Canon T5 Conclusion

Pro: Cons:
  • Very good image quality
  • Very good color with excellent hue accuracy
  • Decent performing kit lens
  • HTP and ALO help with high contrast subjects
  • Good ergonomics for an entry-level model
  • Fast startup
  • Very fast AF in Auto selection mode
  • Fast single-shot cycle time
  • Feature Guide and Creative Auto helps newbies
  • Full HD movies
  • Vast selection of compatible lenses and accessories
  • Great value for the money
  • Lightweight, compact design is comfortable and easy to carry
  • Slow burst mode
  • Shallow buffers
  • Can struggle to focus in very low light without AF assist
  • Slow focusing in Live View mode
  • Dynamic range and high ISO performance not as good as some competing models
  • Auto and Incandescent white balance looks warm indoors
  • No in-camera HDR or capture-mode creative effects
  • No continuous AF in movie mode
  • Mono sound, and no external mic jack
  • No dedicated AF illuminator (uses flash)
  • No ultrasonic sensor cleaning

After a long time in the making, the Canon T5 comes as a very welcomed upgrade over 2011's Canon Rebel T3 DSLR. Sporting a newer, higher-resolution, 18-megapixel sensor as opposed to the 12MP one in its predecessor, the T5 provides not only larger, higher-res images, but also an increased ISO range up to 12,800. The T5 also provides a substantial upgrade in HD video recording capabilities, now going up to Full HD at 30p and 24p (25p for PAL), whereas the T3 maxed out at only 720p video. The T5 still has 720p recording, of course, but now offers a faster 60p (50p PAL) frame rate for better fast-action videos. Also, for more advanced control in video mode, it offers full manual exposure control for the first time in this entry-level EOS camera category.

In our lab tests as well as in our Field Tests, the Canon T5 produced very good, high quality images. The older DIGIC 4 image processor, brought over from the T3, helps capture highly-detailed images, as well as provides fast single-shot cycle times, for quick shot-to-shot performance in single-shot mode. However, the camera struggles with a slow burst speed and a shallow buffer, making sports, action or anything rapid-fire a bit frustrating.

Despite the increased ISO range of this new model, we did find that while higher ISO images looked decent, the dynamic range and overall high ISO performance was not up to the level of some competing models. Additionally, low-light autofocus was underwhelming, and the camera struggles to focus without the AF assist light (which, awkwardly, is performed by the pop-up flash instead of a dedicated, smaller AF assist lamp).

One should keep in mind that the Canon T5 is an entry-level model DSLR, and it will not have all the bells and whistles of its higher-end -- and more expensive -- siblings. For instance, while the T5 bumps up in video resolution, it still lacks continuous AF in movie mode, records only mono audio, and has no external mic jack, unlike the higher-priced Canon T5i. The T5 also lacks an in-camera HDR mode or any kind of in-camera creative effects -- so keep that in mind if those sorts of things interest you.

All in all, though, the Canon T5 is a solid DSLR with a great bang-for-your-buck ratio, even with its various limitations. The camera does get a more thorough covering of rubberized grip material for a more secure hold, and yet it maintains a traditional yet simplistic DSLR design with comfortable ergonomics and easy to use controls. While the T5 may lean more toward the basic side of things, the image quality is very good when it's all said and done. If you're looking for a low barrier of entry into the Canon DSLR world, the Canon Rebel T5 is a great place to start.

For the entry-level buyer wanting to step up to an SLR for the first time, the Canon T5 offers a pretty compelling package that earns it 4 out of 5 points and a Dave's Pick.

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