Canon EOS Digital Rebel T5i Review

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Review posted 09/27/2013

Quick Take
Pros
  • Image quality is very high
  • Extremely fast performance in Viewfinder mode
  • Very fast start-up
  • Articulated, high-resolution LCD is nice feature for shooting with a tripod
  • Touchscreen LCD makes it easy to control camera for beginners
  • Ports included for both HDMI and microphone
  • Full HD video output is good
  • When paired with STM Canon lens, autofocus is quiet when shooting video
  • Noise is minimal in JPEG up to ISO levels as high as 3200
  • Both RAW and JPEG options available
  • Strong kit lens included with T5i
  • Right handgrip is a good size and camera is easy to hold and use
  • Very sturdy build quality
  • Offered at a lower introductory price than the T4i was last year
Cons
  • Not enough improvements from Rebel T4i
  • Autofocus works too slowly in Live View mode, creating significant shutter lag
  • Although autofocus in video mode is improved from past Rebels, it's still slow
  • Autofocus illuminator lamp only works when the flash is engaged
  • Camera's on-screen menus should have been reworked to take advantage of touchscreen
  • No Wi-Fi capability
  • Battery life could be better, especially in Live View mode
  • Battery will drain quickly when shooting movies
  • Large and heavy camera body may not appeal to everyone
Bottom Line
The Rebel T5i is called the upgrade to Canon's Rebel T4i DSLR camera from last year, but it's more like a very close sibling. Canon only made a few changes to the T5i versus the T4i. This fact makes it unlikely that Rebel T4i owners will want to consider the T5i. Anyone else looking for an entry-level DSLR camera, though, will want to give the Rebel T5i a close look as it is a strong contender versus others in its price range. If you plan on using the optical viewfinder most of the time, the T5i's performance is going to be outstanding. For movies and shooting still images in Live View mode, though, the T5i's delays and fast battery drain are a bit frustrating. If you can live with these drawbacks and if you don't mind a large and heavy camera body, the Rebel T5i will serve you well ... as long as you don't already own the Rebel T4i. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
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In conjunction with the release of a few more EF-S STM series lenses back in March (2013), Canon also announced the new flagship model to its entry-level EOS Digital Rebel DSLR series, the T5i. For those who know about last year's popular T4i, the T5i appears to offer little improvement, save for a few extra Creative Filters, which stylize still frames and videos, and a slightly different Mode Dial, adding the ability to select a specific Scene Mode -- like Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control, Multi-Shot Noise Reduction -- without having to scroll through the camera's Menu system. 

That being said, if you did NOT just purchase a T4i, the T5i promises to be a versatile, affordable, and dynamic little DSLR. It features an APS-C sized 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor, their DIGIC 5 Image Processor, an ISO range of 100-12800, continuous "High-Speed Burst" shooting of up to 5 frames per second, Full HD 1080p video recording (more on that below), and a 3.0-inch vari-angle touch screen LCD display.

Like last year's model, the T5i has an enhanced form of Live View shooting. Live View simply means that you'll look at the LCD display, rather than through the optical view finder. What makes this version special is that you can preview Creative Filters -- like ArtBold, Water Painting, Grainy Black and White, Soft Focus, Toy Camera, Fish-Eye and Miniature -- on the fly. Or, thanks to the camera's Hybrid CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF systems, when combined with an STM (Stepping Motor Technology) Canon lens, you can record virtually silent HD videos with full-time auto or manual focus (via the touch screen). Before the T5i and T4i, adjusting focus while recording video on the EOS Rebel cameras, and many other brands, was a noisy affair.

Canon EOS Digital Rebel T5i Features
  • 18 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • ISO 100-12800
  • Full 1080p HD Video Recording
    • Built-in Stereo Microphone
    • Manual Audio Level Adjustment
  • 3.0-inch Vari-Angle Touch Screen LCD display
  • 5 frames per second high speed burst shooting
  • Hybrid CMOS Auto Focus (AF) System
  • Stepping Motor Technology (STM)
  • Live Mode
  • Creative Filters
    • ArtBold
    • Water Painting
    • Grainy Black and White
    • Soft Focus
    • Toy Camera
    • Fish-Eye
    • Miniature
  • Scene Modes
    • Handheld Night Scene
    • HDR Backlight Control
    • Multi-Shot Noise Reduction

Canon's EOS Digital Rebel T5i was released in three forms: body-only for $749.99; a kit with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for $899.99; and a kit with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for $1099.00. Click on our Buy button to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • EOS Rebel T5i Body
  • EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens (if purchased in kit form)
  • Eyecup Ef
  • Battery Pack LP-E8
  • Battery Charger LC-E8E
  • Wide Neck Strap EW-100DB IV
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-130U
  • EOS Digital Solution Disc & Software Instruction Manual CD
  • Camera Instruction Manual


Additional Product Views

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Kit with 18-55mm lens
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Kit with 18-135mm lens
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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