Photo Editor’s Field Review: Shooting with the Canon EOS Rebel T2i in Newfoundland

September 29, 2010

By Amber Terranova, PDN Photo Editor

All photos © Amber Terranova/PDN

Editor’s Note: PDN Photo Editor Amber Terranova recently had a chance to field test the 18-megapixel Canon EOS Rebel T2i during a trip to Newfoundland. The following are images and a video she shot with the camera along with her impressions of its performance in captions below the photos.

Though the Rebel T2i is technically an entry-level model for Canon, some pros have been turning to it as a lightweight, low-cost alternative to pricier professional models for shooting stills and 1080p HD video. Amber shot with the T2i mainly using its EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens though she did use a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF lens for the high ISO landscape shot below, as noted in the caption.

 ISO 100, 1/125th, f/14, 18mm

This was shot at Trinity Bay in Newfoundland. On our way out of the fishing wharf to sea, I immediately noticed the way the light reflected off the water creating an almost glass like effect while the colors and contrast in the shadows popped. I set the ISO on the Canon Rebel T2i to 100 and shot it at f/13 at 1/125th of a second since the boat was moving at a leisurely speed. The camera responded well, given the amount of time it had to register the scene. I wanted the shadows in particular to come out sharp, focusing primarily on them. The color range and saturation the Rebel T2i produced particularly impressed me.



ISO 200, 1/80th, f/14, 18mm
While waiting to board the smaller boat, this young boy was leaning against the door about to move, before I snapped his portrait. The Rebel T2i responded quickly while locking in focus for this portrait, using the overall 9-point AF system. While the camera performed well on static or slow moving subjects, in many of the other images of faster movement images, its autofocus wasn’t quick enough to keep up with the action. It felt significantly slower than most DSLRs I’ve shot with, showing some of its limitations as a “consumer” camera.


ISO 1600, 1/160th, f/14, 32mm

This is a landscape view from where I stayed in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. I was attracted to the subtle swirling of light through the grass in the foreground. Shot at ISO 1600, the grain is quite visible where there isn’t much separation between the water and sky. Also an overall softness is evident. This seemed to be the case for almost all of the high ISO images taken with the Rebel T2i. However the camera captured the light and colors in a very realistic way and had enough time to focus. For this shot I used my Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF instead of the kit lens.

ISO 100, 1/250th, f/9, 18mm

(Click to enlarge)

This is the coast off of Sandy Cove in Elliston, located on Eastern Region Bonavista Peninsula of Newfoundland. Shot at f/9, 1/250th at ISO 100 the camera again caught the dynamic color range in the various shades of blue. At 100 percent the image is not very sharp and this is due to the quality of 18-55mm kit lens which also distorts the horizon line creating a circular, almost fisheye effect. Given that the water was moving quickly the camera captured it but did not create the sharpest image.

ISO 200, 1/60th, f/18, 18mm
(Click to enlarge.)

 ISO 200, 1/60th, f/18, 18mm

Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. I wanted to capture the movement of the water behind the red house, and the leaves rustling on the tree in front of the house. Since I didn’t have a tripod and shot at 1/60th the camera still managed to register the moving water, and the foreground is sharp.

ISO 100, 1/640th, f/4.5, 29mm

A portrait of fisherman, Alan Eddy out at sea while the boat was swaying rapidly from side to side. He stopped for just a second here while pot fishing for sea snails. I chose to shoot at 1/640th in order not to capture the motion blur. However the image is very soft since the auto focus had trouble in low light. For this particular image, I don’t mind the softness since the color and light registered quite nice while at the same time capturing a hunched reflective pose. 

ISO 100, 1/250th, f/5, 44mm

Escargot plucked right of out of the ocean in Trinity Bay. Photographed on the moving boat, the camera responded fast, focusing in the middle ground. I noticed that the macro setting did not focus too far in the foreground. There is still nice shallow depth of field in this shot.

ISO 100, 1/100th, f/6.3, 24mm

Standing on the coast as this wave hit the rocks, I was hesitant to point the camera at first. But while shooting with the Rebel T2i from the hip, the camera responded in the right moment to freeze those bursts of water in the foreground while most of the drops in the background are blurred adding a feeling of motion to the image.