So how does the cropped sensor T2i hold up to the full frame 5D?

Oh yea, the 5D is nice.

Ryan Connolly did good comparison of these cameras some time ago, but since I like to do my own tests I thought I would run some similar tests. I found similar results to what Ryan found, except I didn’t see that the T2i was more saturated than the 5D. Color and saturation are so similar you could easily mix both footage.

You might be asking, “Dave, why are you comparing the 5D mark II to the 550D when the mark 3 is coming soon?

So why compare the T2i/550D which is the cheapest of the bunch to one of the most expensive, for me I want to see if the full frame is worth 3 times the money. Also more so is about excuses. Am I allowed to say oh that guy on Vimeo has a 5D I could never get that quality with my T2i.

Yes it is true that the 5D in terms of features almost feels historic when compared to it’s little cropped frame brothers when it lacks a ton of cool features like focus points faster shutter drive a level built in zoom, tilt out screen. But the reason the 5D is Canon’s flagย  ship product for professionals is because of the full frame.

The comparison is not about features because we can guess the the Mark III that will be out soon will have all the new features and some more. This is about one thing – the censor and low light performance. Who knows perhaps the mark 3 will shoot raw video files or even shoot 4k footage in that case this video will become dated very fast which is OK with me because that would so exciting if either one of those happened. Wow imagine 4k footage with no aliasing ย or rolling shutter, how awesome that would be?

Find Prices

Find prices on the Canon 5D mkII or the Canon T2i.

Music by Greg V.

Photos from the 5D

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - Stone work bench

Girl Looking at Flowers - Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Bar Harbor Inn Restaurant at Night

Bar Harbor Downtown at Night


  • Hey Dave
    Very nice review i one question do you have video training of COLOR CORRECTION and COLOR GRADING b’se this is one of my problem in the post. I will appreciate to get this information

  • Dear Dave,

    did you see T1i vs 5DmkII comparison done by Rob Galbraith and especially the video: recorded by these two bodies with 300/2.8 and 500/4: ?
    I had both cameras and I can say that there is a huge difference in sharpness, contrast and DOF between them. Moreover, all those new cameras: T2i, T3i, 7D, 60D are EXACTLY the same in terms of picture quality and have too many pixels on their small sensors. Canon had some really bad experience with G-series pushing 14.7mp in G10 sensor and after that decided to reduce it in G11 and G12. Dividing a cake into higher number of pieces will not give us any better taste nor eating more than we have.

  • Nice comparison, Dave. On the level of video image quality and price, for many consumers, the T2i is the right camera.

    There are of course other things in play too: build quality, button lay-out, full frame vs 1.6 cropped sensor, flash settings, life expectancy (60,000 shutter counts versus 250,000 shutter counts). These differences are even more important for still image photography.

  • Hi Dave,
    great comparison.
    I shoot with the t2i and I spent the money saved on lenses,
    It seemed to me to get the most out of flim making I would need (or want, more to the point) much more that jus the camera – I wanted lenses, tripod, video head, dolly, lights, microphone, editing software, and basically I got all that AND the the t2i for about what you would pay for the 5dmkii body on it’s own!
    Looking at your video comparison I am now happy that I made the right choice!
    PS I have a vimeo project running –
    where I am looking for test pilots for a new composition tool I am developing for DSLR film makers, I would love to send you a set for testing, maybe you or your readers would like to get involved? It is brand new and I already have a few pro DSLR film makers trialling it for me and ALL positive feedback.
    Great blog Dave and looks like you had a great holiday too!

  • Hi Dave, nice pictures and nice footage, especially nice video, I’ve learned a lot from them.

    I just wanted to tell you that I noticed you wrote censor instead of sensor in the 6th paragraph, second line.

  • Dave, great comparison! I would really like to see a moire effect comparison between the two cameras. (in real life situations, interviews, etc) Specifically what clothing and objects create the effect more and how each camera handles it. Something I have yet to see compared in depth wig these cameras.

  • @Dave from what I have seen the rolling shutter and moire on both of these cameras are so bad that I didn’t even bother testing them to see which was worse.

  • I was under the impression that the full chip cameras deal with moire on clothes a little better. Oh well, thanks for the reply!

  • Moire and rolling shutter aren’t that big of a deal. I don’t understand why this always comes up with DSLR. Your TV will give your Moire pattern when you have very fine line spacing on it too… it is something we live with. Just another complaint that the video camera makers started to talk up to give DSLR a bad name. DSLR rock the scene ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hey Dave, like amani (the 1st commenter) said, can you show how you color corrected the videos? Was a video about color correction ever uploaded that I missed?

    Great comparison btw.


  • Mr. Dave

    One difference is t2i only can shoot at 1920×1080 at 24 fps and 5d can shoot at 24 and 60 fps … if my memory serve me right.

    I have a t2i and I borrowed 5d from a friend, and I remember seeing that.

  • Dave, I’ve been watching your videos for a while now. Thank you for the comparison. I think the 5d actually needs more light in real filming situations. Here’s why: The depth of field is half that of the t2i. For any scenes requiring follow focus you need that extra depth of field to get the shot. I shot a short this spring and at the beginning we joked about bringing 60 watt bulbs to light it with. What we found out was we ended up shooting at f4 or more for the majority of the film! This meant that we ended up using the same lights we used to use for Betacam. For the same ASA we could have used half the light shooting with a t2i (or 7d). We just couldn’t keep things in focus with the lenses opened up. We could have doubled the ASA, but I was hesitant to use anything more than ASA 1250. It just seems to me that you need a certain amount of DOF to shoot narrative scenes and that may outweigh the low light advantage of the 5d.

  • I know u do a great lot already for us free loaders, but over the months we’ve watched you refine your technique and now your end product looks professional to many of us fans. Before you start getting big projects and have no time for the blog, could you do a video on what your current workflow is, pleeease : ) (if possible mentioning settings, shutter, f stop etc)

  • Cool comparsion Dave. But what happened to your gear-setup.
    Are you renting all those expensive cameras ? I remember you saying the 70-200 was way too expensive and now you have a 5D ? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Great job once again, Dave. It was interesting about the orangish color after you white balanced, as I have the same problem with my t2i. I’m testing multiple objects to white balance off of in the hopes of getting something that will yield the most neutral color cast. Although I must say your footage cleaned up nicely. I guess I’m not as adept at the color correction part so my footage doesn’t seem to clean up as nice.

    Also, your photos are stunning. I need to learn more about using the regular photo features on my t2i to get better photos — along with learning how to use Photoshop’s raw editor, etc.

  • Hey Dave, great video. Would you be able to share your 5d camera settings for the vacation shots at the end? Thanks!

  • Dave, fantastic review. I have been watching your stuff since you first uploaded it to Youtube. You’re not in Kansas anymore, you have come a long way. I work with a bunch of guys that uses the 5D Mark2s, and this review will be eye opening for them I think. Since you have a good relationship with B&H, sure would like to see a review done on the GH2. Of course theres a lot of reviews out there, but you give it the common man approach, which is the best way in my opinion. Keep up the good work.

  • Hi Dave, could you tell me what lens you were using in the shot with the young lady. Just love that look. It looked pretty wide and had such great bokeh and sharpness on the subject.


  • The uncorrected version looks much better. I love the tint of incandescent light, it is a bit yellow. Overcompensating for that just gives a sterile, unnatural look to the footage. Just my 2c

  • I think you made me feel really good about my T2i purchase – and saving money – thanks Dave – great job.!

  • This is silly. I’ve shot extensively with both cameras and hands down the 5D’s video quality is better. Any person who has shot with both cameras over a long period of time under various shooting conditions and have processed footage from both cameras knows that the 5D’s footage is far superior. Shoot a landscape scene at 1080 with both cameras then view both clips at full screen. Don’t get me wrong, the t2i is a great camera but it does not compare to the 5D.

  • I think Rob Galbraith touch on a few points as to why the t2i is no 5D:

    “The Rebel T1i should be viewed as a 720p video camera in reality, which means the 5D Mark II offers greater resolution (at its 1080p/30fps setting). The difference is most noticeable when comparing 1080p video from the 5D Mark II that has been downsampled on the computer to 720p resolution. When stacked up against native 720p video from the Rebel T1i, the 5D Mark II video is noticeably crisper.”


  • Dear Dave,
    I just passed by your website to say hi and thank you for all your fabulous effort on working on the tutorials, I love the calm way you instruct and definitely love the valuable tips and information you provide through your tutorials.
    Keep the good work and always remember that you have so many fans around the globe who are so inspired by your tips, and proudly I’m one of them.
    By the way I have the T2i, 5D II and the 7D, and you’re absolutely right, there’s only a slightly difference between the T2i and the 5D, actually sometimes the customer can never tell whether the scenes were taken with the T2 or the 5D.
    thanks again and sorry for my bad English ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dear Dave,
    I’m generally working on short films and advertisement using my 7D, 5D II and the T2i, basically my type of posting is cinematic, would you please advice me on a good custom picture style on the web that can improve my cinematic look during the posting later ? at the moment I’m having this difficulty with the gradings as my raw footage always tends to be over saturated which makes it almost impossible to get the perfect cinematic look at the posting stage, i tried reducing the saturation at the camera standard styles but still there’s something imperfect.
    I tired the CineStyle pictures style, its works much better than the standard ones but I think there are some good custom picture styles those suite my needs…
    Any thoughts !!
    Thanks in advance.

  • Stop calling it the 5D when it is actually the 5D Mark II. You are confusing people and search engines. There is an actual product by Canon called 5D.

  • Dave, great comparison. I would love a 5d, but the price is our of my budget. Thanks for validating my 550d purchase!

  • @chris 5d is shorter, people who are into video already know this you dont have to phrase “5d mk II” everytime you comment on a video with a 5D mk II.

    @ everyone else, obviously the 5d has better lowlight capablilites producing better video, but the t2i is the most affordable camera in terms of body, saving the extra money for lenses tripods, filters, sliders etc. obviously if your a professional the 5d is the way to go but for starters the t2i is perfect until youve worked your way into the professional industry.Heck ive seen bunch of professional videos shot with the t2i, its a great camera and it sure as hell doesnt cost nearly as much as the 5d even with lenses accessories included.

  • Hi

    May i know what is the codec you use for uploading in to youtube. It is pretty clear and nice. If you could share with me, much appreciate it.

    Thank you