I Love My £16 DSLR – The Canon Rebel T3i

Believe it or not, but I paid £16 for the Canon Rebel T3i. Yes, you heard that quite clearly. How? Where? I can almost hear your silent thoughts thinking.

Let me break it down and address the how, where, why, when, etc.

It is true that I paid £16 for the Rebel T3i. However, that is not the whole truth about the entire transaction. I had a bridge camera with DSLR capabilities, the Fujifilm HS20EXR, that I used as part exchange for the Rebel T3i.

The FujiFilm HS20EXR Bridge Camera
The Fujifilm HS20EXR Bridge Camera is a 16 megapixel camera with DSLR capabilities, a hot shoe, plus impressive 24 – 720 mm variable zoom lens.

The deal also included an old Nokia phone that I also included as part of the exchange package. The camera got me about £94 and that was quite impressive, considering that I bought it for a mere £100 more than two and a half years ago.

I also bought it secondhand which makes it even more impressive. That means it had only lost about £6 in value.The phone only brought in a meagre £10 but that helped to raise my balance for the part exchange to £104.

The Rebel T3i was on sale for £120. That means I only had to pay the difference – £16. To me, that sounds like a great deal.

The Canon Rebel T3i
The Canon Rebel T3i with the articulating screen and the 18 – 55mm F3.5 – 5.6 STM lens.

This transaction happened in a local store named CeX in Dunstable, Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom. They also trade as webuy.com online. They buy, sell, part exchange and trade in new and used electronic goods.

It was my first time conducting any business with them and I would do business with them again if the need comes up. Their terms are pretty fair and they pay good prices for your goods. That is my experience. I can’t speak for anyone else.

There are other people in the same type of business but from what I have seen, a lot of them are ripoffs. They underpay you for your goods. CeX are very open and transparent about what they offer for your goods.

In fact, you can look up their website and search for items similar to yours and see what they pay for something similar – model and condition. So there are no surprises if you decide to sell for cash or a voucher. You know where you stand prior to completing the transaction.

I guess, I have clarified most of the questions that you might have been asking yourself silently. Now, let me address the why.

I have the Canon 700D and I love it. Before I bought it, I was also considering the Canon 600d [Rebel T3i] and the Canon 650D as alternatives. There aren’t too many differences between these cameras. These differences are mainly limited to a few features. Their picture and video qualities are very similar.

The Canon Rebel T3i

However, I never found the latter two cameras at a price I found favourable. But the 700D came at a price I couldn’t refuse and I bought it.

The Canon 700D is the camera I use when I have important business to capture and the Fujifilm HS20EXR was the camera I used for less important stuff to allow me rest my DSLR and minimise the wear and tear and the shutter count.

There were many things I loved about the Fujifilm HS20EXR. The 24-720mm zoom was something I loved for the convenience and the ability to go from a very wide shot to an extreme telephoto perspective at the turn of the zoom ring.

The Fujifilm HS20EXR Bridge Camera
A profile view of the Fujifilm HS20EXR Bridge Camera showcasing the impressing 24 – 720mm lens.

It could also do high speed sync without the use of triggers and receivers and flashguns with high speed sync features. As long as you had enough power, you could capture images that exceeded the sync speed of your camera without black bars appearing at the bottom or top of your frames.

The FujiFilm HS20EXR Bridge Camera
The The Fujifilm HS20EXR Bridge Camera has a hot shoe on the top that you can attach a flashgun to provide fill in flash or accessories such as flash trigger and receivers for off camera flash. It also has the creative camera modes such as manual, aperture and shutter priority and program mode for advanced users.

However, in recent weeks, I had begun to experience some limitations in this camera. It’s video capabilities sucked. I knew that when I first purchased it but it became more pronounced when I tried to use it to record B roll.

The inability to manual focus and very little control over video exposure and a tendency to overheat if used for prolonged periods made it clear that I needed a better alternative.

I was at a point where I needed a camera that was equally as good as the Canon 700D or better and that is when I came across the Canon Rebel T3i.

From my experience with the Canon 700D, I knew that I had the right camera to compliment the DSLR I already owned.

Their video and picture qualities are very similar as illustrated in the straight out of camera images below, and that makes it easier if you are using both cameras because you know you are capturing footage that is identical aesthetically and in the colour reproduction.

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The Rebel cameras are adept at recording videos over prolonged periods of time without overheating. You can choose any lens of your choosing which allows you to have more control over your depth of field, manual focus capabilities, using external microphones, an articulating screen, picture profiles and much more.

The Canon Rebel T3i was the perfect choice for me. I had resisted part exchanging my Fujifilm HS20EXR over a long period of time because I couldn’t get a price I liked or a camera I could exchange with until the Rebel T3i came up.

The Canon Rebel T3i
Profile view of the Canon Rebel T3i showing the ports on the camera – A/V out, HDMI, MIC in and the remote shutter ports plus the articulating screen that can rotate 360 degrees.

The price was a major point in my decision to part exchange. I have been watching these cameras for a long time via various dealers and websites like London Camera Exchange, eBay, Gumtree, Preloved, Cashconverters, Cashgenerators and the likes but they were way above the £200 mark.

The Canon Rebel T3i was in very good nick. The sensor was clean and it was in very good condition aesthetically. The articulating screen was clean and had no marks. In fact, there were very few marks on the camera to show that it was used so I didn’t mind part exchanging it.

The Canon Rebel T3i
A rear view of the Canon Rebel T3i showing the screen folding back into the body, and the layout of the buttons at the rear and dial on top.

I knew exactly what I was getting. It also made sense to get the camera because it was exactly the same as the Canon 700D. The menus are similar. They use the same batteries. They have the same lens mount and that means I can use the numerous lens and film lenses I already own. I don’t have to worry about reinvesting in other lenses and or adaptors.

It was the perfect choice. The Digic processors in the camera are different. The Rebel T3i has a Digic 4 processor while the 700D has a Digic 5 processor. The latter also has a touch screen while the former doesn’t. They both record 18 megapixels. Therefore, the differences between them are minimal and not drastic.

If I had to do it again, I would go for the Rebel T3i. I love my £16 DSLR. I couldn’t justify paying for something like a 750D or 800D. I would be paying almost 40 – 50 times more than I paid for my Rebel T3i and not getting much bang for my buck or 40 – 50 times than the Canon rebel T3i.

I am pretty excited about the Rebel T3i. It is a game changer for me. I am going to be using a much better camera than the Fujifilm HS20EXR to do my lesser gigs but I will be improving on the picture quality I captured before. I will have better glass on my camera [prime lenses] and I will capture even better images.

The Canon Rebel T3i
The Canon Rebel T3i showing the hot shoe, dials and other buttons on top of the camera.

Don’t get me wrong, the Fujifilm HS20EXR was no slouch. But it had its limitations. The focus was slow, and it didn’t have auto focus points, plus it’s variable aperture was a bit of a pain in the arse. All that is gone, and I can focus on improving my images and the quality of my output.

I will miss my Fujifilm HS20EXR because it made me the photographer I am now. It introduced me to HDR, off camera flash, rejuvenated my love of photography, helped me master macro photography and made me a more competent and competitive photographer. Without it, my creative and technical skills would not be where they are today.

The FujiFilm HS20EXR Bridge Camera
My beloved Fujifilm HS20EXR and I. This camera was instrumental in my photographic journey over the past two and a half years.

It was my first real camera and one I will always revere. I have captured many memories with that camera but now, I will continue the journey it kick started with the Canon Rebel T3i.

I love my £16 DSLR and I hope it will serve me just as well as my Fujifilm HS20EXR.

The Canon Rebel T3i
The Canon Rebel T3i ready to shoot.

The Canon Rebel T3i has that I-mean-business look. It is rugged. It is tough. It can easily handle prolonged use whether you are taking photos or videos without overheating. It sends out the message that I am serious, I am a pro but I want to have fun too and enjoy what I do and it reflects my current mood. That is why I love it.

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