Canon Announces Successors to the Popular Rebel T2i: New T3i and Lower-End T3 Introduced

Canon today announced the T3i and T3, which will succeed the wildly popular Rebel T2i when they ship in early March. The T3i, also known as the EOS 600D in non-US markets, retains the same 1080p HD video options as the T2i, while the lower-end (and cheaper) T3 offers only 720p. As a result, the T3i will be the focus of DSLR cinematographers, and the new model brings with it a couple of key features:

The first is the articulating LCD screen, as seen on the higher-end Canon 60D. This is a huge help for shooting high- and low-angle videos, since you don't need to be directly behind the camera body to see an articulating screen. In fact, the 18 megapixel APS-C sensor should be the same as the 60D as well, which means that the 60D's differences will generally be in the handling, top screen (the Rebel line has no such top LCD screen), build quality, and weatherproofing.

The second significant new feature is full HD sensor crop in video mode. To the best of my knowledge this is a first for Canont, and it's a highly valuable feature for long (telephoto/zoom) shots. The Panasonic GH2 already has this feature, which works like this: because a DSLR has a much higher resolution in still mode (in the case of the T3i, 18 megapixels in still mode and two megapixels in video), by only using the central pixels on the sensor, the camera can zoom in on an image -- in full resolution -- without any light loss. This means your 135mm lens can effectively become a 1350mm lens! Not all sensor crops are the same, so this number may not be precise, but suffice to say -- the sensor crop feature is a big one, and while it was available in the past in VGA resolution, the T3i's upgrade to Full HD is likely an indication that all future Canon HDSLRs will have such a feature. It remains to be seen how well it will work, but barring any serious errors, this should be a great addition.

However, beyond these two new features, the T3i uses the same DIGIC IV processor that Canon has been using for two years (and, as it features only one, it will not be able to output 1080p through HDMI, as do the Canon 7D and 1D Mark IV). It will likely suffer from the same aliasing problems as all prior Canon HDSLRs. This is to be expected, as I doubt Canon would introduce a brand-new video mode in a lower-end consumer model; we will more likely see a significant revision to the codec/bitrate/resolution/frame rate with, say, the unannounced-but-expected 5D Mark III.

Here's the requisite marketing video:

Video is no longer available:

The Rebel T3i starts at $799.99 for the body only. Kit options include a bundle with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II zoom lens for $899.99 or with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens for $1099.00. The lower-end Rebel T3, which looks like it is only available bundled with Canon’s new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II zoom lens, will retail for $599.99.

T3i and T3 Specifications

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

  • 18 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 Imaging processor
  • ISO range of 100 to 6,400
  • 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) video capture at up to 30fps
  • 3.0-inch Vari-angle rotatable Clear View LCD (1.04 million dot res.)
  • SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card compatible
  • Pop-up Flash
  • External flashgun shoe and integrated camera Speedlite settings

Canon EOS Rebel T3

  • 12.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 Imaging processor
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II zoom lens
  • Nine-point auto-focus system
  • 63-zone dual-layer metering system
  • 2.7-inch TFT LCD (230k dot res.)
  • ISO range of 100 to 6,400
  • 720p HD (1280 x 720 pixels) video capture at up to 30fps
  • SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card compatible
  • Pop-up Flash, Basic+ beginner mode

Link: Canon Rebel T3i / EOS 600D Hands-on Preview -

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Your Comment


Canon please. hurry. Need the 10X digital zoom firmware for 60D, 7Dm 5DII . . . :(

February 7, 2011 at 8:36AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Amila C

And my 60D arrives tomorrow!

Its nice that canon have adopted the vari-angle screen as they call it on another body. I found mine on my Fujifilm camera so invaluable that I was amazed it wasn't included on many other cameras.

I look forward to all the new videos that people start to make with these latest additions to the market place!

February 7, 2011 at 8:51AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Anyone else see the problem of coming out with two cameras with a single letter, at the end of the title, differentiating them?

February 7, 2011 at 8:54AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

David Fulde

I guess they sort of do this already with the 1D and 1Ds...

February 7, 2011 at 2:33PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ryan Koo

so the new T3i drops the 720p/60fps option that the T2i has? Thats whack, seems like they're trying to get people to move more toward the 60D (which I own) for HDSLR use...

February 7, 2011 at 3:20PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


no, it doesn't

it's basically the same as the t2i, plus:
* more confortable grip
* swivel screen
* movie zoom mode in 1080p

not revolutionary in any sense, but an amazing bang for your buck (if they port magic lantern to it)

February 8, 2011 at 1:04AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Yea, I see it now. Thanks. Yea not a big upgrade at all, but the variable screen is nice. Still waiting for Magic Lantern for 60D to be released (I don't want to have to estimate 2.35:1 aspect anymore.)

February 8, 2011 at 8:52AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I wonder if this LCD screen will rotate 180 so I can no longer walk backwards with a steadicam. Anyone know?

February 8, 2011 at 5:02AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I really don't think that sensor crop should be a great addition. I think that's something revolutionary, provided, of course, it really works - no quality loss. What if I can have an image similar to a 500mm f1.4 with a regular 50mm lens? I might be happy with one only lens!
Pity I can't find samples - there's one at Gizmodo, but it's horrible.

February 9, 2011 at 7:06AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


with 10x "digital zoom" (which is a more common term for what this sensor crop actually means), your 50mm f/1.4 becomes a 500mm, with f/1.4 in terms of light sensitivity, but f/14 in terms of DoF

February 10, 2011 at 2:13AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Looks like a digital zoom. Not the GH2's extended teleconvert mode, which is a true sensor crop. Maybe 2x is a true sensor crop but anything after 2.6x is doing some funky processing.

March 1, 2011 at 6:56AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Everyone is complaining about these two, why i dont know. this is perfect for someone like me looking to move into video on a budget. i have a D5000 and am looking for a decent DSLR with video...with the added articulated screen theres no need to purchase the 60D i can easily pick up a 600D no prob or even a discounted 550D now that the new one is coming out. not all new products are supposed to wow...remember some products are meant for diff markets. dont be so naive people.

February 13, 2011 at 8:57AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Interesting...Im a amateur film maker and have found this site very helpful...Can anyone tell me if there is a usable DSLR which can record longer than the Canon 12 minute max? As I want to use for interviews....thanks!

March 3, 2011 at 2:24PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM