Top positive review
3 of 3 people found this helpful
An excellent upgrade!
on April 16, 2015
I have used a Canon T3 for many years. A local store had an offer for an upgrade and I jumped at the opportunity. Below is my review for the Canon T3 which I had posted elsewhere on Amazon:
Was debating between a T3i and this T3. The T3 is excellent for an amateur photographer just learning to use a DSLR. I find it fast enough for my needs (occasional action shooting) but mostly use it to take pics of nature scenes and of stars (lots of time lapse photography). It would have been nice to have the higher resolution LCD panel from the T3i, but this is pretty much the only function I miss. I use the viewfinder to actually take the shot, so only miss it while reviewing photos. The non-swivel display isn't that big of a deal, and 12MP is more than enough unless you plan on having huge prints. If you plan on getting a really fast lens with a large aperture (f2 range) you may want to consider the T3i as it has a better focusing ability for these fast lenses. Overall, very pleased with the camera and would recommend.
Now why did I upgrade? The T3 sensor accumulated dust on the sensor multiple times. I do lots of lens changes and travel quite a bit so this was expected. Canon charges $100 for sensor cleaning or you can purchase the kit and do it yourself. I did the latter option but was finding I was doing this almost after every trip. The T3i's autocleaning sensor was huge for me!
Over the years, I have missed the articulating screen on some shots when I need to raise the camera or shoot from low angles, doesn't happen much, but having it is nice. The higher resolution LCD screen is also much easier to see in direct sunlight.
Points from my previous review that I still agree with are that the 18MP sensor is not really that necessary for me and I don't shoot high speed as often so the increase in focusing speed isn't that noticed (more on this later)
Downsides: It's heavier than the T3 by quite a bit but the build quality seems better. Boot up time is almost 2X as much (due to sensor cleaning and not sure why else). Battery life isn't as good (1/3 less the T3).
I have upgraded the stock lenses to STM lenses. I use polarizing filters and didn't enjoy the rotating anterior portion of the IS II series. Also the STM lenses focus quietly and quickly and full time manual override which is nice. You can read my reviews of the lenses I own at their respective pages. I have the 10-18 STM, 18 - 55 STM, and the 55 - 250 STM.
Now for the important question, do I recommend? In short yes, which is why I upgraded. However, I don't just buy stuff because it has more features; think about whether or not you need the additional functionality. I loved the T3 and it served as a brilliant camera for many years and proved to be rugged enough to handle quite a bit. For instance, the T5i has a touch screen and cross-point focusing for videos and comes with the STM lens out of the box. Personally, I dislike the touch screen, don't shoot video much, and already had an STM lens.
For beginners, get a T3 or T5 and save the extra cash to buy better glass (lens). This is a wonderful camera however and I doubt I'll get another unless it's full frame or I break mine somehow.
Thanks for reading.