$500 feels like quite a bargain for a Canon T5 and a nifty-fifty


posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 7:44 AM EDT


Wake up with IR... here's today's cup of Caffeine Priority!

For just a little over $500 you can acquire a Canon Rebel T5 and a Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, and for the price this really is some firepower. The Rebel line is what you'd have to call "tried and true," having been around for many years and steadily delivering the goods, model after model. The long-running T3i has been the most popular of these, with the T4i perhaps the least due to an interesting anomaly, but the line has overall represented a lot of bang for the buck.

The T5 is actually a newer model than the higher-end T5i, and there's yet to be a T6 (only the higher-end T6i and T6s) so this model represents the newest Rebel selling for under $500. Also interesting is that shortly after I started writing this piece the T5 jumped to the most popular camera on our site, supplanting the long-running Sony A6000, and that's no small feat.

1/4000s / f/2 / -1.3 EV / ISO 100

(Images have been resized to fit this page and slightly modified in post - primarily to balance shadows and highlights. Click on any image to see the original as delivered from the T5.)

1/200s / f/2.5 / -0.7 EV / ISO 400

The Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM tested well in our lab at SLRGear considering its oh-so-reasonable price. And on the T5, it's not really a "nifty-fifty" per se, as its equivalent focal length in 35mm terms is actually 80mm after the 1.6x crop factor has been applied due to the APS-C sensor. This of course places it into prime portrait territory on the T5, and for some this will make the rig all the more interesting. Oh, and this combination is *incredibly* small and lightweight.

1/1000s / f/2.2 / -0.7 EV / ISO 100

Everyone has differing opinions regarding the most optimal portrait range, and mine is easy... I tend to love them all! I've taken portrait shots I've liked at 50mm and at 300mm, and find there's really no "best" focal length. It's more a matter of the subject, the background, the mood, and then you as the photographer can use distance in order to balance out a lens that may be a bit too short or too long. (Distance is one of the most simple tools to combat issues in still photography, and is usually, though not always, free.)

1/1600s / f/2.8 / -1.0 EV / ISO 400
(For more images with this combination see our Canon T5 gallery (look for "50mm" in the filename).

Low price and shallow depth of field isn't all you get with this combo... It's also incredibly lightweight!

So for about $525, perhaps less given any specials you may find out there, you can get a Canon Rebel T5, an 18-55mm kit lens, *and* a 50mm "prime" f/1.8 STM lens. You're armed with quite a bit there; a great package to get you started. I'll conclude this piece by mentioning that having never shot with the Canon T5 before this, I was quite surprised with just how easy it was to use and capable for the money. While beginners can simply put it in "auto" and start firing away, I found it to be incredibly simple and intuitive to dive right in and begin making all the obvious adjustments I like to make.

Perhaps it's this simplicity that keeps people coming back year after year to this popular line of cameras.

Canon Rebel T5Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM


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Caffeine Priority is a new series of short photo-tidbits to ease you into your day, and give us a chance to share a bit more of what life’s like here at IR. We're more like a group of friends testing and talking about cameras and lenses than the buttoned-down, big-corporation world that some of our photo-friends at other companies work in; hopefully these little snippets will share some of that. So... grab another coffee and join in the conversation with us down below!