Canon T3 Review
Canon T3 Flash
The Rebel T3's built-in flash has a guide number rating of 30 feet (9.2 meters) at ISO 100, translating to a range of about 8.6 feet at ISO 100 with the kit lens at wide-angle (at f/3.5) and about 5.4 feet at telephoto (at f/5.6) . The Canon T3 gives you a lot of control over flash exposure, allowing you to adjust flash and ambient exposure independently of each other, in one-half or one-third EV increments. This makes it easy to balance flash and ambient lighting for more natural-looking pictures. The Rebel T3 also uses E-TTL II control for both the built-in and compatible external flashes, a standard that promises, and seems to deliver, better, more balanced exposures. (TTL refers to "Through The Lens" metering.)
Another nice touch is the Canon T3's Flash Exposure Lock function, which fires the flash under manual control before the actual exposure, to determine the proper exposure setting. This struck us as very handy, akin to the more conventional autoexposure lock function for handling difficult ambient lighting conditions. A Flash Exposure Compensation feature controls the flash exposure +/- 2 stops in 1/2 or 1/3-stop increments.
As you'd expect, there is a dedicated flash hot-shoe on the Canon T3's pentamirror housing, for use with external flash units. Like most consumer SLRs, the Canon T3 offers no PC-Sync connector for triggering studio strobes, etc. Maximum flash x-sync speed is 1/200-second.
In common with almost all Canon SLRs (the exceptions being the EOS 7D and 60D), wireless remote flash is only possible when using an external Speedlite 580EX II (or the now-discontinued 580EX) flash strobe, or the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, mounted on the camera. Canon's Speedlite 270EX, 270EX II, 320EX, 430EX II, and 580EX II (as well as certain of its historic flash models) also enable advanced features such as true FP (focal plane, referred to as HS) flash sync, flash exposure bracketing with external flash units, flash modeling, and E-TTL II exposure control. FP sync requires a flash unit to provide uniform light output for a relatively long period of time, long enough for the focal plane shutter curtain to fully traverse the sensor plane. Uniform, long-duration flash pulses like this permit use of shutter speeds as high as the 1/4,000-second maximum that the Canon T3 is capable of. This can be invaluable when you want to exclude ambient light from the exposure.
Flash Test Results
Coverage and Range
A somewhat weak built-in flash for an SLR, with narrow coverage. Above average positive exposure compensation required.
|18mm @ f/3.5
||55mm @ f/5.6|
Coverage. Canon rates the EOS Rebel T3's internal flash coverage at approximately 17mm, though as you can see in the top left shot, we've found manufacturers' coverage ratings are usually quite optimistic. Since Peripheral Illumination Correction was enabled by default for these shots, most of the corner shading you see is from the flash and not from the lens. Flash coverage is much more even at full telephoto.
Exposure. Indoors, under incandescent background lighting, the Canon Rebel T3's flash struggled a bit with exposure. The indoor portrait test image with +0.7 EV flash exposure compensation was dim, and raising it to +1.0 EV (as shown above) did not make any difference. The camera's slow-sync flash mode only required +0.3 EV exposure compensation for bright results, though the longer shutter time results in a warmer cast from the ambient background lighting.
ISO 100 Range. At the 18-55mm lens' maximum wide-angle setting, our flash range test shots started out a bit dim at 6 feet, but became brighter with distance, peaking in brightness at around 9 feet. Brightness gradually reduced from there, though flash exposures were still usable to about 12 or 13 feet. At full telephoto (55mm), flash intensity started out just a touch dim at six feet, and fell-off rapidly from there.
|Manufacturer-Specified Flash Range|
Manufacturer Specified Flash Test. The Canon Rebel T3's built in flash has a rated Guide Number of 9.2 meters or 30 feet at ISO 100. That works out to 8.6 feet at f/3.5 and 5.4 feet at f/5.6, the maximum apertures of the 18-55mm lens. In the shots above, we can see that the Canon Rebel T3's flash roughly performs to specification at wide-angle and telephoto, producing just slightly dim images which are underexposed by less than 0.25 EV compared to the ideal exposure.
Note: Our standard test method for flash range uses a fixed setting of ISO 100, to provide a fair basis of comparison between cameras. We've now also begun shooting two shots using the manufacturer-specified camera settings, at the range the company claims for the camera, to assess the validity of the specific claims.
Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.