Features & Controls

The EOS T2i is compatible with over 50 Canon lenses thanks to its Canon-EF/EF-S lens mount. You can see the lens release over to the right as well as the built-in flash release, DOF (Depth-Of-Field) Preview button and the microphone along the right side of the photo above.

canon_7d_cmos1.jpgThe T2i uses the same 18-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS imager sensor we saw in the EOS 7d. This is a newly-designed unit that produces photos at up to 5184x3456 pixels with full 14-bit A/D conversion. Designed to work with Canon's EF and EF-S lenses, this APS-C sized imager offers a conversion factor of 1.6x. Thanks to its "high sensitivity" design, this CMOS sensor is capable of recording at extremely high sensitivities settings, with a maximum ISO rating of 12800 (with ISO Expansion set to On). Canon claims these high ISO settings, combined with 4 levels of High ISO speed noise reduction, will allow T2i users to capture higher quality images in low lighting when compared to other dSLR models in this class.

canon_7d_selfcleaning.jpgAbove you can see the Self Cleaning system found on the T2i, which helps to keep the CMOS sensor free from dust and other debris by shaking off particles with ultrasonic vibrations. They also added a fluorine coating on the surface of the low-pass filter, further increasing this units ability to repel dust. This process is executed automatically every time you turn the camera off or on, which takes about 2 seconds to complete. You can also manually activate this system via the Setup menu.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II SLR.

The T2i continues to use Canon's high-speed DIGIC 4 processor unit, which helps the cmaera provide you with fast start-up, live-view, image/video capture, and processing speeds. DIGIC technology uses advanced image processing algorithms to ensure precise, natural colors, accurate white balance, and advanced noise reduction. The DIGIC chips work with a high-speed DDR-SDRAM image buffer - reading, processing, compressing and writing image data fast enough to keep the buffer clear during long continuous shooting bursts (up to 3.7fps at full resolution). And, because DIGIC integrates all key processing functions, power consumption is kept to a minimum. This powerful system also has the ability to quickly process the full HD (1920x1080) video that the T2i can record.

Here you can see the controls located on the front of the camera. Switching between manual and auto focus are controlled on the lens as well as the image stabilizer (if the lens offers this feature). On the camera itself you can see the lens lock release, DOF (Depth-of-field) preview button, and the flash release at the top. You can also see the built-in mono microphone.


Here we can see the T2i's flash hotshoe for connecting external speedlites (like the 580EX II shown below). The T2i utilizes an E-TTL II flash metering system, which is compatible with all EX-series Speedlites, and even offers in-camera configuration with some models.

E-TTL II features:

  • High-speed sync (FP Flash) with all shutter speeds from 30 sec. to 1/8000 sec.
  • FE (Flash Exposure) Lock on the desired part of the subject - this is the flash equivalent of AE lock.
  • Flash exposure compensation of ±2 stops in 1/3 of 1/2 stop increments.
  • FEB (Flash Exposure Bracketing) is the flash version of AEB, flash bracketing can be up to ±2 stops in 1/3-stop increments.
  • E-TTL II wireless autoflash with multiple Speedlites provides all the above features. (Only with wireless-compatible Canon Speedlites.)

Here you can see Canon's top-of-the-line 580EX II external speedlite mounted atop the T2i. This unit adds a great deal to the T2i's indoor or low-light capabilities, making for an ultimate combo in these conditions.

The 580EX II offers both dust and water resistance, along with increased body strength to match up to the versatility of Canon's 1D line of professional dSLRs. While 20% shorter than the original 580EX, it boasts improved communication with the camera, 20% faster recycle times, full swivel (180° vertical/horizontal), and a powerful Guide number of 58m (GN 190, feet).

Here you can see the controls on the back of the 580EX II.


The T2i's is equipped with an eye-level pentamirror viewfinder, shown above. It offers approx. 95% coverage (vertically and horizontally), 0.87x magnification (with 50mm at infinity), 19mm eye point and -3.0 - +1.0 dioptric adjustment. The T2i utilizes a fixed "Precision Matte" focusing screen, and displays typical exposure information. The T2i also features a Display-Off sensor automatically turns the LCD monitor off whenever the camera is brought to your eye.


The information presented in the viewfinder includes:

  • AF information: AF points, focus confirmation light.
  • Exposure information: Shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed (always displayed), AE lock, exposure level, spot metering circle, exposure warning
  • Flash information: Flash ready, flash exposure compensation, high-speed sync, FE lock, red-eye reduction light
  • Image information: Highlight tone priority (D+), monochrome shooting, maximum burst (1-digitdisplay), white balance correction, SD card information
  • Depth of field Preview: Enabled with the DOF preview button located on the front of the camera by the lens lock release

The T2i untilizes a TTL-CT-SIR 9-point AF system, which features cross-type center AF point and a dedicated CMOS sensor for analyzing the scene being framed for quick and accurate focus. Focusing modes include:
  • Auto
  • One-Shot AF
  • Predictive AI Servo AF
  • AI Focus AF
  • Manual Focusing (MF)
  • AF Point selection (Auto or Manual)
The T2i also uses the flash a an AF assist lamp (aka AF assist beam), which helps the camera focus on subjects in marginal lighting conditions. This is accomplished by intermittently firing the built-in flash unit. The effective range is: Approx. 4.0m/13.1 ft. at center, approx. 3.5m/11.5 ft. at periphery. When using an external speedlite, the T2i will utilize the speedlite's AF beam.

canon_7d_metering_sensor.jpgHere you can see the T2i's 63 zone, dual-layer, metering sensor. This unit helps the camera capture accurate exposures by collecting information on both the color and luminosity surrounding the chosen AF point(s). The inclusion of a color measurement function also helps reduce the possibility of exposure or focus errors, which are typically caused by different lighting sources.

On the back of the T2i you will find several camera controls, however far less than on a higher-end EOS model; which is what helps the T2i appeal to less experienced users. Occupying the majority of the back is a nice 3.0-inch "Clear Photo" color LCD. This high-quality display that offers over 1 million pixels of resolution, 3:2 aspect (same as image sensor), 100% frame coverage (in Live view mode), 160° viewing angle, and a special anti-reflective, water-repellent, smudge-resistant, and scratch-resistant coating. It also features Auto (3 levels) or Manual brightness adjustment (7 levels).


Here you can see a slightly closer look at the controls on the back. At the top left you can see the Menu button for calling up and dismissing the main menu system, along with the DISPlay button for controlling the amount of information displayed on the LCD. To the right of the viewfinder is the new Live View/Movie shooting button. Pressing this button will enter Live View mode when in a still image mode or Start/Stop video recording when the mode dial is set to Movie. Next is the AV(Aperture)/Exposure compensation button. Depending on the exposure program being used, this button allows you to toggle the aperture and exposure compensation functions of the camera. Below that is the Quick Control button for navigating this shortcut menu

The 4-way controller has several jobs, including navigating the menu system, scrolling inside an enlarged image in playback mode, and quick recall of specific camera functions. Pressing "Up" will display the White Balance options, "Right" alters the AF mode, "Down" gives access to the Picture Style modes, and "Left" toggles the drive mode (burst, self-timer, etc.). Lastly we have the Play and Delete buttons at the bottom.

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.