Subtitle of this post – making sense of these  three very similar cameras

Canon T2i (550D) Price: Body only $657 | Kit w/ 18-55 lens $769
General Stats – Released 2/2010, 18MP, 3″ 1 million dot LCD, 1080p video

Canon T2i Rear Canon T2i Front

Excellent camera that wowed the tech world with true HD video at the 899 price point.  Features multiple frame rates at 1080 and 720

Canon T3i (600D) Price: Body only $799 | Kit w/ 18-55 lens $899
General Stats – Released 2/2011(shipping mid march), 18MP, 3″ 1 million dot articulating LCD, 1080p video

Differences from T2i – Articulating LCD, more beginner friendly with Basic+ mode, more intelligent scene mode, wireless flash control, updated kit lens(cosmetically upgraded), video snapshot mode(stiches short video clips together into one movie in camera), 3-10x video zoom.

If you are going to be using this as a video camera the articulating LCD is a nice upgrade from the T2i.  As a photo camera the addition of wireless flash control gives this beginner friendly camera loads of room to grow making it a VERY attractive buy.   The range of photographers that the T2i appealed to was quite broad, the T3i takes that range and spreads it at both ends w/o sacrificing anything in the middle.  And Canon has slightly improved the grip and button responsiveness, early reviews are very positive.

Canon 60D Price: Body only $888 |  Kit w/ 18-135 lens $1099
General Stats – Released 8/1010, 18MP, 3″ 1 million dot articulating LCD, 1080p video

Canon 60D Canon 60D Back

Differences from T2i/T3i are mostly in build and handling. The camera is larger, has a top LCD and rear dial and the mode dial has a lock, avoiding accidental mode changes.   Internally the 60D offers slightly faster FPS(5.3 vs 3.7) for still shots, viewfinder is a touch brighter (pentaprism type vs pentamirror of T2i/T3i) and in body RAW conversion to JPEG.

I see little reason to choose the 60D over the T3i.  If you are going to be seriously shooting sports you might consider the 60D with the slightly faster FPS but if you are serious about it you should consider the Canon 7D.  The additional rear dial and top LCD are nice, and make the camera easier to control, that along with the slightly larger build may make this more comfortable for those with larger hands but this is a fairly narrow market.

Back of all three cameras

Canon T2i Rear Canon 60D Back
T2i/550D T3i/600D 60D

Bottom Line – T3i looks to be excellent, taking everything that was loved about the T2i and adding some nice features.   If you are on a tight budget and want to use a DSLR primarily as a video camera consider the T2i.  If you are on a tight budget and primarily interested in still the Nikon D3100 offers plenty for less (comparison coming soon).

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