Canon Rebel T3i VS T2i

By Wayne Rasku

Buying a new Canon Rebel digital SLR camera just got a bit more complicated. The question now is, ” Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i?”

There has been a lot of discussion about whether the T3i was worthy of release because it is not much of an upgrade. Make sure you stick with this discussion all the way through, because you will discover that there are some subtle changes here that may sway your buying decision.

Comparison Table for Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i

You can see from the table below that there is not much different in these two cameras, aside from the Articulating LCD panel. You need to read the rest of the article to see that the differences are in the software and creativity.

  Canon Rebel T3i Canon Rebel T2iCanon Rebel T2i (550D)
Sensor Size 18.0 megapixels 18.0 megapixels
Image Processor Digic 4 Digic 4
ISO Auto, 100-6400 (12800 expanded) Auto, 100-6400 (12800 expanded)
Digital Zoom Yes (3-10x) No
Number of Focus points 9 9
Focal Length multiplier (crop factor) 1.6x 1.6x
LCD screen 3" Articulated panel 3" Fixed panel
Live View Yes Yes
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
External Flash Yes – Hot-shoe plus Wireless Sync Yes – Hot-shoe
Continuous Shooting 3.7 frames/sec 3.7 frames/sec
Video Format H.264 H.264
Weight 1.26lb (570g) 1.17lb (530g)

The first and most obvious comparison is with the basic features. The sensor and image processor are the exact same in both cameras. That means that there will be no advantage for either when it comes to image quality.

To go along with that, some of the other benchmarks for camera comparison are also identical. ISO has not changed and neither has the video capture quality. The ability to capture 3.7 still frames per second is the same, too.

The biggest difference in the hardware is the LCD screen. With the newest Rebel, you have a swivel panel that can be positioned so that you can take photos from awkward positions, either above or below where you would not be able to position a Canon Rebel T2i and still be able to see the LCD screen.

So a vari-angle LCD screen is a big advantage for the Canon Rebel T3i.

A second benefit for the new model is the ability to fire multiple flashes remotely when taking a photo. This sounds more like a pro feature, but it is definitely something that is not available on the T2i.

Third on the list of added features is in the video category. You can now use the “movie digital zoom” to zoom in to the center of the image by a factor of 3x to 10x without any degradation of the video quality. Plus there is now total manual control of focus while shooting.

But most buyers of the Canon Rebels are not going to be buying multiple flash units, so that feature advantage is almost a mute point.

The real advantage of the Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i comes in some of the creative features available now on the new model.

First, there is a new video component that allows you to take short video clips and have them stitched together inside the camera. You take 2, 4, or 8 second clips, as many as you want, and the camera does the rest.

Another creative feature is something called Basic+. When you set your camera in this Basic+ mode, there are two choices for your creative output. The first is choosing an ambience setting and the second is shooting by lighting or scene type.

With the ambience setting, you set a kind of mood for your photo as the camera adjusts the sharpness, contrast, color and saturation for effect.

With lighting or scene type, the camera employs some Creative Filters for 5 different effects. These are Fish-eye, Miniature, Soft focus, Grainy Black and White, and Toy Camera.

Finally, perhaps the most useful feature for those new to digital SLR cameras, there is now a Feature Guide that appears in the LCD panel. This guide gives a short description of the selected mode or feature so that you don’t have to go hunting for the manual or do an Internet search to find out what the feature is.

As you decide between the Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i, your decision will be based on some rather subtle advances, unless the Vari-angle LCD screen is simply something you can’t live without.

See the two cameras side-by-side here ==>

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