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Canon T2i vs. 7D


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#1 James Mehr

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 03:36 PM

I shot a short film this weekend with the 7D, and was quite impressed with the image quality. I'm thinking about investing in a T2i, but was wondering what are the shortcomings of the camera in comparison with the 7D. Has anyone had experience with both cameras? What would I give up if I went with the T2i? Thanks!
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#2 Michael K Bergstrom

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:00 PM

I shot a short film this weekend with the 7D, and was quite impressed with the image quality. I'm thinking about investing in a T2i, but was wondering what are the shortcomings of the camera in comparison with the 7D. Has anyone had experience with both cameras? What would I give up if I went with the T2i? Thanks!


In terms of video....you're really not giving up anything. The biggest differences between the two is that the 7D has a metal body, and the T2i a polycarbonate. There is also only one processor on the T2i sensor, versus two on the 7D, but this only allows a faster burst mode while shooting stills.
In short, the 7D is a better STILLS camera, and more robustly built.
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#3 Dal Neitzel

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:09 PM

Although users that operate both cameras side by side have all suggested that the imagery of the T2i/550D is identical to the 7D there are gross ergonomic differences between the two cameras. First off, if you liked the "feel" of the 7D you will be disappointed in the "feel" of the T2i. Its lighter and plastic and feels more like a toy than the 7D. Additionally the T2i has fewer surface controls so it sometimes requires a different method to make an adjustment. There is one entire dial missing so you have to press a button while turning the dial to change f-stop...rather inconvenient. There is no top LCD readout panel, so its not as handy as the 7D to see what your settings are. You can't "dial-in" the fine white balance like you can on the 7D. There are also fewer ISO choices..the in-betweens are missing on the T2i. The short of it is that it might appear to have the same image quality but you pay $500 less and you are getting $500 less in ergonomics..to some that's not an obstacle..to others its a deal breaker since DSLRs are somewhat cumbersome to start with...

Webisode2 at the Zacuto shootout is supposed to include the T2i along with the 7D, 5D, Lumix, 1D, D3 and film stocks..
Its supposed to be available on their website May 7th and should shed some light on the quality of the imagery that the T2i/550D puts out compared to other DSLRs.

http://www.zacuto.com/shootout
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#4 Tom J

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 07:43 PM

Philip Bloom did a short with a T2i & he talks about it here: http://philipbloom.c...3/20/saltonsea/

This guy also has several videos comparing them:

T2i body = $800
7D body = $1700
Difference = $900
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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:18 PM

Read the comments on Phillip's website.

People (including Phillip) are having overheating problems with the T2i/550D on long video runs. I'll bet it's because the plastic body doesn't get rid of heat as well as the magnesium body on a 7D. I've run my 7D for 12 minutes at a crack with no overheat and have only heard of very sporatic overheat problems with 7D's, usually cameras out in the direct sun.

I've re-discovered the joy of shooting stills with my 7D, been shooting a lot of things like horses out in fields, spring flowers, landscapes, etc. The additional controls at your finger tips and the top display really make it easy. I come home, plug the camera up to my 58" plasma, and get instant gratification.

The 7D is a professional camera, the T2i is a very nice consumer camera. I was going to go with the T2i but decided it's only money and so far I'm very happy with that decision.

7D/17-55mm F2.8 IS USM/55-250 F4-5.6 IS

PS: It turns out my 20-120mm T2.9 Angenieux will work on my 7D. I've optical benched it up to the 7D and it focuses without anything on the back of the lens projecting into the mirror box. I'll need to swap my BNCR mount for PL and get someone's PL/EOS adapter but its a do-able deal. I'm thinking of emailing Les Bosher and seeing if he could make a one step EOS mount that will directly replace the BNCR mount.
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#6 Rob Vogt

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 09:25 PM

Hal, I was under the impression that the rear elements of normal PL mount lenses (with the exception of the 24-290 optimo) are too long to fit into a Canon without hitting the mirror and so companies like Hot Rod have done mirror removals in order to change the mount.
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#7 Hal Smith

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:33 PM

It turns out that at least the 20-120 has a similar design as an Optimo with respect to the distance between the rear element and the lenses' focal plane. I believe that's due to its having a reverse telephoto design. All I need is either a BNCR to EOS adapter for my lens as is but I did email Les Bosher to see if he wants to quote a one piece Angenieux to EOS mount (not adapter).

One reason for wanting to get the Angie on my 7D is it's got zoom and focus gears on it and I've got a geared focus whip and complete working CP zoom motor rig for it. I think I can even get the handle mount Fuji zoom control I've got to work with the focus whip...that would give me manual focus on a pan handle like a broadcast TV camera.

I was hoping I could use my Cooke Speed Panchro II/III's on the 7D but the only way would be the Hot Rod style radical modification along with my Arri std. to PL adapter that is built specifically for the way the Cooke focus mechanism works. (the entire barrel rotates in the Arri standard spigot).

I've got several lenses in Arri std. that if the rear end of the lens was modified would go on a standard 7D body. My little 35-140mm Angenieux compact zoom and 135mm F4 Zeiss would work but they're not particularly more desirable than Canon lenses except for good focus scales.
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#8 Michael K Bergstrom

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 11:51 PM

Hmmm, maybe I haven't run into the overheating problem since I'm shooting in Alaska. In the winter.

The controls and the build on the 7D are a lot better, but don't regret getting it.

If you find an adapter for the Angie, let me know, I would love to hook mine up to the T2i.
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#9 Ben Lunden

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 02:01 AM

I shot a short film this weekend with the 7D, and was quite impressed with the image quality. I'm thinking about investing in a T2i, but was wondering what are the shortcomings of the camera in comparison with the 7D. Has anyone had experience with both cameras? What would I give up if I went with the T2i? Thanks!


Another thing to note is that the T2i doesn't have as many iso settings. It increments in whole stops (100, 200, 400, 800, etc), wherease the 7D increments in 1/3 stops.
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#10 Brian Kaufman

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 12:50 PM

Another important difference is that the 7d outputs a full resolution (1080P) signal, while the T2i can only output 480P while shooting (I believe it is 1080P while not recording). This is due to the single vs. double processors on the T2i vs. 7D.
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#11 Chris Millar

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:05 PM

RPeople (including Phillip) are having overheating problems with the T2i/550D on long video runs.


Uh huh - had this warning light last weekend ...

ambient temperature = 1deg C :blink:

but then, ok I got the warning light yeh - but then, well, nothing happened... kept on recording until the programmed time out (gah!)
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#12 Jim Menkol

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:50 AM

Agreed with what has been said above--the T2i just isn't as user friendly and feels cheaper. Also, they claim to have the same sensors, but I've seen a shift in skin tones towards magenta on the T2i.
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#13 Hal Smith

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:17 AM

Agreed with what has been said above--the T2i just isn't as user friendly and feels cheaper. Also, they claim to have the same sensors, but I've seen a shift in skin tones towards magenta on the T2i.


That's also been seen on the 7D and seems to vary from camera to camera. It's best to use custom settings and set up each camera for the look you want.
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#14 Dal Neitzel

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:07 PM

Try this with your T2i:
In October I was shooting a wild salmon run in the late afternoon with my 7D. The setting was autumn beautiful. The fish were cooperating. The weather was perfect. I was enjoying myself and getting some very nice footage when I noticed a beautiful fish near the shore that had spawned and was now dead. This may sound a little creepy but that fish was just gorgeous in the late afternoon sun. Silver against sand with the clear water gently lapping and slowly undulating the floating carcass. I saw something I wanted to capture.

I had planted the baby legs partially on the beach and partially in the water, had the camera mounted and decided to switch to a 100mm macro for a tight shot of her lifeless tail. I turned to grab the 100mm from my case and as my back was facing the camera and fish I heard a horrible "splash". As I looked back in terror the tripod was on its side and the 7D was under about two feet of water. I couldn't believe it. I grabbed the camera and pulled it out. Water seemed to be pouring out of it. I quickly turned it off and ran back to the truck and started mopping and drying it as best I could. I sped back to the motel, removed the lens and card and battery and put the body under a tungsten lamp for its dry heat while I worked on wringing out the lens and cleaning up the rest of the gear.

The next morning the chamber of the body seemed clear. I cleaned it thoroughly and examined the sensor. I could not see anything inappropriate. The lens was far less promising, with water and bubbles and sand between the elements. I assembled the camera with a different lens. Turned it on and everything seemed normal. I tried to muzzle my enthusiasm and took a batch of test stills, some test footage and examined them closely and to my absolute astonishment, all seemed perfect.

Now, two months later and after a factory check and cleaning (they didn't find any problems) the camera is still operating perfectly. I am very impressed by the build quality of the 7D.
I don't think things would have turned out as well if that had been a T2i.
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#15 jenniferdavid

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 06:34 AM

The Canon EOS 7D is Canon's new semi-pro / enthusiast digital SLR and competes primarily with Nikon's recently updated D300s.

Notable features about 7D:
- 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- Dual DIGIC 4 processors (a first for a prosumer Canon DSLR)
- Maximum 8 fps frame rate
- Maximum ISO 12,800

Canon T2i has
*Better Live View - Live view mode is now much more accessible and in more modes.18 MP sensor is nice for cropping and taking full advantage of "L" glass if you have it.This camera uses SD type cards including the new ultrahigh capacity cards.

*The t2i's lcd screen is amazing. Very vibrant and lots of pixels. Much better than XSI's. I'd recommend getting an lcd protector (plastic film) to add here.

*To be honest, video recording isn't very intuitive the first time I tried it. You have to turn the knob to the video recorder icon. Then you pressure the button for live view/red dot to record. It doesn't say the amount of time you've recorded unless you press the DISP button.
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#16 Hal Smith

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 07:37 AM

Without a long list: The 7D has two Canon DigicIV processors, the T2i has one. The 7D is a smarter camera in many ways. Having said that, if one is on a budget, the T2i is a fine camera. I own a 7D but if I couldn't afford the extra money, I'd buy a T2i in a heartbeat.
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#17 Richard Hicks

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 03:51 AM

I have a T2i and use it for video a lot. I love the quality. If you don’t have a canon camera body, and you want to do nice stills and video for the first time, then get a T2i. Firstly, the quality is the same from what I can tell on both cameras. Why? It is because it is the same sensor, just with less processing and throughput. So, why spend more on a camera body when the quality of the recording and stills will not show an effective meaningful difference. If this is your first foray into DSLR nice stills and video then the extra money is much better spent on nicer lenses, memory cards, tripods, and other equipment.

Remember, the camera body takes the picture, yes, but is the lens and you that makes the picture. Which do you think is more important, the camera body, or what lens you use and what you put through that lens for the camera body to capture? The Canon T2i will last you for a long time of learning and use if you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t have the lens for the job yet.

However, if you all ready have a good lens stock and your much more into photography and video and you have the money, by all means go for the Canon 5D mark 2. What? Why not the 7D? I say the 5D mark 2 because you all ready have a lens setup and you just want to upgrade to a nicer body. In this case it still makes no sense to go with a 7D when for another T2i’s price you can get the 5d mark 2 and get much more advantages in light control and quality with stills and video. So, either way that you look at it from my point of view there is very little need for the 7D. The T2i takes just as sweet videos and the difference in price does not justify almost no difference in function or quality. If you all ready have lens then save the money and get the 5D mark 2 anyway because I am assuming that you are greatly into photography and the only major improvement to your abilities will not be in the 7D over the T2i, but in your lenses and getting the 5d mark 2 over your current digital camera. But even then rumor is that he 5d mark 3 will be out soon from what I hear so, who knows.
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#18 Justin Talley

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 06:02 PM

Not to pile on, but in a 5 cam DSLR pilot shoot that I did summer of last year () we had 1 5D, 2 7Ds and 2 T2i cams... BOTH T2i bodies (bought at different times by different people) had the LCD screens burst in various places. Big green blotches of goop bubbled through to the fore and obscured about 5-10% of the screen.

To reiterate what someone said before, it's $900 cheaper and if you really push the limits of what these buggers ought to be used for, it'll cost you.
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#19 M Joel W

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:04 PM

I own a t2i and have shot quite a bit on the 7d. If you're planning on renting out a kit and freelancing it might be worth getting the 7d simply for purposes of advertising/appearing more "professional." The t2i is about half the size and does not get taken very seriously due to its price and form factor. This can be an advantage if you're using it as a crash cam or with a tiny steadicam type rig. But if you have to cheap out and buy a t2i that does not say much about your level of professionalism and investment in your craft.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that the image is exactly the same. I'm not sure, but there's certainly not a big difference. Image quality is so close it shouldn't play in to your decision.

The 7d has a few real advantages: 1/3 stop ISO settings (which, surprisingly, isn't really that big a deal since you can set most lenses within the 1/3 of a stop, though it's very nice for maintaining depth of field within a scene and not having to relight as much) and vastly more flexible white balance settings. The t2i has no good settings between 3200K and 5600K except "white fluorescent," which is okay with cool white fluorescent lights and unacceptably red with incandescent lights. So if you like shooting at different white balance settings between daylight and tungsten or baking in slightly different color, this is a pretty big deal. The t2i has tons of daylight settings, though, for whatever reason. The 7d can also go to like 2700K or so, which is more neutral with most incandescent lights; 3200K is a bit warm. The 7d also supports external monitoring at useful resolutions and the interface is trivially better. The build quality is of course vastly superior, which may matter if you plan to shoot in the rain or extreme heat.

The t2i has a few advantages of its own: autofocus during video capture (which is 99.9% useless) and a significantly sharper, larger, and brighter screen. I can't judge focus worth anything on the 7d's LCD without zooming in, and that's not available during capture, and that makes pulling focus really hard. The t2i's screen is still much lower res than its capture (720X480 vs somewhere around 720p), but I can spot aliasing and focus errors much more easily with it. This is a moot point if you set up external monitoring correctly with the 7d.

As always, it boils down to preference.

Edited by M Joel Wauhkonen, 21 March 2011 - 09:09 PM.

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#20 Andrew Lynch

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:08 PM

I own a t2i and have shot quite a bit on the 7d. If you're planning on renting out a kit it might be worth getting the 7d simply for purposes of advertising/appearing more "professional." The t2i is about half the size and does not get taken very seriously due to its price and form factor. This can be an advantage if you're using it as a crash cam or with a tiny steadicam type rig, though. If you had to cheap out and buy a t2i that does not say much about your level of professionalism and investment in your craft. Or you can just put a huge lens and mattebox on the t2i.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that the image is exactly the same. I'm not sure, but there's certainly not a big difference.

The 7d has a few real advantages: 1/3 stop ISO settings (which, surprisingly, isn't really that big a deal since you can set most lenses within the 1/3 of a stop, though it's nice for maintaining depth of field within a scene and not having to relight as much) and vastly more flexible white balance settings. The t2i has no good settings between 3200K and 5600K except "white fluorescent," which is okay with cool white fluorescent lights and unacceptably red with incandescent lights. So if you like shooting at different white balance settings between daylight and tungsten or baking in slightly different color, this is a pretty big deal. The t2i has tons of daylight settings, though, for whatever reason. The 7d can also go to like 2700K or so which is more neutral with most incandescent lights; 3200K is a bit warm. The 7d also supports external monitoring, though I've not heard good things about the video out, and the interface is trivially better. The build quality is of course superior, which may matter if you plan to shoot in the rain.

The t2i has a few advantages of its own: autofocus during video capture (which is 99% useless) and a significantly sharper, larger, and brighter screen. I can't judge focus worth anything on the 7d's LCD without zooming in, and that's not available during capture, and that makes pulling focus really hard. The t2i's screen is still much lower res than its capture (720X480 vs somewhere around 720p) but I can spot aliasing and focus errors much more easily. This is a moot point if you set up external monitoring correctly with the 7d.

As always, it boils down to preference.


why is autofocus during video capture 99% useless? sorry if it's a noob question.
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