Canon Announces the Digital Rebel T2i / EOS-550D DSLR Camera

Canon releases their update of the popular T1i camera which is now capable of delivering ultra high resolution still images as well as video capturing, at a higher level than ever before.

The T2i features 3.7 fps shooting, an ISO range of 100-6400 [compared to the T1i’s100-3200] which can be extended to ISO 12,800, a 63-zone Dual Layer Metering System, and Canon’s DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor which is also the same as the T1i. Another place where the T2i outshines the T1i is the sheer quantity of pixels it can deliver. The T2i delivers a new resolution of 18 megapixels over the T1i’s 15.1 megapixels. In addition to that, There is also a new feature for standard definition recording, Movie Crop, which provides an approximate 7x additional zoom with no loss of image quality when shooting SD quality video. Canon’s Movie Crop mode, allows the user to achieve 7x magnification when shooting SD video for a significantly increased "telephoto" effect. Unlike the digital zoom feature found in many compact digital cameras, Canon’s new Movie Crop mode actually crops the image directly from the CMOS sensor at full SD resolution to preserve maximum image quality and provide additional zoom power. The new Movie Crop feature is especially helpful for achieving extra full resolution zoom power when filming youth sports, such as a child running to the furthest end of a field. Canon has also added CEC compatibility which enables users to connect their camera via HDMI to a CEC compliant television and to control their image previews using the TV remote.

Canon EOS-550D or Digital Rebel T2i, depending on what continent you live on"There is no question that HD video is the biggest trend in DSLR technology and because of this we are seeing the creativity of still photographers transferring to the moving image. Still photographers are using the various lenses and accessories they are already familiar with to create amazing video footage," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. "Taking that HD video quality and putting it in the hands of entry-level photographers with cameras like our new EOS Rebel T2i, we are seeing a new generation of creative digital artists emerge."

Much like the T1i, the T2i delivers up to 1080P video capturing, but now it is capable of delivering full 30FPS to all resolutions from 480P to 1080P. This is an increase over the T1i in the sense that the T1i only was capable of delivering 20FPS at 1080P. The T2i also captures video in both NTSC and PAL standards at selectable frame rates including Full HD 1920 x 1080 at 30 (29.97), 25 or 24 (23.976) fps, and HD 1280 x 720 or Standard Definition 640 x 480 quality video, at 60 (59.94) or 50 fps. For better sound quality when shooting video, Canon decided to include an external stereo microphone jack, a first for an EOS Rebel model, in addition to its built-in monaural microphone. Having spoken to many users who regularly use this camera for video capture, this is a welcome addition to the EOS Rebel line.

The camera’s ability to shoot 3.7 FPS stills makes it the fastest rebel ever at shooting stills and it further increases its usefulness for all types of photography. The camera features Canon’s proprietary iFCL 63-zone dual-layer metering system offering intelligent Evaluative metering with much finer segmentation than any previous EOS Rebel model. The new T2i also has an expanded ± 5 EV exposure compensation range allowing for much more versatility when shooting in extremely bright or dark environments or when shooting HDR images.

The T2i also includes a newly improved three inch LCD monitor featuring 1.04 million dots with an aspect ratio of 3:2, which is wider than any previous EOS model. The Rebel T2i camera’s LCD monitor can also display a full-screen video image utilizing the entire screen during playback. And, for maximum storage capacity the new EOS Rebel T2i Digital SLR camera is the first EOS model to support SDXC memory cards which were recently announced at CES 2010.

Overall, the feature set that the T2i offers users does make the T2i a very useful camera to both still and motion photography. Canon plans to price the T2i at $799 for the body and $899 in the standard kit version with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lense. At this price point, the T2i isn’t really much more expensive than its T1i predecessor and it does offer marginal increases in many ways giving you slightly more features and improving along existing ones. We would consider the T2i a welcome refresh to the much loved T1i and hope to see how the T2i stacks up in shooting video and images compared to the T1i.