Canon T2i Design
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Front. The new Canon T2i follows the design of the previous T1i pretty closely, with the most significant changes to be found on the camera's rear. The view from the front is near-identical, with the same controls in the same positions as on its predecessor. On the grip you can see the shutter button and the infrared sensor for use with the RC-1 remote controller. The separate EOS and Rebel badges from past models have been combined into a single badge at top right, and the lower right corner now features a smooth, hard, rubber bumper in place of the second badge. To the right of Canon T2i's lens mount is the lens release button.
Left. From the left you can see the AF/MF and Stabilizer switches on the kit lens, the flash pop-up button, and the Canon T2i's Depth-of-field Preview button. The strap lug is recessed into the shoulder and the port cover is below that. The port cover has increased in height, to accommodate one addition -- the T2i's new external stereo microphone jack.
Right. On its left side, the Canon T2i sports the same control placements and functions as were found on the T1i.
Top. The top deck of the Canon T2i retains similar styling to the T1i, the only notable differences being found on the Mode dial. The top of the dial is now black, rather than silver, and its outside edge featured deep grooves in place of the shallower knurling from the T1i. The order of the scene modes on the dial has also been changed, so that the Flash Off mode is now placed first, rather than the Portrait mode.
Back. The back of the Canon T2i is home to the most obvious changes since the T1i, mostly related to the new wide-aspect 3:2 LCD display, which matches the aspect ratio of the image sensor. It still has the same 3-inch diagonal as the T1i's 4:3 LCD, but increases pixel density just slightly, from 920k dots to 1,040k dots. Surface area is just slightly lower than the 4:3 aspect ratio, since for any given diagonal, a screen that's closer to being square will offer the maximum area. The decrease in size is barely noticeable though, especially since there's now no need for black borders around the edges of the screen when viewing a full still image. The new display occupies slightly more of the T2i's body width, and fitting this into the design necessitated some slight rearrangement of the remainder of the rear-panel.
The control layout is still very similar to that of the T1i, with only one extra button, and almost all of the existing controls retain the same function as previously. Visually it's quite a significant change, though, as Canon has taken the opportunity to adjust the shapes of several buttons which were previously all circular. Several buttons now have unique shapes that simultaneously maximize the available space, allow labels on the buttons themselves (rather than the adjacent body panel), and make it much easier to tell controls apart when shooting in low light. The newly added button to the right of the optical viewfinder accesses the T2i's Live View mode in almost every operating mode, with the sole exception being the Movie mode.
Since this feature was formerly shared by the Direct Print button, it now has a new feature in Record mode. Pressing the Quick Control / Direct Print button in all operating modes accesses the Quick Control function, previously seen on the EOS 7D. This allows direct adjustment of a variety of camera settings through the information display, although the options available for adjustment vary by operating mode. The display itself is similar to that of the T1i, but has been redesigned somewhat due to the change in LCD aspect ratio. (More on this under the Operation tab of this review.) The Canon T2i's card write LED is in the same location, right next to the SD card door, where it's easily seen, and therefore more likely to prevent you from accidentally removing a card in mid-write.
Bottom. The Canon T2i's bottom is similar to the T1i's, featuring only a battery door and metal tripod socket.