Canon T2i vs YI M1
The Canon EOS Rebel T2i (called Canon 550D in some regions) and the YI M1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2010 and September 2016. The T2i is a DSLR, while the M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (T2i) and a Four Thirds (M1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the YI provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the YI M1? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon T2i and the YI M1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the T2i is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the YI M1 is considerably smaller (42 percent) than the Canon T2i. Moreover, the M1 is substantially lighter (47 percent) than the T2i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T2i nor the M1 are weather-sealed.
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 will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T2i) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (M1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the M1, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.
The power pack in the M1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|2.||YI M1||114 mm||64 mm||34 mm||281 g||450||n||Sep 2016||349|
|3.||Canon T100||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|6.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|8.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|10.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|12.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|13.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|16.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399|
|17.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the T2i, 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.
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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon T2i features an APS-C sensor and the YI M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the M1 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the T2i has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the M1 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the M1 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 17.9 MP of the T2i. 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 3.34μm versus 4.31μm for the T2i). However, it should be noted that the M1 is much more recent (by 6 years and 7 months) than the T2i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The Canon EOS Rebel T2i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the YI M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||YI M1||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|17.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
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 M1 provides a better video resolution than the T2i. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T2i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T2i and YI M1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|17.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0||Y||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The T2i has one, while the M1 does not. While the built-in flash of the T2i is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The YI M1 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T2i and the M1 write their files to SDXC cards.
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 Rebel T2i and YI M1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|17.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the T2i has a microphone port, which is missing on the M1. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
The M1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of YI. In contrast, the T2i has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the T2i was succeeded 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 and YI websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T2i and the YI M1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T2i:
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2010).
Arguments in favor of the YI M1:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (114x64mm vs 129x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 249g or 47 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 7 months of technical progress since the T2i launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M1 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T2i and the YI M1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T2i and the M1 in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.
|1.||Canon T2i||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|2.||YI M1||..||..||69/100||..||..||Sep 2016||349|
|3.||Canon T100||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|6.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|7.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|8.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon T5i||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|10.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|11.||Canon T3||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|12.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|13.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|14.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|15.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|16.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399|
|17.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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. 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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Canon T2i vs YI M1
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 Model||Canon T2i||YI M1|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2010||September 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 349|
|Sensor Specs||Canon T2i||YI M1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||8.96 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||66||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.5||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||784||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon T2i||YI M1|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon T2i||YI M1|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.7 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon T2i||YI M1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon T2i||YI M1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
114 x 64 x 34 mm
(4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||530 g (18.7 oz)||281 g (9.9 oz)|
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