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getitdigital review: Canon EOS Rebel T2i (550D) vs. Canon EOS 7D

March 15, 2010
getitdigital review 7D v T2i 11

Canon EOS 7D vs. Canon EOS Rebel T2i (550D)

Since the Canon T2i (550D) has been introduced, there has been much bandying about of the phrase ” Baby 7D”. Upon reviewing the specifications, actual photographs and video of the newcomer, it becomes apparent that the T2i may be much more than that. It is really a superb, easy to use tool for taking great pictures and HD video. In fact, it may be a match for the 7D and not just a “baby” version.

This getitdigital review will compare the two cameras head to head using our standard criteria to see which one comes out the winner. The cameras will compete in these categories:

About The Test Both cameras were outfitted with the Canon 28-135mm IS lens or the Canon 18-135mm IS lens (7D for some pictures).  The pictures and videos themselves were collected over the past few months during different shoots. We then pooled them all together and selected the ones that best fit the above categories. None of the pictures where edited in order to give a true account of each camera’s capabilities. The videos where shot from the roof of the getitdigital building in Brooklyn. They were converted to WMV files and beginning and ending titles were put on them but other than that no editing was done. Each test will be assigned a rating from 1 to 5 based on objective observations. At the end we’ll tally them up and provide you with some additional impressions. Camera Specifications Before we go ringside, let’s take a look at the main features of each camera:

Camera:

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS Rebel T2i (550D)

getitdigital review 7D T2i comparison2

getitdigital review 7D v T2i 3

Effective Pixels

18 Million (18mgpxl)

18 Million (18mgpxl)

Auto Focus

TTL-CT-SIR

Multi-BASIS TTL

ISO Range

100-12,800(H)

100-12,800(H)

Maximum Shutter

1/8000

1/4000

Metering

63 area Eval, Center weighted, Partial, Spot

Multi (63 area), Center, Partial, Spot

Continuous Drive

8 fps

3.7 fps

Movie Mode

1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 640 x 480

Yes, 1920 x 1080 (HD 20 fps), 1280 x 720 (HD 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)

Storage Type

Compact Flash

Secure Digital

Image Clarity Image clarity can be defined by sharpness in the details. Well defined edges and accurately displayed shadows are an essential component of Image clarity. The winner in this category must supply the crispest images. So which one is our Image clarity champion? Let’s take a look.

getitdigital review 7d v T2i 4

Canon 7D

getitdigital review 7D v T2i 5

Canon T2i

The parity between these two cameras is simply amazing. Using the same lens you get incredibly detailed results and fine highlights. It must be said that both photographs were taken in challenging lighting situations and therefore the praise for these cameras is increased substantially. After examining the pictures, both cameras must be declared winners here with a rating of 5.

Winner: 7D, T2i

Points: 5

Color Reproduction

Stunning colors that “Pop” from the photo are less about the lens (although the lens obviously makes a difference) than about the camera’s ability to reproduce the colors that are there accurately and vibrantly using its built in software. Each of the cameras is equipped with a  (2 in the case of the 7D) Digic 4 Canon processor for really stellar results.

getitdigital review 7D v T2i 7

Canon 7D

getitdigital review 7D v T2i 6

Canon T2i

Another very tough call. The 7D may hold the slight edge here as the colors are just that much more vivid. Both photographs are high contrast with bright colors and the 7D shines a little brighter here. It could be due to the 7D’s slightly denser actual megapixel count (19 million vs. 18.7 million for the T2i).

Winner: Canon 7D Points: 5

Loser: Canon T2i Points: 4

Speed/Focus

Shutter speed and rapid continuous drive modes are the most important factors when it comes to speed. Just ask anyone who’s been to a car race.

We used our favorite subject for this test, namely the swooping and soaring seagulls that frequent the getitdigital roof. There is no better test of a camera’s ability to focus quickly than a bird in rapid flight.

getitdigital review 7D v T2i

Canon 7D

getitdigital review 7D v T2i

Canon T2i

We chose these two photographs in order to demonstrate not only the ability to capture a subject in motion but also the camera’s ability to focus quickly. It took a little while for the T2i to get focus on the bird and therefore the subject was captured at a greater distance.

The Canon 7D is obviously the champion here. It was easy to capture the bird in sharp focus six ways from Sunday. With 8fps in the continuous drive and a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 high speed shooting is a breeze. The Dual Digic 4 processors are another reason for the high speeds we experienced here.

The T2i on the other hand, while no backwards piece of technology, certainly fell short here.

Winner: Canon 7D Points: 5

Loser: Canon T2i Points: 2

Depth

This test is definitely the most subjective. Which pictures are the most moving? Which camera provides us with a taste of being there? After much discussion and thought we’ve chosen the pictures below in order to make the call.

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Canon 7D

getitdigital review 7D v T2i 9

Canon T2i

As can be seen from the snapshots above, these cameras can outperform nearly anything out there in their respective price ranges. The feeling that can be projected by these cameras is stunning and is again due to the magic of Canon’s Digic 4 processor which is found in both cameras.  Both cameras are very easy to use and quite intuitive so the intangible of becoming one with the camera is present here.

The 7D has a little it more of the afore mentioned intangible. It was obviously designed with this in mind. The Canon T2i is less of an extension of the photographer and more of a tool used by the photographer. This is why we had to give the nod to the 7D.

Winner: Canon 7D Points: 5

Loser: Canon T2i Points: 4


Video Quality

This is a relatively new category for DSLR cameras although it is becoming a very important deciding factor in purchasing cameras nowadays. We took both cameras to the getitdigital building roof and let loose at 30 fps in 1080 p. As you can see both cameras make a good case for the abandonment of camcorders (at least for hobbiest) for good.

Canon 7D

Canon T2i

As can be seen from the videos the 7D holds a slight edge over the T2i. This probably due to, you guessed it, the dual Digic 4 processors that reside in the 7D.

Winner: Canon 7D Points: 5

Loser: Canon T2i Points: 4

Conclusion

Points Tally:

Canon EOS 7D – 25 Points

Canon EOS Rebel T2i (550D) – 19 Points

Based on points alone, the Canon 7D is the clear winner but there’s much more to it than that.

While using both cameras it becomes apparent that Canon had a good reason for developing the T2i. It gives great image quality and superb video but still has the ease of use of a consumer oriented camera. It is no replacement for the Canon 7D. The bigger brother has more tricks up its sleeve that put the Rebel under the table. The 8fps is a start. When you add that to the better color reproduction and more ability to customize your shot, the 7D stands out as the camera for the pro. The slightly higher quality video is just icing on the cake.

On the other hand if you need an extremely high quality, lightweight camera, you could do much, much worse than the Canon T2i (550D). It is certainly the best in its class.

Great deals on both cameras are available at www.getitdigital.com.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2010 10:24 pm

    hi my name is jose im trying to get dslr .and i was watching you video on youtube ,i like the canon 550d

  2. April 5, 2010 10:22 am

    Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

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  3. April 11, 2010 11:49 am

    Thank you for posting this information, it will help a lot of people.Can you tell me of other source of this information?

  4. November 3, 2010 7:14 am

    This is such a wonderful review! I think choosing a DSLR should not be as simple as looking at the functions and megapixels. It is much more than that.

    I am thinking of getting an entry level DSLR this week and my choice is between the Nikon D5000 and Canon EOS 550D T2i. I still can’t decide what to get but they are both one of the best in their class of DSLR cameras. With regards to the 7D, I haven’t exactly tried to look at it a little deeper. No idea that it was being compared as well to 550D.

    • November 11, 2010 8:10 am

      thank you!

      If you haven’t decided by the the time I’m replying, I suggest you call us
      1-877-528-4322 – USA, Free of Charge.
      1-718-554-7299 – International.

  5. February 14, 2011 10:51 am

    The Canon T2i is perfect for family & vacation movies and anything else the non-professional would do with it. This DSLR allowed you to have your video image crystal clear in the front, and had your background blurred to create depth of field.

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