With the introduction of the T3, Canon lists no fewer than six Rebel cameras in their total DSLR pool of thirteen models. The T3 fits into this hierarchy near the bottom of the pile with an MSRP of only $50 more than the cheapest model, the Rebel XS. Canon's entry-level model fleet spans an MSRP range from $550-$900 and includes offerings with sensor resolutions of 10, 12, 15, and 18 megapixels.
The T3's relatively bargain price buys you very good entry-level DSLR still image quality and very good 720 HD video quality. The camera is relatively compact and light and with the kit lens is easily portable on day-long shooting sessions. Battery life for those daylong sessions is adequate assuming you use the viewfinder and not the monitor for image composition and capture.
The camera starts reasonably quickly and shutter lag is average for the group as a whole. Auto focus acquisition times are fairly quick but at the slow end of the spectrum with regard to direct competitors. The short close-focus distance of the kit lens gives the T3 a decent macro shooting performance. High ISO noise performance is competitive with the best of the current generation cropped-sensor cameras.
In short, there's a lot to like with the T3 performance and not much to dislike. Image files are output at 72 dots per inch, which means you'll be resizing to send e-mails or make prints, and providing a printed user's manual that covers all camera functions rather than just the basic ones shouldn't be too much to ask, even for a camera in the lower echelon of the product line.
Design/Ease of Use
* Ratings averaged to produce final score
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