Canon Rebel T2i: 7D killer?

If there is one thing no one was expecting this week, it has to be the release of a new HDSLR camera. Yet, that is exactly what Canon did. The new Rebel T2i is, on paper, an incredible package priced ridiculously low.

For the photographer

18mp on a 1.6x crop factor, I will have to see some real life sample shots to judge image quality but it is interesting to see the ISO going to 6400 (extendable to 12k) for an entry level toy. That is quite good if image quality is at the rendez-vous.

It also benefits from a lot of features that used to be restricted to the double prosumer bodies like improved auto focus and light metering. From a photographer perspective, it should be considered a decent upgrade for any 50D or older camera owner (if you dont need the burst rate). At least, from a specs sheet perspective.

For the videographer

Remember how 5DMrkII owners felt when the 7D was released? Well, 7D owners are now feeling the same! The new rebel can shoot video full manual and has variable frame rate (24p, 25p, 30, 50p and 60p), something to make 5DMrkII owners jealous. I know because I am!

Of course, the camera will probably not have the same low light image quality as the 5DMrkII (and maybe the 7D) and it is not full frame so it does have its limitations. Yet, it is a fraction of the cost of its ‘better’ alternatives.

Canon strategy

This release clearly shows how much Canon wants to be the dominant player in the HDSLR market. Just like Apple undercut tablet manufacturer by selling the iPad 300-500$ under its expected price, Canon did the same for HDSLR.

To compete against this camera, competitors will have to deliver video capabilities that are superior to their current higher end offering. In other word: if Nikon, Sony and the others want to compete, they will have to cannibalize their higher margin products. Not something they are willing to do, yet doing nothing will make them lose market share in the entry level. In the end, customers will benefit greatly from this.

Should you get one?

If you have been stashing money expecting to get a 7D, there is no reason for you to not jump on this camera right now. At this price point, it is the cheapest way to shoot S35 HD content. With the money saved over the 7D, you can get 2-3 basic lenses. My suggestions? 17-55IS2.8, 50mm f1.4 or any other lens on the list.

Where to get it?

You can place a pre-order on Amazon or B&H photo video. If you are thinking about it, do it quick because I can foresee a shortage of these!

Should I sell my 5D/7D and get one of these?

We will have to get more information about the bitrate, compression and image quality before calling it a 5DMrkII/7D killer. I see it more as a way for Canon to push current Rebel owners to update their body and get shares in the entry market than anything else. While it delivers an incredible amount of feature for its cost, all of its specs fall under those of its bigger brothers.


I have not put my hands on one of these yet so all my comments are based on the product announcement.

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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  • You might want to read my article on the EOS Rebel T2i:

    It has the same video specs as the 7D and it uses the same sensor. So the image quality should be the same for video and stills. But that’s where the similarities end. The 7D is still a much better camera – especially for sports shooters. It’s built better, has better AF and it’s faster. But if you don’t need the speed of the 7D and/or video is your main thing, then the T2i/550D looks like a great camera.

  • T2i can’t be a killer of 7D or 5DMkII. It’s just impossible. They are models for different purposes and for different target audiences. None of the entry level DSLRs can live and work in professional environment, 7D/5D can. Magnesium body, weather and dust sealing, longer shutter life, faster and more accurate focusing, operation, metering, dual processors etc. T2i is a nice feature-packed toy for amateurs. 7D/5D are professional tools. And 1D MkIV is even better (while looks opposite if comparing bare numbers in specs).

    • admin

      Actually, if you only take the video part of the camera, it is on the same level as the 7D, except for the ISO performance. That is why I said that it was a ‘7D killer’. But for the rest, I totally agree with you.

      Still, for a lot of people, it is going to be much easier on their conscience and wallet to get the T2i than the 7D.

  • susie q

    well, the third reich is now debating–not the 5dmkii/7d question–but the 7d/t2i question!
    Watch it:

  • As a total video neophyte would you mind explaining why having various frame rate is so important. Seems everyone disses the Mark II due to it’s lack of frame rates but I don’t see what the big fuss is all about. Thanks!

  • Matt Dubuque

    In my view, in no way is it a 5dmkii killer; like you i love my canon l series 17-40mm and having the full frame on the 5d just makes it that much better!

    Does anyone know if this little rebel shoots in a 4:2:2 color space? That helps for satellite feeds…