Canon Rebel T3i / EOS 600D Review
Highlight Tone Priority
The 600D has Canon's Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) mode, a method for getting more highlight detail into your images. This works by amplifying the sensor's output by one stop less than usual, meaning highlight detail is less likely to be discarded. The result is that HTP ISO 200 is, at the Raw level, the same as conventional ISO 100 underexposed by a stop. A modified tone curve then ensures you still get the correct image brightness, and any properly compatible Raw converter should reflect this and be able to render the additional highlight detail.
In line with the proverb, you're not actually getting a free lunch, of course. Using a lower chunk of the sensor's response leaves more space to capture highlight information, but means shadow detail is recorded using the noisier bottom end of that output. Thus, when these tones are pulled up to the correct brightness, they tend to bring a bit more noise with them.
|HTP Off - ISO 200|
|HTP On - ISO 200|
As you can see, in good light (where you're most likely to want the extra highlight capacity), Highlight Tone Priority can be rather useful. The additional shadow noise isn't particularly problematic in such situations, and is more than outweighed by the benefits of the additional information in the highlights. HTP is certainly a useful feature to have access to, which makes it all the more frustrating that it's buried in the Custom Functions sub-menu. We'd strongly recommend adding it as an option to the 'My Menu' list, and using it on bright, sunny days.
Auto Lighting Optimizer
Canon's other mode for coping with high-contrast images it the much more readily accessible 'Auto Lighting Optimizer.' This attempts to make context-specific tweaks to the image in shadow regions, and balance out the contrast. As with previous Canon cameras, we've found it rather difficult to provoke much of a response from the ALO system.
If you were feeling charitable you might see this as being a sign that its effect is subtle and naturalistic. However, in repeatedly comparing the effects of its different settings, we'd tend to see it as being unhelpfully cautious.
|ALO Disable - ISO 200|
|ALO Strong - ISO 200|
Highlight clipping / dynamic range
Even without HTP the Canon's highlight dynamic range is not at all bad. As we're used to seeing, there is scope for recovering some highlight detail that isn't being pulled into the JPEGs.
As always, the amount of detail recoverable depends on a number of factors, including which of the color channels has clipped first. At best you might get as much of a stop of detail back, but the further you have to reach, the more likely it is that you'll experience false color shifts.
|RAW - Metered Exposure, 0EV correction|
|RAW - + 1.0EV Exposure, -1.0EV correction|
|RAW - +1.33EV Exposure, -1.35EV correction|
Here we've taken a region of an image that's very close to being overexposed. We've then intentionally increased the exposure by 1EV and tried to correct for that over-exposure (middle image). As you can see, most of the detail is recovered, despite being over-exposed by 1EV. However, if we over-expose by another 1/3EV (bottom image), it's no longer possible to recover all the detail. Worse still, grey patches are starting to appear in the recovered regions. So, at best, you might recover 1EV of detail from over-exposed regions of an image, if you process from Raw.
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
In general the 600D's images are very good (which was also true of the 7D, 60D and 550D, all of which used the same sensor). Color response is familiar from existing cameras and is more geared towards pleasing than realistic. Dynamic range isn't at all bad and becomes rather good once you've engaged Highlight Tone Priority. Detail capture is excellent though you'll want to consider processing from Raw if you want to show the very finest detail in very large prints.
Raw processing can also be useful for making the most of low-light images - the ability to fine-adjust the noise reduction allows you to choose a balance between noise suppression and detail retention that suits your subject and output requirements. The preset options for JPEG output do a pretty good job, though.
Canon's characteristic overly orange response to artificial light also rears its head as usual, but can be dialed-down with a bit of white balance fine tuning. Beyond that there are few nasty surprises waiting for users.
Mar 20, 2014
Mar 31, 2011
Oct 2, 2011
Mar 9, 2011
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Foggy morning by LassiM|
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.