The Canon EOS Rebel T2i is the latest DSLR consumer camera from Canon. It certainly feels rugged enough for an entry-level DSLR, although some might find the narrow handgrip mildly uncomfortable. Users may be frustrated by the several seconds it takes the camera to display an image in Live View. Basically, the Live View feature allows you to preview your final shot and to see what differences adjustments would make. However, it takes the T2i a really long time to go into this mode.
Ultimately, these are minor gripes against a fairly perfect camera, which is compatible with the entire range of Canon lenses.
- Resolution: 18 megapixel CMOS sensor
- ISO: ISO sensitivity from 100 to 6400, expandable to 12800 in 1-stop increments
- Focusing: 9 point AF system
- Movie mode: HD movie mode
- Flash: Built in flash
- LCD: 3-inch LCD panel, 1,040,000 pixels
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery LP-E8
- Dimensions: 5.07 x 3.83 x 2.44 inches (128.8 x 97.3 x 62 mm)
- Weight: 18.7 ounces (530 grams) (including battery and memory card)
- Maximum image size: 5184 x 3456 pixels (RAW and JPEG)
- 18 megapixels of resolution
- Fast auto-focus
- Inexplicably slow entry into Live View
- Narrow handgrip
- Continuous shooting mode is average at 3.7 frames per second (for 6 RAW or 34 JPEG files)
Canon EOS Rebel T2i Review
The T2i is the replacement for last year's 15 megapixel Canon Rebel T1i. As well as an increase in pixel count over the T1i, the T2i offers a variety of improvements on the previous model. Like all of Canon's entry-level DSLRs, it is a fairly small and lightweight camera with a largely plastic shell. The camera is definitely hardy enough, though, and the lightweight shell is one of the things that help keep the price down. As the camera is not full-frame, it is compatible with the entire range of EF and EF-S lenses, and that adds up to more than 100 lenses.
The camera has a large LCD panel on the rear of the camera with an aspect ratio of 3:2. This essentially means that the screen is identical to that of the camera's sensor, meaning that photos fill the screen completely. While the screen has a magnificently large dot resolution, it should be noted that you can never rely on the LCD screen to be a 100% accurate rendition of your image. This is why it's important to learn how to take pictures that you know are correctly exposed.
However, at 3 inches with a resolution of 1,040,000 pixels, the LCD screen is exceptionally sharp, and ideal for composing stills and movies in live view mode and for viewing photos. But the live view is slow. It takes several seconds to display the image and, on top of that, the contrast detection autofocus is also slow.
The HD movie mode lacks the fast, full-time autofocus you'd expect from a camera of this quality.
As with all Canon cameras, a lot of controls can be found on the top and back of the camera, and they are always well labeled. One small gripe is that the buttons are tight to the body, and this can make them a little tricky to press at times.
One of the most important controls is located on the top of the camera in the form of the shooting mode dial. As well as setting the camera in Programmed Auto (P), you also have the option of Shutter Priority (Tv), Aperture Priority (Av), Manual (M), and A-DEP (Automatic Depth of Field) modes. This clever A-DEP function allows the Canon camera to pick an F-stop that will render all subjects covered by the 9 AF points in focus, and it will also set the appropriate shutter speed.
Canon has introduced a Quick Control screen with the Rebel T2i that displays the camera settings and lets you change them directly. It's a clever feature, but is it really necessary? Probably not with a Canon DSLR camera, as the external controls on Canon cameras allow you to easily change things such as ISO, white balance, and EV compensation.
If you shoot in RAW format, you'll certainly see the extra quality that the 18 megapixels bring. However, the annoying property found in many Canon consumer-level DSLRs is that you don't get the full definition if you shoot JPEGs. JPEGs are undoubtedly slightly softer. On the plus side, image quality at higher ISOs is exceptional. While image quality does start to deteriorate at ISO 6400, the T2i produces amazing images at any ISO speed below that.
HD Movie Mode
The HD movie mode on the Rebel T2i is a step above its rivals. There's full HD rather than standard (in other words, 1920x1080 pixels instead of 1280x720). You'll also have manual controls, a choice of frame rates, and an external microphone socket for more professional work. The camera isn't set to automatically adjust focus during filming and, due to the aforementioned slow autofocus, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Setting a small aperture and relying on depth of field for focus is a better idea. The camera isn't designed to rival professional camcorders, but it does produce superb footage for a product of its type.
The Rebel T2i is one of the best consumer level DSLR cameras on the market. It is lightweight, with the ability to capture incredibly detailed pictures with minimum fuss. It has many of the features that its bigger brother, the Canon 7D offers, but at a fraction of the cost. It's worth remembering that if you're mainly attracted to the Rebel T2i's resolution, then you'll need to buy a high-quality lens.
Compared to its competitors, the T2i is not that aggressively priced, and it offers a lot more for the money. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the excellent movie mode. Despite a few minor problems, I'd recommend the T2i without hesitation. This is Canon's best consumer-level DSLR yet, and it even competes with many cameras in a higher category.