Canon Rebel T2i Hands-On Review

by on March 2, 2010

in Canon

Canon Rebel T2i

The Canon Rebel T2i is an 18MP DSLR that follows up the popular Canon Rebel T1i.  The Canon Rebel T2i is geared toward entry-level shooters with a number of features and components that make it a very powerful camera suitable for serious shooters as well.  After spending a few hours with it, I wanted to provide my first impressions, along with some impromptu sample shots.

Canon Rebel T2i

Canon Rebel T2i Key Features

  • 18MP CMOS Sensor
  • ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12800)
  • 1080p Full HD Video Capture
  • 3.7 fps Capture Rate
  • 63-zone Dual-layer Metering System
  • 9-point AF System
  • 3-inch 1.04 Million Dot LCD
  • SDXC Card Compatibility
  • Eye-Fi Card Recognition

Canon Rebel T2i Brief Hands-On

Canon Rebel T2i

The Rebel T2i handles much like the Rebel T1i; however, the Rebel T2i has a number of subtle changes like new button designs and a killer new 3:2 format LCD.  This is the first Canon DSLR with a display that is actually the same shape of the sensor.  And, at 1.04 million dot resolution, it’s pretty sweet.

The kit includes the respectable EF-S 18-55mm IS lens, which has been a standard for several Rebel models now.  It replaced the lower quality and non-IS kit lens of the same focal length.  If you don’t have a stable of lenses to choose from already, the kit version of the Rebel T2i is the way to go because the lens only adds $100 to the price of the camera body alone.

The buttons on the rear of the camera are flatter than they were on the T1i and are easier to use, which almost gives the camera controls on the rear a point and shoot feel.  The Q button on the rear brings up the quick settings display and is very easy and intuitive to navigate using the 4-way controls on the rear panel.  All in all, it’s a nice improvement for the Rebel T2i’s exterior.

Canon Rebel T2i

The Rebel T2i uses a new battery, the LP-E8, which brings along with it a new battery grip, the BG-E8.  If you have average or bigger than average hands, this may be a desired accessory.  I find the Rebel series a little small for my tastes.  Another new accessory launched alongside the Rebel T2i is the RC-6 wireless remote, which also works with the Rebel XSi, T1i, 7D and 5D Mark II.

For the inside, Canon has brought out the big guns with an 18MP CMOS sensor and a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-6400, which is further expandable to ISO 12800.  Sounds kinda like a Canon 7D, eh?

When you see the video specs on the Rebel T2i, it appears to fill the role of a Canon 7D Junior quite well.  The Rebel T2i can capture 1080p video at either 30 fps, 25 fps or 24 fps, as well as 720p or 640 x 480 resolutions at 60 fps or 50 fps.  Additionally, the Rebel T2i offers an external stereo mic port.

The biggest specs missing from the 7D camera are the frame rate (8 fps) and autofocus sensors (19-point AF).  As an entry-level camera, however, the Rebel T2i’s 3.7 fps capture rate is respectable, and the 9-point AF system will likely suit entry-level users’ needs just fine.  Enthusiasts who cannot cover the 7D price point will likely be the most disappointed over these features.



Canon Rebel T2i Sample Images

As I said at the outset, I’ve only had a few hours with the Rebel T2i, so immediate impressions of functionality are light.  However, I managed to run through the ISO range quickly in RAW+JPEG to provide you with some samples for those interested.  I’ll have plenty of real world samples soon, but hopefully these will suffice for now.

For these series of images, the Rebel T2i was tripod mounted and the shutter was triggered via timer delay with mirror lockup enabled.  White balance was custom set using a ColorRight white balance tool.  Focus was obtained using manual focus with Live View engaged at 10x magnification.  Images were captured in RAW+JPEG format.  JPEG images were captured with default settings, which include ‘Standard’ high ISO noise reduction.  RAW images were converted to JPEG using Canon’s DPP version 3.8 and default noise reduction and sharpen settings.

The 100% crop sections set out below were taken from the highlighted portion of the following representative image.

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

You can download the full-res file (for personal use and inspection only) by right-clicking any of the links below the respective images and choosing “Save link as…” from your menu. Please do not republish any of these images on the Internet or elsewhere without permission.

Canon Rebel T2i ISO 100

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

Converted RAW Original
JPEG Original

Canon Rebel T2i ISO 200

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

Converted RAW Original
JPEG Original

Canon Rebel T2i ISO 400

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

Converted RAW Original
JPEG Original

Canon Rebel T2i ISO 800

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

Converted RAW Original
JPEG Original

Canon Rebel T2i ISO 1600

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

Converted RAW Original
JPEG Original

Canon Rebel T2i ISO 3200

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

Converted RAW Original
JPEG Original

Canon Rebel T2i ISO 6400

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

Converted RAW Original
JPEG Original

Canon Rebel T2i ISO 12800

Canon Rebel T2i Sample Image

Converted RAW Original
JPEG Original

Conclusion

Canon Rebel T2i

Canon has certainly introduced an ambitious entry-level shooter with the Rebel T2i.  Again, there isn’t a whole lot to say about the T2i’s performance at this point; however, the high ISO shots above yielded less ugly chroma noise than I expected. As a result, the T2i makes a good first impression on me.

I plan to put it through the paces over the next several days and weeks.  Expect more sample images of real world subjects soon, along with additional updates leading up to the full Rebel T2i review at a later date.

You can support Photography Bay by ordering your Rebel T2i and other photo gear at trusted retail partner B&H Photo.

email

 

{ 9 comments }

1 Vivekananda Bose March 5, 2010 at 3:16 am

IS IT WORTH PURCHASING OVER D90 WITH KIT LENS ?

2 narsing sanchez March 5, 2010 at 5:30 am

you mean, rebel t2i is much greater than 50D?

3 pablo ramirez March 5, 2010 at 9:55 am

which lens do you use on this test?

4 Eric Reagan March 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm

@pablo – 18-55mm kit lens.

5 Peter Keddie March 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Hi Eric
Thanks for your latest news letter and your usual excellent hands on reviews. This time the Canon Rebel T2i. However, for us limeys, can you say whether this is the new 550d or another animal completely.

6 Eric Reagan March 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm

@Peter – Yes, the Rebel T2i is the same thing as the 550D.

7 ravi yadav March 26, 2010 at 10:48 am

how did you get your raw (cr2) photos online? I am having extreme difficulties getting them to work with ps (cs4) with the DNG converter and RAW converter. and likewise with the stock canon software.

just curious?

8 Denise Luvy June 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Hi Eric, What would you recommend as a good all around lens for this camera? My husband bought the body for me as a gift. We are going to Tuscany in the fall. I like scenery as well as close up shots.
Thanks

9 iKenj September 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Great review, I will be get’n this very soon…

Comments are closed on this post, but you can carry on the conversation in the Photography Bay Forum.

Previous post:

Next post: