Canon EOS Rebel T3 Review: The Beginner’s DSLR

canon rebel t3 photo

The EOS Rebel T3 is a straightforward no-nonsense camera that can hold its own. Featuring Canon's new DIGIC 4 image processor, a 12.2 megapixel camera, and 720p video, the T3 is the perfect beginner's DSLR.

The Good

  • 12.2 megapixel CMOS sensor powered by the new DIGIC 4
  • Image Processor
  • Enhanced center-weighted, partial, and evaluative (63-zone) metering modes Records 720p video at 25fps
  • Dust deletion feature

The Bad

  • Lacks some features standard to its class
  • Body feels cheap and has few areas to grip

The Verdict

The T3's ease-of-use is unmatched by any other camera in its class. While it definitely doesn't look or feel like much, it's a well-performing camera that takes some pretty remarkable shots. Canon may have stripped some features to bring down the price point, but the Cam Critic feels that they haven't cut any corners.

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Tech Specs

Image Quality

12 MP, max 720p @ 25fps

Audio Quality


Battery Life

800 photos, 110 minutes of video (approx)

Wifi and Bluetooth

Not Enabled

Design and Hardware

The T3 takes a detour from the Rebel XS with a full black exterior, giving it a sharp and distinctive look. The camera measures 3.9 x 5.1 x 3.1 inches and weighs a sturdy 17.4 ounces. Despite the great looking exterior, the surface of the camera is entirely smooth, including the grip areas. The back of the camera sports a 2.7" LCD and buttons which sit flush against the camera's body. The controls are very intuitive, and even first time users will have no problem getting started with the T3.

Image and Video Quality

The T3's 12.2 megapixel sensor is at the lower end for DSLRs, but it still manages to take pictures with clarity and sharpness. It performs a little worse than the T2i, but still manages to hold its own. The T3 handles light sensitivity well up to ISO 3200, at which point photos became grainy. You'll want to use this camera at ISO 1600 or below, if possible. The T3 can shoot continuous photos up to 3 fps.

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The 720p video looks good, but the T3 has difficulty focusing on close subjects. There was a huge sound disparity, with sounds from the camera and the photographer being much louder than other nearby subjects.

Battery Life and Performance

The T3 has a decent battery life. rated for 800 photos or 110 minutes of video. For an entry-level DSLR, the T3 is very quick: a 0.5 second startup time is all you need before you can start taking photos only half a second apart. This is decreased somewhat when using Live View mode, where the image is previewed on the LCD screen. If you don't need the LCD screen for previewing images, then it's best to do without.


Despite its cheap look and feel, the T3 is a straightforward starter DSLR that can be appreciated by novice users and professional photographers alike. It makes some sacrifices in the name of simplicity, but it doesn't claim to be greater than it is. Beginners will find a sturdy, useful DSLR in the T3.

For a review of the Rebel T5 vs T5i, click here.​ For a review of the Rebel T5 vs T3i, click here.

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