EOS Digital Rebel T3 SLR

EOS Digital Rebel T3 SLR

Features & Controls


canon_t3_lens_mount.jpgThe T3 is equipped with Canon's EF/EF-S lens mount system, and above you can see the mount on the T3. This camera is compatible with the full line of Canon-EF/EF-S lenses offered by Canon and other lens manufacturers, giving you a huge variety of lenses to choose from. On the right hand side of the lens mount, you can see the lens release button, and on the left you can see the Red-eye reduction and Self-timer lamp.

canon_7d_cmos1.jpgUnlike the T3i, which boasts an 18-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS imager sensor, the T3 uses a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor. These APS-C sized imagers are designed to work with Canon's EF and EF-S lenses, however due to the fact that they are smaller than 35mm film or full-frame sensors, you have to factor in a conversion factor of 1.6x. So, if you have a 50mm lens, your equivalent field of view is actually 80mm. The sensitivity range of this unit is from ISO 100 up to 6400 (in whole-step increments). No ISO expansion is available.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II SLR.

Above you can see Canon's high-speed DIGIC 4 processor unit, which helps the T3 provide you with fast shooting performance, start-up, live-view, image/video capture, and processing speeds. DIGIC technology uses advanced image processing algorithms to ensure precise, natural colors, accurate white balance, and advanced noise reduction. The DIGIC chips work with a high-speed DDR-SDRAM image buffer - reading, processing, compressing and writing image data fast enough to keep the buffer clear during long continuous shooting bursts (up to 3.0fps at full resolution). Thanks to the fact that the DIGIC processor integrates all key processing functions, power consumption is kept to a minimum. This powerful system also has the ability to quickly process the HD (1280x720, 30 or 25fps) video that the T3 can record.

canon_t3_lens_attach.jpgShown here are some of the controls located on the front of the camera, and on the lens packaged with the T3. Switching between manual and auto focus is controlled on the lens as well as the image stabilizer switch (if the lens offers this feature). On the camera body you can see the lens lock release, and the built-in microphone above the EOS Rebel T3 label.

The T3 comes bundled with their EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Type II Lens. This is a 3x equivalent zoom lens covering an equivalent zoom range of 28.8 - 88mm. While affordable and lightweight, it still offers some nice features like Canon's Optical Image stabilization system, which Canon claims "allows sharp hand-held shots at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than otherwise possible". The lens by itself costs approx. $199.99 US.

This is the auto pop-up, built-in flash unit for the T3. It covers a focal length of up to 17mm with an approximate recharge time of 3 sec. The guide number is approximately 9.2/30 (meters/feet at ISO 100). The flash also works as an AF-assist lamp when shooting in low-light situations, with an effective range of approx. 4 m/13.1 ft at center, approx. 3.5 m/11.5 ft at periphery. Flash Exposure Compensation is available in +/- 2 stops in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments. 


Here we can see the T3's hotshoe for connecting external speedlites (like the 580EX II shown below). The T3 utilizes an E-TTL II flash metering system, which is compatible with all EX-series Speedlites, and even offers in-camera configuration with some models.

E-TTL II features:

  • High-speed sync (FP Flash) with all shutter speeds from 30 sec. to 1/8000 sec.
  • FE (Flash Exposure) Lock on the desired part of the subject - this is the flash equivalent of AE lock.
  • Flash exposure compensation of ±2 stops in 1/3 of 1/2 stop increments.
  • FEB (Flash Exposure Bracketing) is the flash version of AEB, flash bracketing can be up to ±2 stops in 1/3-stop increments.
  • E-TTL II wireless autoflash with multiple Speedlites provides all the above features. (Only with wireless-compatible Canon Speedlites.)

canon_rebel_T3i_external_flash.jpgThis is Canon's 580EX II external speedlite mounted atop the T3i. This unit will supply adequate light when using the various EOS cameras in situations that require a more powerful light source. The 580EX II offers both dust and water resistance, along with increased body strength to match up to the versatility of Canon's 1D line of professional dSLRs. While 20% shorter than the original 580EX, it boasts improved communication with the camera, 20% faster recycle times, full swivel (180° vertical/horizontal), and a powerful Guide number of 58m (GN 190, feet).

Here you can see the controls on the back of  the 580EX II.

canon_t3_ovf.jpgHere is the eye-level SLR fixed pentamirror viewfinder on the T3. It offers approx. 95% coverage (vertically and horizontally), 0.8x magnification (with 50mm at infinity), 21mm eye point, and -2.5 - +0.5 dioptric adjustment. The T3i utilizes a fixed "Precision Matte" focusing screen, and displays typical exposure information.


The information presented in the viewfinder includes:

  • AF information: AF points, focus confirmation light.
  • Exposure information: Shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed (always displayed), AE lock, exposure level, spot metering circle, exposure warning
  • Flash information: Flash ready, flash exposure compensation, high-speed sync, FE lock, red-eye reduction light
  • Image information: Highlight tone priority (D+), monochrome shooting, maximum burst (1-digit display), white balance correction, SD card information

The T3 utilizes a TTL-CT-SIR 9-point AF system, which features a dual cross-type center AF point and a dedicated CMOS sensor for analyzing the scene being framed for quick and accurate focus. Focusing modes include:
  • Auto
  • One-Shot AF
  • Predictive AI Servo AF
  • AI Focus AF
  • Manual Focusing (MF)
  • AF Point selection (Auto or Manual)
The T3 uses the built-in flash as an AF assist lamp (aka AF assist beam), which helps the camera focus on subjects in marginal lighting conditions. This is accomplished by intermittently firing the built-in flash. The effective range is listed above under the flash specifications.
canon_7d_metering_sensor.jpgShown here is the 63 zone metering sensor installed in the T3. This unit helps the camera capture accurate exposures by collecting information on both the color and luminosity surrounding the chosen AF point(s). The inclusion of a color measurement function also helps reduce the possibility of exposure or focus errors, which are typically caused by different lighting sources. 

canon_t3_back.jpgOn the back of the T3 you will see many camera control buttons, along with the 2.7-inch LCD screen. This is a standard-quality display that offers 230,000 pixels of resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio(same as image sensor), 99% frame coverage (in Live view mode), 170° viewing angle, and a special anti-reflective, water-repellent, smudge-resistant, and scratch-resistant coating. It also features Auto (3 levels) or Manual brightness adjustment (7 levels).

The controls located on the back of the T3 are more simplified than on the T3i. At the top right you can see the AE/FE lock button that seconds as the index key when in Playback mode, and next to that is the AF point selection button that seconds as the magnify button when in Playback. Underneath of these two buttons is the small speaker for audio playback. To the left (right of the LCD) we can see the AV/Exposure compensation button, which allows you to switch between shutter speed and aperture values in Manual mode, or exposure compensation in Program mode. When in playback, this button acts as the delete button. Next is the Live View/Movie shooting button. Pressing this button will enter Live View mode when in a still image mode, or will Start/Stop video recording when the mode dial is set to Movie mode. Below that is the Quick Control button for the T3's shortcut menu, which is also used to access the Direct Print function while in Playback mode. To the far right of it you can see the DISPlay button, which controls the amount of information shown on the LCD screen.

Continuing on down, we have the 4-way controller, which has several jobs. These include navigating the menu system, scrolling inside an enlarged image in playback mode, and a quick recall of specific camera functions. Pressing "Up" will display the ISO settings, "Right" accesses the AF mode, "Down" gives access to the White Balance modes, and "Left" toggles the drive mode (burst/self-timer). Lastly we have the Menu and Play buttons at the bottom. 

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.