Canon T5 Image Quality


Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Fairly typical saturation levels with excellent hue accuracy.

ISO Sensitivity
In the diagram above, the squares show the original color, and the circles show the color that the camera captured. More saturated colors are located toward the periphery of the graph. Hue changes as you travel around the center. Thus, hue-accurate, highly saturated colors appear as lines radiating from the center. Mouse over the links above to compare ISOs, and click to load a larger version.

Saturation. The Canon EOS Rebel T5 produces images with saturation levels that are a little lower than most cameras, but not by much. Strong reds, oranges, dark greens, dark brown and dark blues are pushed by minor to moderate amounts, while yellow and cyan are just slightly muted. The mean saturation of 108.5% (8.5% oversaturated) at base ISO is just a bit lower than average, but saturation varies moderately with ISO, from a low of 100.9% at ISO 12,800 to a peak of 108.8% at ISO 6,400. Still, good overall results here. Most consumer digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) than found in the original subjects. This is simply because most people like their color a bit brighter than life.

Skin tones. The Canon T5 produced pleasing, natural-looking Caucasian skin tones in our simulated daylight tests when Auto white balance setting was used. Interestingly, Manual white balance produced skin tones that were a bit too warm and yellow for our tastes. Where oversaturation is most problematic is on Caucasian skin tones, as it's very easy for these "memory colors" to be seen as too bright, too pink, too yellow, etc.

Hue. The Canon Rebel T5's hue accuracy is excellent, much better than average. There are the usual shifts in cyan toward blue (actually quite small), red toward orange, and orange toward yellow, but all are fairly minor. (The cyan to blue shift is very common among the digital cameras we test; we think it's a deliberate choice by camera engineers to produce better-looking sky colors.) Average "delta-C" color error at base ISO is only 3.6, which is excellent. Delta-C color error increases with sensitivity, but remains better than average across the ISO range. Hue is "what color" the color is.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images


Exposure and White Balance

Indoors, incandescent lighting
Auto and Incandescent white balance settings both struggled with household incandescent lighting, though Manual white balance worked well. Slightly higher than average exposure compensation required.

Auto White Balance
+0.7 EV
Incandescent White Balance
+0.7 EV
Manual White Balance
+0.7 EV

Indoors, under incandescent lighting, the Canon EOS Rebel T5's Auto and Incandescent white balance settings struggled, both producing very warm red/orange color casts. Unfortunately, this is still fairly common among cameras we've tested, but disappointing nonetheless. The Manual setting however produced very good white balance here. Note that the Rebel T5 doesn't offer a Kelvin temperature setting like its more expensive siblings, but like all recent Canon DSLRs, you can shift color balance toward more or less green vs magenta or blue vs amber, using a +/-9 step grid format display. The Canon Rebel T5 required +0.7 EV exposure compensation for this shot, which is slightly higher than the +0.3 EV average among the cameras we've tested. (Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulbs, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the U.S.)

Outdoors, daylight
Color and saturation are very good, though a tendency towards slightly cool color balance and somewhat high contrast under harsh lighting. About average exposure accuracy.

Auto White Balance,
+1.0 EV
Auto White Balance,
0 EV

Outdoors, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 tended toward a slightly cool color balance, though overall color was generally very pleasing. The Canon Rebel T5 required +1.0 EV exposure compensation to keep our mannequin's face bright, a little more than the typical +0.7 EV we're accustomed to needing for our "Sunlit" Portrait shot. The Canon T5's default contrast is a little high, producing some washed-out highlights and dark shadows under the deliberately harsh lighting of our portrait test shown above left, though the camera's contrast can always be adjusted, and more advanced features like Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Tone Priority do help with high contrast scenes like these. See below for examples of this. The Far-field shot (above right) is also a touch cool, and exposure a tad dim, though the camera did a good job of avoiding blown highlights at default exposure. Deep shadows are however noisy, as we've seen from other Canon DSLRs.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Very high resolution, ~2,400 to 2,500 lines of strong detail from JPEGs, about the same from RAW.

Strong detail to
~2,500 lines horizontal
In-Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
~2,400 lines vertical
In-Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
~2,500 lines horizontal
ACR Converted RAW
Strong detail to
~2,400 lines vertical
ACR Converted RAW

Our laboratory resolution chart showed the Canon T5's images with sharp, distinct line patterns down to about 2,500 lines per picture height horizontally and about 2,400 lines vertically. Some may argue for higher numbers, but aliasing and sharpening artifacts start to interfere at this resolution. Extinction of the pattern occurred just past 3,200 lines horizontally and at about 3,000 lines vertically. Adobe Camera Raw converted .CR2 files do not show any higher resolution than the in-camera JPEG, however complete extinction of the pattern was extended to the limit of our chart (4,000 lines) in the horizontal direction, and to about 3,400 lines in the vertical direction. ACR also produced more moiré and false colors than in-camera JPEGs, especially in vertical lines. Use these numbers to compare with other cameras of similar resolution, or use them to see just what higher resolution can mean in terms of potential detail.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sharpness & Detail
Very good sharpness and detail with a sharp lens, though with moderate sharpening artifacts. Some minor detail loss to noise reduction processing even at low ISOs.

With default sharpening settings, the
Canon Rebel T5's JPEG files show good sharpness but with some moderate sharpening artifacts.
Subtle detail: Hair
Noise suppression blurs
detail in areas of subtle contrast,
as in the darker parts of
the model's hair here.

Sharpness. The Canon EOS Rebel T5's 18-megapixel sensor and processor capture sharp images with very good detail when coupled with a sharp lens, though some edge-enhancement artifacts are visible around high-contrast edges such the halos around the lettering and border in the crop above left. (The above left crop shot was taken with Canon's very sharp 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens at f/8.) This is pretty typical, though, especially for consumer-oriented models from Canon. Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.

Detail. The crop above right shows some detail loss due to noise suppression in darker areas and in areas with low contrast, but that's to be expected at these resolutions. Typical performance for an 18-megapixel APS-C sensor. (The image above right of the hair was taken with our very sharp Sigma 70mm f/2.8 reference lens.) Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten-out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears.

RAW vs In-Camera JPEGs
As noted above the Canon T5 produces sharp JPEG images with very good detail. With a good RAW converter, additional detail can often be extracted with fewer sharpening artifacts. See below:

Base ISO (100)
Camera JPEG, defaults
RAW via Adobe Camera Raw

In the table above, we compare a best quality in-camera JPEG taken at base ISO using default noise reduction and sharpening (on the left) to the matching RAW file converted with Adobe Camera Raw 8.5 using default noise reduction with some strong but tight unsharp masking applied in Photoshop (300%, radius of 0.3 pixels, and a threshold of 0).

Looking closely at the images, we can see ACR extracts additional detail that isn't present in the JPEG from the camera, particularly in the red-leaf swatch where the fine thread pattern is likely treated as noise by the JPEG engine. Fine detail in the mosaic crop is also improved, but as is often the case, more noise can be seen in the bottle crop. You can of course apply stronger noise reduction (default ACR NR used here) to arrive at your ideal noise versus detail tradeoff. And, as expected, sharpening haloes aren't nearly as strong as default camera output. Still, not bad in-camera default JPEG processing, but as usual you can do noticeably better by shooting in RAW mode and using a good RAW converter.

ISO & Noise Performance
Very good detail versus noise up to ISO 1,600, though detail suffers at higher ISOs.

Default High ISO Noise Reduction
ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1,600 ISO 3,200
ISO 6,400 ISO 12,800

The Canon T5's high ISO performance is fairly good, very similar to its more expensive sibling, the Canon T5i. Images are quite clean at ISOs 100 through 400, with just a tiny amount of luminance noise seen in the shadows, as well as what looks to be chroma noise in the darker areas. Noise "grain" is slightly more evident at ISO 800, but detail remains very strong despite stronger blurring due to noise reduction. ISO 1,600 is of course noisier, but fine detail is still quite good. At ISO 3,200 noise grain becomes coarser, blurring stronger, and chroma noise more apparent, resulting in a more noticeable drop in image quality. ISO 6,400 is quite grainy with obvious chroma blotching in dark to mid tones, but there is still some fine detail left. Noise and the effects of noise reduction working hard to keep it under control really become apparent at ISO 12,800, with strong blurring and obvious chroma blotching even in the brighter areas of the mannequin's face. There are also some very bright pixels scattered throughout darker areas at the highest ISO.

Overall though, not a bad performance for an entry-level model, similar to the Canon T5i's except at the highest ISOs where the T5i's noise reduction appears to be a little more refined. See the Print Quality section below for our evaluation of maximum print sizes at each ISO setting.

A note about focus for this shot: We shoot this image at f/4, using one of three very sharp reference lenses (70mm Sigma f/2.8 macro for most cameras, 60mm f/2.8 Nikkor macro for Nikon bodies without a drive motor, and Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds bodies). To insure that the hair detail we use for making critical judgements about camera noise processing and detail rendering is in sharp focus at the relatively wide aperture we're shooting at, the focus target at the center of the scene is on a movable stand. This lets us compensate for front- or back-focus by different camera bodies, even those that lack micro-focus adjustments. This does mean, though, that the focus target itself may appear soft or slightly out of focus for bodies that front- or back-focused with the reference lens. If you click to view the full-size image for one of these shots and notice that the focus target is fuzzy, you don't need to email and tell us about it; we already know it. :-) The focus target position will simply have been adjusted to insure that the rest of the scene is focused properly.

Extremes: Sunlit, dynamic range and low light tests
Very high resolution with strong overall detail, but somewhat high default contrast and unremarkable dynamic range. Highlight Tone Priority and Auto Lighting Optimization options help with tough lighting. Good low-light performance, but autofocus struggles at lower light levels.

+0.3 EV +0.7 EV +1.0 EV

The Canon Rebel T5 struggled a bit here, producing moderately high contrast with some washed-out highlights and deep shadows under the deliberately harsh lighting of the test above. Our mannequin's face was too dim at the +0.3 EV and +0.7 EV settings, so we preferred the image with +1.0 EV exposure compensation here. This resulted in more clipped highlights in the shirt and flowers than we're used to seeing from an APS-C sensor lately, indicating mediocre dynamic range compared to the best of recent competitors. Despite the +1.0 EV compensation, there are still some dark shadows and very deep shadows are on the noisy side. Bottom line: Dynamic range isn't as good as some competing models, at least not without features such as HTP and ALO enabled (see below).

Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here. In actual shooting conditions, be sure to use fill flash in situations like the one shown here; it's better to shoot in open shade whenever possible.)

Face Detection
Just like most point & shoot cameras these days, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 has the ability to detect faces in Live View mode, and adjust exposure and focus accordingly.

Face Detection
Aperture Priority
Face Detect: Off
0 EV
Aperture Priority
Face Detect: On
0 EV
Auto Mode
0 EV

As you can see from the examples above, face detection works well, as the center image with it enabled is better exposed for the face than the left image where face detection was not employed, but that forced the camera to drop shutter speed from 1/50s to only 1/25s (since ISO was fixed at 100). Full Auto mode (right) was also an improvement over Aperture Priority without face detection, selecting a larger aperture than we normally use for this shot (f/3.5 vs f/8) while selecting a reasonably fast shutter speed of 1/160s. Good performance here in Auto mode, which is important for an entry-level model.

Highlight Tone Priority
The Canon T5's Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) option did a great job of preserving highlight detail, as shown below. (Mouse over the Off and On links to load the corresponding thumbnail and histogram, and click on the links to load full resolution images.)

Highlight Tone Priority (+0.7 EV)




Both shots above were captured at the same exposure (+0.7 EV), the only difference being that HTP was enabled for the second shot which necessarily increases the ISO to 200; part of how HTP works. The result is evident in the histograms and thumbnails above, clearly showing the superior highlight preservation when HTP is enabled, although shadows were slightly affected as well. If you look closely at shadows in the full resolution images, though, you'll notice an increase in noise is the price you pay when ISO is boosted from 100 to 200. Except in the very deepest shadows, though, overall noise is low enough at ISO 200 that this is really a negligible trade-off for all but the most critical applications.

Far-field Highlight Tone Priority (0 EV)

Here, you can see HTP also toned-down bright highlights with very little effect to shadows and midtones in our Far-field shot.

Automatic Lighting Optimization
Like previous EOS models, the Canon T5 offers three selectable levels of Automatic Lighting Optimization (ALO), plus Off. In fully automatic and Creative Auto exposure modes, ALO is automatically enabled. Again, mouse over the links below to load the associated thumbnail and histogram, and click on the links to load full resolution images.

Automatic Lighting Optimization (+0.3 EV)

As you can see above, ALO has the effect of shifting shadows and midtones in the histograms to the right, brightening shadows and indeed most of the image without clipping too many additional highlights. ISO is not boosted for ALO so increased noise is not an issue, though it may be slightly more visible in shadows that have been boosted significantly.

Far-field Automatic Lighting Optimization (0 EV)

As you can see above, this time ALO had very little effect on our Far-field shot.

Dynamic Range Analysis (RAW mode)
While we once performed our own dynamic range measurements based on in-camera JPEGs as well as converted RAW images (when the camera was supported by Adobe Camera Raw), we've switched to using DxO Labs' results from their DxOMark website. As technology advanced, the dynamic range of modern high-end cameras in some cases exceeded the range of the Stouffer T4110 density scale that we used for our own measurements. DxO's approach based on RAW data before demosaicing is also more revealing, because it measures the fundamental dynamic range of the sensor, irrespective of whatever processing is applied to JPEGs, or to RAW data by off-the-shelf conversion software.

In the following, we use DxO's "Print" dynamic range results, which are scaled based on camera resolution. As the name suggests, this scaling corresponds to the situation in which you print at a given size, regardless of how many megapixels the camera might have. (In other words, if you've decided to make a 13x19 inch print, that's the size you're printing, whether the camera's resolution is 16 or 300 megapixels.) For the technically-minded, you can find a discussion of the reasoning behind this here on the DxOMark website. Also note that DxO Labs uses a signal-to-noise (SNR) threshold of 1 when defining the lower boundary of acceptable luminance noise in their dynamic range measurements, which corresponds to the "Low Quality" threshold of the Imatest software we used to use for this measurement.

Here, we decided to compare the Canon T5's dynamic range to its predecessor, the T3, and also to Nikon's entry-level DSLR, the D3300, though the Nikon is a little more expensive (street price is ~US$50 higher than the T5 at time of writing). You can always compare other models on

As you can see from the above graph (click for a larger version), the Canon T5's dynamic range is very similar to the T3's despite the increase in resolution and decrease in photosite size, ranging from about 11.3 EV at base ISO, down to about 7.0 EV at maximum ISO. Compared to the Nikon D3300, though, the T5 offers about 1.5 EV less dynamic range at base ISO (11.3 vs 12.8 EV). The Nikon D3300 continues to offer significantly higher dynamic range to about ISO 800, above which the gap is much smaller (less than 1/2 EV), which may just be discernible in real-world images. Bottom line? The T5 (like most Canons) offers less dynamic range than most competing models, meaning shadows are noisier and/or highlights are more easily clipped compared to peers, at least at lower ISOs. Click here to visit the DxOMark page for the Canon T5 for more of their test results and additional comparisons.

  1 fc
11 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
1/16 fc
Minimum NR

2s, f2.8

32s, f2.8

32s, f2.8

1/16s, f2.8

1s, f2.8

1s, f2.8

1/64s, f2.8

1/4s, f2.8

1/4s, f2.8

Low Light. The Canon T5 performed well in our low-light imaging test, capturing bright images at the lowest light level we test (1/16 foot-candle), even with the lowest sensitivity setting (ISO 100). As expected, noise is visible at ISO 3,200, but it's quite fine grained, and not at all objectionable. Noise is high at ISO 12,800 particularly when noise reduction is minimized (extreme right column in the table above), though not too bad.

A few bright pixels can be seen at ISO 12,800 that may also appear at ISO 6400. We didn't see any significant banding (pattern noise) or heat bloom, though.

Color balance is pretty neutral with Canon Rebel T5's Auto white balance setting (just a touch cool), though white balance took on a slightly reddish or magenta tint at lower light levels.

When using the optical viewfinder and dedicated phase-detect AF system, the Canon Rebel T5's autofocus system was able to focus on our test subject down to just below the 1/4 foot-candle light level unassisted with an f/2.8 lens, which is only fair performance, however it was able to focus in complete darkness with AF assist enabled. In Live View mode, the Canon T5 was able to focus down to just above the 1/2 foot-candle light level, which is poor for a DSLR in Live View mode with an f/2.8 lens.

As always, keep in mind that the longer shutter speeds here demand the use of a tripod to prevent any blurring from camera movement. (A useful trick is to just prop the camera on a convenient surface, and use its self-timer to release the shutter. This avoids any jiggling from your finger pressing the shutter button, and can work quite well when you don't have a tripod handy.)

How bright is this? The one foot-candle light level that this test begins at roughly corresponds to the brightness of typical city street-lighting at night. Cameras performing well at that level should be able to snap good-looking photos of street-lit scenes.

NOTE: This low light test is conducted with a stationary subject, and the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod. Most digital cameras will fail miserably when faced with a moving subject in dim lighting. (For example, a child's ballet recital or a holiday pageant in a gymnasium.) Digital SLRs like the Canon T5 do much better than point & shoots, but you still shouldn't expect a quick autofocus lock with moving subjects.

Built-in Flash Test Results

Coverage, Exposure and Range
Narrow coverage with average exposure compensation required for our standard Indoor Portrait shot; Somewhat weak flash but not a surprise given its size.

Normal Flash
+0.7 EV
Slow-Sync Flash
+0.3 EV

Coverage. Flash coverage from the T5's built-in flash is uneven at wide angle (18mm), leaving corners and edges in our flash test image a little dim. Narrow coverage at wide angle isn't unusual, though, and some of the corner fall-off is from the lens itself. We no longer test coverage at telephoto, as wide angle is always worst-case.

Exposure. Indoors, under incandescent background lighting, the Canon Rebel T5's flash performed well, requiring an average amount of positive exposure compensation of +0.7 EV for a bright image, and the camera chose a fairly typical 1/60s shutter speed. The camera's slow-sync flash mode only required +0.3 EV exposure compensation for bright results, though the longer shutter time (1/15s) results in a warmer orange/yellow cast from the ambient background lighting.

Manufacturer-Specified Flash Range

5.4 feet
ISO 100

Manufacturer Specified Flash Range Test. The Canon Rebel T5's built in flash has a rated Guide Number of 9.2 meters or 30.2 feet at ISO 100. That works out to about 5.4 feet at f/5.6 at ISO 100. In the shot above, we can see that the Canon Rebel T5's built-in flash did not quite perform to specification, producing a slightly underexposed target at the rated distance and aperture, though the exposure is still very usable.

Output Quality

Print Quality
Good 24 x 36 inch prints at ISO 100 and 200; a nice 11 x 14 at ISO 1,600; a reasonable 5 x 7 at ISO 6,400.

ISO 100 and 200 yield good prints up to 24 x 36 inches. 20 x 30's are very nice, rendering sharper fine detail, and 30 x 40's are fine for wall display prints at arm's length.

ISO 400 prints are quite good at 20 x 30 inches, and 24 x 36's here are suitable for wall display and less critical applications.

ISO 800 images at 20 x 30 inches have a bit too much noise in flatter areas of our target to merit our "good" grade, but the prints are not bad by any means and the noise is reminiscent of film grain. We can safely call the 16 x 20's good at this setting, as noise is well-controlled here and fine detail is quite good.

ISO 1,600 produces a 13 x 19 inch print that almost passes our good standard, and is certainly usable for less critical applications. 11 x 14's are good here for most all applications, with nice detail and full color reproduction.

ISO 3,200 prints tend to start taking their toll for noise levels on most APS-C cameras, and the T5 is no exception. We can call 8 x 10's good here, but there is still a bit of noticeable noise in a few areas of our test target, and the typical softening of certain areas in the red channel.

ISO 6,400 yields a 5 x 7 inch print that just passes our good seal of approval, though overall colors are beginning to look just a bit muted.

ISO 12,800 does not yield a good print and is best avoided except for less critical applications.

The Canon T5 stands up in the print quality department in most regards to its pricier sibling the T5i, falling behind it at only a couple of higher ISOs by one print size. It prints at lower ISOs up to 24 x 36 inches, quite a common size for APS-C cameras at these settings, and still delivers a good 5 x 7 at ISO 6,400. And all this while priced at just MSRP US$550, including a good kit lens. Due to the amazing price/performance ratio, we certainly give the Canon T5 an overall "good" rating in our print quality assessment.


The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Canon EOS Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) Photo Gallery .

Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Canon EOS Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!

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