Loading...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Canon EOS Rebel T3i Verdict and Video Review



The new Canon EOS Rebel T3i is not a wolf in sheep's clothing waiting to pounce on unsuspecting consumers in the competitive entry level DSLR market. Like fine wine and its predecessor, the Canon EOS Rebel T2i, gets better with time. The time of exactly one year to the day of delivery of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600D to ChadSorianoPhotoBlog.



The 18 megapixel crop CMOS sensored Canon Rebel T3i is not just a Canon Rebel T2i with an articulating screen. It has big features in a small package. The most obvious one is the vari-angle high resolution LCD just like the Canon EOS 60D. The T3i has built in wireless flash control for Canon Speedlites just like the Canon EOS 60D. The T3i has manual audio control for video capture like the Canon EOS 60D. See a familiar pattern? Consider the T3i as a baby 60D. Wait a minute, the T3i replaces the T2i in the Rebel series. Let us finally move on to the T2i now.



My ChadSorianoPhotoBlog is not a Canon wikipedia, so I will only go over the major differences between the T3i and the T2i. The first thing you will notice is the slight change in ergonomics. The T3i has a slightly bigger grip with more non slip rubber areas on the surface of the body along with a taller stance and a bit more depth. All these minute changes were to accommodate the swivel screen. The button layout are well placed like the T2i despite the smaller 4 way controller. It just plain works.



The T3i is marketed to entry level DSLR consumers as well as more advanced prosumers. In other words, there is a lot of built in beginner oriented camera functions that make first time photographers at ease with making good pictures. Like the picture above, the new Creative Filters to the T3i give in camera manipulation of JPEG files effects. I found the "Toy Camera" effect as well as the "Miniature" effect quite convincing. There are plenty of "Scene Intelligent Auto" features otherwise known as fully automatic mode to fill pages of my PhotoBlog. I will now move on to the nitty gritty.



It is all in the details. Skin details. I mean where skin looks like skin and not some mushy digital reproduction of skin. Canon excels in this category. As seen in my Canon Rebel T2i Verdict and the Canon 60D Verdict, the tried and tested 18 megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC IV processor wins the skin detail and dynamic range contest hands down. Canon also carried over the same winning sensor as well as the reliable 9 point focusing system. It plain works,again.



The DIGIC IV processor enables the T3i a native ISO range of 100-6400 plus a digital expansion of 12,800. I can confidently say you can shoot at ISO 1600 all day with no problem. Very clean images. ISO 3200 is good but easily cleaned up in RAW processing. ISO 6400 is for freezing action in dark interiors like cathedrals and church halls, so expect gritty but useful images. ISO 12,800 is for pitch black emergencies. Let the snowfall begin! The picture above is shot at ISO 3200 with ambient light from the restaurant and was processed from RAW with Digital Photo Professional. That is the free software that comes with every Canon DSLR.



Now for the glorious HD video capabilities of the T3i. Just like the T2i, the T3i has 1080p, 720p and 480p video resolutions at various frame rates in both NTSC and PAL. All exposure controls for video and audio are fully manual. You can plug in a stereo microphone in the minijack for external audio capture as well. Full control like this are only found in the more expensive full frame HD DSLR like the Canon 5D Mark II. A particular video feature of interest that cannot be found in the T2i and the 60D is 3x to 10x digital zoom during 1080p video recording. The video above demonstrates the amazing resolution at 3x to 10x. Imagine a 400mm lens with a 1.6x crop factor at 10x digital zoom. That is a 6400mm equivalent focal length. You can video tape a NASA Space Shuttle launch 12 miles away or shoot a lunar eclipse with no problem.



The above T3i Video Test is shot at 1080p at 29.97fps. Edited with iMovie'09 and used Quicktime at best quality to compress the h264 video file. I also used an IGUS Drylin Camera Slider on Benro 3580 legs give the camera some lateral movement during the shots. If you are wary of non linear video editing, the T3i has a new "Video Snapshot Mode". You can shoot 2,4, or 8 second video clips and the camera will do "in camera video editing". The finished sequence is saved to camera's SDHC memory card as a single movie file.



The Verdict? There is nothing entry level about the Rebel T3i except its price. $899 for the kit and $799 for body only. It is so chock full of pro-oriented features that the Rebel T2i will be only a faded Canon memory. The line between novice and advanced photographic tools is grossly blurred. Say good bye to my Rebel T2i and say hello to my new digital friend, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600D.

You can view more pictures, videos and ISO comparisons in my Canon EOS Rebel T3i Gallery.

Stay updated with the latest Canon gear reviews by becoming a Fan on my Facebook Page and following me on Twitter!



***MAJOR UPDATE***

My initial Canon EOS Rebel T4i/650D Video Test is posted here. My Canon EOS Rebel T4i Verdict and Video Review will be coming soon. Make sure you check out all the new features of the new Canon Rebel T4i/650D, it has all sorts of new goodies!


***Major Update***


I just posted my Canon EOS Rebel T4i/650D Verdict and Video Test here.

77 comments:

  1. Chad I am sooooo glad I found your blog! I've been researching a replacement model for my very outdated 20D and found the answers I need here. Thank you! Quick question about video recording with the T3 - what type of external mic did you use in the posted videos and how well does the camera handle low light situations when shooting videos? I'm asking because I plan to use the camera to film how-to craft videos for YouTube and podcasts for my site. Thanks again Chad!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Cris,
    I am former owner of the 2004 Canon 20D with fond memories. As for the T3i microphone, I use the Sennheiser MKE400 shotgun microphone for its small size and portability. It can fit in my camera bag with no problem. A less expensive alternative is the Rode VideoMic. At a retail price of $149, the sound output is very good for voice recording but the larger size is not conducive to travel. The low light capability of video capture depends on fast glass. The kit lens will not suffice with ambient light. You would need some external light source such as CFL continuous lighting or the more expensive LED lights.
    Good luck with your pursuits!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chad,
    Can I ask what your experience has been with the rubber grip on the T2i and how you think the T3i grip compares? I have seen a number of T2is and 60Ds where the grip appears to have enlarged and is slipping off the camera. Albeit, these models have been at places such as B&H and Adorama, where the cameras are handled by thousands (literally) people.

    Many thanks,
    Dimitri

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dimitri,
    I had the Rebel T2i for exactly one year with much use under many conditions except rain. From 40 degree to humid 98 degree weather, the rubber panels never came loose or started to peel. If for some reason the panels started to peel, you can always send the camera under warranty within a year for repair at a Canon service facility. You will be surprised how much wear and tear these cameras can handle. I will give the T3i a photographic workout until the next replacement model arrives. Honestly, I am more worried about the durability of the articulating screen. I am constantly moving it around and opening and closing the LCD.
    I hope that answers your question...thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. Chad,
    Thank you for quick response. I like the camera alot and i think the technology is mature enough to buy and hold for a while. The grip is one issue I had noticed at the retail stores in NYC and had seen periodic reports from users. Could not determine if it was isolated incident or a more pervasive problem.

    Can I be greedy and ask one more question? Or two? How well do you find the autofocus working? I am asking because I am trying to get a better feel for having 1 cross type focus point on the T2i/T3i vs 9 cross type points on the 60D. Clearly, the price difference justifies it, but since I am transitioning from an LX3, I cannot tell at this point. The other question relates to the viewfinder. If you have experience with a pentaprism finder, would be able to give me a sense of how much of a disadvantage the T2i/T3i pentamirror is?

    I promise not to ask any more questions. Many thanks again.

    Kind regards,
    Dimitri

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dimitri,
    No problem and you are very welcome.
    I experienced 99.9% AF reliability using the center focus point with any Canon DSLR since the very first Rebel and 10D. Obviously, center point is not very practical when shooting sports or anything that you want to compose on the fly. I personally tried and tested the most recent 1D Mark IIn,III,and IV,5D Mark II,7D,60D,40D,30D,20D,10D,Xt,Xti,XS,T1i,T2i and finally the T3i AF systems myself in real world applications. The 1D series is 99.9% reliable in AF using any other points other than center with f/2.8 or faster lenses. The 7D I had about 95% reliability using a f/2.8 lens in the outer points. That is about it. All the other cameras including the full frame 5D Mark II, I had very spotty and soft results using the outer points with f/2.8 and f/4 lenses. I have learned my AF lesson using anything other than a 1D series when it comes to accurate AF. The 1D series is not a perfect AF beast but I am less likely to "oof" the shot. Since I only use the reliable and accurate center AF point in the T3i,T2i and the 60D, they are equivalent AF systems in real world applications in my opinion.
    As for the T3i/T2i pentamirror versus the 60D's pentaprism, the 60D gives you a brighter and less tunnel like vision in the viewfinder. This is very useful if you shoot low light scenes but you give up the convenience of the smaller form factor of the T3i/T2i. If you want to travel light, the T3i wins hands down.
    Feel free to ask more questions on my Facebook wall. Just become a Fan on my Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter to stay updated and post any questions that you have.
    Good Luck with your choice!

    ReplyDelete
  7. As someone trying to decide between a 60D and a 600D, I found your review very informative. I only wish Canon made the choices easier ;-) These two cameras seem very close in terms of features and quality.

    I'm coming from a 450D and would like a real "step up" with my next camera. I shoot a range of subjects, but probably most are in the landscape category.

    You've handled and used both. What are your thoughts on the matter? BTW, I usually use a 24-105, 10-22 and 50/1.8

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the T3i/600D because of all the features they pack in a small size. Once in a while, I like to go light and leave my Canon 1D Mark IV at home.
    The 60D has a brighter and wider viewfinder. You might prefer the less tunnel like view for your wide landscapes.You maybe accustomed to the 450D form factor, but you will "feel" a substantial upgrade to the 60D.
    If I had to choose between the two cameras with the lenses you listed, I would go with the T3i/600d. With the few dollars saved, I would sell the 24-105mm f/4L IS and purchase the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. The lens is crazy sharp, has IS and the color is equal or better than the 24-105. Obviously, with the less focal length lost, you can make that up with the wonderful Digital Zoom feature of the T3i/600D. I can say this with confidence because I own and use the equipment listed.
    Good luck with your choice!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good comments Chad, thank you. I chose the 24-105 because I love the reach of the lens and it pairs really well with my 10-22. Further, I think it will hold its value well over the years and offer me a wider range of body choices over the EF-S 17-55. Lastly, I'm not sure the digital zoom on the T3i would buy me much; I don't have an interest in video, and I can always "manually" apply a digital zoom in post processing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Chad,

    Excellent reviews. I am also trying to decide between cameras and Canon is making my decision very difficult. I currently have a Rebel XTi (450D I think) and up until reading about the new T3i, I was committed to buying a 7D. What are your thoughts on the T3i versus the 7D.

    I am a prosumer type, have a variety of Canon lenses from 50mm 1.4 to 10-22mm EFS, etc. I am looking at the 7D for both video and still photos.

    Based on the similarities in performance, and the few differences, now I'm totally unsure what to get. Having used both, what do you think?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kurt,

    Although the 7D shares the same sensor as the T2i,T3i and the 60D, the major difference is in the increased AF performance and more AF points. If you were inclined to shoot still sport pictures where you need the flexibility of composition and movable AF points, the 7D is a notch below the 1D series in AF performance.
    If you do not want the increased size of the 7D and you are already accustom to the Xti form factor, the Rebel T3i will fit your hands well and is very portable.
    As for video, the 7D does not have manual audio control over video capture and does not have the 3x-10x digital zoom like the T3i.
    My suggestion is the T3i considering your lenses and your photographic needs.
    Good Luck with your choice!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Greetings Chad,
    Thanks for your insight on this new model, I'm glad I found your blog. I have an interesting opportunity -- I purchased a Nikon D5000 about 15 months ago and quick story, Best Buy is replacing it. I have a chance at a credit and am thinking of placing it toward the T3i. Two questions: 1. Will I be disappointed? and 2. What one lens would you recommend that would allow me to use just one and go between wide angle/portrait and zoom? I am just an enthusiast, but I'm learning. The store clerk suggested the 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6 as I am hoping to carry only one lens. I look forward to your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.

    Joe Alcodray

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Chad

    Thank you for your great review of the Canon T3i

    After reading it, I plan to buy one.

    Though I will shoot pics with the camera my main reason for purchase will be to shoot Music Videos with it to promote my band/music

    Can you tell me what lens you used to shoot the video with the T3i on this review page ?

    And If I can only buy one lens with this camera keeping in mind Video is my main purpose,....which lens would you recommend ?

    Thanks

    Michael Schroeder

    ReplyDelete
  14. Joe Alcodray,

    I have personal experience with the Nikon D5000. Released right after the D90 as the lower priced alternative, I quickly gave it my photo and video inspection. Compared to the T3i, the D5000 has 720p video at 24fps, no manual video or audio control, a complicated menu and an outdated video codec (AVI).Take this Best Buy opportunity and run with the T3i out the door. You will be impressed with the out of the box image quality even with the kit lens.
    As for the all in one lens, I suggest the newly improved and recently released version II of the Tamron 18-270 VC Piezo AF lens over the recently recalled Canon EF-S 18-200mm zoom lens. I had the Canon lens and it is very soft and grainy over the very sharp Tamron. You can find the Tamron at a reputable online establishment or a local brick and mortar.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Michael Schroeder,

    I used two lenses with the videos I shot with the T3i. The first is the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L and the second is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS.
    Choosing one all around lens to shoot music videos is difficult. Predominantly, all in one lenses are not very light sensitive because they have to cover a very long focal length range. Choosing inexpensive but fast prime lenses such as the EF 50mm f/1.8 and the EF 35mm f/2 can give you the flexibility of two practical focal lengths on crop sensors with dreamy bokeh.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You forgot to mention that the T3I shoots 110 LESS photos per battery charge than the T2I in your review

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Chad

    Follow up question if you don't mind.

    Is there a better quality for the money alternative I should consider for Shooting Music Videos in either a camera or Camcorder than the T3i and a EF 50mm f/1.8 lens ?

    Thanks in advance, I appreciate it
    Michael Schroeder

    ReplyDelete
  18. You can save $100 by purchasing the older Rebel T2i but you will not have manual audio control over audio or a swivel screen. The major difference between HD DSLR's and conventional consumer camcorders is the use of 35mm SLR lenses that give you that dreamy bokeh.

    ReplyDelete
  19. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20030685-1.html?tag=mncol;3n

    According to this, the shutter speed is not adjustable?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Buying it in May. Thanks! I'm so excited!

    -Karina Love
    karinalove.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Chad
    I'm new to the whole doing video with a DSLR and using a T3i in this way,.....Can I get by initially with careful movement during filming handheld with any possibility or realistically do I need a handheld stabilizer like this one at
    http://www.camotionllc.com/

    and if it is essential to have a handheld stabilizer,.....is there something cheaper that works as well than this ?

    Thanks

    Mike Schroeder

    ReplyDelete
  22. Michael,

    I shoot hand held video most of the time because of convenience and time. I utilize the "IS" of the lens with a good steady grip. With practice, you will manage a smooth technique. Otherwise, I use a fluid head on tripod legs.
    As for the Blackbird stabilizer, I have not personally tried this brand but this unit is reasonably priced compared to many of its competitors. In my opinion, hand held stabilizers add production value to a shoot but require above average time and care to move from one platform to another. For example, I need to go from stabilizer to tripod and to some other device like a camera slider. The lack of quick interchangeability makes a time consuming feat for a one person production. If you are looking for this smooth video production for your work, give Blackbird a try. Google is your friend!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Very nice clips Chad!

    I was looking at the new Canon XA 10 pro-sumer camcorder, but it is a bit out of my price range at $1999.00. Seeing your videos have inspired me to look at the T3i for video, but I would like your opinion on this.

    I will be recording my 13 year old son's football games. Most blogs I have read say the DSLR's will overheat over longer recording times, but football plays are only 30 seconds or less at a time.

    I am very interested in the artistic freedom the T3i would offer over a camcorder. The issues with football and sports is the distance - they happen far from where you are standing. I can move a tripod along the sideline, but there is still a good deal of distance between camera and players.

    Have you ever tried recording sports like this, and if so, what type of lens would be best for this application?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you Scott for the compliment!

    I had to photograph and video tape my daughter's soccer games last year and I had no problems using my Canon HD DSLR's.
    First, you can overcome the overheating problems by just disabling the live view of video capture with a flick of the mode dial of the T3i. Keeping the live view off in between plays keeps the sensor cool. Second, you will need a tripod with a small fluid video head such as the Manfrotto 701HDV head. You want to keep it light so you can quickly run up and down the sidelines without exhausting yourself. Third, since most games are usually in the middle of the day in midday sun, ambient light should be very bright. You can use the inexpensive zoom kit lenses such as the EF-S 75-300. If you shoot at night or sunset, faster lenses will help out your movie exposure. Fourth, you want to shoot video at apertures above f/8. That will give you a wide depth of field so everything will be in focus and you will not have to follow focus constantly. Check out my soccer post in this link here...
    http://www.chadsorianophotoblog.com/2010/04/cheetahs-win-first-soccer-game-of.html
    Good luck with your choice!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for the advice Chad.

    I took a look at the soccer video, and it looked good at it's smaller, un-stretched size. Did you use different techniques than the recent T3i videos? When I stretch to full screen, it looks really pixelated. The new T3i videos appear to be on YouTube, and allow 1080p viewing.

    Thanks Again.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Scott,

    Unfortunately, I did not post that video on Youtube and the embedded Soccer video plays only 480p by default. To see the 1080p version, you have to go the gallery link in the soccer post and view the video again in a better resolution. SmugMug has not perfected the HD embed yet like Youtube. On top of that, the SmugMug embed is not even HTML 5 compatible. It is only HTML 5 in their full galleries.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Chad,

    I'm considering the move to DSLR from the Powershot series. I currently shoot a LOT of (amateurish) video on my travels for use in my elementary school classroom and love using the megazoom lens to bring versatility and "reach" to the videos. Is the digital zoom mode automatic? (I'd prefer not to adjust the camera lens while shooting video.)

    Also, would it be wiser to buy the T3i with the supplied kit lens, or save $100 by buying the T3i (body only) and invest in purchasing an all-in-one lens that brings more "zoom" to the video while not forgetting its close-up/wide-angle capabilities for still pics? OK, maybe I'm asking for the ultimate one-size-fits-all lens (which doesn't exist). But I'm curious to know what lens you'd recommend if I bought the T3i body only. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Duane,
    It is a major leap forward from Powershot to HD DSLR concerning video as well as stills. What you give up in portability with the Powershots, you gain much more in versatility and overall image quality. Of course, this comes at a large learning curve. If this is your first real DSLR, expect some difficulty but do not lose hope. The T3i is catered to the beginner with its in camera video editing and creative filters to in camera JPEGS.
    As for the supplied kits lens, the EF-S 18-135mm IS is the best overall value. For the price, the lens is sharp and versatile and is a major step up in quality over the EF-S 18-55mm by far. If money is not an issue, buying the new and improved Tamron 18-270mm VC with Piezo drive AF is your best bet for an all around lens. The new version of the 18-270 is smaller and has faster AF than the previous version. The lens is sharp and the built in Vibration Control feature for image stabilization rivals the Canon counterpart.
    The digital zoom mode of the T3i is not automatic like the Powershot series. You do need a tripod because the minimal digital zoom is 3x. On top of that, to enable digital zoom you have to go in the "Q" menu and then with two fingers press the "Disp" button and index button at the same time to zoom. Definitely not automatic but not impossible.
    Good luck with your choice!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm going to sound so dumb when I ask this, but can you zoom like that with pictures? Does it have a digital zoom?
    Please & thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Chad,

    I'm considering buying a tripod and head to shoot videos with my Rebel T3i. Which would you recommend me?

    Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  31. @Smo,
    Unfortunately, the 3x-10x digital zoom is only for video capture and not for still pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  32. @EVELIO,
    The best fluid video head for the money and size is the Manfrotto 701 HDV head. For a street price around $140, the 701 HDV head is the perfect size for the compact T3i. As for legs, you have many choices. My personal favorite is the Benro 3580 aluminum tripod legs. They maybe a little on the big side but they are very stable. My second choice would be the Manfrotto 190XB series. A little thin for my taste but very compact for travel.

    Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great Chad! I'm very grateful. I appreciate your help.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Chad
    I am looking to move into the DSLR land. I love the reviews I have read about the Canon T3i and am swayed that way. I have an Canon EOS rebel and some lenses with it. I would rather not have to purchase a new zoom lens if I don't have to. Can you advise if the lens I have will function on the Canon T3i? It is a Canon Ultrasonic EF 75-300

    ReplyDelete
  35. Yes, of course your existing EF 75-300 will work with the Canon T3i. Your concerns are noted about compatibility because Canon does have a dedicated line of lenses for crop sensor cameras such as the T3i called EF-S. An example of an EF-S lens is the EF-S 18-55mm kit lens that comes T3i combo kit. As you already have existing lenses, I would go with body only.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi I have the t3i also, my video quality can be grainy sometimes. Do u know why this might be? I use the 24-70mm L f4. Appreciate any help.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Florence Rabago,
    The grain you see in your video comes from the high ISO settings on your T3i. You want to shoot video with manual settings and not automatic settings. If you rotate the mode dial to movies and press the menu button, you can access the manual and automatic mode for video. As for settings, HD DSLR purists like 1/60th shutter speed and ISO 160 for 30fps or 1/50th shutter speed and ISO 160 for 24fps. You can use whatever aperture you want. If you must have automatic video exposure, you need more light in your video scenes to prevent the camera from increasing the ISO gain.
    I hope that helps.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am wondering if you can shoot the video and stills at the same time?

    ReplyDelete
  39. @Ricki,

    Yes, you can shoot still pictures while in movie mode before and during video recording in Live View Mode. Two things will happen though. In movie mode, the T3i will apply the 16x9 crop to your 3x2 aspect ratio photograph only on the LCD. The JPEG file is untouched. The second thing is taking a still picture during video recording will momentarily pause the video capture and resume recording when the camera is finished with the in camera processing. I would not suggest interrupting your video recording unless you think the picture is better than video. I hope that helps.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am currently working a web project, and we are shooting it using a friends 7D. I am considering to personally buy the T3i just for personal use. I was wondering if we decided to use the 7d and t3i to get two angles shot at once in video would we see a difference in quality?

    ReplyDelete
  41. @The Not So Starving Actor,
    The 7D and the T3i share the identical crop sensor and yield the same video quality using the same lenses. The major differences are the ISO increments, the maximum shutter speed and HDMI output. The ideal ISO for DSLR video capture is ISO 160 and the T3i only has increments of 100. The T3i has a max shutter speed of 1/4000 and the 7D has a max of 1/8000. The default HDMI output during recording for external monitors is 480p for the T3i and full resolution for the 7D. Despite these technical differences, using identical quality glass and similar video settings will make no discernible differences in your video.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hey Chad,
    I'm interested in getting better gear for my church services. All we have right now are consumer HD camcorders.
    How will this camera do with live video feeds straight to a computer that streams it onto the internet?

    ReplyDelete
  43. @James Figs,
    At this time, the only way to view real time video is through the HDMI port of the T3i and the tethered USB connection to a computer using the supplied Canon EOS Utility software. The video quality of the HDMI output varies from Canon camera to Canon camera. The T3i outputs only a SD 640x480 resolution while only the 7D and the 1D Mark IV outputs a Full HD signal. If you can harness the HDMI output of several cameras, you can manipulate the video feed anyway you want. As for the Canon EOS Utility software that is supplied with the camera, you can only have a Live View of what the camera is seeing. You cannot capture video only capture still pictures using the software. But using this method, you would need a computer for each camera and another piece of software capturing the video. If you Google "Canon EOS Utility Video Capture", you will discover several videos demonstrating HD DSLR's as webcams. I hope this advice helps...

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Chad, After reading many reviews such as yours, I'm planning on purchasing the Rebel T3i this weekend, but am wondering about the 12.2 MP vs. 18 MP. I've read comments on-line that 18 MP isn't necessary and that money would be better spent on a higher quality lens. Would you agree? I'm new to the DSLR world and don't need anything incredibly fancy. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  45. @ktheo,

    I completely agree with you about megapixels. More megapixels does not necessarily mean better image quality and investing in good glass is a primary factor.
    Camera manufacturer's race for the highest megapixels is a marketing ploy especially in the point and shoot camera market. The general public does not consider image sensor size, proprietary image processors, CCD or CMOS type sensors and even lens quality when it comes to DSLR's. They look at price and megapixels.
    Even though the highest entry level camera of the Rebel's lineup is the T3i, Canon hit the mark on bang for the buck. The features you get with the T3i are unmatched with the other Rebels for less money. The marginal increase in price gives you unparalleled features such as full manual control over video, manual control over audio for video, digital zoom at Full HD, remote flash control for Canon flashes and articulating screen. Too top it all off, the ISO capabilities of the T3i are amazing. ISO 3200 is a dream to shoot in low light with good glass.The T3i is the number one choice out of the line Rebel DSLR's.
    Good luck with your choice!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Muy bueno tu blog Soriano, me compré la t3i sin ninguna experiencia en video dsrl, pero estoy más contento que usando cámara de video, me permite una creatividad mejor, ahora estoy probando cinestyle y la verdad me encanta, puedo crear mejor con este estilo crudo de imagen....con estas cámaras dsrl la diversión y la creatividad en la edición están aseguradas.
    gracias
    Jorge

    ReplyDelete
  47. Jorge,
    Gracias por el cumplido. El T3i/600D Rebelde es una réflex digital impresionante que dispara gran video. Buena suerte con su trabajo creativo.

    gracias, Chad Soriano

    ReplyDelete
  48. One question Chad. Can the T3I do a miniature or tilt-shift video like the G12 can do? I recently bought one but I don't have it as yet and was curious since I have a G12 as well.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Ivan C,
    Unfortunately, the miniature effect on the T3i is only for still images. The only effects on video recording are picture style, white balance, exposure, DOF, auto lighting optimizer, peripheral illumination correction, highlight tone priority and 1080p 3x-10x digital video zoom.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Chad... prospect of being able to make movies of twin granddaughters sold me on the T3i... but can't get it to work... I mean it takes movies but in play back they have interference and color banding. I use a transcent class 10, 32gig card. Same happens with indoor and outdoor shooting. What am I doing wrong?
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  51. @eyesofhumor,
    Sorry to hear about your video troubles. I suggest you shoot in manual movie mode. In movie mode on the control dial, go to the menu and set camera to manual settings to capture video. The interference and color banding in playback sounds like the "ISO" going to an extreme setting like 6400. This will make your video really noisy like you described. As for manual video settings, HD DSLR purists like to shoot a wide open aperture with a shutter speed between 1/50th and 1/60th of a second with an ISO of 160. Of course in the real world, those settings are not practical. In reality, keep the ISO to a reasonable level like under ISO 1600 and adjust the aperture and shutter speed to keep exposure correct. Your flash memory class speed is fine. I use the exact same brand and class. Good luck Cindy.
    Thanks, chad

    ReplyDelete
  52. Thanks, Chad... I'll try what you suggest and let you know how it works out!
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Chad,
    I was in the market for a camcorder to video my kids surfing and at swim meets(10sec to 2min clips). HD cameras have less digital zoom, so to get enough digital zoom to get close I'd have to go with a SD camera. I currently own a T1i and a canon 70-300 do is usm lens. This gets me close (not close enough for some surf breaks). I saw your blog and wondered if upgrading to the T3i might be a better direction to explore? Any advice?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Lynne,

    I understand your need to get in close with a digital zoom. The T3i will digitally zoom in video really well but any fast moving shots will have a choppy motion for your subjects. I attempted this digital video zoom feature during the Tampa, Florida Dragon Boat Races over the summer. The captured video using the digital zoom turned out horrible. I chose the optical zoom route with my EF 300mm f/4L telephoto lens with a EF 1.4x extender. Sony has a Full HD camcorder with a 42x digital zoom. It is the Sony HDR-CX160 High-Definition Handycam Camcorder. My buddy at www.Getawaymoments.com uses the previous model (CX150) for his Supermoon videos. So in conclusion, I would go with the CX160 for the most economical route to capture surfers and swimmers. If you could save up for fast ultra telephoto lenses, I would use the T3i. I hope this helps out.

    ReplyDelete
  55. My bad, I wrote digital zoom rather than optical zoom. Going with an SD camcorder would give me better optical zoom. Would SD with a high optical zoom be better than HD with digital zoom? Ugh, so confusing. I can't afford to upgrade my DSLR and buy the fast ultra telephoto. Thanks for your time.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Chad, I purchased my first "real" camera in June and it was the Canon T3i. Now, I'm definitely a beginner. I have been to many websites inquiring about importing video from the camera to edit on my Apple using Final Cut Pro X. Each site has basically indicated that a person like me must go through many steps in order to import and edit video from the T3i on FCPX. Can you help me with "baby steps" so I can get started? I would appreciate any helpful advice or thorough step-by-step website that might help me. Thanks, Lane (By the way, I worked at "Big13" many years ago and worked with Col. Ernie Lee, Breakfast Beat and Pulse Plus

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Lane,
    Unfortunately I have not jumped into the Final Cut Pro X bandwagon yet. I am still happy with Final Cut 6.0.6 and iMovie'11. According to my brief reading on FCX, the T3i video files should just import and play smoothly in the timeline. I know with FCP 6, I have to transcode the T3i video files into AppleProRes422 just to play smoothly on my computer. I am sorry I could not help out a fellow former Channel 13 comrade. You will enjoy the T3i very much. It is a great camera.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi Chad,
    Thanks for your comments regarding the T3i and Final Cut Pro X. I really enjoy looking at your photoblog and always enjoy seeing insight you provide to others. Several years ago I attended an Advanced Photography class while a homicide investigator with the Florida Highway Patrol. We used 35mm film cameras at that time. While there, I learned about "Flash Painting". With my new Canon T3i, is there a possibility of doing the same with type of photography with a digital camera over the "old" 35mm film types. Thanks, Lane

    ReplyDelete
  59. Lane,

    Thank you for all the compliments about my PhotoBlog. As for "flash painting" with the T3i, the Canon DSLR is more than capable to open up the shutter for a long exposure. As with a film camera, you can shoot a very long exposure in the "bulb" setting and paint the scene with a flash light. In manual mode in the control dial, you can set the shutter speed to the slowest at 30 seconds or "bulb". In Tv mode, you can only set the shutter to 30 seconds. It has been a long time since I shot with the "bulb" setting. My only suggestion is to practice with different settings to find the right balance between minimal ISO grain and correct exposure. Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hi Chad, This is great review of the T3i. I was sold on it, but then started to look at comparisons with the 60d and am second guessing myself. I am a beginner to DSLR but I am really looking to get into the wedding business eventually. Do you think the 60d would be a better camera to 'grow into' since I want to go pro? Or would the T3i be just as good for less money? I am interested in both video and stills, but probably would want to do video professionally as I have a degree in video production (I wish they had taught DSLR classes!).

    And after all that, I would also like to know which lenses you recommend I buy first to go with the camera? Thanks Chad!!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Megan, do not underestimate the T3i. It is a very capable camera for the price. I like to tell everybody image quality comes from the lens and not from the camera. Depending on your total budget, the $200 difference between the 60D and T3i can be invested in good glass. Canon upgrades their cameras quite often with newer and better features but good lenses stay the same. As for lenses, the ultimate lens I use with a crop sensor such as the T3i is the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. Quite pricey at $1100 but it is a fast, very sharp and stabilized lens good for handheld video capture. A less expensive alternative is the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC for exactly half the price. If your budget is lower, a good starter lens is the EF 50mm f/1.8. For around $100, you get fast glass but it is a little tight on the focal length for most. I hope this helps out. Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  62. i have this camera,, i wanted shoot, like a short film, or music video, what lens, is good for this type of action
    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi Jesse, may I suggest for the budget filmmaker the Canon EF 35mm f/2 and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8. For a street price of $330 and $120 respectively, these lenses give the greatest bang for the buck. The 35mm give a focal equivalent of 50mm on a crop sensor at a fast f/2 aperture. The 50mm lens gives you a 85mm equivalent on a crop sensor at f/1.8. These lenses will throw the background out of focus at a practical focal length for a budget price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you, i really appropriate the response.

      Delete
  64. Great info and a great review. Just got my T3i, even though the T4i just came out today (don't know if I'll ever stay up on the curve). But very excited to flex the muscle that this great camera offers. I have the 50mm 1.8 as well as the 18-200 3.5 and am really excited to get going with this beauty. Thanks again for the info and videos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dag, Thank you for the compliments.Your T3i is a very capable camera, you will not be disappointed. Your lenses are good but the new EF 40mm pancake lens is a great bargain also. For $199, it is affordable, portable and super sharp.
      Good luck!

      Delete
  65. Hey Chad, I have a Canon T3i and want to explore more of the dslr filmmaking with it. I'm wanting to purchase a Konova slider and a Tokina 11mm-16mm lens for my camera. Have you had any experience or can offer any advice with these two items? Thanks Lane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lane,

      The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is a great choice for the T3i. The Tokina is the fastest wide angle zoom for crop sensors on the market and would make a great pair for the T3i.
      I checked out the Konova Slider website and was impressed with slider specs. The major features that I noticed were the ball bearings, the various length choices and price. May I suggest the 39 inch slider because I find that length to be the most useful for slider movement. Unless you are traveling extensively, 39 inches is adequate in my opinion. I personally have the IGUS Drylin slider that I bought for around $100 but it does not have ball bearings. I hope this helps and good luck!

      thanks, chad soriano

      Delete
  66. Hi Chad, Thanks for your response. I live in the Sarasota area and don't do a lot of the mail-order. I went to the the North Tampa Photography web site. Not sure if the Tokina lenses are sold there of if they carry items for DSLR filmmaking such as the Konova Slider or Blackbird or Flycam Nano camera stabilizers. Are you aware and advise on reliable sources for these types of items? Thanks, Lane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lane,
      North Tampa Photography sells Tokina lenses for Canon mount. Just call if they have the 11-16mm f/2.8 in stock before you drive up there. As for sliders, they carry Genus and Dotline brand. They do not carry stabilizers such as you mentioned. You have to order the Konova slider from their website. Blackbird gear can be found on the B&H Photo Video website. Unfortunately, the Flycam stabilzer is on unfamiliar websites that are questionable IMHO. FYI, Amazon has my IGUS W1080B slider in stock and sold through Amazon LLC. I hope this helps...I would speak to Eric Bunch at North Tampa Photography for more specific DSLR film equipment they can personally order for you.
      thanks, chad soriano

      Delete
  67. Hi Chad,

    Thanks for the great write up on the T3i. But what I found even better were all the awesome responses to all the questions. Very nice to see someone putting in the time.

    My question (and dilemma) is I'm concerned about durability and usability compared to the 60D. Would a 60D be a better choice in that regard? Or does MagicLantern level the playing field and in some cases, make the T3i a better choice?

    I shoot lots of video and have been doing so on a Canon HF10 but want to shoot DSLR video. Some of the videos are for myself and others are for client work. I have a 30D and a 24-85mm USM lens.

    Another factor is that the T3i is about $400 cheaper here in South Korea than the 60D. So, what do you think? T3i and get accessories, lenses, etc, or a 60D?

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

    Carl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carl,

      Thanks for the compliments.

      Shooting video with a DSLR is not like conventional camcorders like your HF10. There is no reliable AF during recording, your video recording time limit at one time on the T3i and 60D is around 12 to 15 minutes and good quality glass determines video quality. With that said, a DSLR takes advantage of fast glass with beautiful out of focus backgrounds and outputs a cinematic look.

      As for the T3i and 60D debate, save your money with the T3i and invest in good glass such as the EF 40mm f/2.8 pancake or even better the Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 prime lens. The 60D is going to get replaced in September anyways and IMHO the T3i is still a great camera at a great price.

      Sincerely, Chad Soriano

      Delete
  68. I have one question! I have a choice between canon 100D and 700D
    I can not understand what to buy better = (
    What can you advise when choosing these cameras for shooting video
    Thx =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only suggest the 700D over the 100d for the useful swivel screen and larger battery capacity. IMHO, if you are going to spend the money on a 700D, I would invest in the new Canon EOS 70D for the fabulous AF during video recording. I am currently working on my upcoming Canon EOS 70D Video Test...

      Delete