Canon 5D vs T2i
The Canon EOS 5D and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (labelled Canon 550D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2005 and February 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (5D) and an APS-C (T2i) sensor. The 5D has a resolution of 12.7 megapixels, whereas the T2i provides 17.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 5D||Canon T2i|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|12.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor||17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1600 (50-3200)||ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||3.7 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|400 shots per battery charge||440 shots per battery charge|
|152 x 113 x 75 mm, 895 g||129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g|
Body comparison: Canon 5D vs T2i
The physical size and weight of the Canon 5D and the Canon T2i are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T2i is notably smaller (26 percent) than the Canon 5D. Moreover, the T2i is substantially lighter (41 percent) than the 5D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 5D is splash and dust resistant, while the T2i does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 5D) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (T2i). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 5D»||6.0 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||31.6 oz||400||Y||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon T2i«||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||5.9 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||31.4 oz||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||33.5 oz||950||Y||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon T4i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||6.0 in||4.5 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon XSi« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon XSi|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||55.2 oz||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999||-||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||42.9 oz||1200||Y||Sep 2004||7,999||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||44.6 oz||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999||-||Canon 1Ds|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T2i was launched at a markedly lower price (by 79 percent) than the 5D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Canon 5D vs T2i
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 5D features a full frame sensor and the Canon T2i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T2i is 62 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the T2i uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 5D (DIGIC 2), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the T2i offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 12.7 MP of the 5D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 8.25μm for the 5D). However, it should be noted that the T2i is much more recent (by 4 years and 5 months) than the 5D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The Canon EOS 5D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 50-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T2i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the 5D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the T2i (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV of lower dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 5D»||Full Frame||12.7||4368||2912||-||22.9||11.1||1368||71||Canon 5D|
|Canon T2i«||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon T2i|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Full Frame||22.1||5760||3840||1080/30p||24.0||11.7||2293||81||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82||Canon 6D|
|Canon T4i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon XSi« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||-||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon XSi|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.2||975||66||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||Full Frame||16.6||4992||3328||-||23.3||11.3||1480||74||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||-||21.8||11.0||954||63||Canon 1Ds|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The T2i indeed provides for movie recording, while the 5D does not. The highest resolution format that the T2i can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 5D vs T2i
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 5D and the T2i are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 5D and Canon T2i along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 5D»||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n||Canon 5D|
|Canon T2i«||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||3.7||Y||n||Canon T2i|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.5||n||n||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||7.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T5i|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||6.0||n||n||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||4.5||n||n||Canon 6D|
|Canon T4i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||4000||3.7||Y||n||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||3.4||Y||n||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon XSi« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Canon XSi|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||8.5||n||n||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||8000||4.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n||Canon 1Ds|
One feature that is present on the 5D, but is missing on the T2i is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The 5D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the T2i uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 5D vs T2i
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 5D and Canon EOS Rebel T2i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 5D»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon T2i«||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon T5i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon T4i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon XSi« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XSi|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||FW||-||-||-||Canon 1Ds|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 5D (unlike the T2i) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 5D and the T2i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 5D was replaced by the Canon 5D Mark II, while the T2i was followed by the Canon T3i.
Review summary: Canon 5D vs T2i
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 5D better than the Canon T2i or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 5D:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2005).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 19%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC 2).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 152x113mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 365g or 41 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (79 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 5D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T2i is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 5D and the T2i in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Canon 5D vs T2i
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 5D»||88/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Aug 2005||3,299||-||Canon 5D|
|Canon T2i«||HiRec||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499||Canon 5D Mark IV|
|Canon 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Rec||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon 5D Mark III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2012||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark III|
|Canon 6D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon T4i« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon T4i|
|Canon T3i« »||rev||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon T3i|
|Canon T1i« »||HiRec||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon XSi« »||HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon XSi|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||-||-||-||-||-||Aug 2005||3,999||-||Canon 1D Mark II N|
|Canon 1Ds Mark II« »||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2004||7,999||-||Canon 1Ds Mark II|
|Canon 1Ds« »||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2002||8,999||-||Canon 1Ds|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D vs Canon SX70
- Canon 1D vs Fujifilm X-T30
- Canon 350D vs Nikon D50
- Canon 60D vs Fujifilm X-T20
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Olympus E-30
- Leica M9 vs Leica TL2
- Leica T vs Sony A9
- Nikon 1 J4 vs Nikon 1 V3
- Nikon D5300 vs Nikon D3200
- Olympus E-PL5 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Panasonic GF7 vs Fujifilm X-T100
- Sony A6400 vs Canon G7 X Mark II
Specifications: Canon 5D vs Canon T2i
|Camera Model||Canon 5D||Canon T2i|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2005||February 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 3299||USD 699|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||22.3 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.7 Megapixels||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4368 x 2912 pixels||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||8.25 μm||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.47 MP/cm2||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50-3200 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 2||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||71||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.9||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.1||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1368||784|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||96%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||n/a||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3.7 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Type||BP-511A power pack||LP-E8 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
152 x 113 x 75 mm
(6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||895 g (31.6 oz)||530 g (18.7 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.