The EOS Rebel T2i has an 18-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor with Canon’s DIGIC 4 processor. The ISO range is 100 to 6400 (expandable to 12800), it has a three-inch LCD, HD-video capability, Live View mode, 3.7fps continuous shooting, a pop-up flash and an estimated street price of $799.
The EOS 50D, on the other hand, has a 15-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with Canon’s DIGIC 4 processor. The ISOs go from 100 to 3200 (expandable to 12800) and it, too, has a three-inch LCD, as well as Live View mode, 6.3fps continuous shooting, a pop-up flash and an estimated street price of $999.
These are similar cameras.
It’s easy to see how a shopper could wind up having narrowed down his options to these two choices. The differences aren't dramatic, but when you look a little closer you can find clues as to what those differences mean for different photographers. So let’s do that.
- Video capability. The T2i shoots HD video but the 50D does not. For some photographers this is a deal breaker—if they want a camera to do double duty, the choice is obvious. But for other photographers it could not matter less. If you have no interest in video, don’t pay a premium for it. But if you’re not sure, perhaps that added feature will come in handy down the road. Since it doesn’t always signify a price premium (in this case, the HD-video camera is $200 less expensive than its counterpart) video might be a nice added bonus—especially for a casual camera user.
- Frame rate. Assuming video capability isn’t paramount, consider the shooting speed of each camera. The 50D has a maximum continuous shooting speed of 6.3 frames per second—significantly faster than the 3.7fps offered by the T2i. For sports and wildlife photographers that speed is crucial. A portrait or landscape photographer may not care about the extra speed. A camera that’s out of sync with the photographer is destined to become a doorstop—especially if the camera is just too slow to meet speed needs.