Review of the DSLR Canon EOS Rebel T5i Camera

A variety of lenses are available to fit the Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR camera, which is available in black only. Canon

The Bottom Line

Before I move into the primary thoughts in my Canon EOS Rebel T5i review, I need to discuss the biggest issue regarding the T5i: The fact that it's too much like the EOS Rebel T4i. These two cameras look almost identical, they have similar features, and their specification list is basically the same.

All of this means that a Canon EOS Rebel T4i owner isn't going to have much desire to "upgrade" to the Rebel T5i.

However those who own older Canon Rebels will want to give the T5i a very strong look. This model has quite a few improvements over the T2i and T3i, including the ability to shoot at an ISO up to 12800 in manual modes and at up to 5 frames per second in burst mode (up from 3.7 fps with the T3i). The Rebel T5i includes an updated processor, which gives it more speed than the T3i. The T5i also includes some scene mode options to enhance shooting in automatic modes and adds touchscreen capabilities, both of which may help less experienced photographers adjust to this camera more effectively.

The T5i does a lot of things well and it's an outstanding entry-level DSLR camera, but its price tag is a bit higher than either the T3i or the SL1, and I'm not sure it represents enough of an improvement over those models to justify that additional price. If you can find the T5i at a lower price versus its MSRP of $899.99 for the camera body only, it will be worth stronger consideration.

Now that the Rebel T5i is a bit of an older camera model, you should be able to find it at a bit of a bargain compared to its original release date. This makes an already great camera an even better option for those shopping for a DSLR model. Spend some time looking for a bargain concerning the T5i, and you're going to be very pleased with the results!

Specifications

  • Resolution: 18.0 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: N/A, uses interchangeable lenses
  • LCD: 3.0-inch, 1,040,000 pixels
  • Maximum image size: 5184 x 3456 pixels
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 inches
  • Weight: 18.5 ounces (without battery and memory card)
  • Image sensor: APS-C CMOS, 22.3 x 14.9 mm (0.88 x 0.59 in.)
  • Movie mode: HD 1080p

    Pros

  • Extremely fast performance levels in Viewfinder mode
  • Outstanding image quality in all shooting situations
  • Can shoot in both RAW and JPEG
  • Camera is well built
  • High resolution LCD features touchscreen and is articulated
  • Good upgrade option for older Canon Rebel owners

    Cons

  • Almost identical to Canon Rebel T4i
  • Shutter lag is prominent in Live View mode
  • Battery life needs to be better
  • No built-in Wi-Fi option

Large camera body may cause people to consider Rebel SL1 instead

Image Quality

As you would expect from a Canon EOS Rebel camera, the T5i's image quality is outstanding. This model features an APS-C sized CMOS image sensor, which provides sharp 18 megapixel images with accurate colors. You can shoot in RAW, JPEG, or RAW + JPEG modes.

Those making the jump from a point and shoot model to this entry-level DSLR will recognize the inclusion of special effect filters with this camera, allowing you to shoot with black and white or miniature effects, for example.

Low light image quality is very good with the Rebel T5i. Noise in RAW images really isn't noticeable until you reach the highest ISO settings. If you choose to use the popup flash included with the T5i, you'll have good results, but you also can add a more powerful external flash through the hot shoe.

Performance

Canon included the DIGIC 5 processor with the Rebel T5i, which is the latest Canon processor model and gives this camera very good performance when shooting photos. (The DIGIC 5 processor was also used in the Rebel T4i, while the DIGIC 4 processor appeared in the T3i.)

When using the Rebel T5i's optical viewfinder and shooting in Viewfinder mode, you're going to be very pleased with this camera's response times.

It has almost no shutter lag, no shot to shot delays, and a fast 5 fps burst mode at full 18MP resolution in Viewfinder mode. Start-up and autofocus is very fast in this mode, too.

When using Live View mode, where you frame the image on the LCD screen, you will notice a shutter lag and shot to shot delays because of the way the T5i must manipulate the mirror inside the camera to activate Live View mode. Using Live View mode quite a bit or accessing the LCD's touchscreen option often will lead to a faster-than-average battery drain, which is a bit disappointing. If you shoot primarily in Viewfinder mode, though, you'll receive adequate battery life. You can also add a battery grip to this model for more power.

The performance of the 18-55mm kit lens that was included with my test model was outstanding. You don't always receive a lens that has such a good quality as a kit lens, so Canon should be commended for providing a nice kit lens with the T5i, which really adds to the value of this camera kit.

Design

Some advanced photographers may feel as if Canon has wasted a bit of its design focus on the Rebel T5i's LCD screen. It's an articulated LCD, which is helpful for those photographers looking to shoot self-portraits or to use a tripod with the camera.

This 3.0-inch LCD offers more than 1 million pixels of resolution, which allows it to show very sharp results. However, some advanced DSLR photographers would rarely want to use the LCD to frame photos, because of the performance issues in Live View mode discussed earlier.

Canon additionally included a touchscreen capability with the T5i, which will help less experienced photographers make the transition to this camera, but which is a feature that may not appeal all that much to advanced photographers.

One area where the touchscreen LCD works well is when using the Rebel T5i's Quick menu screen, which gives you complete access to all of the camera's settings on one screen with several on-screen buttons that you can select using the touchscreen.

The T5i's button layout and size is very good, making this a comfortable camera to use. There's also a mode dial, making it easy to pick the shooting mode you want to use. The T5i is a bulky model that may not appeal to everyone, which is why I'd at least give the Canon Rebel SL1 a look, as it's much smaller than the T5i while maintaining an only slightly lesser set of features.