The Canon EOS Rebel T3i has some features that the T2i does not have, like articulated monitor (flip-out LCD screen), wireless flash transmitter, digital video zoom and manual audio control while recording videos. The Canon EOS Rebel T2i is a smaller and lighter camera with almost no startup delay and a shorter shutter lag compared to the T3i. The viewfinder is slightly larger, but it lacks a flip-out screen or digital zoom when recording video.

Although the T3i is a more recent model, it is virtually identical to the T2i in most other respects including image quality and lens. While both have an MSRP of $700 and are among the cheapest SLR cameras offered by Canon, the street price varies and is generally a $50 to $100 higher for the T3i. SLR deals on Amazon.com and other retailers suggest that the T3i is the more popular model.

Comparison chart

Canon EOS Rebel T2i versus Canon EOS Rebel T3i comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartCanon EOS Rebel T2iCanon EOS Rebel T3i
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Canon EOS Rebel T2iCanon EOS Rebel T3i
Brand Canon Canon
Resolution 18 Megapixel 18 Megapixel
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Size 129x98x62mm 133x99x79mm
Sensor size 22.3x14.9mm 22.3x14.9mm
Digital zoom Yes Yes
LCD size 3-inch 3-inch
Light Sensitivity 6400 ISO 6400 ISO
Firewire port No No
Built-in flash Yes Yes
Video out Yes Yes
Video recording Yes Yes
USB port USB 2.0 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
File formats JPEG, RAW, RAW - JPEG JPEG, RAW, RAW - JPEG
Dimensions 128.8x97.5x75.3mm mm 133.1x99.5x79.7 mm
Storage SDHC, SDXC, Secure Digital SDHC, SDXC, Secure Digital
Battery Li-Ion Li-Ion
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Manual, Tungsten Auto, Cloudy, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Shade, Tungsten
Self-timer Yes Yes
Bluetooth No No
Weight 530 g 570 g
Minimum shutter speed Bulb+30 sec Bulb+30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec 1/4000 sec
Continuous shooting 3.7 fps 3.7 fps
LCD monitor Yes Yes
LC monitor flips out No Yes
Maximum resolution 5184x3456 pixels 5184x3456 pixels
Minimum resolution 2592x1728 pixels 480x480 pixels
Metering modes 63-zone Evaluative, Center weighted, Evaluative, Spot Center weighted, Evaluative, Spot
Auto focus Yes Yes
Manual focus Yes Yes
Flash modes anti red-eye, auto, fill in, off, slow flash anti red-eye, auto, fill in, off, slow flash
ISO ratings (light sensitivity) auto, 100 - 12800 auto, 100 - 12800
Touch screen No No
Aperture priority Yes Yes
Shutter priority Yes Yes
External flash Yes Yes
External flash type Hot-shoe Hot-shoe
Exposure compensation -5EV - +5EV with 1/3 or 1/2 step -5EV - +5EV with 1/3 or 1/2 step
Video sound Yes Yes
Maximum video resolution 1920x1080 pixels 1920x1080 pixels
Minimum video resolution 640x480 pixels 640x480 pixels
Frames per second (fps) 60 30
Movie format 1080p @ 30fps 1080p @ 30fps
Voice recording Yes Yes
Viewfinder size 0.54x 0.53x
Optical viewfinder Yes Yes
Electronic viewfinder No No
Startup delay 400ms 283ms
Shutter lag 252 ms 283 ms
Battery life 440 shots 440 shots
Native wireless control of off-camera flash No Yes
Digital zoom for video No Yes

Features of T3i vs T2i

The T3i has some unique features that justify its slightly higher cost.

Articulating Monitor

The ability to rotate the LCD monitor is a big advantage for the T3i. It makes it easier to take some tricky shots from unconventional angles.

Manual Audio Control

When shooting video, the T3i allows you to feed in the audio from a microphone. This is can be a big advantage if you use the camera for video recording.

Wireless Flash Transmitter

Like the 70D and 60D, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i also has a wireless transmitter to trigger the flash.

Digital Zoom for Video

The T3i offers up to 10x digital zoom for video however the quality degrades after about 3x. The T2i does not have a digital zoom feature for video.

Performance of T2i vs T3i

The T2i SLR camera has a huge advantage in terms of startup delay. Compared to the T3i, which has a startup delay of 1500ms, the T2i has a delay of only 400ms. This means photographers can go from OFF to photo very fast. Another advantage for the EOS Rebel T2i is shutter lag, which is 252ms. The T3i is not too far behind at 283ms so here the advantage for T2i is smaller.

Both cameras claim a battery life of 440 shots.

T2i vs T3i Sensor and Image Quality

Both the T2i and T3i have the same sensor: an APS-C 22.3x14.9mm CMOS with 17.9 megapixels and 6400 ISO of light sensitivity. There is no difference in RAW image quality between the two cameras.

Screen

The T2i and T3i have virtually identical screens. Both are LCD and 3.0” across, with a resolution of 1040k dots. However, the T3i screen flips out, while the T2i screen does not.

Video

Both the T2i and T3i can record video. The top format of both is 1080p with 30 frames per second. However, the T3i has a digital zoom for video but the T2i does not.

Size

The dimensions for Canon EOS Rebel T3i are 133 x 99 x 79mm So it is slightly larger than the T2i, which measures 129 x 98 x 62 mm. It weighs 530g. The T3i is also heavier at 570g compared to the T2i which weighs 530g.

Prices for T3i and T2i

Canon's website has the same suggested retail price for both cameras ($699). However, at various times, retailers like Amazon offer varying pricing depending upon the accessories (mostly lenses) that you buy along with the camera. In January 2013, the T2i was selling for as low as $559 and the T3i for $599 on Amazon. You can find current deals and prices at:

References

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