If I were going to make the purchase today, I’d go with the T4i, as it comes with some pretty innovative features, especially for an entry level DSLR. It has the ability to process HDR on board, instead of using software, and has an articulating touch screen. Both of these are significant upgrades from the T2i!
I have been very happy with the Canon T2i. It has provided a great jumping off point for DSLR photography for me. It provides enough features to keep me busy working toward understanding them all, and has the capability of capturing great images. I know, great photographers claim that every camera can take great pictures, and maybe that is true, but I have found the quality of this camera to be far better than any that I have previously owned.
The Canon T2i has enough flexibility to allow a photographer to grow with it. Of course it has a full automatic mode, which functions as a mere point and shoot. However, why would anyone spend several hundred dollars to get a point and shoot that they could get similar exposures for a couple of hundred (or less)? The T2i also has several program modes that offer a beginner (like me) to start shooting different circumstances and still get good pictures. By watching the settings chosen by the camera in these program modes, a new photographer can begin to see how to change settings on their own.
The camera also has different settings beyond automatic that allow photographers to move closer and closer to full manual mode. We will address these different settings in future blog posts, but suffice to say that it is possible to choose one element (either shutter speed or aperture) and allow the camera to select the other settings. Again, this makes it possible for the photographer to either pass some of the settings over to the camera, so that he does not have to worry about them, or he can watch the settings and see what changes he would need to make in full manual mode. As everything is clearly posted for the photographer, both on the screen, or in the viewfinder, these settings help to speed up the learning curve.
Here are some of the specifics about the Canon T2i, straight off of Canon’s website:
- 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and DIGIC 4 Image Processor for high image quality and speed.
- ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 12800) for shooting from bright to dim light.
- Improved EOS Movie mode with manual exposure control, expanded recording, new Movie Crop recording in 640 x 480 and external microphone IN terminal for access to improved sound quality.
- Enhanced iFCL 63-zone, Dual-layer metering system; and 9-point AF system utilizing a high-precision, f/2.8 cross-type center point.
- Wide 3.0-inch (3:2 aspect ratio) Clear View LCD monitor (1.04 million dots) for improved viewing.
- New Quick Control Screen button for easy access to frequently used settings.
- Improved layout with dedicated Live View/Movie shooting button.
- New compatibility with SDXC memory cards, plus new menu status indicator for Eye-Fi* support.
- 3.7 fps continuous shooting up to approximately 34 JPEGs or approximately 6 RAW.
- Compatible with the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses.
I have especially enjoyed the burst mode of capturing images. I typically shoot in RAW format, and find that I get about 6 shots per burst, just as the Canon site says. I have only tried the JPEG burst a couple of times, but found that I get in the neighborhood of 20 pictures before the processor has to stop to write to the card. I have also found the 18 megapixel sensor to be more than adequate. I know that Nikon has some newer models that are quite a bit higher than that, but unless you intend to print posters, there is no real need for a significantly higher number of megapixels. I have enjoyed being able to crop pictures quite significantly and still end up with a nice, printable photo.
Overall, I have loved the Canon T2i. If you are in the market, I’d recommend it immensely. With the newer models coming out, you can probably find a pretty good deal on this model. If cost is not an issue, go with T4i. On second thought, if cost is not an issue, go with something like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame . That is my “one day” type of camera!
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