I've been wanting to replace our camera for a couple of years, and we finally sold enough on eBay to buy a new one. Mom and I spent loads of time reading reviews and looking up various DSLR cameras online. Everything finally narrowed down to the Canon Rebel EOS T3. It looked like a fair replacement camera. The old one was an Olympus C-5050 5.0 megapixel DSLR. Gramma had given it to us about four or five years ago (having just gotten a C-8080), and we've really loved it. You can use it like a point-and-click (or not!), and the results are really beautiful.
We ordered the Canon about a week and a half ago on Amazon.com. It arrived last Thursday, but I didn't get a chance to take more than a couple "out of the box" pictures --- since we left for Cincinnati on Saturday morning. I finally sat down this morning and spent some time playing with settings, options and reading the instruction manual. In fact, I've been working with it all day.
It is awful. The main problem comes from the fact that the focus (whether automatic or manual) only focuses on a small area of the photo (about equivalent to the size of a quarter on a 5x7" image). The rest of the picture is blurry. The photos are also completely "grainy" in appearance --- with a real pixelated appearance. Nothing about the image is sharp.
You can't use the "Live View" window on the back of the camera, because what you see there is nowhere near what you actually get. That leaves you with the viewfinder, but that actually isn't completely accurate, either. The image is actually wider than the area in the viewfinder.
The construction of the camera is rather cheap, though it's not quite as bad as I had expected. Because of the light weight plastic used in the construction of the camera body, many people have trouble attaching any lens of a substantial weight. I could certainly see that this would be a problem.
Another irritating thing about this camera is the lack of flash. There is a flash that pops up from the top center of the camera when activated by auto-focusing a shot in certain settings. Apparently, the flash uses a lot of battery power, so the designers of this camera must have been trying to save juice, because the flash hardly ever pops on. The flash cannot be opened manually, so you are stuck with dark, blurry photos quite often when shooting inside.
The above cat photos are two that I shot with the Canon. If you click on them (enlarges them), you'll see that the focus is really only over the eyes and nose. For $500.00, this camera isn't giving any better results than a pocket camera for half the price (or less).
All in all, I'm sitting here rather deflated and disappointed. The camera is packed up in a box and headed for the Amazon return department. We're not totally sure what we're going to do, as far as replacing the camera, so that'll be good for another blog post later on. More later.