The Canon EOS 1100D (Rebel T3) builds upon the previous EOS 1000D (XS) release. But just how good is the 1100D (T3)? Can it be crowned the king of entry-level DSLRs? The What Digital Camera Canon EOS 1100D (Rebel T3) review…
Canon EOS 1100D Review (Rebel T3 Review) – Image Quality
Canon EOS 1100D review: Tone & Exposure
The latest 63-zone iFCL (intelligent Focus Colour Luminance) exposure metering does a very fine job indeed of exposing scenes. Even bright skies didn’t entirely dominate the scene, ensuring there’s enough detail throughout. Should you wish to pep-up a shot’s shadow areas a little more then a three-level Auto Lighting Optimizer will bring lower levels up for a more equally exposed result.
Canon EOS 1100D review: Colour & White Balance
Another strong area. The 1100D’s (T3’s) JPEG files straight from camera and lusciously coloured, yet retain a good depth to blacks. The lower ISO settings maintain the punch of realistic colour up until ISO 800 (thereafter there’s some loss, but it’s generally still impressive). Auto White Balance also performs well, and the abundance of additional options – including manual adjustment, fine tuning and even white balance bracketing (though three frames will take some 14 seconds to process) leave you in control of your images. Add Picture Styles and there’re in-camera Black & White, Vivid and other pre-set options too.
Canon EOS 1100D review: Raw vs JPEG
The Canon EOS 1100D comes equipped with a copy of Digital Photo Professional to view and convert your .CR2 Raw files. In the immediate future there will be updates from Adobe and similar companies to allow compatibility with Photoshop and similar. The program itself is reasonable, though converting a Raw file into a JPEG can take a bit longer than a more advanced program would.
The difference between the 1100D’s JPEG and Raw files are subtle, but there are differences. Noise reduction processing does limit image noise in the JPEG files, which are also then sharpened and given a contrast boost in-camera. While this may look good straight from camera, the Raw file does provide that unedited format which has plenty more room to play with. At the upper ends of ISO sensitivity this means manual noise reduction processing can be applied in order to retain a higher level of detail overall.
Canon EOS 1100D review: ISO Sensitivity & Image Noise
The 1100D (T3) handles image noise extremely well indeed. ISO 100-200 are very clean, while ISO 400 presents ever so slight loss of edge detail due to noise reduction processing. Blacks are slightly less clear at ISO 800 but still of a good quality and details are still visible. ISO 1600 is where image noise grain begins to reveal its prominence, though it’s not a particular problem and detail is still resolvable. ISO 3200 is still well-handled, though is probably the highest setting that we’d opt to use if we had to, plus subtle colour noise does begin to reveal itself. Though ISO 6400 is quite reasonably controlled the image noise becomes a distraction, limits sharpness much more significantly and colour noise starts to show more prominent visibility. All in all, ignoring any sharpness issues, the EOS 1100D’s actual noise reduction processing is very impressive indeed.
Canon EOS 1100D review: Sharpness & Detail
An area where the 18-55mm kit lens is a let down. Chromatic aberrations can be noticeable in images, particularly purple fringing around back-lit subject areas. This can in itself soften the appearance of edges. To add to this the JPEG processing loses edge detail and begins to show some signs of slight artifacting from as low as ISO 400. Softness can be an issue in some scenes, though a number of close-up
macro shots we took had a prominent point of focus and resolved
sharpness. Shots are generally decent, just not as bitingly sharp as
other EF-S lenses will allow for.