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Full Review at: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/T2I/T2IA.HTM

 

Canon T2i Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a consumer digital SLR.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.4 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot. (Short enough that it's hard to measure.)

Shutdown

2.7 seconds

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card. Sensor cleaning on shut-down enabled.

Buffer clearing time
5 seconds
after 10 large/fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
9 seconds
after 6 RAW files*
9 seconds
after 3 RAW+L/F JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Canon T2i turned in a fast startup time, fast enough that it's difficult to measure. Sensor cleaning was enabled on start-up and shut-down. At start-up pressing the shutter button aborts sensor cleaning, as it should. The Canon T2i's buffer clearing times are good, but of course depend on the image quality and size, as well as the speed of the memory card.

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.7 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

~0.8 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.4 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

The Canon T2i's mode switching times are good, a little faster than average.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
Optical Viewfinder

0.252 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (Except where otherwise noted, all AF timing measured with Sigma 70mm f/2.8 Macro lens.)

Full Autofocus
Auto Selection AF
Optical Viewfinder

0.210 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
TTL flash enabled
Optical Viewfinder
0.208 second
Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.

Prefocused
Optical Viewfinder

0.096 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
Optical Viewfinder
0.149 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
Optical Viewfinder
0.162 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".
Full Autofocus
Live View
"Quick Mode"
(Phase Detect)
0.991 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is phase-detect autofocus, the camera drops the mirror to focus, then raises it to grab the shot. (Live View tested with 18-55mm kit lens, as the T2i would not focus properly with the Sigma 70mm lens.)
Full Autofocus
Live View
"Live Mode"
(Contrast Detect)
1.720 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is contrast-detect autofocus, the camera reads Live View data from the image sensor to determine focus.
Prefocused
Live View
0.122 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button..

The Canon T2i's full autofocus shutter response is about average for a consumer SLR, at 0.252 second using our standard single-point AF test. Switching to auto selection AF and allowing the camera to choose the focus point reduced shutter lag to 0.210 second. Interestingly, enabling the built-in flash decreased full AF lag just slightly to 0.208 second. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.096 second. Shutter lag in Manual focus was slower, at 0.162 second, and in Continuous focus mode it was 0.149 second.

The Canon T2i's AF lag time in Live View mode was longer (as expected), but not as slow as some. We measured 0.991 second using "Quick Mode" (phase-detect AF), and 1.720 seconds using Live Mode (contrast-detect). We used the kit lens for the Live View tests, as the T2i always confirmed focus with the Sigma 70mm even though the resulting image was not in focus. Prefocused, the Canon T2i's shutter lag was pretty fast in Live View mode, at only 0.122 second.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. We also use the same Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro with every camera (on all platforms except Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds and Nikon consumer models lacking an in-body focus motor), to further reduce variation, and because our tests showed that focus-determination time with this lens was close to the fastest, across multiple camera bodies from different manufacturers. Being an older design with a non-ultrasonic motor, it wouldn't be the fastest at slewing from one focus setting to another, but that's exactly the reason we measure focus determination speed, which is primarily a function of the camera body, vs focus adjustment speed, which is primarily a function of the lens.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.44 second

Time per shot, averaged over 13 shots, 5 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.46 second

Time per shot, averaged over 7 shots, 9 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + Large/Fine JPEG
0.45 second

Time per shot, averaged over 5 shots, 9 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.27 second (3.64 frames per second);
10 frames total;
5 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 10 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to 0.67 second or 1.49 frames per second when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.27 second (3.65 frames per second);
6 frames total;
9 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 6 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to 1.61 seconds or 0.62 frames per second when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW + Large/Fine
JPEG

0.28 second (3.64 frames per second);
3 frames total;
9 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 3 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to 2.19 seconds or 0.46 frames per second when buffer was full.

Flash recycling

3.2 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times in the Canon T2i's single-shot mode were average for an SLR, at about 0.45 second for any quality. Buffer length was 13 shots for JPEGs, but dropped to 7 for RAW and 5 for RAW+JPEG.

Continuous mode speeds were on the slower side of average for an enthusiast model, though perhaps understandable given the large files, at about 3.65 frames/second in any mode. Measured buffer depths were only 10 frames for large/fine JPEGs, 6 frames for RAW mode and 3 frames for RAW+JPEG. (Note that in our cycle time testing we shoot a target consisting of a fine-grained digital noise pattern, designed to be very hard to compress. This gives us worst-case buffer capacity numbers: You're likely to see greater buffer capacity when shooting more normal subjects.)

The Canon T2i's flash took 3.2 seconds to recharge after a full-power pulse, which is good.

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

9,762 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, the Canon T2i's download speeds are fast.

Bottom line, the Canon T2i is average to slightly faster than average in most aspects of its operation. While continuous mode speeds aren't state-of-the-art, they are fast enough for most moving subjects, and shutter lag and cycle times are quite good. Buffer sizes are below average, but that's no surprise with 18-megapixel files. Good performance overall for a consumer model.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Below average battery life for a lithium-ion SLR design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
440
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)
180

The Canon T2i uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is below average, even when using the optical viewfinder, so we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon T2i is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Canon T2i accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and does not ship with a card. Canon recommends a Class 6 card or faster for recording HD movies.

Image Capacity with
1GB Memory Card
Fine Normal RAW RAW
+
Fine JPEG
5,184 x 3,456
Images
(Avg Size)
142
7.2 MB
280
3.7 MB
37
27.3 MB
27
37.2 MB
Approx.
Comp.
8:1
15:1
1.1:1
-
3,456 x 2,304
Images
(Avg Size)
267
3.8 MB
525
2.0 MB
-
-
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
12:1
-
-
2,592 x 1,728
Images
(Avg Size)
417
2.5 MB
795
1.3 MB
-
-
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
10:1
-
-

We strongly recommend buying a fast, large capacity SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card for the Canon T2i: at least a 2GB card, preferably a 4 or 8GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings, or when shooting RAW files or video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)