Trent Chau | Photographer and Instructor

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My weekend (and a monday) with the Canon T2I

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Canon T2i Body Only – B&H Photovideo
Canon T2i with 18-55 3.5~5.6 EF-S Kit Lens – B&H Photovideo
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Canon T2I - Trent Chau.com - Weekend with the t2i-6

The new Canon T2I, fresh out of from the store this morning


(No use flooding this blog post with a bunch of crazy photos – see more photos along with commentary on them at : http://www.flickr.com/photos/trentchau/sets/72157623389534149/)


When the T2i was rumored a short while ago I was pretty meh about it (All my Canon rumors come from www.canonrumors.com). As the day progressed though, more concrete information came out, and when it was announced that full 1080p manual video was available I just had to have the camera. Quickly putting the spare T1i up on market, I’ve been salivating at the idea of the T2i coming in.

Read more of the tech specs, changes, and information regarding the T2i (550D) at Dpreview.com.

This morning,Showcase in Atlanta got my camera (I buy most all my camera bodies from them, to support local market/ hey camera bodies all cost the same no matter where you get them) and of course I was there within the hour to pick it up. It’s always pretty exciting to have new equipment in your hand.

On the 1 hour road trip back home it dawns on me, why not do a whole blog/video/picture post reviewing the t2i. Setup a couple of shoots, do a couple of shoots for school, and also do a video test and comparison to a 5D Mark II. Thus this was born.

Soon this page will be updated with my experiences with the T2i, along with samples of photographs and videos taken with it. The camera will be ran through a gamut of situations including a whole spectrum of Canon professional lenses along with comparison to my Canon 5D mark II. Note that I said comparison, and not competing. You’re obviously going to get a lot more for the price difference between the two.

Oh before I go to far, I want to thank the following 2 groups for helping me with any topics that may be placed up here. I’ve sent out request to them concerning any issues or curiosities they have about the T2i. If you haven’t had the chance to see or join these two groups, I highly implore you too, they are absolutely wonderful.

Flickr Canon DSLR Grouphttp://www.flickr.com/groups/canondslr/discuss/72157623389604359/

Photography on the Nethttp://photography-on-the.net/forum/

Ergonomics

There’s not much to say other than the T2i feels like a easier to grip rebel T1i. The buttons are bigger for easier access, the screen is bigger which is nice. There’s a nice ridge on the back right now that makes holding that area with your thumb easier. Oh live view has exposure lock now, and pressing the AF button down a little is autofocus.

I was asked if there was live view in the auto modes now, and there is. The AF during live-view is still clunky but does seem to respond a little faster. Overall the ergonomics were impressive. As someone who uses a gripped camera pretty much all the time, the t2i was easy to carry and not uncomfortable the whole day today.

Video is still that funky SLR video feel that started with the 5D Mark II. Instead of set, the video record button is a little higher which is either bad or good depending on the individual. With less weight the camera seemed a little more susceptible to shake compared to the 5D Mark II. Overall, it’s so so out of the box, but once you put it in a custom bracket the camera should be great ergonomics wise.

Basic Shooting and comparison to the 5D Mark II

After a short 30 minutes the battery was fully charged and it was time to break it in. I decided to do a simple comparison test. I mounted the T2i with a Canon 50 1.2L, and my 5D Mark II with a 85 1.2L II. This would allow roughly the same composition from both cameras without me moving from my spot. I called Kayleigh up for some last second modeling, and much to my happiness she obliged.

Here are some following samples of Studio and Available light photos Taken of Kayleigh, and also the 5d Mark II comparison shot.

Click the t2i link above for more – click the image for full size.

Kayleigh - T2i Test- First shot from camera ever

Kayleigh - T2i Test-6


Comparison Images between a t2i and 5d Mark II.

Images shot with the same settings (ISO, AP, Picture Style, Shutter). Processed in Lightroom to add watermark. JPG files used (Raw not currently available for Lightroom)

Kayleigh - T2i Test-4

Canon t2i with 50 1.2L

Kayleigh - 5D Mark II

Canon 5d Mark II with 85 1.2L II

IMG_5583

Canon T2i

IMG_5267

Canon 5D Mark II

Update : I realize the Auto Lighting Optimizer was on for the Rebel, and this could of been an issue with the jpgs placed up. Michael was quick to say that the Rebel photos were a little flat, and I agree with him. I can’t convert the raws right now in Lightroom, but will try in Canon’s software later tonight to see if the results differ.

Here’s a cute little video of Kayleigh after the shoot, shot with a T2i – Kayleigh! How cute a hello (Video)

T2i and figure work

After Kayleigh left, I did a quick test shoot with a figure model in Athens named Clara. To keep this thread PG, I am just posting a link to the set. It will have photos from both the T2i and 5D Mark II in it.

Figure work with the Canon T2i (with some comparison 5D Mark II files)

Macro Video Snippet

Here’s a little snippet of a video shot with the 100 2.8L IS and full manual on the camera. Yeah the focus was a little off, my bad πŸ™‚

Sesame Oil, Water, Trance Music…oh yeah

Day 2

The day started a little late, and somethings aren’t going to go as planned shooting wise, but all negatives aside it’s a beautiful day here in Georgia. I realized some mistakes were made yesterday starting with Auto Lighting Optimizer being turned on in the T2i. Since I couldn’t process raw files from the camera yet without going through steps I didn’t want too, I placed up images that were not a consistent comparison between both cameras. This morning the new version of Canon’s Digital Photo Professional was installed so I can process the raw files, along with turning off ATO in the camera itself. Since portraits may not be done today, I’m going to concentrate more on video and macro today with the camera, and also high iso shooting.

Strolling around Athens

No doubt the Canon T2i will be used by mainly people first foraging into digital SLR photography. I wanted to emulate the feel of walking around a popular location and taking photographs using mostly automated features. Fellow photographer Michael and I walked around Downtown Athens, GA on an absolutely stunning day today, and I shot several shots with the T2i. The camera worked like a charm, and the ergonomics behind it made complete sense to me. It wasn’t difficult navigating for any buttons and was very easy to change anything I needed to fit the given scene. Using a mixture of the 16-35 2.8L, 24-70 2.8L, and 70-200 2.8L IS I was very happy with the results from the T2i. Definitely will be a camera that allows both new and old DSLR users to get great results, and from an extremely low weight package.

Strolling around Athens with the T2i

Click on the image to see photos from my stroll around Athens

High Iso

I did a test on High Iso tonight for photography, and the T2i surprisingly isn’t too bad for a 18 megapixel camera. I personally dislike shooting high ISO, but you never know when you need to just get the shot and high ISO is the solution.

Here is a link to a single scene shot from iso 100 to 12800. No award winning Pulitzer type image, but you’ll get the idea. Iso 3200 isn’t that bad looking.

Canon T2i Iso Test

Interested in seeing the Raw files? Go here – Trentchau.com | Canon T2i Raw files and download any raw file from 3200 to 12800.

Here’s an image shot at ISO 3200 long exposure. Not perfectly clean, but pretty usable don’t you think?

Canon T2i - ISO 3200 Long Exposure

Canon T2i at ISO 3200 / 24Second /F22 / Iso 100

Along with high iso photography, I also shot some high iso video. It’s pretty noisy honestly at iso 6400, but really if you are going to just shrink it and put it on the web it’s really good.

Check out this video at iso 6400, not to bad. If it was going to an Iphone or something, it would pretty much look perfect.

Athens Downtown at ISO 6400 – Video

Canon XSi compared with Canon T2i

I wanted to compare the image quality of the 12mp XSi to the 18mp T2i shot in a controlled and reproducible environment. Using Michaels XSi, we setup a quick studio setup with 2 backgrond lights, and a Norman ML600r as our key, and a reflector as our bounce. Both cameras were set to ISO 100, 1/200, F11 using a Canon 85 1.2L II. My studio neighbor Leah (who also makes a mad hot chocolate at the Expresso Royale Company) volunteered most awesomely to sit in and be the victim of our rather boring and quick test.

Here are the pictures, you decide. Personally I think the AF may have missed slightly on the XSi. It looks like it’s a little soft. Weird that at the same exact exposure the backgrounds are off color.

Canon T2i - Comparison (Canon T2i)

Canon T2i Sample Image

Canon T2i - Comparison (Canon Xsi)

Canon XSi Sample Image

Day 3

Yet another late starting day. Spent most of the night editing and watching Braveheart (one of the best movies ever) and lo and behold it was 3am before I knew it.

Well today is the last day of this fun weekend with the T2i, and I’m pretty much looking forward to filling out all the gaps. Not much is planned today. Here’s the list of items I will be covering. Please email me at trent@trentchau.com for any last second request, as I’ll be out in the field without access to any forum updates for request.

  • Macro shooting (photo and video) – I want to get some pretty neat macro photos and videos today
  • Landscape photos – Some beautiful photos of the awesome Athens landscapes surrounding 316
  • Birds in flight – I don’t know how well I’ll hit this one, since BIF(just learned this acronym) is not my forte, but if worst comes to worst I will buy a rotisserie chicken and toss it in a field to get the shot.
  • Off Camera flash outside – I started this yesterday but couldn’t get to far before other stuff came up. Planning to walk around athens with possibly a person and shooting off camera flash with them. The light weight package of the T2i makes it an ideal camera long with the D70, Ep-1, and GF1 to take along as a tiny rocket.
  • Stunning conclusion – All great storie…blog post should have a stunning ending! I’ll write up about my experiences with the T2i and how it may save your life.

As said before, it’s off the to races! Thank you so much everyone who has commented and contributed to the blog.

Landscapes

Rushing out the house at 2:45, I went to the outskirts of Athens to take some landscape photos. There wasn’t much time to take photos because of having to meet a new possible person to shoot with at about 3:30, I just ended up taking about 3 to 4 landscape shots with multiple exposures.

Concerning HDR. One of the new pitching points about the T2i is that you can select up to 5 stops up and 5 stops down now on the EV scale. Bad part is…if you do AEB, you’re limited to 2 stops up and 2 down for 3 images. Come on Canon, how about some more shots in a bracket now. Otherwise the camera worked really well. All images were shot with a Canon 16-35 2.8 at F16, Iso 100.

Verdict for landscape photography is that the camera is pretty good. At iso 100 you get lots of detail and crop room at 18 megapixels. With a 10-22 EF-S you can easily hit wide, while there are plenty of options for telephoto based landscape imagery. The camera produced great sharpness, and good values in colors out of the box. Post production only made it better.

Canon T2i Landscape

Post production for black and white

Canon T2i Landscape 2

Canon T2i Landscape - No sharpness post, color post done

Bird in Flight

A member of the Canon DSLR flickr group was very interested in the performance of the T2i on Ai Servo paired with the 70-200 2.8L IS taking pictures of Birds in flight. Well I gave it a try….and failed. After about 15 minutes of standing out in the cold I did come to the conclusion that it’s not the cameras AF system (which by the way is pretty snappy on AI Servo) that was fail…it was me. Massive respect to you guys who do this. This is totally not my thing. Of course there is examples of my 1 success, and of course failure.

Canon T2i - Bird in Fail

among all the bird photos I have ever taken (which can be counted on 1 hand) I deem this a success

Canon T2i - Bird in Fail-2

Yeah this is mostly what I got. In the future I'll say this piece is an abstract from my impressionist days.

Macro Photography

It’s pretty safe to assume that the T2i is going to be good for macro photography. Pretty much all cameras should be. You’re taking the most well designed, sharpest lens of the whole system and taking a photo with it. If the macro photo isn’t great, it’s probably not the camera but the photographer. Still though it’s always fun seeing a new camera do something that we are all used to seeing, as to confirm that it isn’t a red headed step child waiting to ruin your precious photos.

My macro setup was simple. Took a thin mint cookies (god bless the Girl scouts), topped it with whip cream, placed a strawberry on it, and than sprinkled it with sugar. I setup the 2 580ex II’s as my source of light, with one on a softbox and the other shooting through a glass underneath the subject. While this isn’t MICRO photography at it’s tiniest, it’s still great than 1:1 and does count as Macro/Micro.

Here are some macro photos

Canon T2i - Macro

Hard to make a thin mint better, but I tried

Canon T2i - Macro Splash Down

Now with water!

I attempted another macro video – and kinda ended up with fail.

You be the judge – Strawberry Plop

I just booked a test shoot for tomorrow night though, so I’m going to extend this by a day and hopefully get some off camera flash style photographs and then call it quits. Conclusion will probably be placed up tonight after the macros πŸ™‚ I’ll just shoe horn in that last piece somehow.

Conclusion – Part 1

And so starts the end of my weekend with the T2i. It’s pretty darn hard trying to photograph so many different types of photography and make it at least passable. It was an absolutely awesome weekend both in just fooling with the camera, and also this absolutely amazing weather we’ve had all weekend. I hope that everyone was at least amused by this write up, and hopefully even learned something.

So how did the camera do?

I liked it! It gives you an incredibly huge amount of bang for the buck. The 18 megapixel sensor is just as good as the 7D’s in my opinion, and I’m saying this as a former owner of a 7D. Iso 100 files were clean, sharp, and great off camera. Post production only made them better. If you held a print from this camera, a 7d, a 5D Mark II at ISO 100 I doubt any client can really tell what camera it came from. The inclusion of full manual video was a massive surprise to me, and from the samples I’ve seen running on my computer the videos are off incredibly excellent quality. I’ll write up a little about video in just a little bit.

So here’s what I like about the Camera.

  • Bang for the buck – Canon gives it’s users a lot for a little here. At only $799 for the body, you get a sensor that matches the quality of the 7D for most of the iso range, and at low iso matches the quality of the 5D Mark II.
  • Incredibly powerful movie mode – Canon went all out here. With full manual movie mode at 1080p @30fps and 24fps, Canon has shown they are absolutely serious about movie mode on an SLR. Using 5 different lenses in movie mode brought me back to why it was amazing on the 5D Mark II. I see the T2i now as a 5D Mark II movie wise with a built in teleconverter. Very nice! Also huge thank you for the microphone slot Canon. Very nice inclusion there
  • New LCD – The wide screen LCD didn’t require getting any used too, and immediately looked great. Like the t1i it seems a little warm to me on the screen, but outside of that fact it was sharp and pretty much accurate.
  • Great ISO 100~3200 Performance Mind you lots of cameras now are sporting high iso, but remember it was only 2 generations ago that ISO 1600 was the hard cap for the rebel series. Now pushing ISO 12800, with ISO 6400 usable in video, that’s a pretty big improvement for an introductory camera. I’m personally not a fan of high iso, but if you shot a killer must get shot at iso 3200 with this camera…its easily cleanable, fixable, and usuable to the extent of a big print. Just don’t shoot 3200 all day long, use the high iso’s with caution
  • Great battery life – One recharge for the whole weekend (and it was only 20 minutes on the charger). I dumped at least 32 gigs of data using 1 8 gig card, and at the end of Sunday it showed half a bar left. This is with video, lots of live view, and a multitude of energy draining lenses like the 70-200 2.8IS L, and the 85 1.2L. Good battery life thumbs up from me.
  • Ergonomics and Buttons – What I like about Canon and Nikon is each generation their layout and buttons do become better and easier to use. The T2i follows that pedigree and has larger buttons and a structure that makes sense.

With every good also comes bad, here are things I didn’t like about the T2i.

  • AEB Entry level cameras are an opportune time to promote experimentation with things like HDR. Canon still hasn’t implemented taking three frames in AEB yet, and you can only go up or down two stops when you do. I rarely use AEB, but this has been a consistent issue for a while, when competitors have already moved forward with options.
  • Plug in battery charger – Seems like a small thing, but with all of our bags already pretty packed it was kinda annoying seeing that we have another extra item to worry about losing. Why didn’t Canon just make a flip out charger just boggles my mind. Oh well, hopefully this will be resolved soon. Talking about batteries…
  • New battery system – Companies can so easily say they are improving the performance of their batteries that they have to change it, but it really feels like they are just doing this so you have to buy their extremely expensive batteries. When I sold the t1i it had 4 batteries and a grip that cost me less than $100….now I’m stuck with 1 battery for the t2i, and probably a bill of $60 just to get another one. This is pretty much a consistent complaint whenever a new battery system is out. Can wait to see how much the grip is also.
  • Sync Port – The rebel series has never had a sync port, and Canon has no reason too now, but with the highly popular movement of Strobist (there I finally said it) and off camera lighting, it would be nice to see a redundancy option for us. This is wishful thinking though.

Right now those are my general good and bads about the camera. I’m really happy with how Canon placed it. The fine options that the 7D has like the AF system, and the commander unit for flash I think are reasonable things they left out of the Rebel to make the products differentiate. I’ve been asked by about 5 people about what they should purchase between all these cameras. The good news is they are all capable so you aren’t really losing too much when you buy one or the other. Here’s the kicker though guys. This whole test this weekend was pretty much done one really nice Canon glass. That should tell you something. If you can afford to get a T2i, and 2 L series lenses, or 1 7D with a kit lens….I assure you that your work and photography would love a lot better with the t2i. Invest in the glass if you can, bodies have a shorter life span and technology in camera bodies trickle down fast.

Movie Mode

This is where I think the T2i really shines. I can say without a doubt that the T2i will be a game changer because of the inclusion of manual movie mode. The fact that Canon included this in their entry level camera both shocked and surprised me. Guys, the T2i does some amazing video…and here’s why it’s going to be a game changer. It brings broadcast level 1080P video to the masses for a really cheap price. Yes there are flip devices, and also Iphone, but now we have a fully controllable way of taking video. I wrote on Flickr about the idea of indy photojournalist taking pretty much a t2i, 24 gigs of sd cards, a 50 1.4, a 18-300 lens, a cheap rode mic, a tripod, and for less than $1600 you can produce an incredible piece of video with it. With proper technique and also other videography skills, you can easily produce something that rivals what major studios put out. Oh an no insult to professional videographers, because they will be the ones picking up this camera like hot cakes. Videographers are not only smart, but they are extremely inventive people and I bet we will see them embracing video on the T2i like they did the 5D Mark II.

Everything about video on the t2i outside of it’s quality screams value, and it’s going to be a major influence on the industry. What I mean by that is in comparison to prices of CF cards, SD cards are super cheap. The EF-S mount on the Rebel lets videographers use pretty cheap lenses like the 18-55IS, 55-250IS, Sigma 30 1.4, and various other lenses and save money compared to what L series users have to spend. Yes the 7D can also, but that’s still $900 more than a T2i. So you could get 2 T2i’s, and the same amount of lenses for the price of 1 7d. 2 T2i’s would be perfect for any indy video house.

I’m pretty subjective here guys, do you agree with me?

Thanks everyone for reading this blog. I am extending it for one more day. The proper thanks you, acknowledgment, and finally end conclusion will be put up tomorrow. Til then guys, have a great night.

Here are the final two points I’m going to hit

  • Fisheye Lens – At first I was going to dismiss this, because you really lose that fish eye feel on a crop camera. But I completely forgot how close you can focus with one of these babies, so that’s going to be covered tomorrow.
  • Environmental photographs with off camera lighting – the totally long way to say “Strobist” but that’s the general idea. With how light the rebel series is, it’s a great camera to take along with other gear and walk around town. Hopefully I’ll walk around tomorrow night with a new model and try this out.

Day 4

So one last extra day talking about the T2i. Today I met with a new possible model for my Athens area classes by the name of Mary. I told her about testing out the T2i, and using a fisheye and outside strobist style shooting today and she was complete game for it. We also did a little French/Italian inspired black and white photo session to cap of the day. Here’s a few more samples guys, and then the last part of my conclusion about this great little camera.

Strobist (and a little fisheye action)

As a strobist style camera, the T2i really shines. It’s portable, light, and gives absolutely wonderful results. I’m a fan of Canon and Nikon for this because also there’s a huge amount of great lenses that can be used for a relatively good price for strobist style photography, along with very capable ettl and manual flash heads. I took the easy way out today and just brough the T2i today, mounted a 16-35 2.8L and a 15mm Fisheye, took a long ETTL cord and attached it to my 580ex II with a softbox. Put the Camera on AV mode, set the exposure down 2 stops, put the Flash exposure up 2, and shot away. Of course High Speed Sync was turned on just in case I broke the 1/250 sync barrier (which I did) but all and all the results came out great. I’m sure with the 18-55 IS kit lens with it’s four stops of power, and a SB-24 one could easily make the T2i (or pretty much any camera) a great little strobist camera. TTL is even better if you want to break the rolling shutter black out issue.

Concerning the Fisheye…the affect really isn’t as pronounced, but an 4 inch focus sure is nice. I’m sure there’s ways to use this is in the future.

Nonetheless here’s some sample images

Canon T2i - Off Camera Flash - Mary on the Curb

Mary on the Curb

Canon T2i - Off Camera Flash - Junkmans Daughter

Naked boys and girls - fisheye time

Canon T2i - Off Camera Flash - Street Scene

A typical Athens street scene

Picture Style : Black and White

So here’s my last topic. Right before Mary and I went outside to shoot, we did a quick studio session. Nothing fancy, just one light, 1 reflector, and black and white in the picture style settings. These photos are shot as black and white using the Picture Style Monochrome setting on the camera. A little French/Italian fashion flair going, but nothing to crazy.

Some sample images (click on the link way above to see more)

Canon T2i - BLack and White-5

Black and white with the T2i

Canon T2i - BLack and White-3

Black and White 2 with the T2i

Canon T2i - BLack and White-7

Conclusion (Part 2)

And so guys, this is my official conclusion about the T2i. What can I say? It’s a great camera. It’s definitely a Rebel. Has the same plastic feel, has the really light weight, and small size that has been the standard for over half a decade now. But the quality of the photographs that come out of the camera as always is top notch. It’s funny you hear people complain about generations of xxD series cameras, like how the 40D wasn’t great, the 50D was so so…but you never really hear people complaining about the Rebel series. Canon does always seem to put a lot of bang for the buck in these little guys, and really it shows with the T2i.
The only time I was disappointed in the camera was when I did something wrong picture wise. Otherwise it worked like a charm and kept on cranking along.

Personally I’m really happy to show everyone a massive amount of different type of photographic style done with the camera, because we all know the Rebel will end up doing the most diverse amount of photography among all the cameras. It matched well with the lenses (albeit some lenses are very front heavy on this camera). So without sounding like a broken record, please check above for the meat and potatoes about how I feel about this camera. From here I want to say thank you’s.

Thanks to the following

  • People who have contributed by sending in request to me, you helped out a bunch
  • Atlanta photography Guild – Even though only Julie actually talked in the post, there’s a good bit of traffic from you guys the last 4 days.
  • Canon DSLR Flickr Group – Probably the biggest contributer outside of Photography on the Net. Thanks a bunch guys
  • Photography on the Net – outside of The-digital-picture.com, this is easily one of the best resources on the web concerning Canon products. Thumbs up guys.
  • Canon 550D Flickr Group – The rugrat of the groups. Lots of traffic from here, so thanks guys.
  • My talent! – Kayleigh, Mary, Clara, Leah, anyone and everyone thank you so much for giving the time to be in this little project.
  • You guys πŸ™‚ – Lots of great side emails, comments to this post, and just general awesomeness from the web made this a great little project to write.

Well guys, this ends the blog. Now to let the T2i rest a little. It’s earn it’s badge of “A great buy”. If this is the first massive blog post you’ve read from me, hopefully you’ll come again soon. I’m constantly trying out new bodies and lenses (whatever I can get, or afford) and writing a little about it. Maybe one day Canon will send me stuff to review πŸ™‚

Please anyone feel free to send me any comments, critiques, corrections for this post.

Thanks all!

Canon t2i

Two thumbs up from me!

About trentchau

Photographer, videographer, and photography instructor in Atlanta. Born in New Orleans. I love food more than photography, but do love photography quite a bit.

36 comments on “My weekend (and a monday) with the Canon T2I

  1. Larry
    February 28, 2010

    Thank you for all your work.

  2. Ed K
    February 28, 2010

    Nice review. I may have to jump on this one. It is really priced right!!!!

  3. Michael Mitten
    February 28, 2010

    Trent, Great write up. The T2i is a great little camera.

    Had a great time hanging out and doing the walk around. Thanks for all your input and tips. I think the 24-70 2.8L is now my favorite walk around lens!

  4. tukhang
    February 28, 2010

    Trent you are amazing in this!

  5. Toma J
    February 28, 2010

    Thanks for the demo!!

  6. Pingback: Max Sanches » Blog Archive » My weekend (and a monday) with the Canon T2I – Living Blog Β« Trent Chau : Photography

  7. Chris O
    March 1, 2010

    Thanks for the write up!

    • trentchau
      March 4, 2010

      No problem Chris, I heard you bought a T2i because of this Article πŸ™‚

      • Chris O
        March 6, 2010

        I have πŸ™‚

  8. Sam K.
    March 1, 2010

    Thanks for the wonderful review!

    I sold my T1i last week, bought T2 the first day it came out. Great little camera – especially for videographers like me!

  9. David on Formosa
    March 2, 2010

    I found your review via the Canon DSLR group at flickr. Thanks for posting such a detailed report about how the camera works in the real world. I am now contemplating trading in my Canon 400D for one of these.

  10. Thad
    March 2, 2010

    Awesome review. This is the first Rebel released since I bought my Rebel XTi (400D) that has seemed like a truly worthwhile upgrade. My wife and I are expecting twins soon… This could be the perfect video camera for recording those special first moments. Great body-only price point for all you get.

    Thanks for putting the time into writing up the review! (Seen in the Flickr Canon DSLR group.)

    • trentchau
      March 4, 2010

      could be awesome to pair this with a sigma 30 1.4 for some great movies, and also awesome black and whites of those special moments. I loved having a fast prime for our little one, mostly a fast wide prime (35 1.4L was used pretty much for 40% of our baby’s photos)

  11. Pedro
    March 8, 2010

    Thanks Trent for letting me test the T2I during our workshop last weekend, I got what I need to decide that I am ready to upgrade my Xsi to a T2i.

  12. Marcy
    March 9, 2010

    I am trying to choose between the Xsi and T2i. I don’t care much about video. Does it make more sense to get the T2i or the Xsi and spend on the lense? Thanks!

    • trentchau
      March 9, 2010

      Hmm hard to say. $350 can get you a great lens, so yes you will see a good benefit from it. Spend a little more and you can get a great 17-50 VC 2.8 from Sigma or Tamron that would really give you great results.

      Personally if it’s my first SLR I would go for the T2i. You would save yourself from second guessing yourself while not breaking the bank.

      If this isn’t your first…than the Xsi with a killer lens will give you awesome results.

      • Marcy
        March 9, 2010

        Thanks so much for your quick reply. It is indeed my first DSLR but I want to progress to pro photography at some point and need to build a portfolio before applying for photography school. Can you clarify why you would go with the T2i if it is my first SLR? I appreciate your help so much!

      • trentchau
        March 9, 2010

        Okay this may sound like a joke, but here is why.

        So you have no excuses when you are having a down day in photography.

        I have seen soooooo many people starting out with photography that go “Man I could probably take a better photo if I had a better camera”.

        The Xsi will take absolutely the same photos my 5d Mark II does if you plan things right, use the right lighting, and also pair it with great glass (great being well designed, which while means expensive…you can get away with a $300 50 1.4).

        So long story short…get it because you can and because it’s only a few hundred more. If you were deciding between a t2i or a 7d this would be different. In a case like this…I would suggest just going for the newest Rebel, and when you are in a funk….rather than blame the camera…just spend a little time solving the puzzle of why it didn’t work and proceed.

  13. Marcy
    March 9, 2010

    Thanks so much! Good advice. I can’t wait to get my t2i!

  14. Kevin
    March 15, 2010

    Found this on the Canon 550D Flickr user group. Excellent review, I felt like I experienced the weekend right along with you.

  15. Mrs ErgΓΌl
    March 22, 2010

    What a great great post! I have found a great deal of my 550D from your post than my hands-on experience. This has certainly helped me as I’m a beginner. I have a 18-135mm 3.5 kit lens and I know I need to get a macro lens to get up close and personal with my food. But, while I’m saving up for that, can you give me tips on how I can optimize the use of my 550D with the kit lens for macro photos??

    Many thanks!

  16. CasinoSlotsTips
    May 16, 2010

    thanks for this very informative write-up!

  17. Canon Rebel T2
    May 26, 2010

    Wow thanks for the article it was really informative and exactly what I was searching for. I’m hopeful that you will add similar to this article.

  18. ahmad
    August 1, 2010

    Wow thanks for the article it was really informative and exactly what I was searching for. I’m hopeful that you will add similar to this article.

    keep blogging

  19. How
    December 8, 2010

    Trent;
    I know this is a dated post, but now that you’ve had the lens almost a year – do you still like it as much?
    In your opinion what would be the best lens/ focal lengths for the video side of things?
    Thanks,
    How

    • TrentChau | Photography
      December 10, 2010

      It’s been replaced How, but when we had it it was an awesome camera that created some great results. Concerning a lens it really depends on application, but right now I would say the 24-105 F4L as an expensive solution. It looks like the 15-85 would be a great one.

      I personally like using primes for video, and never zooming during a video. So in that case there’s a good amount of solutions available. The sigma 30 1.4 is a good choice, mixed with the Sigma 50 1.4, and finally the Canon 85 1.8. Those will allow a lot of luxury in shooting. Use the 18-55 at f5.6 for any wide shot.

  20. How
    December 8, 2010

    In the first line: …camera I meant… πŸ˜‰

  21. Pingback: There is another! The Canon 60D. « Trent Chau Photography News and Reviews

  22. AJ
    February 10, 2011

    Can’t thank you enough for this.

    I was considering buying my friends t2i, it’s used, but 95% of usage was video in live view. Maybe 5k shutter max. He has had it since November, about 4hrs a day, 6 days a week of shooting videos.

    Does video usage shorten the t2i’s life?

  23. Devil310
    February 20, 2011

    I’m a first time owner of a t2i and I stumbled upon this review as I was looking for some advise on lighting on indoor portrait photography.

    Anyways, I ended up reading the entire article…and kept laughing along the way.

    Great review Trent! Thanks for your words. Keep up the good work.

  24. Richard WILSON
    July 8, 2011

    Nice.. I love my T2i, i get some amazing pictures with it, so far I will not go further for now…

  25. Babar Asghar
    August 12, 2011

    great review a really satisfying work u did
    i switched from Nikon D40X to Canon T2i/550D and from there on i never looked back …
    the canon EFS lenses make T2i even more affordable
    pair it with nifty fifty, sigma 30 1.4 and Sigma 10-20mm and one can have a dream entry level stuff in his bag
    i really liked what u did what i always wanted to see ..
    a direct comparison of T2i with giants like 5D MKII and 7D …
    i have not seen any review in which the reviewer has taken such a bold step …
    i wish u get some nikonian fellow or samples also for ur reviews and revamp these hidden treasures
    i hit ur blog by chance … but every review on this blog is done with motivation and dedication

    hope n pray u keep writing more reviews for us
    wud definitely like to see more lenses reviews written by u
    plz do one more thing in future
    LENSES
    when u write about lenses plz do compare them on all ur Canon bodies
    5D MKII
    7D
    60D
    and T2i

    BODIES
    i hope to see new bodies being reviewed by you
    and when you do it plz do a similar kind of review … which u did here
    like if u review 1100D or 600D do compare them with T2i and 5D MKII and 60D or 7D

    hope to see and read more gud reviews
    best of luck!

  26. Chris Buckels
    December 6, 2011

    Hi mate, Really brilliant article you have put in here, ive just bought a 550D, or Rebel T2i, as my first dslr and it is quite brilliant…. still need alot of work to get my pictures better but i must say you did forget to mention how much fun you can have learning to use the camera, plus do you have any other references for a “Noob” of DSLR Photography

  27. Vijay Chhuttani
    March 20, 2012

    Loved the way u explained everything… thanks a lot for the review πŸ™‚

    I am planning for my first DSLR and highly confused between Nikon D3100 and Canon 550D.

    Some of my concerns are :
    1. Long term Cost .. as i will be buying a zoom and a cheap but awesome 50mm f1.8 prime later.
    2. D3100 misses inbuilt auto-focus motor so i may have to purchase costlier lenses or say cheap 50mm will not autofocus on it and eventually i’ll invest for a lens with autfocus capabilities.
    3. Which one has faster autofocus.

    Plss help me out.

    • trentchau
      March 22, 2012

      Long term cost is always a factor with SLRs. You buy them knowing a lens purchase is on the horizon, mostly if you either want to specialize in a type of photography (macro, portraits, commercial), or if you want to be very versatile but deliver commercial level images. The 50 1.8 is great, but on a crop sensor like the d3100 has it maybe a little too telephoto. I would suggest trying the 35 1.8G from nikon, killer lens.

      The 35 1.8g fixes your issue in number 2. It’s a good lens to buy and extremely versatile.

      Concerning autofocus speed, it depends on the lens just as much as the camera. A better lens focuses faster, despite the camera you are using. I would venture they are the same speed.

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