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Canon 7D vs T2i

The Canon EOS 7D and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (labelled Canon 550D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2009 and February 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 17.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 7D
versus
Canon T2i
Canon 7D   Canon T2i
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8 shutter flaps per second 3.7 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
800 shots per battery charge440 shots per battery charge
148 x 111 x 74 mm, 860 g 129 x 98 x 62 mm, 530 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 7D and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon 7D and the Canon T2i are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 7D vs Canon T2i
Compare 7D versus T2i top
Comparison 7D or T2i rear

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 (23 percent) than the Canon 7D. Moreover, the T2i is substantially lighter (38 percent) than the 7D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 7D 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 7D gets 800 shots out of its LP-E6 battery, while the T2i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
2.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
3.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
4.
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
5.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
6.
 
Canon T5i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
10.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon 5D Mark II 152 mm 114 mm 75 mm 850 g 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499i
12.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
13.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
14.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
15.
 
Nikon D7000 132 mm 105 mm 77 mm 780 g 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The T2i was launched at a markedly lower price (by 59 percent) than the 7D, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Canon 7D and Canon T2i sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 17.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the 7D and the T2i have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the T2i is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the 7D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS 7D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The Canon EOS Rebel T2i offers exactly the same ISO settings.

7D versus T2i MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
2.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
3.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
4.
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
5.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
6.
 
Canon T5i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
9.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
10.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
11.
 
Canon 5D Mark II Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579
12.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
13.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
14.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
15.
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/24p23.513.9116780

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 7D 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 viewfinder in the 7D offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the T2i (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 7D has a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 7D, the Canon T2i, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
2.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
3.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T5ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
10.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
11.
 
Canon 5D Mark IIoptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 3.9 n n
12.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
13.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D7000optical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the 7D, 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 7D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the T2i uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 7D and Canon EOS Rebel T2i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 7DYmono / -Y-mini2.0---
2.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon 7D IIYstereo / monoYYmini3.0---
5.
 
Canon 70DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
6.
 
Canon T5iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 60DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 5D Mark IIYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon 50DY- / ---mini2.0---
13.
 
Canon 30DY- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
15.
 
Nikon D7000Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 7D (unlike the T2i) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 7D and the T2i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 7D was replaced by the Canon 7D Mark II, while the T2i was followed by the Canon T3i. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 7D better than the Canon T2i or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 7D:

  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.63x vs 0.54x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (800 versus 440) on a single battery charge.
  • 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 on the market for longer (launched in September 2009).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (129x98mm vs 148x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 330g or 38 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (59 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 7D is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 5 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

7D 09:05 T2i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 7D and the Canon T2i place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 7D or the T2i perform in practice. 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

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
2.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
3.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
4.
 
Canon 7D II4.5/5+3.5/584/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
5.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
6.
 
Canon T5i......76/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
9.
 
Canon 60D5/5+..79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
10.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
11.
 
Canon 5D Mark II4/591/100..79/1004/5.. Sep 2008 3,499i
12.
 
Canon 50D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
13.
 
Canon 30D..+ +..+ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399i
14.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499i
15.
 
Nikon D70004/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 7D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon T2i:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 7D vs Canon T2i

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 7D Canon T2i
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2009 February 2010
    Launch Price USD 1,699 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Canon 7D Canon T2i
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 5.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 (Dual) DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.0 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 854 784
    Screen Specs Canon 7D Canon T2i
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.63x 0.54x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 7D Canon T2i
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 3.7 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 7D Canon T2i
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 7D Canon T2i
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type LP-E6 LP-E8
    Battery Life (CIPA)800 shots per charge440 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 148 x 111 x 74 mm
    (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)
    129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 860 g (30.3 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.

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