Canon EOS Rebel T5 Review
The Canon Rebel T5 is a compact entry-level DSLR. It packs an 18 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor and a standard 9-point Phase-Detect AF system. During Live-View or video capture, the T5 employs Contrast-Detect AF.
The T5 offers a minimal feature set for a DSLR. This includes full manual-controls, including Custom White-Balance with 2-Axis Fine-Tuning. A single control-dial and cropped optical viewfinder mark it as an entry-level offering.
This DSLR features an ISO 100 to 6400, expandable to 12800, sensitivity range. It can shoot continuously at 3 FPS for a respectable 69 JPEG images or a typical 6 RAW files. Full 1080p HD capture at 30 FPS is supported, with a mono sound. There is also support for a wired remote.
As usual for an entry-level DSLR, the Rebel T5 offers a standard hot-shoe and standard EF-S lens mount with 1.6X crop-factor. It has a fixed 3" LCD with 460K pixels which shows a complete implementation of Live-View, including a Live-Histogram.
This review takes a close look at the Canon Rebel T5 in terms of features, ergonomics, usability, performance and image quality.
Canon Rebel T5 Key Features
- 18 Megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor
- ISO 100-6400 Standard sensitivity
- Expanded ISO 12800
- Customizable Auto ISO maximum
- JPEG, RAW or JPEG+RAW Output
- Automatic sensor cleaning
- PATM Exposure modes
- 1/4000s-30s Shutter-speed, plus Bulb
- EC, ±5 EV, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
- Multi-Segment, Center-Weighed & Partial metering
- AEB, 3 Frames, ±2 EV, 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
- WB bracketing, 3 Fames, 3 step sizes
- ½ or 1/3 EV Exposure steps
- 9-Point Phase-Detect AF via OVF
- Automatic or Single-Point AF selection
- Single-Shot, Continuous, Automatic or Manual focus-drive
- Automatic, Preset and Custom white-balance
- White-Balance fine-tuning, 2-axis, 19-steps
- Auto plus 6 Built-In Picture Style modes
- Sharpness, 8 steps
- Contrast, 9 steps
- Saturation, 9 steps
- Color Tone, 9 steps
- Optional Highlight Tone Priority
- Optional Auto Lighting Optimizer, 3 levels
- Optional Vignetting Correction
- 3 FPS Drive, Max 69 JPEG or 6 RAW
- Self-Timer, 2s or 1-10 frames @ 10s
- Wired remote terminal
Viewfinder & Displays
- 95% Coverage viewfinder, 0.8X magnification
- 3" LCD, 460K pixels
- True Live-View
Body & Construction
- Canon EF-S lens mount
- Single control-dial
- Standard Hot-Shoe
- NTSC/PAL output
- 1080i HDMI output
- USB 2.0 connector
- Proprietary Lithium-Ion battery
- Single SDXC memory slot
- Metal tripod mount
- 1920 x 1080 @ 30 FPS
- 1280 x 720 @ 60 FPS
- Auto or Manual exposure
- Built-in mono microphone
- Adjustable Audio-Levels
- Optional Wind-Filter
Capability - What can it do?
The Canon Rebel T5 is an entry-level DSLR with an 18 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor. This put it on par with all but one Canon cropped-sensor DSLR, the EOS 70D
Canon EOS 70D with its unique 20 megapixels Dual-Pixel CMOS sensor which is capable of focusing via Phase-Detection at nearly all pixels.
With 18 megapixels, this digital camera is suitable for producing high-quality prints up to 21" x 14" that exceeds the needs of most people. Its ISO 100 to 12800 range gives it the low-light performance SLRs are famous for. Given its APS-C size, the sensor of the T5 is very dense and is quite demanding of lenses.
Like other Canon APS-C DSLR, the T5 is equipped with an EF-S lens mount. This gives it access to the most extensive lens lineup in the industry. Canon and third-parties make several EF-S specific lenses or it can accept EF lenses intended for full-frame cameras. In either case, there is a 1.6X crop-factor to consider when choosing a lens.
As an SLR, the Rebel T5 uses mirrors to provide a view through its optical viewfinder. The viewfinder has 95% frame coverage which means that part of what gets captured is not shown. It has a 0.8X magnification which is among the smallest and insufficient to judge focus precisely.
The T5 also offers Live-View. Canon offers the best and most complete implementation there is. It addresses all the short-comings of the OVF by providing 100% coverage, accurate preview of exposure and white-balance, plus Manual-Focus Assist magnification. There is an optional Live-Histogram which remains very accurate and representative of the resulting exposure.
While using the OVF, the Canon Rebel T5 uses a standard 9-point Phase-Detect AF sensor with a cross-type point at the center for lenses F/5.6 or faster. This is truly minimal. When Live-View is enabled though, the T5 switches to Contrast-Detect which can focus on almost any part of the frame.
Canon offers different options for the autofocus drive with the OVF than in in Live-View. For the former, the usual Single-Shot AF, Continuous AF and Servo AF are all that is available. For those not familiar with Canon DSLRs, Servo automatically chooses between Single-Shot and Continuous based on subject movement. For Live-View, options are Face-Detect, Flexizone Zone and Quick AF. This last option is poorly named as it is not quick at all. It uses the same Phase-Detect sensor as shooting from the OVF and therefore blanks-out the preview during focus.
The Canon Rebel T5 can bracket for exposure or white-balance. In either case, the number of frames is fixed to 3. Steps can reach 2 EV for AEB or 3 mired for WB Bracketing. There are a five Scene modes, plus a number of variants of Auto: Complete Auto, Creative Auto and No-Flash Auto. Drive modes are minimal on this DSLR: Single-frame, Continuous and Self-timer. The self-timer runs for 2 or 10 seconds. At 10 seconds, it can take up to 10 shots.
The T5 has a good amount of video features for an entry-level DSLR. It can record full 1080p HD video up to 30 FPS or 720p HD at 60 FPS. There is a mono microphone with adjustable audio-levels and an optional Wind-Filter. Exposure for video is either fully automatic or completely manual.
Usability - How easy is it to use?
The Canon T5 is a compact and light-weight DSLR. Its sculpted body is well put together with plenty of curves. Its mid-size hand-grip is comfortable to hold and the recessed eyelets do not get in the way. There are a high number of buttons, all on the grip-side of the camera.
At 480g, there plenty of heavier fixed-lens cameras. Since a DSLR is largely hollow to accommodate the reflex mirror and place the mount at the right flange distance, the T5 feels light for its size. Canon also saved weight by using a pentamirror rather than pentaprism for the viewfinder. The expected consequence is a rather small and dim view.
With a smallish lens attached, the T5 is comfortable to hold. The grip is tight yet allows for a firm hold over the camera. The two-stage shutter-release is well-positioned. Its half-point has a moderate amount of travel and a distinct feel. The camera's single control-dial, just behind the shutter-release, is easy to reach too.
There is a small Flash button behind the control-dial. Luckily, it can be reassigned to bring up the ISO menu. A traditional mode-dial is located on the same side of the camera. It has 13 positions, including the ubiquitous PATM modes. Each of five Scene modes gets a distinct position. There are two Auto modes and a No Flash mode as well. Finally, there is a dedicated Movie mode. The mode-dial has good detents to prevent accidental changes. The power-switch sits just below the mode-dial.
The top-plate features a standard hot-shoe plus a built-in popup flash. One can also see a small speaker on the left shoulder. The mono microphone is located at the front.
The back of the Canon Rebel T5 is very busy. A 3" LCD with 4:3 aspect-ratio covers most of the surface. Above the LCD, there is a small optical viewfinder. To the right of the OVF, there is a Live-View button which serves as Movie-Record button in Video mode.
The rear LCD has 460K pixels of resolution which is lower than most. Note that the T5 loads a low-resolution version of images first in Playback mode. To inspect fine-details, one must wait for the high-resolution version to finish loading then. During Live-View, the LCD is Exposure-Priority which means it accurately previews what the resulting exposure should be, even outside the exposure-range of the camera and lens. The optional Live-Histogram is just as accurate. Kudos to Canon for getting this right!
Like all digital cameras, the T5 can automatically show an image after each shot. This Instant Review function unfortunately is distinct from Playback mode. While Info can still cycle over display modes, the image shown cannot be changed or magnified. This is also true with continuous drive where only the last image captured is shown. One needs to press the Playback button in order to check focus accuracy or compare images from a burst.
A soft rubber-coated area at the upper-right corner of the LCD serves as thumb-rest. To its left, the Focus-Point Selection and AE-L button are labelled with Canon's usual icons. These are used to zoom in Playback mode. The AE-L button locks exposure until a shot is taken. Unfortunately, pressing it again does not release the lock.
The EC button finds itself along the right edge of the LCD where it is flush with the body and not so entirely easy to press. Below it, there is a Q button that lets the status shown on the rear LCD be edited directly. Further right, there is a recessed Disp button to cycle over display modes. This one is even harder to press.
A 4-way controller with central SET button is made up of 5 distinct buttons. Each one is assigned a function:
- Up: ISO sensitivity.
- Right: AF mode.
- Down: White-Balance
- Left: Drive mode.
The last two buttons, next to the lower-edge of the camera, are Menu and Playback. Both work as usual and the T5 is Shooting-Priority.
The bottom of the camera has a metal tripod-thread, inline with the optical center of the lens, which is ideal. There is also a very sturdy door with a small latch. The compartment behind it houses both the proprietary Lithium-Ion battery and SDXC memory card slot.
Canon Rebel T5 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 22 x 15mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|18 Megapixels DSLR||ISO 100-12800|
|Canon EF Mount|
|Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|3 FPS Drive, 69 Images||Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Hot-Shoe|
|3" LCD 460K Pixels||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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