Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i High ISO JPEG Noise preview

So yesterday while I was out and about exploring Toronto’s downtown core, I slipped into a couple of camera stores to check out the latest Canon T2i DSLR. As I stated in a previous post, this camera fits perfectly in my hand. I also checked out the Nikon D90, which is an outstanding piece of gear, but it’s heavier and not as comfortable to hold. The thing is, it’s renowned for it’s low light capabilities and sharp image. Nikon’s focus seems to be image quality and high ISO capabilities over high pixel count. And frankly, for what I’m doing 12 megapixels is more than enough. But if Canon’s T2i was able to deliver similar results at 18 megapixels, I’d definitely be drawn to it. I didn’t pull the trigger because with a big money purchase like that I’d really like to check out some reviews first, which brings me to a noise comparison between the T2i and the D90 just posted on the Camera Labs site. I’m really quite surprised by the results, with the T2i actually beating out the D90 for noise in higher ISOs, albeit by very little. It will be interesting to see if other sites offer similar opinions.

If like me you are in the market for a new DSLR and the new T2i is high on your must have list, check out Camera Lab’s T2i vs D90 noise preview (with side by side sample images) here.

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5 Responses to Canon EOS 550D / Rebel T2i High ISO JPEG Noise preview

  1. aswirly says:

    High pixel count is a myth. Wait, I mean, it exists, but it’s not best as we tend to believe. There is a sweet spot, and many say it’s around 12…except in the much higher end cameras. 18 and higher often backfire in producing more noisy images. I use a D90 and might be slightly biased 😉 I WANTED a D300, but the D90 was less expensive and fit into my tiny hands better. It’s a great cam!

    • davecandoit says:

      Thanks for your input, Amber. Everything I’ve read agrees with your opinion. It’s all about pixel density. Full frame cameras can handle more pixels because their sensors have more real estate. Frankly, I was hoping I’d be buying a new Olympus 4/3rds camera (the one to replace the E-620), but there’s simply no word on when they plan to upgrade the E-620. Why Olympus, you might wonder? They have image stabilization built into the body, their Zuiko glass is said to be outstanding, and their DSLRs are remarkably small and light.

  2. Next time try it with a couple of different lenses. Especially a zoom lens like an 18-200 or 70-200 or 70-300. See how they feel with the change in center of gravity.

    DP Review has a preview of the Tsi:

    I am not surprised at the ISO ability of the new Canon. The D90 has been out awhile and is due for an upgrade soon. Rumors have say it will be “soon”. YNMV.

    • davecandoit says:

      Thanks Scott, I’ve read that DPRevew preview. I know it’ll feel different with a heavier lens. It had the 18-55 kit on it when I checked it out, which is rather light. If I get it (which is still up in the air), it’ll be with the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II Lens, which is heavier for sure. It sounds like the best quality lens on the market in that price point. The one downside (I’m sure there are others) is you can’t manually override the AF on the fly. I’m not sure how important that is, but I can certainly see where it might be handy. The store only had the Nikon version of this lens, so I could see/hold it but not try it on the camera.

  3. Hmm…like a fly on the wall, I ‘lurk’ and learn…hmm…not silently lurking obviously, but lurking nonetheless…quiet low laughing now follows…–yeah, I know NOTHING about digital cameras.

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