“A Good DSLR for the Novice Photographer”
After taking one look at the brand new Canon Rebel T5i, you may be thinking that it is the same camera as the now discontinued Rebel T4i, and you are not far off the mark – both cameras do share a number of similarities. But, the newer model has a various small improvements, including a new grip and some performance enhancements, which makes it slightly more compelling than the T4i.
Called the Canon EOS 700D in certain other markets, the Rebel T5i is targeted towards “advanced beginners” and is a better featured and larger alternative to the EOS Rebel SL1.
There isn’t a lot of difference between the T5i and the older T4i. The only major change, it seems, is in overall performance. We’ll get to that later on in the review. This camera has plenty of features which make it attractive to potential buyers such as Live View, a hybrid AF system, the ability to preview filters and Full HD video capabilities.
The Rebel T5i is priced at $899, which is pretty competitive in this price class. Let’s look at things in a bit more detail to see how the camera matches up with the rest.
As expected, the EOS Rebel T5i is a well-designed camera. Even though the handgrip is a bit small, it provides enough friction to make sure that the camera doesn’t slip no matter what lens you use. The buttons are well laid out and offer quick and easy access to a variety of functions. The Live View button also functions as the video record button and the EV compensation dial allows you to control shutter speed and aperture in manual mode.
Overall, the design is exactly what you would expect from a successor to the T4i. One of the best improvements is on the mode dial – unlike the earlier model, the dial now rotates 360 degrees and the shooting settings are embossed on it, making it much easier to use.
The Rebel T5i has a stainless-steel body with a shell made of polycarbonate resin. The shell has a finish which resembles that of Canon’s higher-end models and the company claims that it is more durable and robust than before. Even the areas with rubberized parts feel solid when held. But, even though build quality is good overall, certain areas – like the flash housing – feel plastic-y.
The T5i is a decent all-round performer – the speed with which it focuses is a particular highlight. AF performance is quick thanks to its 9 cross-type sensors. However, the focus points are tightly grouped which means that the camera isn’t able to produce the kind of continuous AF performance that competing models manage.
Claimed burst speed of 5fps was generally achieved and the camera captured 6 RAW images before the buffer filled. In JPEG mode, it managed 22 images. The STM technology used in the kit lens improves AF in Live View. Focus tracking is possible in video mode too.
The LCD looks great and has a wide viewing angle. Touchscreen performance is great and is similar to most modern phones and tablet. When in Live View, touching a desired area sets the focus, and also fires the shutter if you want. It even allows you to pinch and zoom when reviewing images. If you are not comfortable using the touchscreen, you can easily use the camera’s various buttons to change settings.
Image Quality and Video
The T5i has the same tried-and-tested 63-point metering system used in other many EOS DSLRs. Metering is very good and mostly captures a scene well. Images can look a tad overexposed at times, but this can be remedied easily with a bit of EV correction. There camera comes with Canon’s HDR Backlight Control and Auto Lighting Optimizer to tackle high-contrast settings.
Colors look natural and auto white balance performed well. Sometimes, under artificial light, images looked a bit cool, but not enough to be of any concern.
ISO performance is at par with other cameras in this class. Texture noise starts popping up by ISO 800. But, images are useable till ISO 6400. Higher settings have a lot of noise and the in-built nose correction could lead to a loss in detail.
Video looks good on the Rebel T5i, and is at par with is competition. Performance in low-light is decent as well, even though the blacks have a bit of color noise. The STM motor on the kit lens is very quiet, which helps in capturing audio well.
- 18MP Hybrid APS-C CMOS sensor
- Burst speed of 5fps
- 95% view finder coverage
- 9-point AF (all cross-type)
- 63-point iFCL metering system
- ISO 100 – 12,800 (expandable to 25,600)
- Maximum shutter speed – 1/4000
- 1080p video @ 30fps
- Stereo mic
- 3-inch touchscreen 1.04MP LCD
- Decent video capabilities
- Light weight
- Good touchscreen performance
- Just a minor upgrade of the T4i
- AF performance could be better
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i isn’t a path-breaking DSLR by any means. But, overall, it is a good performer and is priced well. It should be a great option for people looking for upgrade from a CSC or an entry-level DSLR.