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6 Reasons to Avoid a Rebel T8i DSLR Today

Selective focus camera of wedding photographer in action lover couple.

6 Reasons to Avoid a Rebel T8i DSLR Today

Why should you avoid a Rebel T8i DSLR camera? The field for entry-level photographers has never been better. You have cameras of all price ranges, with modern choices being a breeze. However, with the advent of mirrorless cameras, it can be a bit difficult to recommend a DSLR.

The Canon Rebel brand has been a strong entry-level DSLR since its introduction. My wife learned on an older Rebel when she started with DSLRs over a decade ago. However, time and technology have advanced, and the Rebel T8i hasn’t fully kept up. Today’s review will take a closer look at why you might avoid the Rebel T8i DSLR as your first pro-quality camera.

What Is the Rebel T8i DSLR?

The Canon Rebel T8i is an entry-level DSLR with a few twists of its own. It uses the Canon EF lens mount, meaning you’ve got plenty of options for extending the functionality of the camera. Among the latest additions to the Canon Rebel line is the use of artificial intelligence in automatic mode. This helps to set the exposure, white balance, aperture, and focus of your lens before taking a photo.

The Rebel T8i is also capable of recording 4K video. The video quality itself is a bit lacking, which we’ll discuss further on. However, on paper, the Rebel T8i DSLR is an astounding camera. Sadly, the promise it shows in raw specs doesn’t fully deliver when it comes time to perform.

SpecsCanon Rebel T8i DSLR Camera
Camera TypeDSLR
Image ProcessorDiGIC 8
Storage OptionsSD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
Lens MountCanon EF
Effective Resolution24.1 megapixels
Aspect Ratio3:2
Color SpacesRGB or Adobe RGB
Maximum Video Resolution4K at 30 frames per second

Reasons to Avoid a Rebel T8i DSLR

Here are the biggest reasons you should avoid a Rebel T8i DSLR camera today.

The Small Viewfinder

rebel t8i
The viewfinder on the Rebel T8i is dark and rather small when compared to contemporary choices.

You’ll want a viewfinder on any modern digital camera. Pointing and shooting isn’t simply a matter of aiming the camera, after all. You’ll want something that gives you focus targets and better informs you of the subject. Unfortunately, the viewfinder on the Rebel T8i DSLR leaves something to be desired.

The actual viewfinder is dark and on the smaller side. Now, as a beginner, you might be able to compensate and learn before upgrading. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly camera this can be a dealbreaker. While the capabilities of the camera are there, lacking a good functional viewfinder severely hinders any overall enjoyment of this particular DSLR.

It Doesn’t Feel Premium for the Price Point

When you’re spending close to $1000 on a digital camera, you want the construction to reflect it. This is another area where the Rebel T8i falls short. We primarily use the higher-end EOS brand of cameras in my house, which have astounding build quality as a whole. When looking at the Rebel T8i, it feels cheap and uses less expensive materials as a whole.

Now, the Rebel line of cameras has been something of an underdog, as you get EOS features in a cheaper body. I can’t fully recommend this over an older EOS camera, however, it just feels cheap in the hand. You likely will notice it at first glance as well. The plastic and housing used across the entire body betray the expectations held for something in its price bracket.

4K Video Recording Limitations

rebel t8i
Users looking for a 4K recording solution are going to be disappointed by the limitations of the Rebel T8i.

More and more cameras are going to come out of the box with 4K resolution support. The march of technology continues onward, and more users are adopting 4K monitors and televisions. As such, you’ll want a device that can record in 4K resolution. The Rebel T8i does record at 4K resolution but has its own oddities to be aware of.

You’ve got full support for the resolution, but you’re stuck recording at 30 frames per second. Now, this shouldn’t be a huge issue. However, 60 frames per second would be preferred. Further, the video itself is severely cropped when recording at 4K on the Rebel T8i DSLR. You also lose the ability to use the phase detection autofocus while recording video at this resolution. All said it doesn’t instill confidence.

1080p Video Recording Oddities

You would think given the odd restrictions around 4K resolution recording, that FHD would be alright. However, this isn’t the case with the Rebel T8i DSLR camera. You’re going to have further issues just recording video in 1080p. The maximum framerate possible at 1080p is 60 frames per second, which is fine.

That said, it would’ve been great to have the option for higher framerates as a whole. Really, the Rebel T8i does video recording almost as a secondary function. You’re not going to purchase one of these to start a YouTube channel or work as a content creator. Your average smartphone camera does a far better job of recording at full HD resolution without the cropping issues.

It Isn’t a Substantial Upgrade Over the Rebel T7i

The unfortunate truth of iterative technology is that it can be hard to discern differences. In all honesty, it is superbly hard to recommend the Rebel T8i over its direct predecessor. While the Rebel T7i is an older camera, it features much of the same functionality. So, it does beg the question of why you should bother spending the money on the newer model.

In reality, you could very easily purchase the older Rebel T7i and enjoy the world of digital photography with ease. You’ll be spending less money, maintaining the same build quality, and only losing out on a few features overall. The Rebel T8i is stuck in an odd place in the Canon camera line and is certainly a hard recommendation in light of this.

Comparable Mirrorless Cameras Are Better

DSLR cameras still have their place in the landscape for digital photography. There are untold amounts of documentation and tutorials surrounding the use of Canon cameras, their lenses, and the various modes and features found within the bodies. That said, a mirrorless camera is going to be a better investment as a whole, especially at the time of this writing.

That isn’t to say the DSLR camera is outmoded. However, when you look at comparable mirrorless cameras from the same year and in the same price bracket, it’ll make you wonder why you even considered the Rebel T8i DSLR in the first place. Mirrorless cameras often have better sensors and fewer limitations surrounding video recording.

Best Alternatives to the Rebel T8i DSLR

If you’ve decided to avoid the Rebel T8i DSLR, here are three of my favorite alternatives.

Pentax KF

Budget Friendly DSLR
PENTAX KF APS-C Digital SLR Camera
$796.95
  • 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO from 100 to 102400
  • In-body shake reduction technology
  • Cold-proof performance down to 14°F
  • Works with all Pentax interchangeable lenses
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 12:27 pm GMT

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly DSLR, the Pentax KF is hard to beat. You’ve got an APS-C CMOS sensor, an effective resolution of 24.24 megapixels, and a host of other attractive features. Pentax is a stellar manufacturer, and the KF body is a great way for any budding photographer to get great performance without the higher price tag.

Now, you won’t be shooting a 4K video with the KF, which is disappointing. However, you’ve got more than enough extra features around shooting still photographs. You can find the KF body quite cheap, with lens kits coming with the camera body at around $1000 or so.

Nikon D5600

Excellent
Nikon D5600
$999.00
  • SnapBridge Bluetooth
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
  • Wi-Fi with NFC (near-field communication)
  • HDMI C (Mini), USB Micro-B (USB 2.0)
  • Time-lapse movie recording
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 12:31 pm GMT

Nikon has been a top name in photography for decades, and the D5600 certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is another DSLR camera, but it packs some neat features into the main body. You’ve got full wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you can sync images to a phone or tablet with utter ease.

The effective resolution of 24 megapixels is nearly identical to the Rebel T8i. Where the D5600 sets itself apart is in the stellar build quality. While this is an older camera body, it is built to last. The materials and polymers used during the construction process feel like no expense was spared, and it is tailored towards comfort and ergonomics.

Sony SLT-A65V

Great Images and Video
Sony SLT-A65V Translucent Mirror Digital SLR
$279.99
  •  24.3MP image resolution
  • 18mm-55mm lens
  • 1/4000 seconds max shutter speed
  • Up to 10fps continuous shooting with autofocus
  • HD Movie Mode with AVCHD 60p/60i/24p
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 12:32 pm GMT

Sony has always put out a stellar digital camera, and the SLT-A65V is no exception. If you’re looking for something that can pull double duty as a still camera that also takes video, the SLT-A65V is a superb choice. Now, it can’t record at 4K video resolution, but it does just fine.

The 1080p recording functionality of the SLT-A65V is fantastic, with full support for 60 frames per second without some of the odder image limitations seen with the Rebel T8i. As with the other camera bodies mentioned, this is an older one but is still highly relevant today with an OLED viewfinder and swiveling monitor.

Closing Thoughts

If you are able to find the Rebel T8i DSLR camera for a steal, it can make for a fine entry-level choice in the field. However, if you’re looking for something a little more fully realized, then this is going to be an expensive disappointment. The Rebel line from Canon still remains a great choice, but you’re going to have some trade-offs.

In all honesty, your best bet is always going to be an older body. You get premium features, a cheaper overall price, and your pick of lenses.

Alternatives to the Canon Rebel T8i DSLR

1. Pentax KF
2. Nikon D5600
3. Sony SLT-A65V
  1. PENTAX KF APS-C Digital SLR Camera
    $796.95
    • 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor
    • ISO from 100 to 102400
    • In-body shake reduction technology
    • Cold-proof performance down to 14°F
    • Works with all Pentax interchangeable lenses
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/10/2024 12:27 pm GMT
  2. Nikon D5600
    $999.00
    • SnapBridge Bluetooth
    • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
    • Wi-Fi with NFC (near-field communication)
    • HDMI C (Mini), USB Micro-B (USB 2.0)
    • Time-lapse movie recording
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/10/2024 12:31 pm GMT
  3. Sony SLT-A65V Translucent Mirror Digital SLR
    $279.99
    •  24.3MP image resolution
    • 18mm-55mm lens
    • 1/4000 seconds max shutter speed
    • Up to 10fps continuous shooting with autofocus
    • HD Movie Mode with AVCHD 60p/60i/24p
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/10/2024 12:32 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Do DSLR and mirrorless cameras come with lenses?

Some certainly do, as you can purchase kits with a basic lens, the body, and other necessary accessories. However, you can save quite a bit just going for a body and choosing a lens that fits your price range.

Are DSLR cameras still usable?

Yes, DSLR cameras are still a great option for photographers using a digital medium.

Is a DSLR camera a true replacement for analog film?

Not necessarily, analog film is an interesting medium all its own. While it is largely outmoded at the time of this writing, you can still find enthusiasts practicing the craft and developing their own film.

What lens mount does the T8i use?

The T8i uses the Canon EF mount, which is the same mount used by the Canon EOS line of cameras.

Can you use Sony lenses with a Canon body?

Not natively, but you can purchase adapters to mount lenses from different manufacturers.

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