Saturday, February 27, 2010
The Canon EOS Rebel T2i Verdict
The Verdict? I am astonished at Canon for cramming so many features in such a little camera body. Some predicted the new T2i would be the next "baby 7D" but does it cut the mustard when it comes to the 7D and other video enabled Canon cameras? Read and find out.
No, this is not a FoodBlog. When I evaluate DSLRS I test them in realistic settings. Not everybody shoots in controlled studio environments. I shoot pictures out in the field with all the bad florescent and mixed lighting one would encounter in normal everyday situations. Hence, the bacon and cheese Steakburger with fries in the above picture. Yes, the burger was delicious and the florescent lighting was not ideal for pictures. My family went to dinner and I brought the T2i.
My purpose was not to photograph food but to test ISO image quality and especially skin detail.
The T2i is a several notches ahead the T1i when it comes to skin detail. As you notice in the T1i
gallery, the skin completely lacks any fine detail. It looks like mush, as if I painted skin on my kid's faces. Horrible. The T2i is a vast improvement in the skin detail department. If you enlarge the pictures in the T2i gallery, the skin looks like skin. All the little wrinkles and fine hair. Just like it should be. Check out the picture above to see for yourself. Do not be fooled. The skin detail of a 1D Mark IV and the 5D Mark II gives better and more realistic skin reproduction, by far. Those cameras do not come cheap either.
So, is the $800 T2i equivalent to the high dollar professional DSLR's? NO, but it sure comes close considering the lower price. The T2i is an extremely great value. As I mentioned before, it is less the half the price of the 7D. The 7D ergonomically reigns supreme in button placement for going back and forth in video capture to still picture taking. The T2i button placement is an improvement but not better. I do not expect it to be for the price. To achieve movie mode in the T2i, you have to completely rotate the Mode dial almost a full rotation to the video camera icon. Only then you can press the dedicated record button to capture HD video in any resolution and frame rate you desire. This is not quick or easy when you shooting stills and video at an event. The 7D has a rotating switch with a built in record button by your right thumb for easy access.
The ISO verdict? I have come to the conclusion the T2i can shoot ISO 3200 all day without horrible results. It is an one ISO step improvement over the T1i. In the T2i gallery, I systematically shot the same picture with incremental ISO's. Starting at ISO 1600 to 3200 to 6400 and finally 12,800. ISO 1600 is excellent. ISO 3200 is definitely acceptable. ISO 6400 is questionable but should be used sparingly. ISO 12800 is worthless and is only there for Nikon marketing purposes.
This concludes my informal review of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i. My overall conclusion gives the T2i high regards for value compared to its big brothers. Kudos to Canon for listening to consumer demand in regards to full manual video control and separate audio input. I predict this camera will be the entry level HD DSLR "game changer" in the industry. Every time I travel to Disney Theme Parks, I see struggling families juggle two cameras around their neck. In one hand taking pictures and the other hand shooting video. Not very practical.
I almost forgot about the included Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.8 software. This raw to Jpeg processor finally includes a rotation adjustment in the cropping tool.
The evolution of still and video cameras are quickly emerging in the market only becoming better and less expensive by the minute.