Canon Rebel T2i Digital Camera Review$899.99
Speed and Timing
There's only one option for drive mode: the aforementioned 3.4 frames per second continuous shot mode. There is technically no limit to the number of photos that can be taken in this mode, but the capture speed slows down significantly after about eleven shots (or about five if you're shooting in RAW). You also won't be able to have a 3.4fps speed if you're using the flash or have high ISO noise reduction cranked up; in these cases the continuous shot moves much more slowly.
The manual for the T2i states that the camera can get 3.7 frames per second in continuous shutter mode, and we got close in the lab, with the same 3.4 frames per second: rate we measured when we tested the T1i last year. Many similar cameras are able to record more quickly, but this is by no means the slowest camera we've tested either.
The T2i sports three different self-timer options: 2 second, 10 second/Remote control, and Continuous. The remote control option works with either a wireless or wired controller. In Continuous you choose anywhere between 2 and 10 photos, which are then taken after a 10-second delay.
The Rebel T2i has the same nine-point autofocus system as most Canon DSLRs. Eight points are arranged in a rhombus, with one central point in the middle. You can either focus manually, allow the camera to focus automatically with all nine focal points, or select one of the nine specific points to use for autofocus.
The focus generally feels fast, though it slows down a bit in low light. Even in low light, however, we found that the T2i autofocus system is responsive and accurate. The focusing motor isn't too loud, but when you're recording video, its proximity to the microphone definitely provides an audible grinding noise in the background. This is a problem with most SLRs. You can read more about it in the Audio section of the Video Features portion of the review.
There is an 'autofocus assist beam,' though it's associated with the built-in flash, which will fire a short series of bursts in order to help the T2i autofocus in low light. There is no dedicated infrared focus assist beam. If you prefer to use only IR focus assist, you can purchase an external flash with this feature and set the camera to activate focus assist only when the infrared beam is available.
The T2i has three choices for focus modes: One Shot, AI Servo (AKA Continuous), and AI Focus, which switches between the two other focus modes, depending on whether the subject is in motion or not.