Canon Rebel T2i / EOS 550D and Rebel T1i / EOS 500D comparisons
Canon Rebel T2i / EOS 550D is the successor to the Rebel T1i or EOS 500D, a popular entry level digital SLR with HD movie recording. The major upgrades of Canon Rebel T2i to Rebel T1i are the sensor, movie mode, metering system, and LCD display.
Canon Rebel T2i / EOS 550D uses a 18.0 Megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor, which is similar to Canon 7D. But the channel reader is lower (4 channels vs 8 channels for 7D).
Canon Rebel T1i uses a 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor.
The movie mode is one of the major improvements of Rebel T2i to T1i. Rebel T2i has almost identical movie mode with the semi-pro Canon EOS 7D. While Canon T1i can only record 1080p video at 20fps and 720p at 30 fps, Canon T2i can record 1080p video at 24, 25, 30 fps and 720p at 50, 60 fps. Canon T2i added a 3.5 mm external microphone input that can be used to record videos in stereo sound. Canon T2i also has manual exposure control in movie mode and new Movie Crop recording in 640 x 480.
Rebel T2i features Canon’s newest Dual-layer sensor, with 63 zone Focus Color Luminance metering system (iCFL in short). The new system measures not only the amount of light, but also the color and luminosity to deliver a very high level of accuracy for better results.
Canon Rebel T2i use 3:2 aspect ratio instead of 4:3 in Rebel T1i. The 3:2 aspect ratio is the same with the camera’s sensor which makes it easier and more clear for live view and playback. The screen resolution of T2i is slightly better with 1.04 million dots vs 920,000 dots in Rebel T1i.
Additional features in T2i include a slightly higher shooting speed of 3.7 fps vs 3.5 fps , HDMI control, SDXC compatibility, customizable ISO range and higher sensitivity 100-6400 ( 12800 expandable vs 100-3200 6400 expandable in Canon Rebel T1i).
Should you upgrade Canon T1i to T2i?
Unless you absolutely need the upgraded movie mode and metering system, it is not necessary to upgrade T1i to T2i considering the short life cycle of Rebel cameras. Canon T1i is still a great camera.