Canon Rebel T3 Review (Canon EOS 1100D)

Rebel T3 Review (Canon EOS 1100D)

Many months have passed since our test of the Rebel XS (Canon EOS 1000D outside the US), and Rebel XSi (Canon 450D outside the US), which has lived with it relatively long. Now the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D outside the US) should bring fresh wind into the beginner class of Canon.

Current functions such as LiveView and video mode are part of the equipment, but Canon has nevertheless set the red pencil against the higher class EOS 600D. For example, the swivel monitor is missing, and the Rebel T3 or 1100D’s screen is technically inferior at all. The image sensor also has a resolution of only 12.2 megapixels. Our test is intended to show whether the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) is nevertheless a good entry-level camera with adequate image quality and a good price-performance ratio.

Canon Rebel T3 Pros And Cons


  • Easy operation
  • Ordinary equipment
  • Considering “only” twelve megapixels, very good image quality


  • Cheap-looking plastic housing
  • Very slow contrast autofocus
  • Relatively small and low-resolution screen
  • Thinly featured video function
  • Stroboscope flash volley as AF auxiliary light

The cheap Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) has to get along without a tilt display. Your screen is slightly smaller at 2.7″ (6.8 cm) and has a resolution of only 230,000 pixels. It can still display a live image.

After all, the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) has the advanced and reliable light meter of the EOS 7D, which is already used in the EOS 600D.

The APS-C CMOS sensor has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels and can deliver a video signal in 720p. New, according to Canon, is the optical viewfinder, which covers 95% of the image field and is supposed to provide a bright image.

The Digic-4 image processor is responsible for signal processing, with the sensor being read out at 14 bits per color channel. In continuous-advance mode, up to 3 fps is possible and ISO sensitivity can be set from 100 to 6,400. The autofocus in the 1100D also has nine spot sizes.

To make it easier for beginners to use, Canon has avoided technical terms and instead uses simple words to describe the respective functions.

The Basic+ mode is designed to help you conveniently adjust white balance, exposure, and image processing to achieve optimal results.

The buyer of an Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) does not have to do without the creative filters either.

The camera can be connected to an HD television via the HDMI interface, which, by the way, the 600D also has.

In addition, the Canons are CEC-compatible, so with the appropriate TV, the camera can be controlled via the TV remote control if it is connected via HDMI. So no one has to get up from the sofa to control the slide show.

The Rebel T3 or 1100D’s memory card slot accepts an SD card, and the slot is compatible with SDHC and SDXC.

In addition, Eye-Fi WLAN SD cards can be used, which are explicitly supported by the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D). This allows the wireless transfer of images to a computer or directly to the Internet. To conserve the lithium-ion battery, the WLAN function can also be deactivated on the camera side.

Ergonomics and Workmanship

At first sight and touch it is immediately clear: savings have been made on the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) housing.

It consists of cheap-looking plastic, the flash has clear lateral play. It wasn’t even enough for a reasonable rubber coating of the handle. It’s not quite as smooth as the rest of the case, but it doesn’t want a secure hand feeling, especially with sweaty hands. After all, the metal tripod thread is located in the optical axis and at least small tripod exchange plates do not block the battery and memory card slot.

As long as one does without LiveView, the energy dispenser is sufficient for respectable 700 recordings. The fact that the live image function is very energy-hungry is shown by the fact that the battery life with it shrinks to a meager 220 shots.

The fixed screen also corresponds more to the economy version of current technology. 2.7 inch diagonal, which corresponds to about 6.9 centimeters, seem rather small in view of the 7.5 centimeters that are usual for DSLRs, the resolution is extremely coarse with only 230,400 pixels. After all, it is enough for working and the screen brightness is sufficient at least for American and European lighting conditions.

The operation is typical for Canon. The menus are well known, although the range of settings is somewhat more economical than with more expensive DSLRs from Canon.

In principle, the menu is clear but could be more modern. The status display with “Quick menu” is practical so that you can intuitively make many settings where you have them in view anyway.

Also, the key equipment is not so economical at all, especially as important settings can be called up directly. Less nice on the other hand is the fact that the mode dial has end stops, so that you have to rotate 13 grids from the A-DEP mode to the video function.

The viewfinder comfort is typical for beginners. A Pentas mirror construction with 0.8x magnification provides a not too bright and rather small viewfinder image, but one can work with it.

A status bar informs about the most important settings. In addition to the usual USB AV combination port, the EOS 1100D also has a modern HDMI port, even a remote release cable can be plugged in.

The memory card is inserted into the slot directly next to the battery, and the EOS 1100D is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC. Even a mains adapter can be connected by replacing the battery with a dummy. The cable is led out to the side next to the battery cover.

Equipment And Features

The Rebel T3 or 1100D’s mode dial offers a number of scene modes for beginners, including standards such as portrait, landscape, macro, sports and night scenes.

The fully automatic and the depth-of-field test program A-DEP, are also included, as are the classic programs P, Tv, Av, and M. This allows the photographer to influence the exposure time and aperture and thus actively shape the image.

This of course also includes the sensitivity setting, which ranges from ISO 100 to 6,400. Practically, there is an ISO automatic, whose upper limit can be set from 400 to 6,400. A video mode is also on board, but here again, Canon’s thrift is evident.

The non-adjustable resolution is 1,280 x 720 pixels, only the frame rate is selectable between 30 and 25 frames per second. FullHD resolution does not reach the 1100D. After all, it works with effective and modern H.264 compression, but the less popular Quicktime (MOV) for Windows users is used as the storage format.

The sound is recorded via the integrated mono microphone and thus undercuts the possible picture quality, especially since there is no external microphone connection.

The videographer also has to do without effective autofocus tracking. This is only possible at the push of a button, but works slowly and very loudly with the 18-55mm IS II set lens, which is clearly noticeable on the soundtrack.


Even in photo mode, the contrast autofocus is extremely slow and took a good 3.6 to 3.8 seconds in our measurements with the software.

The phase autofocus, on the other hand, is fixed and takes about 0.4 seconds. Thus, if one can do without the face recognition, it is recommended to use the quick mode of the autofocus in the LiveView, in which the mirror briefly flips down and up again to focus – this is faster than the contrast autofocus.

When LiveView is switched off, focus tracking is also available, which can be useful especially for moving scenes. What the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) user has to do without are mirror lock-up and the depth-of-field preview function. After all, a self-timer is available, even with adjustable waiting time and bracketing function.

Those who would like to influence the image style themselves will find the corresponding settings typical for Canon. The user has an influence on sharpness, contrast, color saturation, and hue.

Also, an automatic exposure optimization is available, with which the camera tries to conjure up more drawing in lights and shadows.

If you prefer to set everything on your computer, you can record in RAW format.

The camera is again more economically equipped with internal post-processing options – there are simply none! Just like Sony, Canon is evading the battle of editing functions and editing filters in which Pentax, Olympus, and Nikon take part.

Image Quality Of The Canon Rebel T3

A simple expectation is placed on a Canon: Perfect image quality! After all, Canon is the market leader in DSLRs. So even a beginner DSLR like the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) should deliver excellent picture results.

However, the camera loses ten and more line pairs per millimeter towards the edge of the image, which is due to the inexpensive 18-55mm set lens.

It’s also interesting that the resolution already drops slightly at aperture F8, so diffraction starts surprisingly early for a 12-megapixel sensor in APS-C format. Up to F11, however, the lens can be dimmed without worries, without dropping below 40 line pairs per millimeter at the resolution.

That is of course whining on a high level, because when exposed to 20 x 30 centimeters, only beyond aperture F22 do any blurs become visible at all, which can be traced back to resolution losses.

The situation is different when it comes to distortion, which has a pronounced barrel shape, especially in wide-angle.

At medium and long focal lengths, the slightly barreled or cushion-shaped distortions are negligible. Vignetting, on the other hand, is minimized by the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) at the factory to such an extent that it can no longer be seen.

If this sensible correction is turned off, dark corners become visible. If the internal flash is used, darkening occurs in the image corners despite the vignetting correction, where only about half of the light arrives compared to the center of the image. But the course is very soft. This corresponds to a loss of one f-stop, which is normal for an internal flash unit and therefore not objectionable.

The Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) with the set lens does less well in the color fringes. Chromatic aberrations are particularly visible in the wide-angle angle, especially at the edge of the image. In telescopic position the camera is better, but also here the color fringes show up if you take a closer look. Corrections could be made relatively easily within the camera, so the user, if he is disturbed by it, has to get involved in the image processing.


The Canon is more superior when it comes to noise behavior. Although the signal-to-noise ratio decreases with increasing sensitivity, it is so flat that you can attest it “good noise behavior”.

The Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) is very good, especially up to ISO 800, and conditionally also at ISO 1.600.

In addition, brightness noise becomes clearer, while color noise almost does not occur at all. Analogous to noise, there is also a very good dynamic range of 11.2 f-stops at ISO 100, which drops very little up to ISO 1,600, where 10.3 f-stops are achieved. Only at ISO 3,200 and 6,400 does the Canon lose more of its dynamism. The output tonal range is at a high level up to ISO 800, but then unfortunately drops significantly.

The color rendering is much more saturated, especially in the red range, which means that the camera reproduces the color tones much more vividly than in reality. On average, however, the color deviation is tolerable, and the white balance is also quite precise. Even the color depth is amazingly high.


At ISO 100, 23 bits, i.e. about 8.4 million colors, are differentiated, but even at ISO 6,400, the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) achieves a respectable 20 bits, which is still over a million color values. The 1100D works quite well with exposure technology. The measured light sensitivity is only about 15 percent above the actual ISO value, which is not noticeable in practice.

Conclusion: Is The Canon Rebel T3 Worth It?

The Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) couldn’t really convince us. While Canon has managed to launch a entry-level DSLR at an affordable price, the buyer should be aware of the many compromises.

So the case looks extremely cheap and has no non-slip rubber coating.

The screen is also rather modest in size and resolution, as is the resolution of the image sensor and the videos. Although the image quality of the 12-megapixel sensor is in principle unobjectionable except for the low resolution, the lens weakens the image with visible distortion, chromatic aberrations and edge blur. After all, the autofocus is fixed, but this does not apply to the contrast AF in LiveView.

But one can consider the Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) to be a good one because it has a quite adequate equipment for the price, which leaves enough creative room for the beginner. With a better lens, the image quality can be improved even more technically.

Fact Sheet Of The Canon Rebel T3

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Canon
Model Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D)
Price approx. 480 dollars
Sensor Resolution 12.2 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 3.272 x 2.848
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens Canon EF-S 3.5-5.6/18-55mm IS II
Filter threads 55 mm
Viewfinder Pentas mirrors
Field of vision 95 %
Enlargement 0,8-fold
Diopter compensation -3 to +1 dpt.
LCD monitor 2,7″
Disbandment 230.400
as viewfinder yes
Video output PAL/NTSC – HDMI
Program automation yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long-term exposure yes
Scene modes
Portrait yes
Countryside yes
Macro yes
Sports/Action yes
more 3 additional scene modes
Exposure metering Multi-field, Center-weighted Integral, Selective
Flash yes
Flash connection System flash shoe
Remote release Cord
Interval shooting
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode yes
Size MOV
Codec AVC/H.264
Resolution (max.) 1.280 x 720
at frame rate 30 images/s
automatic 100-6.400
(upper limit adjustable)
manually ISO 100-6.400
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Light bulb yes
Other Shadow, Flash
Manual yes
Number of measuring fields 9
AF auxiliary light Flash salvo
Speed approx. 0.4 s
Languages Yes
more 24 languages
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Weight (Ready to be used) 500 g (housing only) 680 g (with lens*)
Zoom adjustment manual on lens
Battery life
approx. 700 recordings (without LiveView)
approx. 220 images (with LiveView)
(each according to CIPA)
– = “not applicable” or “not available
“* with lens Canon EF-S 3.5-5.6/18-55mm IS II


Short evaluation


  • Easy operation
  • Ordinary equipment
  • Considering “only” twelve megapixels, very good image quality


  • Cheap looking plastic housing
  • Very slow contrast autofocus
  • Relatively small and low resolution screen
  • Thinly featured video function
  • Stroboscope flash volley as AF auxiliary light

Canon Rebel T3 (EOS 1100D) Datasheet


Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 22.5 x 15.0 mm (crop factor 1.6) 12.6 megapixels (physical) and 12.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 5.3 µm
Photo resolution
4.272 x 2.848 pixels (3:2)
3.088 x 2.056 pixels (3:2)
2.256 x 1.504 pixels (3:2)
1.920 x 1.280 pixels (3:2)
720 x 480 pixels (3:2)
Image formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.21), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 29 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 59 p
Maximum recording time 17 min
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)
Audio format (video) WAV


Lens mount
Canon EF-S


Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 9 sensors, 9 cross sensors
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual, AF Assist Light
Sharpness control Live view

Viewfinder and monitor

SLR viewfinder Reflex viewfinder (mirror viewfinder) (95 % image coverage), 22 mm eye relief, dioptre compensation (-2.5 to +0.5 dpt), replaceable focusing screens, grid can be inserted
Monitor 2.7″ TFT LCD monitor with 230,400 pixels


Exposure metering Center-weighted integral metering, matrix/multi-field metering over 63 fields, spot metering (metering over 2% or 9% of the field of view, AF-AE coupling
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (Automatic) Bulb function
Exposure control Programmed automatic, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Step size from 1/3 to 1/2 EV
Exposure Compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 6.400 (automatic) ISO 100 to ISO 6.400 (manual)
Remote access Remote triggering
Scene modes No scene modes
Picture effects 8 Picture Styles
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sunny, White balance bracket, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp, Tungsten lamp, Manual
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 3.0 fps at the highest resolution and max. 830 stored photos, 5 RAW images in sequence
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 s interval, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Recording functions Live histogram


Flash built-in flash (flip up) Flash shoe: Canon, standard center contact
Flash code Guide number 9 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, fill-flash, flash on, flash off, slow sync, flash on second shutter curtain, red-eye reduction

Equipment And Features

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Power supply unit Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Canon LP-E10 (Lithium-ion (Li-Ion), 7.4 V, 950 mAh)
Playback functions Highlight / Shadow warning, playback histogram, image index
Voice memo Voice memo (WAV format)
Face recognition Face recognition
Special functions Electronic spirit level, orientation sensor, Live View
Connections Data interfaces: USB – USB type: – USB 2.0 High Speed
AV Connections AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D)
Supported direct printing methods Canon Direct Print, PictBridge
Tripod thread 1/4″
Special features and miscellaneous built-in low-pass filterDual-DIGIC-IV signal processingCurrent

JPEG and RAW recording possibleAF Working range
0 to 18 EVSingle AF
and/or predictive focus (ONE SHOT/AI FOCUS/AI SERVO)
PTP supportAuto
Lighting Optimizer (4 settings)
Metering memoryDisplays
shooting information in playback mode with highlighting of highlightsPlayback zoom
(1st setting) 5 x to 10x magnification)
Orientation sensor for automatic image alignment – 10
Personalization function with 32 settings5

10x magnifying glass in live view modeFace Detection
compatible9-point AF
with central cross sensor

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 130 x 100 x 78 mm
Weight 495 g (ready for operation)


standard accessory Canon LP-E10 Special BatteryCanon
RF-3 (housing cover)
Battery Charger LC-E10Camera Software
ZoomBrowser EX / Image Browser for Windows and for MacintoshCamera Software
Digital Photo Professional for Windows (2000/XP)
Twain Driver (98/2000)
WIA Device Driver for Windows Me/XPPanorama Software
PhotoStitchRemote Control Software
EOS Capture
additional accessories Canon CBC-E6 Charger for special batteriesLP-E6
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery exchangeable memory cardCanonSpeedlite EX system flash units; IR remote control LC-5; RC-1/RC-5 remote control; eyecup Eg, eye correction lens Eg, anti-fog eyepiece Eg


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  1. I bought a used Canon Rebel T3 DSLR w/18-55mm lens. There are functions on the camera that I don’t understand, is it possible I can get a manual explaining these functions so I can use the cameras capabilities.

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