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Canon's new Rebel T3i **
It's barely even a year since Canon announced the Canon T2i in 2010 and here we are now waiting for the arrival of yet another Rebel in the block. This time though, Canon is sending two Rebels. The T3 and the T3i. Well, it seems Canon, and in fact almost all camera manufacturers, release an update of their products in a yearly basis. If you bought a Canon model only to find out a new "blinged" out version is just a few weeks away then you know what I mean. 

However, Canon and the other manufacturers don't expect their customers to buy their latest models (although that would be one of their evil desires :-P), because if they did, a lot of people will be broke in many countries and that will ruin the world's economy. Instead, it's much better to think that they are targeting the new users which would broaden the demographics of dSLR users. So, are Canon's newest cannons a worthy upgrade? Or is it just more of the same stuff re-hashed from the previous year?

Let's first look at the T3i. This is effectively going to be the successor of the popular Canon T2i that went before it. At it's core, the T3i is basically a T2i in a slightly new body, a name that's been numerically increased, and with a few new features to make it worthy of the word "successor." The main upgrade is the 1-million dot tilt-and-swivel LCD screen making it a pleasure for shooting videos (in HD of course). There are also some addition to the software like fisheye and toy-camera filters that can be applied in-camera to the pictures. 

The next Rebel is the T3. This is a "watered-down" version of the T3i. However, the T3 is better compared with a Canon Rebel released a little over 2 years ago, the Canon Rebel XS. The T3 then is a "successor" of the XS model featuring a higher resolution sensor at 12 megapixels, an expanded ISO range (now from 100 to 6400), an increased number of AF points (there's now 9 of them), a slightly larger LCD screen (although it's not swivelly or tilty like in the T3i and it still is only a 230,000 dot display), and hallelujah HD video recording up to 720p.

Canon EOS Rebel T3
Canon's new Rebel T3 **
If you already have a Rebel like myself, then these "new" features shouldn't really make your eyes bulge out in excitement. If you already have a Rebel T2i or even a T1i, you shouldn't even flinch with these features. The fact of the matter is, these features have been implemented before in the older models of Canon Rebels, like the T2i with just a few refinements. It's like re-airing some commercial from last year with a different song, heck, maybe with no change at all. Buying any camera be it a point-and-shoot or a DSLR (except the higher end ones) is like getting on a packed bus only to see three absolutely empty busses pass by. But there's  absolutely nothing wrong with that. You got on the bus because you wanted to end the wait, the empty buses will then pick up the people who just got to the bus stop. The same principle holds for these camera models coming out every year. If you keep waiting for the "next big thing" then you'll never leave that bus stop, but if you just go ahead and get the model you want then you got on the bus! You may be a little disappointed that you could've gotten an empty bus should you waited a little longer but at least you're now on your way to enjoying your purchase.

So is the T3 and T3i worth the purchase? If you're new to the world of DSLR photography, yes absolutely. Either model will be a great way to kickstart your journey in photography be it as a hobby or as a prospective profession. If you already own a Rebel, why are you even reading this? Shouldn't you be honing your photography skills or at least setting your eye on a camera like the 60D or the 5D MkII?

** Canon T3i image: from gadgetell.com
** Canon T3 image: from gadgetell.com

 
 
February started off with a relatively big bang for the folks at Canon and for those who have been waiting for Canon's new products. Canon announced two new entry-level DSLRs called the Canon EOS Rebel T3i (600D) and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (1100D). The Canon T3i is an update over the popular T2i released by the same company last year. The T3i inherits the same 18 megapixel crop sensor, DIGIC 4 processor, HD video recording (both 720p and 1080p at various frame rates), and a load of the same stuff from T2i. The new thing for T3i is the new swivelling 1 million dot LCD Display which is similar to the ones found in the Canon 60D. The T3i will be released in March with an MSRP $899.99CAD (body) or $999.99CAD (kit).
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Canon EOS Rebel T3i (600D) *
The Canon body is the T3 (non-i) which is also called the 1100D. So in a numerical sense, the T3 is an update for Canon's absolute lowest model the Canon EOS Rebel XS (Which happens to be the camera used by yours truly). Canon retains the whole "simple yet powerfull" approach with the T3 body. New in the T3 kit is the new 12.2 megapixel crop sensor which I would guess (I might be wrong) is from the Canon XSi, a DIGIC 4 processor, Canon's new 63-zone metering system (seen in the other cameras in the Canon range), and HD video capability. However, the video recording is limited to 720p which makes sense for a camera that is suppose to be a class lower than the T3i. The T3 will not get swivelling screen from its bigger brother T3i or 60D. But that's what you expect for a camera like this. The T3 will also be released in March alongside the T3i and will sell at an MSRP of $649.99CAD (kit). If you live in Canada, Future Shop will have an exclusive red version of the camera for the same MSRP.

- Angelo Maralit
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Canon EOS Rebel T3 (1100D) *
* Images are owned by Canon Inc.