Canon T5i Review
|Kit Lens:||3.06x zoom
|Viewfinder:||Optical / LCD|
|Dimensions:||5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in.
(133 x 100 x 79 mm)
|Weight:||27.9 oz (791 g)
includes batteries, kit lens
T5i Review Summary: The Canon T5i might not be significantly different to the T4i, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It retains everything we loved about its predecessor, comes with a better lens, and yet costs even less.
Amazing Capture and Processing Power
The incredible image quality and performance of Canon's new flagship EOS Rebel T5i starts with an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon's superb DIGIC 5 Image Processor. The sensor employs many of the same technologies that Canon uses in its class-leading professional cameras. Gapless microlenses funnel more light onto the sensor surface, letting the sensor gather light more efficiently. The highly optimized layout of the pixel circuitry also increases sensitivity, reducing noise and improving low-light performance.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
Capturing light with the sensor is only the beginning of the process, though. From there, the EOS Rebel T5i 14-bit A/D conversion captures and records remarkable gradations and detail in subtle tones and colors, resulting in more realistic and detailed images. By recording up to 16,384 colors per channel, the EOS Rebel T5i ensures that the fine detail found in subjects like foliage, sky and water are preserved and recorded with a tremendous level of accuracy, ensuring gorgeous results.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
Few people realize how important image processing is for producing excellent images. The enormous processing power of Canon's fifth-generation DIGIC 5 Image Processor performs much more sophisticated computation than is possible with lesser chips. One result is an expanded ISO range of ISO 100-12,800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode) that makes shooting possible in situations previously unthinkable without flash.
The advanced DIGIC 5 processor also enables up to 5.0 fps continuous shooting, and can even perform advanced functions like HDR Backlight Control, art filters, lens correction and much more. Bottom line, the DIGIC 5 processor supercharges every facet of still and moving image capture.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
Continuous ShootingHigh-speed Continuous Shooting
The EOS Rebel T5i is designed for speed. An enhanced shutter mechanism, fast mirror drive, the high-speed readout capabilities of the image sensor itself, and the incredible throughput of the DIGIC 5 Image Processor all work together to deliver up to 5.0 frames per second of blazing performance. And high-speed continuous shooting isn't just about sports; anyone with a squirmy toddler knows that the difference between capturing the perfect moment or missing the mark is a matter of tenths of a second. Whether a fleeting expression, the game's winning goal, or the bride walking down the aisle, the EOS Rebel T5i delivers the speed and performance to capture your special moments.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
Auto-FocusExceptional Auto-Focus Performance
Of course, you need a world-class auto-focus system to take full advantage of a class-leading 18.0 megapixel sensor, and the EOS Rebel T5i excels here as well. When shooting through the viewfinder, the EOS Rebel T5i advanced auto-focus with a 9-point, all cross-type AF system (including a high-precision dual-cross f/2.8 center point) delivers accurate focus whether the camera is oriented in portrait or landscape position. An AI Servo AF system achieves and maintains consistent focus for moving subjects, with an exceptional degree of reliability.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
The EOS Rebel T5i also features Canon's amazing Hybrid CMOS AF System, perfect for shooting photos and video in Live View. By integrating phase-detect AF elements directly on the CMOS image sensor, this system combines the best of both phase and contrast detection systems, for faster and more accurate focus.
With Hybrid CMOS AF, specially-configured pixels on the CMOS image sensor itself help track and predict subject motion across the frame. Thousands of pixels spread across the sensor's surface provide unprecedented resolution and accuracy for predicting subject position and distance. The result is quick and accurate continuous focus tracking in video recording, and improved focusing speed.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
- True HD
PerformanceTrue HD Performance, Rebel Simplicity
Full HD Movie Mode, your choice of frame rates
The EOS Rebel T5i makes it easy to capture true professional-quality video. Choose from full 1920 x 1080 HD video at 30 fps, or record at 24 fps for a more cinematic look. Or, switch to standard 1,280 x 720 HD at 60 fps for super-smooth action. You can even shoot PAL video at rates of 50 and 25 fps for use outside the US.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
The EOS Rebel T5i gives you video exposure options ranging from fully automatic to fully manual, including ISO adjustment from 100 all the way to 6,400 (12,800 if ISO expansion is enabled) - your creative vision no longer has to end at sunset. Have as much control as you want, when you want it; professional-level features at an affordable price.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
Continuous Focusing with Movie Servo AF
Canon's Hybrid CMOS auto-focus system enables Movie Servo AF, a breakthrough in AF and subject tracking for movie recording. Phase-detect and contrast-detect AF work together to continuously and precisely track subjects as they move through the frame. With the camera handling focus, you can concentrate on getting the shots you want. The stepper motors in Canon's new STM lenses make continuous AF tracking smooth and quiet. The EOS Rebel T5i with an STM lens attached is the standard for SLR movie-making performance!This content provided and sponsored by Canon
- Pro-Grade AudioProfessional-grade Audio
The EOS Rebel T5i has audio abilities to match its stellar video skills. For quick and easy recording, just use the built-in stereo microphone (with wind filter) and let the camera set audio levels automatically. Or, you can take full control, with 64 levels of manual adjustment, and a 3.5mm jack for an external microphone.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
- Vari-Angle LCDVari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD
The EOS Rebel T5i comes with a Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II. Displaying fine detail (at approximately 1.04 million dots), this screen is perfect for composing and reviewing images. Thanks to a new, solid construction between the monitor's resin-coated cover and the liquid crystal display, reflections are minimized, and the display can be viewed, without glare, from any number of angles. The LCD's surface is treated with a smudge-resistant coating to minimize fingerprints and maintain a bright, clear image display.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
- Touch ScreenMulti-touch operation and Touch AF
The EOS Rebel T5i comes with a Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II. Using capacitive technology similar to today's popular mobile devices, this screen is touch-sensitive and intuitive to use, with familiar two-finger touch gestures for zooming or changing images. Menu and quick control settings can be accessed, and both focus point and shutter release can be activated with the touch of a fingertip using Touch AF. The LCD's surface is treated with a smudge-resistant coating to minimize fingerprints and maintain a bright, clear image display.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
- Amazing EffectsAmazing Effects for Dramatic and Gorgeous Results
Great night-time photography, without a tripod: Accessible right on the EOS Rebel T5i Mode Dial, Handheld Night Scene mode captures nightscapes with bright highlights and detailed dark areas, delivering results previously impossible without the use of a tripod. By shooting, micro-aligning and combining four consecutive shots at a shutter speed fast enough to avoid camera shake, the EOS Rebel T5i Handheld Night Scene mode makes dramatic nighttime photography simple.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
Also accessible right on the EOS Rebel T5i mode dial, HDR Backlight Control mode ensures that backlit subjects are not recorded too darkly. By shooting three consecutive shots at different exposures (underexposed, correctly exposed and overexposed) and then combining the images, the final result maintains detail in both the shadow and highlight areas, ensuring the backlit subject is properly exposed. All this happens automatically, producing a nicely balanced image straight from the camera.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
To add to the fun and creative possibilities available with the EOS Rebel T5i, the camera has seven different creative filters that can dramatically alter the mood and visual effect of any scene. Creative Filters include Grainy Black and White, Soft Focus, Fisheye Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Miniature Effect, Art Bold Effect and Water Painting Effect. Each effect can be applied in three different levels (low, standard and strong), and easily previewed on the LCD panel in Live View. Since the filters can also be applied to an image after shooting, it's easy to try several effects on the same shot during post-processing.This content provided and sponsored by Canon
- Learn more about
the Canon EOS Rebel T5i This content provided and sponsored by Canon
Pros: Excellent image quality; 9 cross-type AF points; Stereo microphones; Built-in touchscreen; Multi-shot modes; Improved kit lens; Even more affordable.
Cons: Little-changed from the earlier T4i; Slow Live View and video autofocus; High ISO performance is unimproved; Below-average battery life; No dedicated AF illuminator.
Price and availability: The Canon Rebel T5i started shipping from April 2013 in the U.S. market. Estimated retail pricing is set at US$750 for the camera body alone, US$900 kitted with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, and US$1,100 with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. Our review kit included the 18-55mm lens.No cameras match your search criteria(s)
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Canon T5i Review
There's a new kit lens, real-time viewing of creative filter effects, an improved Mode dial and a revamped rubber grip. All of which might not sound like enough to warrant a brand new model name -- especially the rubber grip part -- but it's evident that Canon wanted to deal with an issue that plagued the T4i and effectively replace it with a new flagship Rebel model.
You might remember that the T4i had a strange issue where the handgrips on both sides of the camera could become discolored even after brief use and could potentially even cause an allergic reaction in very sensitive individuals.
Evidently, zinc deposits left by an overuse of a rubber accelerator during production of the DSLR caused its grips to turn white. Canon issued a repair recall for T4i cameras that experienced the problem. Canon assures us that the new grip of the T5i does not have the same issue.
Design and build. Seen from any angle, the Canon T5i is a dead ringer for the T4i. From in front, the only noticeable difference is the new model name badge. The new T5i grip looks and feels just the same as that on the previous model: ergonomic, reasonably comfy, and surprisingly robust for a consumer camera.
In addition to the slightly-tuned grip material, Canon has also upgraded the overall texture of the T5i's camera body with a coarser, almost gritty feel that makes it a little easier to grip. It's somewhat reminiscent of the finish on Canon's professional DSLRs.
The most apparent change in the design is to be found on the top deck. The new, improved Mode dial rotates 360 degrees and adds a new Scene mode option in place of the T4i's Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, and HDR Backlight Control modes. Switch to the Scene mode and you find just three options: the same three modes that have been demoted from the dial.
With fewer positions and no gaps between them, the dial looks nicer, and the icons larger and easier to read. They're also embossed, standing proud of the dial's surface just slightly, and the Program, Priority, and Manual modes are surrounded by a thin border line that helps call attention to them.
From the rear and sides, there is really nothing to tell you that you're not looking at the T4i. You'd be hard-put to tell them apart in-hand, either. Both cameras have precisely the same dimensions: 5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 inches (133 x 100 x 79mm).
Canon lists the T5i as a scant 0.2 ounces (5g; 1%) heavier body-only than that of the T4i, and we wouldn't be surprised if much of the difference is simply down to rounding off the numbers.
Add the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens, and the difference is still barely noticeable. The T5i with its STM lens tips the scales at 27.9 ounces (791g), up 0.6 ounces (17g; 2%) from that of the T4i with its EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II kit lens.
Sensor and performance. The new camera functions almost precisely the same as the older model, boasting an 18-megapixel, APS-C CMOS sensor with a DIGIC 5 image processor and the ability to fire off a lab-measured 4.9 frames per second in continuous shooting mode.
The Canon T5i's sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 12,800 (and even higher, to 25,600 in H mode). Its fast-focusing dedicated phase-detect AF system uses nine all-cross-type points.
Movies. In addition to still images, the T5i offers Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) video recording at up to 30 frames per second. A faster 60 fps rate is possible at a reduced 1280 x 720 resolution.
Display. The 3-inch, LCD touchscreen monitor is the same as the one on the T4i, offering 720 x 480 pixel resolution (1,040,000 dots) and the ability to flip out, side swivel, and tilt into different positions to help compose shots from difficult angles.
Real-time viewing of creative filter effects. A nice, new touch on the Canon T5i is the ability to preview in real time what your image will look like if you chose to apply one of Canon's seven creative filters in live view mode. The ability to do this before you take the shot makes it much easier to get the look you're after. Most of the filters do reduce the live view frame rate noticeably, but none does so enough to make framing difficult.
The Canon T5i's creative filters include Grainy B/W, Soft Focus, Fish-Eye Effect, Art Bold Effect, Water Painting Effect, Toy Camera Effect, and Miniature Effect. All are available only for JPEG shooting. Enable raw or raw+JPEG capture, and the creative filters are locked out in the menu system.
The Scene position. Other advanced shooting modes introduced in the T4i include Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control and Multi-Shot Noise Reduction. Curiously, all three are grouped under the Scene position on the Mode dial, although they're not the typical scene modes found on most cameras: These take multiple images and merge them in-camera to help create shots with the correct exposure or dynamic range. Understandably, these modes cannot be previewed.
New kit lens. The new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens is compact and lightweight, although slightly heavier than the non-STM version.
The 18-55mm STM lens offers four stops of image stabilization. It focuses extremely quietly and smoothly, thanks to its silent Stepping Motor. The stealthy AF is great for shooting 1080p HD video with the T5i without the distracting background noise of a focusing motor.
If you just want the lens, but not to upgrade your EOS camera body, it's also available separately for an estimated retail price of US$250.
Canon T5i Review -- Shooter's Report
by Mike Tomkins
Dissecting the controversy. As should be clear by now, the Canon T5i is very similar to its predecessor, the T4i. I didn't get to spend much time with that camera, though, so in that respect the T5i is actually new to me. (Our reviewer at the time liked the T4i though, and that gelled with my own limited experience with the model.)
Since the T5i was announced, I've heard more than a few complaints about the fact that it's a very minimal upgrade over its predecessor. I've also seen it slammed in reviews elsewhere around the web, for much the same reason. While I can understand the frustration from those who hoped for a big step forward, I think it's a bit of a storm in a teacup, and it does the T5i -- and readers -- a disservice to say it's not good simply because it's not a major update.
Yes, very little has changed in the new camera, but there's a reason for that: the T5i seems to have been created largely as a way to dissociate the model from the well-documented handgrip problems faced by the T4i. It's understandable that Canon would wish to distance itself from the problem, and important to note that the company moved quickly to fix the problem for T4i owners, for which it deserves kudos. At the same time the company had an opportunity to bundle a lens more appropriate to its target market, which it happily took.
New doesn't have to mean different. Seen in that light, the T5i makes more sense. It is, in essence, more of a new name for an existing model, rather than a new camera. To me, the angst over the minimal upgrade isn't well-founded: T4i owners lost little of significance in the process, and the T5i is no better or worse for potential Canon customers than would the T4i have been, had it remained in the lineup for longer. What it's called is of little importance, and I see no reason to slate the camera just because it's not radically changed.I had quite a bit of fun shooting with the Canon T5i, and its articulated LCD made interesting framing -- such as this low-to-the-ground car shot -- very easy indeed.
Canon typically retains SLR cameras in its lineup for longer than a year anyway, simply moving them down towards entry-level pricing as they get older. The company has effectively done that with the T5i, shipping it at US$100 below pricing for the T4i at launch. (And here, I'd note that it's not really fair to compare the T5i's street price against the closeout pricing for the T4i. The earlier camera's price was simply dropped by retailers looking to clear their shelves for the newer model.)
What changes there are between the T4i and the newer T5i exist either in firmware, or in the product bundle, and they're very minor. I would like to see Canon provide the firmware changes -- which simply provide the ability to preview the effect of filters on the live view stream -- to T4i owners as well, though, as a small gesture that would make up for the early retirement of their model.
T5i impressions. But enough of my thoughts on the reasoning behind the T5i's existence, how did it handle?
The answer, not surprisingly, is very much like our T4i. The ergonomics are much as I've come to expect from Canon's Rebel series. The camera body is fairly comfortable in-hand, although the grip is a little shallower than I'd like. It's clearly of plastic construction, but doesn't feel flimsy. There's not even a hint of panel flex or creak to be found, and the result is that it feels like a high-quality device, plastic or not.
Controls. Of course, I'd prefer a twin-dial control system, but a single-dial system is more typical at this price point. (Only Pentax bucks the trend with twin dials in a similarly-priced SLR.) Controls are well-placed, and have a firm-enough detent to prevent accidental changes. The Movie mode being accessed from the Power lever is a nice touch that makes it very painless to quickly shoot a movie.
Articulated LCD. Perhaps my favorite feature of the design is the side-swiveling LCD monitor. It's great for shooting from difficult angles, such as overhead to clear a crowd, from the waist so as not to tip off your subject, or low to the ground for an interesting macro shot. These tricky angles are a much more satisfying experience than with a fixed-screen SLR, and it's a lot easier to get accurate framing. (With my own camera, shooting overhead especially is a matter of point-and-pray.)A shot like this backstage image, with the camera held as high above my head as I could reach, would've been near-impossible without the articulated LCD. By turning it to face downwards though, I could easily get my horizon level, and place my subjects exactly where I wanted them.
And honestly, the articulation mechanism feels just as solid as the T5i body. It doesn't feel like a weak point, which would be my main concern, and the only reason I'd favor a fixed panel.
If anything, the T5i feels more rugged than does a fixed LCD, because you can rotate it to face inwards, preventing the screen from being scratched or smudged when not in use.
Touch interface. I'm a big fan of the touch-screen interface on the Canon T5i. For one thing, it makes it very quick and easy to select a specific subject for focus when in live view mode. It's also great for menu control -- and not just in the Quick menu. I often found it quicker to make settings adjustments in the main menu system by touch than with the camera controls, as well. (It's surprisingly accurate -- I seldom hit the wrong menu item.)
The menus are fairly well thought-out, and intelligent hints are shown that explain the main Quick menu functions, or tell you why certain features are greyed-out (and what must be done to access the feature.) It makes for a very approachable camera, and one that's well-suited to beginners.
Screen visibility. The screen is fairly visible outdoors with the brightness set to its maximum, although color and contrast suffer somewhat. (But better that, than a monitor you can't see.) It's fairly glossy, though, and that meant I sometimes had to shield it with my hand to be able to make out what was on the screen. On the plus side, it is amazingly resistant to fingerprints. In fact, it's one of the best I've seen in this respect. Even when intentionally trying to smudge it, there was reasonably little ill effect. It matches up to the best smartphones I own, in this respect. (And any smudges I did make were removed very easily with a wipe of a lens cloth.)Even with the sun at my back, the monitor remained visible with the brightness turned up. (And impressively smudge-free, in spite of the touch screen, too.) That was good news for this shot, because with a tall wall in front of me, I had no choice but to hold the camera high above my head.
Preview your filters. As I mentioned, the main firmware change in the Canon T5i is the ability to preview Creative Filters in live view mode. I must admit, I'm not typically the kind of photographer who uses in-camera filter effects very much. I prefer to shoot the scene as-is, then fiddle around in Lightroom, Photoshop, or some other app to tune the effects to my heart's content, safe in the knowledge that I can always roll back to the original.
With that said, I certainly understand the attraction of being able to tweak your image immediately that it's captured, if you're planning on printing or sharing straight away. Hence, I did give the pre-capture Creative Filters a spin, and I definitely appreciated the ability to preview their effect. Frankly, without that ability, I'd see little point in using pre-capture filters; I could always apply them later, after all. But if you can see it at capture time, you can take the filter into account when adjusting your composition. That's valuable, and it's a very positive change if you are the type to use in-camera filtering.Unfiltered imageGrainy B/WSoft FocusFish-eye EffectArt Bold EffectWater Painting EffectToy Camera EffectMiniature Effect
Underused live-view. However, much as I liked the ability to adjust the monitor for viewing from any angle, and the opportunity to play with filters in live view mode, honestly I found myself using live view rather less than I expected. I'm a bit of a traditionalist who still loves his optical viewfinder, but with many mirrorless cameras crossing my desk -- all of which use live view, be it through a viewfinder or on the LCD -- I've rather grown accustomed to shooting at arm's length, in spite of myself.
But that's in part because many recent mirrorless cameras have leveled the playing field in terms of autofocus speed versus affordable SLRs. That's not true of the Canon T5i, sadly. Live View autofocus -- despite Canon's Hybrid CMOS AF system -- is still much slower than is focusing using the dedicated phase detection sensor. How much slower? Well, our lab testing says it all, really: It's actually faster for the Canon T5i to drop its mirror (interrupting the live view feed in the process), focus with the dedicated sensor, then raise the mirror again and resume the live view feed before capturing your shot than it is to use Hybrid CMOS AF.For static subjects like this, live view autofocus was just fine, and its more accurate framing versus the optical viewfinder better let me get the shot I wanted. Throw in a moving subject, though, and it just wasn't fast enough. Even with static subjects, it occasionally indicated a focus lock when far from it.
Hybrid isn't always better. In the field, I found that Hybrid CMOS AF simply wasn't useful unless my subject was relatively static. It invariably drove the lens well past the point of focus, then racked it back again, passed focus for a second time, and then finally did a quick "bobble" before settling -- and that's even for subjects at the center of the frame. More than a few times, it repeatedly locked focus in completely the wrong position, with my subject visibly and heavily blurred on the LCD monitor, even without any zoom.
And it's not that it locked on the wrong subject -- although it sometimes did this too -- more than once it indicated a focus lock when nothing in the entire frame was anywhere near to being focused. And this wasn't limited to terribly dark conditions, either: I noticed it happening in the daytime, too. Near sunset, sure, but still with a reasonable amount of light.
The issues with contrast detection autofocus speed -- and the fact that dropping the mirror to use phase-detect autofocus makes it tricky to retain framing -- meant that I used live view when I had to, rather than when I wanted to. If there wasn't another option, I'd use live view. If I could work around it for a given shot, I'd stand on tippy-tow or contort myself, and shoot through the viewfinder instead.
I probably wouldn't have had so much concern about it, were it not branded as Hybrid CMOS AF, and listed as a selling point. My concern is more that I didn't see a significant improvement in speed or accuracy over the older contrast-detect system of the T3i. Were it a contrast-detect only system, I wouldn't be surprised by the performance and accuracy issues I found. It surprises me, though, that a camera with on-sensor phase-detect pixels will routinely run well past the point of focus before returning.
Shoot through the viewfinder. It's only really an issue for live view shooting, though. Restrain yourself to standard shooting, let the camera choose the focus point, and phase-detect autofocus is very fast for a consumer-level camera. I also found it reliable.
Pleasing performance. And likewise, burst shooting performance isn't bad for a consumer camera. Certainly enough for the typical casual photographer or enthusiastic amateur. If you're shooting sports, you'll probably want to look elsewhere due to the limited burst depth, but for typical family-and-pets shooting it'll be plenty, especially if you routinely shoot JPEG-only.
I don't; I've become a raw-only shooter, and when reviewing a camera will always shoot raw+JPEG. With that combination, the burst depth is very shallow indeed, unfortunately. Further increasing the challenge for the camera, I also shoot with bracketed exposures for our galleries. On the plus side, buffer clearing times were good, and so although I did hit the buffer depth limit occasionally -- a single set of bracketed exposures in raw+JPEG being enough to fill the buffer -- the camera was always ready for another burst of shots within a few seconds. I didn't feel like I was having to wait an unreasonable length of time, by any means, even if I'd liked to have seen a larger buffer.
Bye bye, bracketing. One minor frustration to be aware of, although for a consumer-oriented camera it does somewhat make sense: Every time the Canon T5i is powered off, it will disable exposure bracketing. If you routinely bracket shots as I do, that means you'll need to reenable the function every time you power the camera on, and you'll likely find yourself just leaving the camera powered on at all times. Of course, the behavior might be desirable from a consumer point of view, avoiding accidentally over- or under-exposed shots. My problem is that there's no way to override it, if you know what you're doing.
Not the full picture. Another thing that I found slightly unusual is that the in-camera HDR and Handheld Night Scene modes both induce a focal-length crop, as you can see with the HDR sample in the gallery. I can only presume that this is to give some leeway for correcting camera motion caused by shooting handheld. If so, though, I'd rather Canon handle this in the manner taken by some competitors, simply retaining the original image size, and allowing a lesser dynamic range or higher noise levels in areas not covered by all shots in the burst.The HDR and Handheld Night Scene modes both crop your images, making wide-angle photography more challenging. This HDR shot was captured immediately after the Creative Filter shots in the table above, from the same position, and with the same focal length, but the framing is quite a bit tighter.
The reason I prefer this approach is that I find my HDR shots in particularly are typically taken at wide angle, and so I dislike the function encroaching on my wide angle possibilities. Of course, there's nothing to stop me manually shooting and merging my own HDR shot, so it's only a minor quibble.
Attractive images. And it's pretty easy to overlook, given the Canon T5i's solid build, affordable price tag, and most of all its image quality. Images were attractive, with good color and great sharpness. While noise levels and dynamic range weren't the best I've seen, they were certainly reasonable for a consumer camera. And I found exposure metering to be fairly accurate, for the most part. The shots where I needed to use exposure compensation were typically those where I'd expect to do so with almost any camera.
Good kit lens. The new 18-55mm STM kit lens is also pretty good, by kit lens standards. It's very quiet, focuses smoothly, and yields pretty good image quality. And the lens-based image stabilization does a good job of helping get the shot in low-light conditions. It does show some barrel distortion at wide angle, but it's pretty easily fixed in apps like Lightroom, Photoshop, or DxO Optics Pro once you're back in the digital darkroom.
Good video, but focus manually. Video quality, too, was pretty good in my opinion, and the feature set is pretty generous for a camera aimed at consumer use, with options like a selection of frame rates, manual exposure control, external microphone connectivity, and fine-grained audio levels control. Just as for live view mode, though, autofocus is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it's good that it's available, and the new kit lens makes it essentially silent. On the other, it's rather slow and has a tendency to hunt, and in that respect doesn't match up to what's available from many other compact system cameras and SLRs these days. And at the highest resolution, you don't have access to the highest 50/60p frame rates available for 720p video. (You do have a film-like 24p option, however.)
The Canon T5i has a fairly rich video feature set, including support for manual exposure, an external microphone, audio levels control, and full-time or on-demand autofocus. It also offers a choice of three frame rates at full resolution, or two at lower resolutions. Video quality is pretty good, with lots of fine detail recorded. Autofocus performance is quite modest, however, and there's a tendency to hunt despite the Hybrid CMOS AF system, which includes phase detection.
YouTube clips have been recompressed by Google; for original video quality, click to download originals of either the static video or panning video.
Better than you've been led to believe. All things considered, though, I don't believe the Canon T5i deserves the bad rap it's gotten due to its minimal upgrade. Are there some quibbles? Yes, predominantly to do with its live view autofocus performance. At the end of the day, though, it's a pretty decent consumer-grade SLR at an attractive price, and one I rather enjoyed shooting with.
Canon T5i Technical Info
by Mike Tomkins
At the heart of the Canon T5i is an APS-C CMOS image sensor, identical to that in the T4i.
Resolution is 18 megapixels, with a native 3:2 aspect ratio. Maximum image dimensions are 5,184 x 3,456 pixels.
As in the T4i, the sensor includes on-chip phase detection autofocus, or Hybrid CMOS AF in Canon parlance.
The system, available during both live view and movie capture, uses a combination of phase detection and contrast detection when the subject is in the center of the frame, and contrast detection alone when the subject strays nearer the edge of the frame. (That's the blue area, in the image above.)
The use of on-sensor phase-detect enables smoother autofocus, with less hunting.
The on-chip PDAF capability isn't used for still imaging when shooting through the viewfinder, though.
In this case, the T5i uses the same dedicated sensor seen previously in the EOS 60D.
Although there are still nine points as in the T1i, T2i, and T3i, like the T4i they're now all f/5.6 cross-types, with the center point being an f/2.8 high precision dual cross.
Autofocus working range is EV -0.5 to 18 at 23°C, ISO 100 equivalent.
Output from the image sensor is handled by a Canon DIGIC 5 image processor. That's now a generation behind the DIGIC 5+ used in some of Canon's more expensive SLRs.
As in the T4i, DIGIC 5 allows burst shooting performance to a manufacturer-rated five frames per second.
Like the T4i before it, the Canon Rebel T5i boasts an expanded sensitivity range compared to earlier Rebel models.
From a base of ISO 100 equivalent, the T5i offers up to ISO 12,800 equivalent ordinarily, and can be expanded to a maximum of ISO 25,600 equivalent. Movie capture is limited to ISO 6,400 or below.
As you'd expect in a Rebel-series camera, there's a Canon EF lens mount that's also compatible with EF-S lenses.
35mm lenses have a 1.6x focal length crop when mounted on the T5i. Two kit lens choices are available; either the new 18-55mm IS STM lens, or an equivalent of the T4i's 18-135mm IS STM lens kit.
The T5i's viewfinder is the same type used since the T3i. It's a pentamirror design with fixed focusing screen, rather than the brighter pentaprism type with interchangeable screen that's found in more expensive cameras. Coverage is 95% with a 0.85x magnification, and a somewhat tight 19mm eyepoint. Diopter correction is -3 to +1m-1.
On the rear panel is a three-inch, 3:2 aspect LCD panel with 720 x 480 pixel resolution (~1,040,000 dots), the same size and resolution used since the T2i.
The T5i shares the same Clear View II panel introduced in the T4i, which removes the air gap between LCD and cover glass, reducing glare compared to the earlier Clear View design found on the T3i.
Like the T3i and T4i before it, the T5i's display is articulated on a side-mounted tilt/swivel mechanism. This allows viewing from a wide variety of angles, including in front of the camera.
It also allows a degree of protection for the display when not in use, since it can be closed facing inwards towards the camera body.
Like that of the T4i, the Canon T5i's monitor is overlaid with a touch panel.
It uses a multitouch glass capacitive design like most smartphones, rather than the less accurate plastic resistive type used in older or less-expensive cameras.
Canon's GUI--shown here in live view mode--is designed to make it easy to control using the touch screen. You can select a focus point, swipe between photos use pinch zoom in playback, and optionally control the shutter, but the touch screen can't be disabled or locked.
The T5i's built-in, popup flash strobe has a guide number of 13 meters (~43 feet) at ISO 100. Coverage is approximately 28mm (35mm-equivalent), and the recycle time is about three seconds. X-sync is at 1/200 second.
As well as the built-in flash, there's an intelligent hot shoe compatible with EX-series Speedlites and Canon's E-TTL II metering system. Both Canon's IR and radio-controlled wireless flash systems are supported, with the appropriate hardware.
The Canon T5i's healthy selection of exposure modes includes Scene Intelligent Auto (aka 'Green' mode), Program AE , Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, No Flash, Creative Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, and Scene. The latter position replaces the earlier dedicated Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, and HDR Backlight Control positions from the T4i, and all three functions are now accessed through the single Scene position.
Scene Intelligent Auto mode was introduced on the T3i, and differs from the typical Auto mode in that it uses scene recognition technology to determine an appropriate scene type, and then not only controls exposure, white balance, and focus automatically, but also tweaks the picture style and tone curve appropriately for your subject.
Metering modes in the Canon T5i include 63-zone AF-linked evaluative, 9% partial, 4% center spot, and center-weighted average. The metering system has a working range of EV 1-20 (23°C with 50mm f/1.4 lens, at ISO100). Shutter speeds range from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, plus bulb. White balance modes include Auto, six presets, and custom, along with a +/- nine step white balance adjustment on blue/amber and magenta/green axes.
The Handheld Night Scene mode automatically captures four high sensitivity shots, which are then microaligned and merged in-camera. The result: a single image with reduced noise levels, but with reduced likelihood of blurring from a slow shutter speed.
The HDR Backlight Control mode, again, captures three shots and microaligns them.
However, this time the exposure is varied between frames so as to hold onto more dynamic range than is possible with a single exposure.
Another multi-shot function dubbed Multi Shot Noise Reduction is found via the High ISO Speed NR mode. This is similar to Handheld Night Scene mode, in that it is used to reduce noise by averaging across exposures, but doesn't require the high initial ISO sensitivity.
The T5i includes a variety of post-capture Creative Filter functions, as seen on the T3i and T4i.
In Live View mode, you can also apply various creative filters, and you can now preview their effect before capture.
As you can tell from the Hybrid CMOS AF function discussed previously, Canon is courting consumer videographers with the T5i.
This is reinforced by the fact that the Movie mode sits not on the Mode dial, but on the Power switch instead, making for much quicker access.
Video can be captured at up to Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) resolution at 30 frames per second, using H.264 compression. By default, audio is captured with a built-in stereo microphone.
Both an external mic jack and manual audio levels control capability are also provided.
As well as the mic jack and hot shoe we've already mentioned, other connectivity options include a wired remote port, an infrared remote receiver in the hand grip, and both a combined USB data / standard-def video output.
There's also a high-def Mini HDMI video port.
The Canon T5i can accept Secure Digital flash memory cards. It's also compatible with the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC cards, as well as the higher-speed UHS-I cards.
Wireless transfer is possible using Eye-Fi's Wi-Fi capable SD cards.
Shooting with the T2i or T3i and considering an upgrade? You'll be pleased to note that the T5i still uses the same LP-E8 battery pack, and is still CIPA rated for 440 shots on a charge.
It also still accepts the same BG-E8 battery grip which holds up to two LP-E8 battery packs to double battery life, or six AA batteries.
Canon T5i Review -- Image Quality Comparison
The crops below compare the Canon T5i to the Canon T4i, Canon SL1, Nikon D3200, Pentax K-50 and Sony A58.
Note that these images are best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction. Each camera was shot with one of our very sharp reference prime lenses.
Canon T5i versus Canon T4i at ISO 100Canon T5i at ISO 100Canon T4i at ISO 100
Canon T5i versus Canon SL1 at ISO 100Canon T5i at ISO 100
Canon T5i versus Nikon D3200 at ISO 100Canon T5i at ISO 100Nikon D3200 at ISO 100
Canon T5i versus Pentax K-50 at ISO 100Canon T5i at ISO 100Pentax K-50 at ISO 100
Canon T5i versus Sony A58 at ISO 100Canon T5i at ISO 100Sony A58 at ISO 100
Moving onto ISO 1600 now, where noise processing starts to show its character.
Canon T5i versus Canon T4i at ISO 1,600Canon T5i at ISO 1,600Canon T4i at ISO 1,600
Canon T5i versus Canon SL1 at ISO 1,600Canon T5i at ISO 1,600
Canon T5i versus Nikon D3200 at ISO 1,600Canon T5i at ISO 1,600Nikon D3200 at ISO 1,600
Canon T5i versus Pentax K-50 at ISO 1,600Canon T5i at ISO 1,600Pentax K-50 at ISO 1,600
Canon T5i versus Sony A58 at ISO 1,600Canon T5i at ISO 1,600Sony A58 at ISO 1,600
And below at ISO 3200, the stakes really start to show in today's cameras.
Canon T5i versus Canon T4i at ISO 3,200Canon T5i at ISO 3,200Canon T4i at ISO 3,200
Canon T5i versus Canon SL1 at ISO 3,200Canon T5i at ISO 3,200
Canon T5i versus Nikon D3200 at ISO 3,200Canon T5i at ISO 3,200Nikon D3200 at ISO 3,200
Canon T5i versus Pentax K-50 at ISO 3,200Canon T5i at ISO 3,200Pentax K-50 at ISO 3,200
Canon T5i versus Sony A58 at ISO 3,200Canon T5i at ISO 3,200Sony A58 at ISO 3,200
Detail: Canon T5i vs. Canon T4i, Canon SL1, Nikon D3200, Pentax K-50 and Sony A58.
Canon T5i Review -- Print Quality Analysis
Good 24 x 36 inch prints at ISO 100/200; makes a good 16 x 20 inch print at ISO 800 and a usable 4 x 6 at ISO 12,800.
ISO 100 and 200 produce great 24 x 36-inch prints if you look at them from a typical viewing distance, while a 20 x 30-inch print looks wonderful. At 30 x 40 inches, prints start to show a hint of pixelation, but the viewer would have to be extremely close, thus making this size suitable for wall display. At 36 x 48 inches, pixelation is more apparent up close, as this size is pushing the resolution of the 18MP APS-C sensor, but you could probably get away with wall-mounted prints. However, we're more comfortable calling it acceptable at 30 x 40 inches.
ISO 400 allows for great prints up to 20 x 30 inches, while 24 x 36-inch prints are suitable for wall display.
ISO 800 images look good at 16 x 20 inches. There is some noise, but you only really see it in the shadow areas. 20 x 30-inch prints would be suitable for wall display.
ISO 1600 makes a good 13 x 19-inch print with a nice level of fine detail. Colors also look accurate and pleasing. At 16 x 20 inches, the image is a bit too soft in finely detailed areas for us to make the call at that size. Noise starts to appear in the shadows if you look closely, but noise in the highlights and midrange areas are very low.
ISO 3200 prints start to show a bit more noise in the shadows, and the T5i starts to have noticeable issues with red colors, particularly in our red fabric area of our test scene. Still, it produces a nice 8 x 10-inch print, and 5 x 7-inch prints look even better. As before, shadow noise is apparent, but otherwise the image looks great and fine details are still noticeable.
ISO 6400 makes a decent 5 x 7-inch print, but colors start to look less vibrant and fine detail is reduced due to higher noise, preventing us from calling anything larger acceptable.
ISO 12,800 images are fairly heavy on noise and lack fine detail at larger sizes, but still produce a decent 4 x 6-inch print. Colors still look okay, if a little on the dull side. Fine detail, such as in the red fabric or mosaic area, is drastically reduced.
ISO 25,600 images were too mushy on fine detail and high ISO noise was very apparent, and therefore we would recommend avoiding this sensitivity if you want to make prints.
The Canon Rebel T5i produces excellent results for large prints at low sensitivity levels, all the way up to wall-mountable 30 x 40-inch prints at ISO 100 and 200. Additionally, the T5i does surprisingly well at controlling noise at higher ISO levels. It wasn't until we got to ISO 6400 and looked very closely at the shadow areas that we began to see noise, as well as noticeable degradation in fine detail. At extreme levels like ISO 12,800 and 25,600, colors and fine detail took a big hit, but the camera still managed to produce an acceptable 4 x 6-inch print at ISO 12,800. Overall, this consumer-level DSLR does very nicely with printed images, much like its predecessor, the Canon Rebel T4i. It produces great low-ISO prints at large sizes, while still doing a nice job with prints at high ISO levels.
In the Box
The Canon T5i retail box ships with the following items:
- Canon T5i body
- Body cap
- 18-55mm or 18-135mm IS STM lens (depending on bundle and market)
- Front and rear lens caps
- LP-E8 battery pack
- LC-E8 or LC-E8E battery charger (depending on market)
- USB connection cable
- EW-100DB IV Shoulder strap
- EOS Digital Solution Disk CD-ROM
- Software Instruction Manual CD-ROM
- Camera Instruction Manual booklet
- Extra LP-E8 battery pack for extended outings
- BG-E8 battery grip (and optionally, six long-life AA lithium disposable batteries if you want a backup when you're away from your charger, although it will also accept a second LP-E8 battery pack)
- ACK-E8 AC adapter kit or DR-E8 DC coupler if you already have a suitable AC adapter (for studio shooting)
- Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card. These days, 16GB is a good tradeoff between cost and capacity for a consumer DSLR, but if you plan to capture HD movie clips or shoot in RAW format, look for larger cards with Class 6 or faster ratings.
- Additional lenses
- External Speedlite flash, or other shoe-mount accessory flash
- Dioptric lenses for viewfinder (if built-in diopter adjustment is insufficient for your prescription)
- EP-EX15 II eyepiece extender (if you want to shoot while wearing your glasses)
- External monaural or stereo microphone
- HTC-100 or other Mini-HDMI cable
- EH-19L or EH-24L semi-hard case
- Medium size camera bag
Canon T5i Conclusion
- Less expensive than the camera it replaces
- 18-55mm STM lens is very quiet, and above average image quality for a kit lens
- Solid body with no panel flex or creak
- Good ergonomics, as we've come to expect from the Rebel line
- Touch screen is great for settings changes and selecting a focus subject
- LCD monitor is bright and resistant to fingerprint smudges
- Tilt/swivel for monitor is great for shooting from unusual angles
- Image quality very similar to T4i, as expected -- which is to say excellent
- Very good color with excellent hue accuracy
- Good cycle times
- Decent burst speeds (~4.8fps), but see Con about shallow buffers
- Now lets you preview pre-capture Creative Filter effects
- Built-in chromatic aberration and vignetting correction
- Handheld Night Scene, Multi-shot NR and HDR multi-shot modes work well
- Only one control dial
- LCD monitor is a bit glossy for our liking
- Dynamic range not as good as competing models, though HTP helps
- Auto and Incandescent white balance very warm in tungsten lighting
- Higher than average distortion from the 18-55mm STM lens
- Moderately high to high levels of chromatic aberration from 18-55mm lens at wide angle, though camera can correct for it
- Shallow buffers with raw files
- Hybrid CMOS AF is slower than rivals, hunts like regular contrast detect AF, and sometimes indicates lock when nowhere near focused
- Below average battery life
- Flash did not perform to spec
- No dedicated AF illuminator (must use flash)
- Handheld Night Scene and HDR modes induce a crop
- Forgets exposure bracketing setting every time you power the camera off
The Canon Rebel T5i was always going to be a controversial camera. With so little changed, you can understand why photographers would react with some confusion. Seen in light of the handgrip issues Canon faced with its earlier T4i -- which the company was quick to fix, we might add -- the followup makes sense as a relatively straightforward rebranding, however. That Canon also took the opportunity to swap the 18-55mm kit lens for a newer STM variant is good news.
Being in essence a rebadged Canon T4i, released at a slightly lower list price less than a year after the model it replaces, it's not surprising that our thoughts on the Canon T5i are quite similar to its predecessor. We found much to like, and a few things to quibble with.
For the latter, perhaps our main concern was with its Hybrid CMOS AF, which simply doesn't live up to its billing. It's not much better than the contrast-detection system it replaced, but it's no worse either. The shame, though, is that rivals have been able to do significantly better with their live view / movie autofocusing, whether they're hybrid or based only on contrast detection.
But that's of little importance unless you're the kind of photographer who does most of your shooting at arm's length, or for whom video is key. (And if so, then this clearly isn't the camera for you -- you'd do better to look at a mirrorless model.) For the rest of us, the live view / movie autofocus really isn't a huge concern.
Image quality and how it shoots through the viewfinder is much more important, and here the Canon T5i turns in a pretty decent result. Sure, it doesn't match up with the best in terms of dynamic range, noise levels, or burst shooting depth, but for a consumer camera it's not bad. In other respects it's very much on its game, with pleasing color, lots of detail, and fairly swift performance. The new 18-55mm STM lens is above average, for a kit lens. (And if you want extra range, the 18-135mm kit lens is a good choice, too.)
And all this comes to you for around US$100 less than the list price of its predecessor at launch, moving the Canon T5i just a little closer to the entry level in the process. Is it essentially just a Canon T4i by another name? Yes, but that's no bad thing. The T4i took home a Dave's Pick on merit, and the Canon T5i is just as deserving. Ignore the naysayers: There's a lot to like about the Canon T5i, and if you're in the market for an affordable SLR, it's definitely worthy of a place on your shortlist.
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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.