We almost felt like Sookie Stackhouse in HBO’s True Blood. We closed our eyes and the next thing we knew, a year was gone. In this case we didn’t travel in “fairy space time,” but blinked and Canon sent out a replacement for the XS and XSi DSLRs. The company sprinkled some fairy dust on those older cameras by adding 720p HD video. Were we enchanted by this new DSLR? You won’t have to watch 12 episodes to find out.
Features and designPick up the older 10-megapixel XS, and you’ll have trouble telling it from the T3 other than the model number on the front. The rear is another story, as there’s a slightly larger LCD screen, a button for Live View and a red dot next to it indicating “videos taken here” on the T3. Although there are a few other changes we’ll discuss, the new Rebel looks like your basic Canon DSLR. If you’ve looked at or owned one over the past few years, you won’t be shocked by it. Yet there is a bit of style, as it’s not only available in black but with brown, red or metallic gray bodies; our review sample was black. The camera feels rather light, and you’ll have no problem telling this one from a Nikon D7000, but that excellent DSLR costs twice as much. The T3 body measures 5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 (width x height x depth) and weighs 17.4 ounces.
On the left side is a compartment with USB and mini HDMI out, as well as an input for a remote control. The bottom of the made-in-Taiwan T3 has a compartment for the lithium-ion battery and a slot for SD cards (it accepts SDXC and Eye-Fi media).
What’s in the boxThe carton has everything you need to get started other than a memory card. You get the camera, kit lens, body cap, neck strap and USB cable. The battery is rated a very good 800 shots per CIPA and you also get a plug-in charger. Canon supplies a multi-language basic instruction manual (84 pages in English) and two CD-ROMs. One has the full owner’s manual as a PDFm and the other is Canon’s software suite for handling images and developing RAW files.
After charging the battery and popping in a 4GB Class 6 SDHC card, it was time to take some photos and videos.