Canon T2i Viewfinder

The Canon T2i is a digital SLR design, so the optical viewfinder offers a true, through-the-lens (TTL) display. A dioptric adjustment dial accommodates eyeglass wearers, letting them adjust the viewfinder optics between -3.0 to +1 diopters. Coverage and magnification are rated the same as the previous T1i model at 95% and 0.87x for a 50mm lens and -1 diopter, giving a larger viewfinder image than did the earlier XTi's 0.83x magnification. The viewfinder eyepiece has an eyepoint of approximately 19mm from the eyepiece lens center, also the same as the T1i, but a little lower than the XTi's 21mm eyepoint, and a little tighter than we'd like for eyeglass wearers.

A pair of horizontal infrared sensors just below the Canon T2i's viewfinder, which we've highlighted with a green rectangle in the image at right, detect your eye as it approaches the viewfinder, and deactivate the LCD information display if you have the LCD Auto-off option enabled. (The Auto-off option is found on Setup menu screen 1.)

Like most other consumer-oriented DSLRs, the Canon T2i viewfinder uses a pentamirror design. The advantage of a pentamirror is that it is light and inexpensive, but an all-glass pentaprism design delivers more light to the viewfinder eyepiece, thanks to its more efficient internal reflection. As a result, the Canon T2i's viewfinder image is not as bright as that of the EOS 7D, which uses a true pentaprism. However, as with the T1i, Canon says they've used a more efficient coating on the mirrors in the pentamirror, making for a brighter image when compared to the earlier XTi model. At 130ms, viewfinder blackout on the Canon T2i is the same as that of the T1i.

The illustration below (courtesy of Canon USA) shows all the elements in the Canon T2i's viewfinder, which is unchanged from the T1i. The extensive information available appears beneath the image area in a small strip, and reports all of the major camera settings, such as shutter speed, aperture, flash mode, EV compensation, etc.


Viewfinder Test Results

Slightly below average accuracy from the optical viewfinder, but excellent coverage from the LCD in Live View mode.

Optical Viewfinder, 70mm LCD Live View, 70mm

Testing with a low-distortion mid-focal length macro lens to avoid the effect of lens distortion, we measured the Canon T2i's optical viewfinder at about 94% coverage accuracy. This is a little below the average of 95% for consumer SLRs. The resulting image was slightly tilted and offset with respect to the sensor, which is unfortunately quite common with optical viewfinders in consumer oriented models (and many prosumer models). Live View mode using the LCD was more accurate, at almost exactly 100% coverage, and of course wasn't tilted or offset.


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