The Canon T3i Camera Review
In my opinion the Canon T3i is the best entry level DSLR available today.
Yes, of course I am biased because I am Canon through and through, (most photographers get comfortable with one make or another and tend to stick to that model throughout their career). As an entry level photographer you will find this will very likely be the case as well, don’t ask me why, it’s just the way it is. Anyway, the Canon T3i is a very intelligent camera; with its ‘Live View’ feature you will be able to capture what you see in your mind’s eye rather than looking at the captured image with a vague sense of disappointment because ‘what you see is not always what you get’ when using an entry level DSLR.
Not perfect but very close, the Canon T3i reproduces very faithfully the image that you see with your eyes. It achieves this in ‘Live View’ by working hand in hand with the metering system to ensure that you capture the best possible image with regards to light and colour.
One slight downside to using ‘Live View’ is that it is a bit heavy on the battery but with a little foresight, i.e. a fully charged replacement battery at the standby, then this isn’t a problem and the quality of image far outweighs the battery issue.
The Canon T3i comes with an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor with a DIGIC 4 image processor. Now that sounds fantastic doesn’t it, but you have glazed over because those impressive acronyms mean absolutely nothing to you; in layman’s terms 18 megapixels represents a lot, and I mean a heck of a lot of power, when you consider that most entry level DSLR’s have on average 12 megapixels. The CMOS sensor ensures the quality of those pixels as they all work to capture as much detail as possible. Basically this is a combination that is normally found on prosumer and professional level DSLR’s and puts the Canon T3i in a league of its own as an entry level DSLR.
You access the Creative, Basic and Image modes through the mode dial; the mode dial has 14 symbols that represent the various modes you can choose to shoot in. some of these include:
Scene Intelligent Auto – This mode is just one of the reasons why the Canon T3i is the best DSLR available today. Basically it looks at the shot scene and chooses the most appropriate settings automatically; with moving subjects it continually tracks and remains focussed.
Automatic Depth-of-Field (or as I like to call it ‘Depth of Focus’) – As an entry-level photographer, you may appreciate this mode, found in the Creative Zone. The A-DEP mode eliminates the fuss of fiddling with depth-of-field. You simply align the Auto Focus (AF) dots that appear on your screen with your subjects and press the shutter button halfway down to focus. If the DSLR camera does not get optimal focus, it will not take the photo.
Landscape – in their user guide Canon recommends you use the landscape mode for wide scenery and night scenes in order to capture the most vivid blues and greens and crisp images.
Manual Exposure – now this is a scary place to be unless you understand the basics involving the aperture, the shutter speed and possibly the ISO as well and seeing that you are reading this on an entry level site I can only assume that you are looking to get into a DSLR for the first time so to be perfectly honest when you are ready to move on from the pre-set modes I would recommend using the AV (aperture mode), this is used by most good photographers; it allows you to choose the aperture whilst the camera sorts out the speed to create the correct exposure.
Finding the best light for your photos can be tricky. To ensure that you get the best lighting every time, this DSLR camera features a 63-zone, dual-layer sensor and a 9-point auto focus system that minimizes exposure and focus errors. When you use the Intelligent Scene Analysis, the photos that you have shot in dim, dark or overly bright situations will turn out perfectly.
Life never stands still, so it makes sense that Canon has included technology in this DSLR camera that allows you to capture every moment. The T3i allows you to take 3.7 frames per second (FPS) of continuous shooting, up to 34 JPEGs or six RAW images up to 1/4,000 sec. That’s really fast, and because this is the best entry-level DSLR camera, your shots will also be clear, crisp and accurate.
Without a doubt the Canon T3i is a great entry level DSLR, it has features that are normally only found on pro spec cameras but this needn’t overwhelm you. Start simple by using the pre-set modes and then gradually branch out into the user defined modes where you have more control over what is happening and the resulting image. It is vital to have a good understanding of the basic rules relating to exposure and how this can be manipulated. I have written a book – A Beginners Guide to Digital Photography Professional Tips For an Entry Level Photographer – which explains everything in detail so that you can take control of your DSLR.