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Canon Rebel T3i VS T2i

Updated on May 11, 2012

Canon Rebel T3i or T2i

Canon Rebel T3i with Swivel LCD Screen
Canon Rebel T3i with Swivel LCD Screen
Canon Rebel T2i - no swivel LCD Screen
Canon Rebel T2i - no swivel LCD Screen

Beginner's DSLR - Canon Rebel T3i or T2i

As if it was not already a complicated choice, Canon has made your Digital SLR purchasing decision somewhat more complicated. Now you have to pick between the Canon Rebel T2i or T3i.

Is the Canon Rebel T3i actually an upgrade? That is the query under consideration right now, and many reviewers are weighing in on the subject. Make sure you read this discussion all the way through, because you will notice that there are some subtle changes here that may sway your purchasing decision.

Every review should study a camera's main features first. The image sensor and processor are the exact same in both cameras. All that means is that both cameras are capable of producing identical image quality and size.

To go along with that, there are other features for camera comparison are also identical. Two more features that have not changed are the video and ISO settings. Both models can shoot 3.7 fps... no change there.

The first chief difference comes in the LCD panel. The new tilt-panel LCD screen is the one feature that everyone draws attention to first. It has been very popular on the Canon 60D, and it may just be what brings out your wallet, too, when it comes to the T3i.

So a vari-angle LCD panel is a large advantage for the Canon Rebel T3i.

An additionalA second convenience for the Canon T3i is the potential to remotely fire more than one flash when taking a photo. This seems more like a pro feature, but it is unquestionably something that is not available on the T2i.

Now let's look a little closer at video. A new feature allows the photographer to zoom in digitally by a factor of 3-10x without losing any image quality in the video. Auto focus has also been upgraded so that there is more manual control whenever in video mode.

Images below are from the Flickr Creative Commons area. They are all from new Canon Rebel T3i users.

Image Quality of Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i is Virtually Identical

Taken with a Canon Rebel T3i by Chase McWilliams on Flickr
Taken with a Canon Rebel T3i by Chase McWilliams on Flickr
Also by Chase McWilliams
Also by Chase McWilliams
Sample image from Canon Rebel T3i by Camera Gear Guide on Flickr
Sample image from Canon Rebel T3i by Camera Gear Guide on Flickr
Another sample T3i image by Camera Gear Guide
Another sample T3i image by Camera Gear Guide

Creative Photography - T3i or T2i?

Perhaps the real advantage of the Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i comes in some of the creative features available now on the new model.

First, there is a new video component that allows you to take short video clips and have them stitched together inside the camera. This is done by selecting the length of the clips. You can choose between 2 sec, 4 sec, or 8 sec clip lengths, then the camera does its magic.

A second creative selection is Basic +. Inside Basic+ there are two creative output choices. The first is choosing an ambience setting and the second is shooting by lighting or scene type.

If you choose the ambience setting, the camera does its thing by changing the color and saturation along with sharpness and contrast to create the selected ambience for that shot.

If you choose the lighting or scene setting, there will be changes applied that are called Creative Filters that can result in 5 separate types of effects. The results are Grainy Black and White, Miniature, Soft Focus, Toy Camera effect, and the ever-popular Fish-eye effect.

Finally, perhaps the most useful feature for those new to digital SLR cameras, there is now a Feature Guide that appears in the LCD panel. When you modify the camera settings, the new choice is shown in the LCD window with a description of what that setting will do.

The Canon Rebel T3i vs T2i discourse boils down to some rather subtle changes to the feature set and one fundamental change in the hardware.


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    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 3 years ago

      @javr, I would consider the T4i as well. It has the added feature of a separate video setting not on the T3i. Either one is a great choice.

    • javr profile image

      javr 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have a Canon T1i and I'm considering the T3i or the T5i. Thanks for the information regarding the T3i. The T2i is too similar to my unit now.

    • profile image

      Ghost Producer 6 years ago

      I went with the t3i a few days ago, can't really complain although I do feel I will need a new lens here in the near future. I found a really good price for it here

      What lens would you suggest?

    • thewayeyeseeit profile image

      thewayeyeseeit 6 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      Hey Jason, do you use Canon cameras? Too bad you didn't copyright your name.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • Jason Canon profile image

      Jason Canon 6 years ago

      Very nicely written hub on the camera that copied my last name :-)

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      good job and well done on canon