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Canon unveils EOS Rebel T2i/550D  
Monday, February 8, 2010 | by Rob Galbraith
Canon has unveiled the EOS Rebel T2i/550D, its best-appointed Rebel class camera to date that offers many of the key features of the EOS 7D at a fraction of the cost. The T2i/550D includes a 17.92 million image pixel CMOS sensor, fires at up to 3.7fps, sports 63-zone metering and 9-point AF systems, is compatible with both SD/SDHC and SDXC format memory cards and can capture 1080p video at 30fps (its other resolution and frame rate options are the same as the 7D, plus it incorporates a stereo external mic jack too).

Rebel Leader: Views of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Click either photo to enlarge (Photos courtesy Canon)

Canon EOS Rebel T2i feature summary
  • It produces 17.92 million pixel photos from a self-cleaning CMOS sensor that is nearly identical to that of the EOS 7D. The key difference is the number of readout channels: the 7D's sensor has eight, while the T2i has four. The focal length cropping factor is 1.6x, relative to a full frame camera. The Rebel T2i/550D accepts both EF and EF-S lenses.

  • The body is a compact 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.0in (129.5 x 96.5 x 76.2mm). It weighs 18.7oz (530g).

  • It shoots continuously at up to 3.7fps for a Canon-specified 34 Large Fine JPEG or 6 RAW frames. The T2i/550D accepts either SD/SDHC or SDXC memory cards.

  • The sensitivity range is ISO 100-6400 in 1/3 step increments, plus H (ISO 12,800).

  • The 9-point AF system in the T2i/550D is derived from the EOS 30D and features a single cross-type sensor at the centre plus eight single-line sensitive outer points. If an f/2.8 or faster lens is used, the centre AF point detects focus with greater precision than with slower aperture lenses.

  • Ambient and TTL flash metering is handled by the same 63-zone, dual colour layer meter found in the 7D. Exposure calculations incorporate data from the new metering sensor as well as all 9 AF points.

  • Unlike the 7D, the T2i's built-in flash is not a wireless TTL controller for remote Speedlites.

  •  The T2i/550D's exposure compensation range is 5 stops.

  • Video features and options closely match those of the 7D. The T2i/550D offers up to 1920 x 1080 pixel (1080p) video capture at 30fps with the option of connecting an external stereo mic (via a 3.5mm miniphone jack) plus both manual and automatic exposure modes. It creates H.264-encoded movie files with a .mov extension and has a 4GB clip length limit. The resolution and frame rate options are:

    • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30fps (actually 29.97fps)
    • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 25fps
    • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 24fps (actually 23.976fps)
    • 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels at 60fps (actually 59.94fps)
    • 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels at 50fps
    • SD: 640 x 480 pixels at 60fps (actually 59.94fps)
    • SD: 640 x 480 pixels at 50fps
There is also a movie crop mode which captures 640 x 480 video from a small area at the centre of the image sensor. Canon projects that the typical maximum clip duration for 1080p and 720p video will be about 12 minutes.
  • The rear LCD is a three inch (diagonal), 3:2 ratio, 1.04 million dot TFT.

  • Power is courtesy of the new Lithium Ion Battery Pack LP-E8.

  • Optional accessories include the new Battery Grip BG-E8 and Wireless Remote Controller RC-6.

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D has an expected street price of US$799.99 in the U.S. In a kit with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, the expected street price is US$899.99. The new model is to ship in early-March 2010.

Going forward, the Rebel line will be comprised of three models: the EOS Rebel T2i, EOS Rebel T1i and EOS Rebel XS. The XSi is discontinued.

Digital Photography Review has a detailed early look at the new camera.
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