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.
|Canon EOS Rebel T2i||Canon EOS Rebel T3i|
|Resolution||18 Megapixel||18 Megapixel|
|Light Sensitivity||6400 ISO||6400 ISO|
|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|
|White balance||Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Manual, Tungsten||Auto, Cloudy, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Shade, Tungsten|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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.
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.
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:
- Canon EOS Rebel T2i - current prices and deals on Amazon.com
- Canon EOS Rebel T3i - current prices and deals on Amazon.com