Canon Rebel T3i DSLR specs announced – but 60D still calling me

Note that the image sensor and most of the internals are the same as the T2i so we're not talking major upgrade here.

Canon T3i
Canon T3i
Canon T3i
Canon T3i

First, there’s the name: T3i. It feels slightly odd after a year of running around telling the world about the T2i. Since January of 2010 I’ve shot and “produced” about 100 vids with it for Stark Insider, including some interesting stuff such as interviews with Christopher Titus (Nevrerlution), Edward Norton, James Franco, and even mondo directors Danny Boyle (127 Hours) and Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), both of whom loved discussing DSLR video technology incessantly.

I’m a huge T2i fan, but also a fan of the genre in general. Admittedly a neophyte, but learning step by step, and loving every second.

So now photos of the Canon EOS Rebel T3i have surfaced. After checking them out and reading some prelim specs on Gizmodo and CNET, my reaction is not one of immediate upgrade envy. I’ve already had my sights set on the EOS 60D which ups the performance level nicely and adds the articulating/flip screen which can also be found the upcoming T3i.

According to Giz, the new pecking order is (starting in serf’s shoes): Canon T3, Canon T2i, Canon T3i, Canon 60D.

What’s an amateur to do?

I say go RED!

If that entry level RED ever hits production for about $5K I’d be might tempted.

But seriously, I’m still thinking Canon 60D for my next camera. I’d then allocate the T2i to second angle duty on shoots, using an unattended tripod; currently a 720p Flip cam serves this role.

What’s new in the Canon T3i? From what I can tell here’s what you get above-and-beyond the T2i:

  • Flip out screen
  • More filter effects (from 60D)
  • Option to shoot in more aspect ratios
  • “Video snapshot” mode (I’m not sure what this means)
  • Digital zoom (this does sound useful!)
  • Burst shooting is still at 3.7fps (the 60D 5.3fps)

Note that the image sensor and most of the internals are the same as the T2i so we’re not talking major upgrade here.


If I were in the market for the first time I’d put the T3i at the top of the list. Now that I’ve had over a year, though, with the T2i I’m ready to spend a few hundred more to get the 60D which offers some enhanced internals. But I’m sure my plans will change in the next few hours or so. It’s hard to keep up these days, but a lot of fun to try.

Canon announced that the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and T3 will be available in March. The T3i will be available for $799.99 body-only, $899.99 with an 18-55mm II lens or $1099.99 with an 18-135mm lens. The Rebel T3 will be sold for $599.99 with the 18-55mm version II lens.

Photo credit: Gizmodo.

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  • Chris G

    Seems like they’re coming out too fast. Just got my t2i weeks before the d60 came out. Would love a flip screen, the most useful to me upgrade. But have to say I will not be upgrading at this point to either. Maybe in 3 years when we get the 6ti…

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks these product cycles are really short! It results in incremental improvement, and like you said need to wait out a few models to really get something worth upgrading.

  • Video Snapshot means you can take pictures while recording.

    • That would be handy. T2i does that, but leaves gap in video recording so it’s not useful.

    • Toby

      No. Video snapshot means that in this setting you take video clips of 2, 4, or 8 seconds in length. Multiple clips or “snapshots” are then combined in camera into one video that can be downloaded off the camera. It does the still pictures while filming too.

  • Anonymous

    Very nice article. I was just about to buy the Canon 60D, but I am now deciding if I should buy that or the T3i. Can you give me a little more info on the differences? This camera will be use primarily for video (incase that helps). Thank you!

    • If you’re primarily using it for video I’d go with T3i and put savings towards lens and audio gear. Since it has the same sensor I’m sure you’d gain a lot with video on 60D. But you do get faster burst (5.3 fps vs. 3.7 fps) and better focusing technology, but sounds like that won’t matter to you anyways. The goods news is, either way you win… they’re both great cameras!

  • Skylar

    Thanks for the heads up and analysis. Just bought a T2i so I frowned when I read my brother’s email today that the T3i was on the way. I feel good about the deal I got and can’t wait to get it. Doesn’t seem like I really need the new model.

  • David Flow

    i just bought the t2i and im loving it!!! they keep coming out too fast so im just going to enjoy my t2i and wait for the t4i jaja..

  • I forgot to include this link to my 5 top video tips for shooting with T2i/DSLR. I use the term “tip” loosely as I’m still learning and kind of wrote it hoping you’d chime in with what’s worked for your shoots: