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Canon T3

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Canon T3 Performance

Timing and Performance

Good to slower than average speed for consumer digital SLR these days.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.3 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~0 second

How long it takes camera to turn off.

Buffer clearing time
3 seconds
after 17 large/fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
4 seconds
after 3 RAW files*
4 seconds
after 1 RAW+L/F JPEG file*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Canon Rebel T3 turned in a very good startup time, and shutdown was super fast. The Canon Rebel T3's buffer clearing times were fast but buffers were quite shallow.

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.8 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

The Canon Rebel T3's mode switching times were pretty good.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
Optical Viewfinder

0.309 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All AF timing measured with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro lens.)

Full Autofocus
Auto Selection AF
Optical Viewfinder

0.190 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Auto Selection AF
TTL flash enabled
Optical Viewfinder
0.324 second
Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.
Continuous AF
Optical Viewfinder
0.160 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
Optical Viewfinder
0.134 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused
Optical Viewfinder

0.113 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Live View
Full Autofocus
Live View
"Quick Mode"
(Phase Detect)
1.244 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is phase-detect autofocus, the camera drops the mirror to focus, then raises it to grab the shot.
Full Autofocus
Live View
"Live Mode"
(Contrast Detect)
0.927 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is contrast-detect autofocus, the camera reads Live View data from the image sensor to determine focus.
Prefocused
Live View
0.099 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button..

The Canon Rebel T3's full autofocus shutter response was a touch slow using our standard single-point AF test, at 0.309 second. Interestingly, switching to Auto Selection AF and allowing the camera to choose the focus point reduced shutter lag to 0.190 second, which is very good. As expected, enabling the built-in flash increased full AF lag a bit, to 0.324 second. (The camera emits flash metering pulses and analyses the results before taking the final flash exposure.) In Continuous focus mode, shutter lag was 0.160 second, very good. Shutter lag in Manual focus was a bit faster, at 0.134 second. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of 0.113 second which is fair for a SLR.

The Canon Rebel T3's AF lag time in Live View mode was longer than using the optical viewfinder (as expected). We measured 1.244 seconds using "Quick Mode" (phase-detect AF) which is a bit slow for PD AF. Surprisingly, Live Mode (contrast-detect) AF was faster at 0.927 second, but keep in mind we don't defocus the lens between trials, so phase-detect AF will likely be faster in most real-world situations. Prefocused, the Canon Rebel T3's shutter lag was pretty fast in Live View mode, at 0.099 second.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. We also use the same Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro with every camera (on all platforms except Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds and Nikon consumer models lacking an in-body focus motor), to further reduce variation, and because our tests showed that focus-determination time with this lens was close to the fastest, across multiple camera bodies from different manufacturers. Being an older design with a non-ultrasonic motor, it wouldn't be the fastest at slewing from one focus setting to another, but that's exactly the reason we measure focus determination speed, which is primarily a function of the camera body, vs focus adjustment speed, which is primarily a function of the lens.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.42 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 2 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.42 second

Time per shot, averaged over 4 shots, 4 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + Large/Fine JPEG
0.76 second

Time per shot, averaged over 1 shot, 4 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.34 second (2.94 frames per second);
17 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 17 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.42 second or 2.39 frames per second when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.51 second (1.96 frames per second);
3 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 3 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 1.31 seconds or 0.76 frames per second when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW + Large/Fine
JPEG

0.74 second (1.35 frames per second);
1 frame;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 1 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 1.54 seconds or 0.65 frames per second when buffer was full.

Flash recycling

1.8 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times in the Canon T3's single-shot mode were about average for an SLR, at 0.42 second for large/fine JPEGs and RAW, but a bit sluggish at 0.76 second for RAW + large/fine JPEGs.

Continuous mode speeds are below average for a consumer SLR theses days, at about 2.94 frames-per-second for large/fine JPEGs. The Canon T3 slowed down quite a when RAW files were present, to 1.96 frames per second for RAWs, and only 1.35 frames-per-second for RAW + large/fine JPEGs. Measured buffer depths in continuous mode were good for large/fine JPEGs at 17 frames, but very shallow for RAW files at only 3 frames. When shooting RAW + large/fine JPEGs, the camera slowed down after only one frame. (Note that in our cycle time testing we shoot a target consisting of a fine-grained digital noise pattern, designed to be very hard to compress. This gives us worst-case buffer capacity numbers: You're likely to see greater buffer capacity when shooting more normal subjects.)

The Canon Rebel T3's flash took an average of 1.8 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is very fast.

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

8,124 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, the Canon Rebel T3's download speeds are quite fast.

Bottom line, the Canon Rebel T3's performance varies from good to slower than average for a consumer SLR. Power-up, mode switching, and autofocus speeds are pretty good for an entry-level SLR, but continuous mode speeds are a disappointment, as are the very shallow buffer depths when RAW files are present.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Very good battery life for a lithium-ion SLR design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
700
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)
220

The Canon T3 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is very good for a compact consumer SLR when using the optical viewfinder, but of course Live View mode draws more power reducing battery life. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings, especially if you plan on using Live View mode a lot.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon Rebel T3 is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Canon Rebel T3 accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and does not ship with a card. Canon recommends a Class 6 card or faster for recording HD movies. UHS-I compliant cards are supported, but the camera does not take advantage of their increased transfer speeds.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
1GB Memory Card
Fine Normal
RAW
(14-bit)
RAW+
JPG
4,272 x 2,848
Images
(Avg size)
207
4.9 MB
400
2.6MB
52
19.5
MB
42
24.1 MB
Approx.
Compression
7:1 14:1 1.1:1 -
3,088 x 2,056
Images
(Avg size)
350
2.9 MB
657
1.6 MB
- -
Approx.
Compression
7:1 12:1 - -
2,256 x 1,504
Images
(Avg size)
532
1.9 MB
1,015
1.0 MB
- -
Approx.
Compression
5:1 10:1 - -
1,920 x 1,080
Images
(Avg size)
720
1.4 MB
- - -
Approx.
Compression
4:1 - - -
720 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
2,820
363 KB
- - -
Approx.
Compression
3:1 - - -

We strongly recommend buying a fast, large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card for the Canon Rebel T3: at least a 4GB card, preferably a 8 or 16GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings, or when shooting RAW files or video. Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)