I’m Choosing Canon’s T3i DSLR Camera

I first saw this one Engadget, then I trotted over to Canon’s site and then Amazon’s listing. This camera looks great! The funny thing is that I am in the market for an entry level DSLR, and was just talking to Michael about it Sunday. I had decided to get the T2i, which Michael highly recommends, especially since it is getting some hacking community love with the Magic Lantern hack. FYI, Michael previously discussed the T2i, the 7D, the 60D, and the 5D Mark II.

Here are the reasons I decided on the T2i, and how the T3i compares.

  1. Canon glass. All I ever hear is how great Canon glass is. Now, to be fair I’ve heard about other glass being superior, but I don’t know enough about it to judge. So, listening to people I trust, who are in the photography field, I find Canon lenses highly regarded. How does the T3i fare in this regard? Well, it is a Canon, so…
  2. HD Video. Yes, it is a still camera, technically, but the most exciting thing about the DSLR space is the ever-increasing capabilities for capturing amazing HD video. I’ve seen the 7D’s ability first hand, as Michael shoots all our video with that camera – well except for the live streaming stuff. The T2i gives you 18-megapixels that you can get with the 7D. Just like the 7D, the T2i also gives you selectable frame rates for full HD. While the T2i doesn’t give you the 50-fps and 60-fps options, it’s still more than capable for my purposes, and it’s half the cost of a 7D. Ok, so how does the T3i stack-up? Well, it has the same functionality of the T2i, plus the new digital movie zoom feature that gives you true HD quality zooms – not just digitally re-sized, but pulled off the CMOS at full resolution at 10x! Sweet!
  3. Magic Lantern. The “coolest” draw to the T2i has to be the Magic Lantern hack. Michael just could not say enough about it. From what I read, it brings theĀ  T2i’s capabilities very close to much more expensive cameras. What about the T3i? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see if the Magic Lantern folks release a port for the T3i.

Now, here’s the big reason I will be pre-ordering the T3i instead of the T2i: the new tilt-out screen. The benefit of the tilt-out is the ability to do low slung and above the crowd shots a lot easier.

UPDATE! Magic Lantern for the 600D/T3i is finally here!

13 Replies to “I’m Choosing Canon’s T3i DSLR Camera”

  1. Looks like the Tilt out screen and crop sensor are the biggest improvements! I want one.. if they bring the magic lantern hack to it :)

  2. Good stuff Herb. I just got my first Canon DSLR last year but it doesn’t have video. I’m going to take some classes and once I’m more comfortable with the manual settings, I’ll probably upgrade to something like this.

  3. I’ve been seriously considering getting a T2i, but now I’m not sure. Because the T3i is a little more I’d have to wait a little while to get one. So, for right now I’ll just have to wait.

  4. I was reading you said “except the live streaming stuff”. I love the T3i but I’m trying to find out if you can use it to stream. So do you not use it to stream because it doesn’t allow you to or another reason? If I can get a camera that can take stills, shoot great HD video and stream that would be ideal.

    1. thanks for commenting! Here’s the deal – they all have HDMI out for playing back recorded video and it works great. The problem is with the live viewing – every quality DSLR I’ve come across allows live monitoring in HD, but as soon as you hit record, they revert to 480i. 480i is not the end of the world for streaming, but these cameras do not provide a clean monitor feed – it has all the camera info stuff, like focus box, exposure meter, and safe boxes. The cleanest I could get the monitor display still has the safe box and the focus box, which is smack dab in the middle of the screen. So, while you can get an image to feed, it’s not a clean view, and would look pretty stupid streamed. Camcorders do not have this issue.

      1. Recently bought a T3i. I was hoping to use the HDMI out into a Matrox MX02 mini for use in live streaming. The salesperson told me you could get full HD out via HDMI, but now I see that the display is not clean (focus box, etc).

        Does the Magic Lantern firmware resolve this?

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