Canon just surprised the photo world with this fresh announcement, showing off its EOS Rebel T2i that will take its place atop the company's Rebel line of lower-cost digital SLR cameras.
This 18-megapixel powerhouse is the beneficiary of a lot of trickle-down from Canon's twice-as-expensive EOS 7D camera. That means you'll be able to get a $799 camera (body only) with such advanced features as 9-point autofocus, a 63-zone dual-layering metering system just like the 7D, a 3-inch live-view smudge-resistant viewfinder, ISO of 100- 6400, and 1080p video shooting at 24, 25, or 30 frames per second with an external mic input.
Canon's not saying yet when this relatively cheap camera ($899 with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 image-stabilized kit lens) will be available, but soon thereafter, the company's going to need to raise the bar on its higher-end cameras just to keep up. And whoa, Nikon, you have a lot of catching up to do now.
UPDATE: The T2i (also known as the EOS 550D) shoots some really nice video, too — take a look, or see it in 1080p directly on YouTube:
Impressive specs for the EOS Rebel T2i:
Canon EOS Rebel T2i Specs (not official from Canon, but from our notes):
The Rebel line:
XS: entry-level (XSi to be dropped off Rebel lineup)
18-megapixel Digic 4 imager
3.7fps, burst rate of 34 jpegs, or 6 raw
ISO 100-6400, can extend to 12,800
9-point autofocus, adopted from 30D. Center point being high precision at 2.8
63-zone dual layering metering system
Video rez is like the 7D:
1080p/24 /25/ 30
720p at /50 /60
640x480 at 50 and 60
External mic input
Movie crop - only works in SD mode, still get full rez by zooming into center of frame
3-inch LCD 3:2 aspect, 1.04 million dots. Smudge-resistant, anti-reflection coating
HDMI with CEC compatibility (HDMI mini port), control image playback, index display, shooting info screen, image rotation, slide show and movie playback with TV remote control
SDHC memory card, SDXC compatibility
Sensors are similar to 7D, but T2i has 4-channel readout (7D has 8-channel)
63-zone metering (same as 7D), but adapter for 9 focusing points instead of the 7D's 19
+5 or -5 for HDR shooting
CMOS sensor designed for T2i
Contours are like the 7D, chassis and body are polycarbonate like Ti1
Dedicated live view video movie
New battery and battery grip BGE-8
Remote control RC6: 2-second delay or instant
No release date announced yet.
$899 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 image-stabilized kit lens, $799 body only