I had a Canon T2i that is damaged and so I'm in the market for a new camera. I really enjoyed the T2i and so I am considering getting another one.

From using snapsort.com to compare the T2i with a few other cameras I have not come to any definitive answers.

I am not really impressed with the flip out screen on the T3i (which seems to be mainly the only difference), and in other features the T2i still seems to be a better camera:

Canon T31 vs. T2i comparison

I borrowed a 7D for a weekend and played with it. At around $1400 I think price-wise it is a decent step up, but for features I'm not so sure. (Snapsort Comparison). I liked that the 7D is weather sealed, and I like that it has the LCD on top and extra buttons to give me quicker access to more of the advanced features. I did not like that it had a Compact Flash card - seems outdated, and otherwise the features are not really that much better than the T2i:

Canon 7D vs. T2i comparison

If I compare what you get with the 7D for $1400 with what you get with Nikon's D7000 which is $1499 it just blows me away. I mean I don't really want to switch from Canon to Nikon but it seems like you get a hell of a lot more for the same price.

Canon 7D vs. Nikon D7000 comparison

So what is the next step up from the Canon T2i?

Hopefully not the T3i or the 7D...

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ cf is not outdated - cf is the format to go for for performance and reliability. sd cards are small fragile - and i had some do funny things, years ago mind you though. there is not a single advantage to sd cards on an slr camera - in fact, i'm not even sure if they are fully backwards compatible, i.e. ancient sd card in modern device or modern card in ancient device. cf is to the bestof my knowledge. \$\endgroup\$
    – DetlevCM
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 9:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ CF has the disadvantage of easy to bend pins. This is primarily a problem in cheap connectors in computers (never had an issue in a camera itself). Still, CF is my first choice. always. \$\endgroup\$
    – Skaperen
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 12:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Snapsort is a very flawed site. See rant on it in this other answer here. In short, because their shtick is comparison, they blow small differences out of proportion — indistinguishable differences become "slight" and small differences become "significant". \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 13:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Aye, their use of the word "significant" is completely bogus most of the time. The T2i/T3i comparison has the T2i being "significantly" smaller when the difference is nearly imperceptible, and they have it being "much" thinner by a whopping...half inch. Snapsort is really a terrible place to go for gear comparisons...numbers are a tiny and largely worthless part of the game...its real-world results that matter, and you can really only get that from talking to people who have actually used the cameras you wish to compare. DPReview, The Digital Picture, etc. are better sources of information. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 17:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ About snapsort... I think it is a good site to check the overall comparison and specs of two cameras. If you know a bit about photography and gear you'll know if half an inch or 200ms makes a difference for you or not. I agree you can't rely 100% on it to make a decision. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ignacio
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 13:04

5 Answers 5


Raw numerical stats don't tell the whole picture. The differences between the 7D and the D7000 are a lot less than they may seem from the comparisons you posted. Here is a basic analysis of the listed benefits of the D7000 over the 7D:

  1. IQ of 80 vs. 66
    • The larger pixels of the D7000, along with being a newer sensor design by about almost two years, do indeed give it a bit of an edge here.
    • The rating of 66 for the 7D is VERY misleading here...scan through some 500px.com photos taken with the 7D, and compare them with shots from the D7000...the differences are imperceptible. Not to mention that regardless of the IQ differences at 100% crop, both cameras take some truly stellar photos, and thats what really matters.
    • Owning a 7D myself, I would rate it more around a 72-74 than a 66, as it does lack in overall dynamic range, and its low ISO noise is a tad higher than most other Canon cameras. At higher ISO settings, noise is actually not that bad on the 7D, and it performs quite well for a high density 18mp sensor.
  2. Dynamic range of 13.9EV vs. 11.7EV
    • This is probably one of the key significant benefits of the D7000. It has about two stops better dynamic range, and that is always a valuable thing. You can ALWAYS use more dynamic range.
    • Probably not worth switching brands over, especially as Canon is releasing some fantastic new cameras this year, which seem to be pushing the envelope on every front. You might see a new 7D II by early 2013 as well...I guess we'll see when the time comes.
  3. Color depth of 23.5 bits vs. 22 bits
    • Again, this is not as significant as it sounds.
    • The differences are largely imperceptible in the vast majority of situations.
    • When it comes to print, color depth is a moot point, as color depth (or density) in print is a whole different and very complex beast. Even on a computer screen, color depth is fairly limited in the grand scheme of things.
  4. Lower noise at high ISO of 1167 vs. 854
    • This can be a confusing topic, due to the way manufacturers handle various ISO levels and how they amplify the sensor signal.
    • Canon uses a base/push/pull approach. For example, ISO 400 is a native base, and has moderate noise. ISO 320 is a pull from ISO 400, and has very low noise (less than ISO 200, about as good as or maybe even better than ISO 100) at the consequence of lower dynamic range. ISO 500 is a push from ISO 400, and has higher noise than ISO 800, also with a consequence of lower dynamic range. DR loss is about 1/3rd stop (i.e. 11.7 max DR would drop to 11.3 max DR.)
    • The 7D's noise at ISO 800 is about the same as at ISO 2500, which is higher than Nikon's best high ISO level of 1167.
    • Nikon's noise is more consistent as it is increased in 1/3rd stops, as they do not use the base/push/pull approach that Canon does, and should produce a more consistent change in DR as ISO is increased.
    • Upon visual comparison, the 7D seems to perform better at higher ISOs than the D7000. You can judge for yourself...starting at ISO800, the D7000 seems to degrade quicker than the 7D at base ISO levels, 3200 and beyond are roughly the same:
  5. More focus points of 39 vs. 19
    • The total number of focus points are not the most important aspect of an AF system. The overall capabilities, flexibility, and number of cross-type points are usually more important.
    • More focus points might help if most of the focus points are one-dimensional (single-line), and more focus points gives you more single-point selectivity when you need to focus away from the center.
    • The 7D has a full set of 19 cross type points...every point available is cross type. The D7000 has only 9 cross type points, mostly clustered around the center.
    • More cross-type focus points greatly assist in obtaining focus lock, especially for moving subjects and when contrast exists in both horizontal as well as vertical directions, and in low contrast, low light scenarios.
    • The 7D, despite its fewer total AF points, has a pretty solid lead over the Nikon from a technological standpoint, and particularly in lower light (or smaller maximum aperture) situations. It is definitely a top of the line, pro-grade AF system that borrows a lot from Canon's stellar 1D line.
    • With the numbers game, Snapsort is giving very misleading information here.
  6. Better Boost ISO
    • Boost ISO is simply digitally enhanced exposure. This is something you can always do in post with RAW, to any degree you choose, so unless you solely rely on JPEG, boost mode is meaningless.
    • Both cameras top out at a native ISO of 6400, and IMO, the 7D does a better job from ISO 800 through ISO 2500 than the D7000 (see the Vimeo links of ISO samples to judge for yourself.)

The rest of the factors are pretty minor...price is highly subjective and time dependent (I picked up my 7D brand new for $1300 on Amazon, where as the D7000 currently lists on Amazon for $1499 new.) The number of available lenses tends to leapfrog periodically, as different brands release batches of new lenses on different years, and is pretty much a moot point anyway...your never going to own all 160 some lenses from either brand, and all the critical focal lengths, designs, and lens capabilities for the essential lenses are pretty much the same for both brands. Battery life is also a highly subjective thing, and entirely depends on how your using the camera. I've had anywhere from 400 shots to over 1000 shots on a single battery with my 7D, and well over 1500 with two batteries and the Zeikos grip (which is very reasonably priced.) Video features also tend to be somewhat subjective...and are generally moot if video is not something you are even concerned with in the first place. The Nikon's ability to AF during video is intriguing, but not that useful, given that the majority of serious cinematography done with DSLR's use a proper manual focus puller device for more accurate focus that is not prone to random hunting when AF can't find its mark.

The snapsort comparison left out a few things as well. The 7D has an 8fps frame rate, vs. the D7000's 6fps. However, its more than just the frame rate difference...the 7D guarantees 8fps @ 14bit RAW with a 15-frame buffer, while the D7000 does 6fps @ 12bit RAW with an 11-frame buffer (I think it might do 14bit RAW as well with a shorter buffer...can't find any stats on that right now.) The added output bit depth is a nice bonus, but the greater frame buffer depth, along with the two extra frames per second, are truly significant when shooting action. If you don't shoot much action, then the benefits of the 7D will probably not be all that valuable to you, and sticking with the T2i might be your best option right now.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 especially because snapsort's use of the DXOmark score as a headline "image quality" number is so misleading. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 13:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Great thorough answer as always. Also wanted to add that the Snapsort comparison list a "smaller" body as an advantage. I disagree with this. From ergonomics standpoint the larger body is easier to hold and operate. For me personally the Canon 7D body is also more comfortable to hold then the D7000. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 15:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jakub: Couldn't agree more about body size. Size wise and ergonomically, I find the 7D WAY easier to handle than my much smaller 450D. Again, ergonomics/size are very subjective things, and to each his own...but larger size is definitely a bonus when it comes to DSLR's. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 17:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ When it comes to Canon, progression is pretty simple: XXXD -> XXD -> XD. Until single-digit models, higher numbers usually mean "better"...more features, better features, better quality, etc. Once you have hit single-digit, lower numbers mean "better", so 7D -> 5D -> 1D. From the T2i, the only real progression would be to a 60D then the 7D, after which if you wanted to continue moving up the line a 5D or 1D. The 60D and 7D are pretty closely priced these days, and there is no reason to get the 60D...just get the 7D. As for the 550D/600D/650D...there isn't enough difference to matter. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 1:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ These days, every camera except maybe some real cheap point and shoots takes excellent photos. Digital technology is far in advance of most film technology (large format being a notable exception, in some respects), and you really can't go "wrong" with any choice. The only thing better gear does is make the job of a photographer easier and make them more effective. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 1:12

Have you looked at Canon 60D? Same sensor as 7D, with fewer AF-points, and a tad slower (not as good for action photography). It has an advantage with the flip-rotate-screen over the 7D. The 60D is overall slightly better / easier to use for video.

I got a 60D, and a friend have a 7D so I've used both quite a bit.

I have no idea if the 60D have a funky name in the USA/Canada.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Same name here. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ So it's only the "consumer" series that have the "Rebel" names? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think so. In Japan, they're "Kiss". See photo.stackexchange.com/questions/2146/… \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 13:52

Canon 60D: That bigger grip and the top LCD actually are worth it. I was in the same boat after my camera got jacked. I don't regret it at all. It just feels so much better than the rebels.

That flip out screen is quite usefuly. I sometimes flip it out during portraits or events so that the subject can see what's being shot.

If I was gonna switch, I might go with the nikon D7000.


The standard Canon progression would be T2i -> T3i -> 60D -> 7D -> 5Dm2 -> 1D series.

The numeric comparisons you have quoted are at best misleading.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In what way? As in not a fair comparison, or as in irrelevant, or not representative of the true differences between the models? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 6:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you can say that there's such a linear and "standard" progression. For starters, the 600D/T3i is to a large extent a newer camera in the same product band as the 550D/T2i. The linear model also doesn't account for the differences between full frame and cropped sensors; both offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, and are suited to different types of photography. \$\endgroup\$
    – Edd
    Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 10:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I never claimed that the progression was evenly spaced or linear. But the T2i was replaced by Canon with the T3i, and the 60D is the current entry-level enthusiast body. The 7D the top of the line crop sensor, the 5D the entry level full frame, and the 1D the super expensive pro bodies. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 23:00

Newer cameras such as the 7D and 60D have many advantages over the 5D, including video, a better LCD screen and better in-camera noise reduction. However, the 550D has all this itself. The 60D would offer a bigger body, with (for some people) easier external controls, and a larger viewfinder. The 7D would add these things, plus a complex autofocus system, and better weather sealing. The 5D offers a very large viewfinder, lower inherent noise at all ISO, super smooth and creamy low ISO, less in-camera noise reduction (the chrominance noise at ISO 3200 cleans up nicely in post processing, while affecting detail little), the ability to use lenses at their intended focal length, and more control over depth of field. I have owned many crop cameras (Canon and Nikon), but much prefer the shooting experience with the 5D.

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    \$\begingroup\$ yes and no. the 5d is an ancient camera and outdated. now if you said 5d mk ii.... at the same time, not everybody needs/wants full frame depending in what they shoot. \$\endgroup\$
    – DetlevCM
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 9:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ can you please provide a few reasons as to why you think this particular camera is a good step-up from the T2i? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ damn. another bad response that will be around forever from someone who will never log into stack exchange again. \$\endgroup\$
    – cwd
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 15:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you could update your answer to clarify your reasoning, and explain in more detail why you would choose a 5D I over a 550D, I'll leave this answer in tact. Otherwise, I'm going to have delete this answer, as its been flagged a few times for its low quality. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 23:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ Still, I'll give you a +1 for a helpful revision and I do hope you stick around and offer more contributions! \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 16:12

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