youraverageadam wrote:The T3i shoots video, the T3 does not.
Not true, I have the T3 and it shoots video. Can't change very many settings but it does do video.
I've had this camera for a year and I've made money with it. It's a lower end model than the t3i but it's a great starter dslr.
One thing you should know is that it doesn't have "self-clean" which just costs more money to buy the cleaning tools just for some annoying dirt. It's also not weather sealed and the zoom lenses that come with it lauch dirt all over the lens if you are outdoors.
The noise levels on higher iso's are awful... so don't expect to not use a flash with this in low light. Unless you don't mind noisy pictures. iso 100 is fine for the above point and shoot user.
Auto focus is a joke and unreliable in auto modes. I've never ever tried using auto focus since the first day I got it, and I use it with a 17-55mm EF-S 2.8 USM IS lens. (best walk around lens you can buy for aps-c)
You can use ANY EF-S (aps-c) or EF (full frame) lens with these, but the EF lenses will actually become 1.6x more than the actual mm. So, like I have the 50mm 1.4f lens, it's actually 80mm... and I recommend at least the 50mm 1.8 II lens which is only 100$ or so on amazon, it isn't a zoom, but that lens is AMAZING (for the price)! The 18-55 it comes with is awful and only sharp at f11 and above, which is terrible. Everything is soft and it gathers dust so fast it's annoying.
Other than the dust issues, and the no selfclean, this is a great starter or for the casual. If you were serious about photography though and you wanted something cheap I'd go with the 60d or the t4i or even the 7d which is one of, if not the best aps-c sensor camera's you can get. Just depends on what you're looking for.
For the casual user this camera will stomp any point and shoot out there.