Canon traditionally avoids lower-margin market segments--nice work if you can get it--and its announcement of the new EOS Rebel T2i continues that trend. Instead of replacing its tired, old XS and XSi models to compete with younger, spryer sub-$700 models from Nikon, Sony, and Pentax in that extremely popular price segment, Canon instead chose to release an update to its more expensive T1i, in the less competitive $800-$1000 range. Included in the new T2i are some notable enhancements to the video capabilities and the updated metering scheme from the 7D, but the T2i also seems to retain the old autofocus system from the T1i and a possibly unwelcome jump to 18-megapixel resolution.
Given Canon's focus on staying ahead of the field for video implementations in dSLRs, unsurprisingly the most whizzy new feature of the T2i is support for 1080p video at 30 frames per second (as well as 24p and PAL-friendly 25p) and 720p at 60/50fps. Those video files may make the camera's SDXC card support a necessity. There's also a jack for an external microphone. Canon also claims full manual controls and on-demand autofocus during shooting (which you don't really want to do with most lenses, since they're too noisy) as well as the usual set of manual exposure controls. In addition, in VGA quality (which the company mistakenly refers to as standard definition) the T2i camera supports a form of digital zoom where it optically crops to a smaller area on the sensor in order to produce a greater telephoto effect.
For photographers, the new high-resolution display--it uses a slightly wider 3:2 aspect ratio instead of the 4:3 ration in the T1i--and the incorporation of the 7D's metering system should also be very welcome. Canon also says that it has an expanded exposure compensation range up to five stops, which sounds really nice for HDR work, although it's not clear whether it can handle more than the typical three-shot bracket. … Read more