Canon is introducing a new camera to their entry-level EOS Rebel digital SLR line. The Canon EOS Rebel T2i will be the new flagship of the EOS Rebel line and it mixes features from the recently introduced EOS 7D and last year’s EOS Rebel T1i (EOS 500D). It inherits the Rebel T1i’s 9-point auto focus system and basic body design but it gets the 7D’s 18-megapixel CMOS sensor and 1080p HD video with full manual exposure control and a dedicated Live View / Movie button.
Key Canon EOS Rebel T2i Specs And Features:
- 18-megapixel CMOS sensor
- ISO 100-6400, extended to ISO 12,800
- DIGIC 4 processor
- 3.7 frames per second burst rate (34 high quality JPEG / 6 RAW)
- 9-point auto focus system
- 1080p video at 24, 25 and 30 frames per second; 60 frames per second at 720p
- Dedicated Live View / Movie mode button
- External microphone input
- Full manual video exposure
- New movie crop mode
- New 3-inch LCD with 3:2 ratio and 1-million dot resolution
- Pop-Up Flash
- New battery with 10% more capacity
- Quick Control button
Canon has a history of incorporating prosumer DSLR features into their entry-level Rebel cameras. The T2i gets the same 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor as the Canon EOS 7D but with a 4-channel “readout” instead of the 7D’s faster 8-channel readout giving the T2i a maximum burst rate of 3.7 frames per second, about half the speed of the 7D. The T2i gets the complete video feature set from the EOS 7D – full HD 1080p video resolution at your choice of 24, 25 or 30 frames per second, or 60 FPS at 720p. This is impressive, especially since the T1i had a somewhat hamstrung 1080p HD video mode that only captured 20 frames per second. With such high-end video performance, the T2i reinforces Canon’s video-enabled DSLR dominance. With the T2i, they now offer full HD video with selectable frame rates and manual exposure control in four digital SLRs with prices starting at well under $1000. No other DSLR-maker comes close. The only thing Canon is missing is a model with a tilt-swivel LCD. Maybe that will be next?
As well as mixing high-end features into their “entry-level” DSLRs, Canon also has a tradition of using their Digital Rebel line to introduce brand new features. The T2i gets two new features – a new 2:3 ratio, 3-inch LCD with a one million-dot resolution and a “Movie Crop” mode. Besides the T2i’s general high-level spec, I think the new Movie Crop mode is probably the most interesting thing about the camera. It’s sort of an obvious feature when you think about. It uses the middle portion of the sensor for an approximate 7x magnification – or crop, if you want to get technical about it. Don’t confuse the Movie Crop mode with digital zoom, though. The T2i’s 1080p HD video resolution is about the same as a 2-megapixel sensor – only a small portion of the camera’s full 18-megapixel resolution. There’s no need for the in-camera interpolation (digital resizing) that makes digital zoom look so crappy. I haven’t seen any samples from the Movie Crop mode but it’s a great idea and technically there’s no reason it shouldn’t work well.
More than ever before, it seems like Canon is pushing the top-of-the-line Rebel DSLR as a serious camera. I’m sure Canon would like to sell more high-end cameras. But for most photographers I can’t help recommending the “entry-level” Rebel cameras over a 50D, 7D, 5D etc. I believe a lot of camera purchases are more ego-driven than based on what photographers really need. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. We *want* the pro camera just because we want it, not because it will really help us take better pictures. The truth is, the new EOS Rebel T2i is plenty of camera for most of us, most of the time – even the pros. And if you’re a beginner, buying the Rebel T2i means you can spend more on a better lens – always a wiser way to invest your money.
Canon is calling the new T2i the “flagship” model of the EOS Rebel DSLR line. The XSi (450D) will be discontinued and the T1i (500D) will take its place as the mid-range model. The Rebel XS (1000D) beginner digital SLR will continue to be available. The Canon EOS Rebel T2i will sell for $899 with a lens and $799 body-only. Canon hasn’t been specific about when it will be available but late spring is a good bet.
Canon EOS Rebel T2i Press Release >>