*Update: Take a look at our full review of the Canon Rebel T2i for a detailed look at ergonomics, performance, and image quality.
Canon announces today the arrival of a new digital Rebel - the Canon EOS Rebel T2i. The Rebel XSi drops out of their entry-level line to make way for the new flagship T2i. It boosts the feature set of the T1i with a sensor nearly identical to the almost-pro Canon EOS 7D. They introduce the T2i with a price starting well below $1000.
The Canon EOS Rebel T1i turns a year old in a few days, and before it has the chance to hit that mark Canon brings the step-up T2i into the mix. It brings technology developed for the EOS 7D down into the high-end of the entry-level Canon DSLR lineup. The Rebel XSi will drop out of Canon's lineup, while the Rebel XS and T1i remain intact.
Borrowing from the EOS 7D
What's at the heart of the Rebel T2i is an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor that's almost identical the one Canon built for the EOS 7D. Same resolution, same APS-C size. The difference is in the channel readout - the 7D features 8 channels, the Rebel T2i will have 4. That adds up to a reduced framerate in burst shooting. The Rebel T2i will deliver 34 full-size fine JPEGs at a rate of 3.7 fps (or 6 RAW). The speedy 7D outpaces that with burst shooting up to 8 fps.
Also trickling down from the 7D is the dual-layer 63-zone metering system. It has been tweaked for compatibility with the T2i's 9-point auto focus system, a feature borrowed from the Rebel T1i. The T2i will also host the DIGIC 4 processor, as does the Rebel T1i.
...and we're rolling
Canon continues to push forward with strong video recording features and the Rebel T2i will capture full 1080p HD video files at either 24, 25, or 30 fps. Users will also be able to step down resolution to 720p or standard 640x480 and record at 50 or 60 fps. Like the EOS 7D, the T2i will limit video clips to 12 minutes in length. Manual exposure is available in video recording, and the new Rebel features an external microphone input.
Video capture mode will be accessible by a dedicated live view/movie button positioned to the right of the viewfinder. A 3.0 inch LCD with 3:2 aspect ratio occupies the back panel, accompanied by a control layout very similar to that of the T1i. The Rebel T2i will be HDMI-CEC compatible, making it possible for users to control the camera with an HDTV remote when it is hooked up to an HDTV.
A new BGE8 battery will power the T2i. Canon designed the higher-capacity unit to offer up to 550 shots, a slight increase over the T1i's maximum of 500. Accompanying the new DSLR release are several new accessories including a new battery grip and remote control. In addition to SD and SDHC cards, the T2i will accept the new higher-capacity SDXC card format.
Pricing and availability
The Canon EOS Rebel T2i will be offered as a kit with 18-55mm lens for $899 or body-only for $799. It will ship in late March 2010.