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Canon T3 Digital Camera Review$599.99
The T3 compresses 720/30p videos into .MOV files using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression, with linear PCM audio recording. For video, compression is a variable bit rate, though we found our motion tests typically coming in between 20 and 30 Mb/s. The video quality is generally good, and looked quite smooth playing back on multiple macs in the office as well as through the camera itself. Find out how the performed in our video image quality test./r:link_to_content
There simply aren't any real manual controls to speak of on the T3, unfortunately. Only 720p recording is available, and only at a frame rate of 30 or 25fps. There are options for adjusting exposure compensation, white balance, picture style, as well as activation of the auto lighting optimizer and highlight tone priority. After that, nearly no other customization options exist that pertain to video. There are no options to control aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, or anything similar in video on the T3, befitting its classification as an entry-level DSLR.
The T3 has a dedicated movie record setting, which unfortunately precludes the use of any digital filters or scene modes. The only adjustments one can make to the video being recorded are to change the picture style settings, which will enhance sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color tone. All the same picture styles that are available in still shooting remain in video, including the three user-defined options.
As with other DSLRs, zoom is limited only to manually rotating the zoom ring on the lens. There is no cropped digital zoom with the T3, so you'll be left without many options if your lens doesn't do the job on its own. The same 5x and 10x focus assist zoom is available by pressing the zoom in button near the thumbrest, but during recording the view automatically returns to normal.
The T3 offers autofocus during video recording, but only in the form of loud, obnoxiously slow contrast detection. Your best bet for sharp video with any sort of moving subject is to change to manual focus and know what you're going to be focusing on ahead of time. If you're recording something such as sports, you're unfortunately out of luck, as with no real aperture control there's little hope of making up for poor video autofocus.
The only real control afforded to users by the T3 is exposure compensation, which really is no control at all. It will allow you to rein in brightness, or preserve highlight detail, but as for actually controlling how your subject is is represented on video, there's simply no options that amount to more than hoping for the best.
The T3 does bring over some of its automatic correction menu options from still shooting to video, including highlight tone priority, peripheral illumination correction, and auto lighting optimizer. These all generally try to preserve a more uniform brightness across the scene, either accounting for extremes in exposure or vignetting in the lens itself. The T3 also offers all the same custom and automatic white balance settings in video that it does for still shooting.
The T3 offers the bare minimum of audio recording options during video. That is to say, it does record sound, though not in stereo and not particularly well or with any control. The camera has merely a built-in monaural microphone, located on the front of the camera. The only menu option that even pertains to audio simply allows the user to turn off audio recording. To say the least, we'd recommend a secondary audio source.