Pentax Kr vs Canon T2i / 550D

by Enche Tjin on October 7, 2010

Pentax Kr and Canon T2i is positioned between absolute beginner camera to advanced camera. It is designed primarily for beginners who want a better DSLR to start with instead of getting the cheapest DSLR camera in the market.

Canon brand might be a lot stronger than Pentax in DSLR realm, but Pentax Kr offers better bang for your buck.

Here is why:

Pentax Kr advantages:

  • Faster and more sensitive auto focus points
  • Built-in image stabilization (Shake Reduction)
  • 6 fps continuous shooting
  • Maximum 1/6000 shutter speed vs 1/4000
  • Use Lithium battery or Universal AA batteries
  • Stainless steel chassis
  • Smaller dimension
  • Available in three colors, more in Japan
pentax-colors-3

Pentax Kr offers many personalized color combination

On the other hand, Canon T2i / 550D advantages are as follow:

  • Higher image resolution (18 vs 12)
  • 3:2 aspect ratio LCD screen with higher resolution
  • Full HD video recording with manual exposure control
  • Compatible with huge Canon lenses collection [Read Pentax vs Canon lenses]

Although Canon T2i can record 18 MP image, 12 MP image is actually good enough for print. Built-in shake reduction will works with any lenses and provide good advantage in low light situation. Canon has image stabilized lenses, but not all of them. Fixed focal lenses usually don’t have built-in image stabilization.

Pentax Kr is also a more responsive camera. It shoots 6 frames per second, has more sensitive auto focus points, and has 1/6000 maximum shutter speed. Kr is also more versatile for travel, because it accepts lithium ion battery or universal AA batteries, it is also slightly smaller than Canon T2i. About the camera body, Pentax Kr is a bit heavier due to stainless steel chassis, but it feels more solid compare to more plasticky Canon T2i.

Canon T2i however, has higher resolution video and you can manually set the exposure in video. It also compatible with all Canon EOS lenses, which means you have more lens selections. It does not mean that Pentax does not have good selection of lenses, but the choice is not as wide as Pentax especially in advanced / pro lenses.

Therefore, Pentax Kr is definitely a better camera for still photography, and Canon T2i is better if you desire on working creative multimedia video.

Canon T2i / 550D Pentax Kr
Image 18 MP / APS-C Sensor (1.6x crop) 12.4 MP / APS-C Sensor (1.5x crop)
LCD 3 inch 3:2 aspect ratio, 1,040,000 dots 3 inch 910k dots 4:3 aspect ratio
Auto Focus 9 AF points, center cross type 11 AF points, 9 cross type
ISO ISO 100-12800, good up to 3200, auto iso up to 3200 ISO 100-25600
Movie recording Full HD 1080i, 24, 25, 30 fps with manual exposure control 720p HD video 25 fps
Continuous shooting 3.7 fps, buffer 34 JPG / 6 RAW 6 fps buffer 25 JPG
Other features Shake Reduction, 1/6000 shutter speed, dual batteries (AA or lithium), Sv priority, Auto HDR
Body material Polycarbonate Stainless steel chassis
Price $850 Approx. $750-800
Size/Weight 130 x 97 x 76 mm / 530 g include battery and sd card 125 x 97 x 68 mm / 595 g include batteries
Viewfinder 95% coverage, .87x magnification 96% coverage, .85x magnification
Top: Canon T2i, Below: Pentax Kr - Kr has slightly smaller dimension

Top: Canon T2i, Below: Pentax Kr - Kr has slightly smaller dimension.

Top: Canon T2i/550D, Below: Pentax Kr

Top: Canon T2i/550D, Below: Pentax Kr

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

kwanonku October 11, 2010 at 4:34 am

as usual, Pentax delivers a better product in its class..

atiratha October 18, 2010 at 4:12 am

Regarding lens selection, the author emphasizes on several occasions that Canon is compatible with all Canon EOS lenses, leading an uninformed reader believe the Canon is compatible with more lenses than Pentax. What the author doesn’t mention is that Pentax is compatible with pretty much any lens ever produced for a Pentax 35 mm SLR which date….30 years back or so? Not to mention great compatibility with M42 lenses. Moreover, Pentax offers metering, focus confirmation and stabilization with all of them. For Canon to add focus confirmation, you need a specialized adaptor with a chip.

Baker October 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm

As previous comment. Simga, Tameron also make Pentax digital compatible lenses.

Also I think the buffer numbers for the Pentax are for JPG and RAW (or very close to 6fps for both) and the Canon must have a few additional features.

TyranosaurusRex April 19, 2011 at 6:46 am

Pentax Kr is a failure, a toy compared with 550D. Its front focus in artificial light (severe in tungsten) was accepted by their support service. Obviously, no solution yet. The difference between 550d and Kr (I owned both) are huge. The AF system of Canon, the heart of a camera, is much much better (accurate and constant) than Kr’s. And 6 fps for an AF system without tracking? Lol. Pentax must build a good AF system, must have a better QC and a better support service.
The only chapter Kr wins is better (but not so far) built quality.

Mauricio Ramirez April 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Haha, not all of us care that much about auto focus, for me that is not a problem AT ALL i enjoy manually focusing, if the rest of the features, including built quallity are better in the Kr it is an easy pick for me.

lens quantity its not a problem either, pentax has a big selection of lenses by their own, plus tamron and sigma also produce some good lenses. miegh, imma be gettin mine soon enough, haha

ralph williams May 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm

T-Rex put it best. Buid quality and burst rate, thats it. I grew tired of my K-r’s VERY severe FF issues (tungsten light) and Pentax’s inability to remedy. Look up/Google the K-r’s front focusing dilemma. Quite an issue. I switched to t2i and havent looked back…

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