Initially released in spring 2013, Canon’s Rebel T5i, also known as the 700D outside of the United States, is the official replacement to the previously released T4i or 650D. And it’s the next entry in the Canon’s highly popular Rebel lineup of feature-rich DSLRs aimed at more budget-conscious shooters.
Released alongside the 100D, it’s an enthusiast-aimed digital SLR that offers all the bells and whistles for new users looking for their first SLR.
It’s also a camera Canon aims this camera to compete with Nikon’s D3200. However, on paper, it seems to be only a marginal update and refresh over the predecessor. So then, are the improvements enough to position the camera as a worthy successor and stiff competition to Nikon? And do they warrant an upgrade for current T4i users? In today’s post, we address its strengths and weaknesses and answer whether or not it’s still a relevant contender today.
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- What are some of the goods, bads, and uglies of the Canon Rebel T5i?
- Image Quality
- Video Quality
- Low Light Performance
- Focusing Performance
- Display & Viewfinder
- User Interface
- Physical Layout & Ergonomics
- Niche Features/Extras
- Video Capabilities
- Battery Life
- Lacking Features
- Is this a good beginner camera?
- Is this a good camera for you?
What are some of the goods, bads, and uglies of the Canon Rebel T5i?
It features an 18MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 5 image processor, the same configuration as the predecessor. Overall, while the setup remains the same, the image quality is good. It’s 14-bit RAW images are relatively sharp and provide excellent color reproduction, saturation, and details.
It offers continuous shooting speeds of 5 frames per second, the same as the predecessor, but reasonable for the class. The buffer depth is good, however. The camera delivers 30 JPEG images and upwards of 6 RAW before slowing.
It shoots 1080p full HD video up to 30 frames per second and 720p up to 60 frames per second to the MOV format. These are the same frame rates as the predecessor and also the higher-end 70D. However, unlike the predecessor, it now gives users the freedom to perform a digital zoom during recording, getting them closer to subjects without penalty.
You can also capture stills during video recording by pressing the shutter button. However, doing so will cause a slight freeze frame, and the shutter noise is also audible. Otherwise, the video quality the camera produces is largely identical to the predecessor and remains good for the class. Video provides minimal aliasing, reasonable dynamic range, and adequate sharpness.
Like many cameras in this class, it features the standard 29 minute and 59-second recording limit.
Low Light Performance
It features a native ISO range from 100 to 12,800, which is further expandable to 25,600. Low light performance remains on par with the predecessor. And users can expect usable images to ISO 3,200 and videos up to ISO 1,600.
It uses the same 9-point AF system as the predecessor, where all 9 points are cross-type sensors. The center-most point is also dual cross-type compatible and rated for use at f/2.8. This system also supports continuous AF in Live View and video recording using Canon’s Hybrid AF technology. And while not as good as the Dual Pixel CMOS AF found in the 70D, the overall performance is excellent. Focusing both through the optical viewfinder and rear screen is fast, accurate, and consistent.
Display & Viewfinder
It features a 3.0-inch fully articulating touchscreen LCD with a resolution of 1.04M dots, a similar configuration as both the predecessor and the 70D. A fully articulating screen, however, is the ideal choice, as it offers maximum versatility for both stills and video recording. And you can compose confidently at virtually every angle. The quality of the screen is also good. And it’s reasonably sharp with ample brightness for composing outdoors in bright sunlight.
Plus, it doesn’t suffer from flare, thanks to Canon’s Clear View II coating. And since it’s also a touchscreen, it supports a variety of helpful touch gestures. These include touch focus, touch shutter, image review, and full menu navigation.
It also features an optical viewfinder with 95% coverage of the imaging area and a 0.87x magnification, a similar setup as the predecessor.
It inherits the standard Canon user interface and menus. The user interface remains clean, straightforward, and intuitive. Both beginners and existing shooters will find them easily mastered. For beginners, the camera also provides several helpful scene intelligent automatic modes. And it also carries over the Creative Auto Mode, which allows shooters to achieve a desired depth of field by swiping sliders, removing the need for understanding the camera settings involved.
The camera also obtains the customizable My Menu, where up to six top-tier menu items are programmable to save time digging through the main menu.
It also obtains the customizable Quick Menu, now also fully touch-enabled for quick setting changes.
Physical Layout & Ergonomics
Physically, the camera is virtually identical to the predecessor. The main changes are a slight redesign to the buttons, making them slightly more comfortable. The camera is also a shy flatter than the predecessor, with rounded edges. Lastly, it now features a redesign Mode dial. This dial removes the stopping point and now turns indefinitely in both directions for faster setting changes. Otherwise, the camera is identical to the predecessor. And the ergonomics remain its strong point. It offers a large and comfortable grip with plenty of surface area to purchase. Combining this with its polycarbonate build, it’s reasonably sturdy and durable.
Like other entry-level Canon’s, video recordings are accessible from any mode position. Push the On/Off toggle past the On position to engage Live View; then, you can immediately start video recordings.
It features HDR backlit.
It has a built-in pop-up flash.
It has a microphone input. And you can adjust the microphone input sensitivity via the menus as well.
Unlike the predecessor, it now features a real-time preview of creative filters, a nice plus.
It lacks 4K video and any high frame rates at 1080p, be it 60 fps or 120 fps, to capture slow-motion video.
The camera automatically segments video recordings into 4 GB chunks, which require post-processing software to merge the clips into a seamless video.
It uses Canon’s LP-E8 battery. And, unfortunately, battery life is quite poor and below average for an entry-level DSLR. Canon rates the battery at 440 shots per charge, so you will need extra batteries with this camera.
It lacks a headphone input.
Like many of Canon’s other entry-level DSLRs, it doesn’t offer ⅓ stop increments to control ISO. Instead, it only occurs in full-stop increments, slightly reducing the level of fine control of exposure.
The camera lacks built-in Wi-Fi. If you desire this functionality, you can purchase Canon’s Eye-Fi card to acquire this feature.
Is this a good beginner camera?
It’s an excellent beginners camera and a perfect suit for novices and enthusiasts. Canon’s tailored the camera well for these demographics. It features all of the core capabilities and the feature set needed for this audience.It’s a well-built, reasonably featured DSLR and solid competitor in the entry-level segment. And, even despite its age, it remains a competent choice when you look at its current price and what it offers.
Is this a good camera for you?
For current T4i or T3i users looking for an upgrade, know this camera doesn’t justify an upgrade. It inherits much of the same capabilities and specifications as these cameras. And, that doesn’t provide enough to justify an upgrade.
It does, however, make a reasonable choice for budding videographers looking to start filmmaking. It combines a fully articulating touchscreen, microphone input, with a competent Live View focusing system, making it a competitive option for the price.
In the end, Canon’s T5i is mostly identical to its predecessor, the T4i. Yet, even so, it remains a competent choice for new users looking to pick up their first entry-level SLR and those new to the Canon ecosystem. It’s a budget-friendly option that, despite its age, remains a worthwhile purchase given its price and features. And it’s a complete package and solid entry into this segment of the market.
Canon’s T5i takes much of its predecessor’s tried and true components. Yet, despite that and it’s age, it remains a capable camera for beginners and enthusiasts looking for a capable entry-level DSLR.