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Canon T2i versus Canon R

The Canon EOS Rebel T2i (called Canon 550D in some regions) and the Canon EOS R are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2010 and September 2018. The T2i is a DSLR, while the Canon R is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T2i) and a full frame (Canon R) sensor. The T2i has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Canon R provides 30.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon T2i vs Canon R

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon T2i and the Canon R. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the T2i – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon T2i vs Canon R
Compare T2i versus Canon R top
Compare T2i and Canon R rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon R is notably larger (8 percent) than the Canon T2i. Moreover, the Canon R is markedly heavier (25 percent) than the T2i. It is noteworthy in this context that the Canon R is splash and dust-proof, 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. Hence, you might want to study the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the T2i gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the Canon R can take 370 images on a single charge of its LP-E6N power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon T2i» 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
Canon R« 139 mm 98 mm 84 mm 660 g 370 Y Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
Canon 6D Mark II« » 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon T6i« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T6s« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon T5« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon T5i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon 6D« » 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Canon T4i« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T3i« » 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon T1i« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon XSi« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Canon XTi« » 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
Panasonic GH5s« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 660 g 440 Y Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
Panasonic GH5« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5

Any camera purchase will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 70 percent) than the Canon R, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon T2i vs Canon R

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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 T2i features an APS-C sensor and the Canon R a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the Canon R is 160 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the Canon R uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the T2i (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon T2i and Canon R sensor measures

With 30.1MP, the Canon R offers a higher resolution than the T2i (17.9MP), but the Canon R nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.36μm versus 4.31μm for the T2i) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the Canon R is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 6 months) than the T2i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon R has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in relatively fast and reliable autofocus acquisition during video recording.

T2i versus Canon R MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon T2i» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon T2i
Canon R« Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p----Canon R
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon XSi
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon XTi
Panasonic GH5s« » Four Thirds 9.9 3680 27004K/60p----Panasonic GH5s
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the Canon R provides a better video resolution than the T2i. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the T2i is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon T2i vs Canon R

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Canon R has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), while the T2i has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T2i, the Canon R, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon T2i»optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T2i
Canon R«3690 n 3.2 2100 swivel Y 8000 8.0 n n Canon R
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 T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
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 T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
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 XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon XSi
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XTi
Panasonic GH5s« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n n Panasonic GH5s
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The T2i has one, while the Canon R does not. While the build-in flash of the T2i is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the Canon R features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the T2i and the Canon R write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon T2i»Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon T2i
Canon R«YstereomonoY-mini3.1Y-YCanon R
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6s
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
Canon T3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
Canon T3i« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T3i
Canon T1i« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T1i
Canon XSi« »Y----mini2.0---Canon XSi
Canon XTi« »Y-----2.0---Canon XTi
Panasonic GH5s« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5s
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5

The Canon R is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the T2i has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T2i was succeeded by the Canon T3i.

Review summary: Canon T2i vs Canon R

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T2i or the Canon R – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 130g or 20 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (70 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2010).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS R:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (30.1 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 30%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2100k vs 1040k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 6 months of technical progress since the T2i launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Canon R is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 6 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.

T2i 06:22 Canon R

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the T2i or the Canon R. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon T2i»HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
Canon R«rev-4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 5D Mark IV« »HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Canon XTi« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi
Panasonic GH5s« »-84/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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