this price range.
Buttons & Dials
The button design on the T3 reflects the changes in philosophy from Canon since the XS was released. The buttons are not dedicated round lumps, but shaped indentations that flow together nicely. There is a dedicated live view/record button, as well, and all the controls are now placed on the right side of the camera's backside to ease single-handed operation. There are actually no buttons at all that require a second hand to operate, as even the flash release has been moved to just behind the control dial. The buttons offer less travel than the previous round versions, but they have a nice audible click and there's enough separation that pressing the wrong one is a rare issue.
The T3 uses a fairly basic 2.7-inch rear LCD, with just 230k dot resolution. It's functional for manually focusing, and it provides a good amount of information, with some measure of control available through the "Q" menu on the screen. The display also reacts well to changes in exposure, providing a good idea of the relative brightness of the final image as you adjust settings. We'd liked to have seen a higher resolution screen, but there's nothing notably low-quality about the monitor that would give us too much pause.
The T3 features an optical viewfinder, offering approximately 95% coverage. For exact framing, the liveview mode makes use of the effective area of the sensor, giving 100% coverage. The optical viewfinder has a diopter range of -2.5 to +0.5 m-1, with a magnification of about 0.8x. It's not a perfect viewfinder, but it's a superior option to shooting with live view, especially for focus speed. As with other Canon DSLRs, below the viewfinder there is a line of shooting information including exposure compensation. When manually focusing, if you hold down the shutter release button halfway, the focus points will light up along with a green focus confirmation dot when focus is achieved.
The Canon T3's optical stabilization performed fairly well in our shake testing, though didn't provide any substantial improvements. Canon employs an in-lens stabilization system, moving a lens element to counteract any camera movement. This hasn't proven as effective as in-camera stabilization in our testing, though there are other benefits to using this type of stabilization in DSLRs. The main benefit is that it stabilizes the image as it's seen through the viewfinder, as well as in the final image. Sensor-shift systems merely stabilize when the final image is taken, making framing difficult while the camera isn't stationary.