Canon T2i (550D) vs Canon T1i (500D)

by Enche Tjin on February 8, 2010

Canon T2i (specs and info) is an improved version from Canon T1i. It improves overall functions of camera, especially video feature.

Here is the comparison table comparing Canon T2i and T1i:

Canon T2i Canon T1i
Image 18 MP 15 MP
ISO range 100-6400 (12800)
User selectable max ISO
100-3200 (expandable to 12800)
Cont. Shooting 3.7 fps 3.4 fps
Body Plastic Plastic
Metering TTL 63-zone SPC TTL 35-zone SPC
Auto Focus 9 points system 9 points system
LCD screen 3″ 1040k 3″ 920k
Video related Full HD (1080p) at 24, 25, 30 fps
HD (720p) at 50, 60 fps
External mic jack
Movie crop function 7x magnification
Manual Exposure control
Full HD (1080p) at 20 fps
HD (720p) at 29 fps
Built-in mono microphone
Battery Grip new with extra button (BG-E8 ) same with XS, XSi (BG-E5)
Exposure Comp. +/-5 stops +/- 2 stops

Canon T2i has been improved in many aspects. I am not a fans of high megapixel count because it tends to lower image quality in high ISO, however, there are many aspects that most photographers will love such as user selectable max ISO. Before, the Canon camera limits the max ISO in auto-ISO mode to ISO 3200 in T1i or 800 in XSi.

It also inherited new metering system from Canon 7D. In theory, metering function will be more accurate. Exposure compensation improvement is also quite nice, and usually available only in advanced model. LCD screen gets subtle resolution boost and new grip.

The major improvement is in video related feature. Now, T2i shooters can enjoy recording full HD movie with higher fps up to 30fps, it also has manual exposure control. So, if you are multimedia artist on budget but can’t afford 7D or 5D mark ii, Canon T2i / 550D will be  a nice one to get.

However, if you are shooting photography stills and prefer a camcorder to record video, Canon T1i or XSi will be sufficient.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

David May 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Sorry but this site has a lot of incorrect data. Please do your research before misguiding others. One mistake = 720p on the t1i is 29pfs not 24

milly June 14, 2010 at 11:45 pm

I agree with David, lots of incorrect data. Canon T1i sensor has 15.1 million effective pixels.. 15.1 is not 16, it’s 15, noob..

Chris July 10, 2010 at 8:49 am

Thanks, exactly the info I was looking for.
Thanks for making the effort, I can live with a few minor errors.

Enche Tjin July 10, 2010 at 9:50 pm

the incorrect data has been fixed.

Patrick July 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Also to add is that the T1i has expandable ISO to 12800. Another mistake to point out.

Lisa September 12, 2010 at 1:21 am

Thanks for the information despite some minor error which don’t make much difference to me. It really helps me to understand the difference between the 2.

Jim December 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Best comparison on the 2 models I’ve found so far. Recently returned T1i for T2i kit at Costco ( I thought T1i would be good enough). T2i is worth the price of admission for the casual photographer. T2i also has a more intuitive user interface likely as a result of lesson’s learned from the T1i. T1i will likely be discontinued in the near future as the T2i is close enough in price point and is a better camera.

Ishka May 11, 2011 at 2:54 am

Thank you for great review. I agree with jim, most informative comparison so far. Well im right about to go for the Canon 550D – but still comparing with the Sony A55. The Sony is a little bit more expensiver than 550D, but what i dont understand is why ppl still choosing the 550D over the A55, which according to comparisons, Sony has better “hardware” and Canon has more userfriendly functions and presets.. correct me if im wrong..

Enche Tjin May 11, 2011 at 3:31 am

A55 is a bit different with most DSLR camera in the market. It does not has optical viewfinder, but it use electronic viewfinder. Check out this post if you want to know more about it.

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