Canon EOS 1100D review (Rebel T3 review)
Canon EOS 1100D Review (Rebel T3 Review) - Design
Perhaps the 1100D's (Rebel T3's) weakest area is its overall look and feel. The body is a very smooth plastic and the grip is the very same finish, plus the latest 18-55mm lens isn't the most fluid of zooms. It doesn't have the overall textured look and feel of something like the Nikon D3100. Furthermore the SD card slot shares the battery port at the base of the camera - a pain should you want to swap cards when the camera's mounted on a tripod.
Control-wise and the 1100D (Rebel T3) is, in general, laid-out sensibly, despite some small quibbles: the front-mounted thumbwheel is right behind the shutter release which does mean your finger has to move from one to the other rather than resting and waiting on the shutter (as it would with a rear-mounted thumbwheel). Also, as per many Canon DSLRs, the top mode dial has a ‘start' and ‘end' position, i.e. it cannot rotate freely through its full circle. Plus there's no one-touch button to shoot movies, instead the proper Movie mode needs to be selected from the top mode dial before the live view button can then double-up as the record start/stop.
The majority of the 1100D's (T3's) other options are easy to select by using the Q (Quick Menu) button to access on the rear screen as a control panel. Chopping through these settings using the d-pad and adjusting them with the thumbwheel makes perfectly good sense and it's good to be able to see all your settings simultaneously on the screen itself. Other controls, such as exposure compensation, exposure lock and AF-point selection each have their own individual control buttons that are particularly useful for speedy adjustment. For harder-to-find options the interior menus are divided into sections to make it easier to search-out what you're hunting for.
With many competitor manufacturers getting involved in Guide-type modes, Canon hasn't really let loose and delved head-strong into this area apart from the CA (Creative Auto) mode. This sets out to simplify background blur, drive mode, flash and Picture Style. Elsewhere there are some other nods to visual aides and written descriptions when adjusting the mode dial, plus there are compact-like scene modes on the top dial itself.