Canon EOS Rebel T5 Review
Performance - How well does it take pictures?
Ultimately, it is the image quality that makes a camera worth buying. For a digital SLR, image quality greatly depends on the lens used. While color, noise, contrast and exposure are properties of the camera, distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberrations are properties of the lens. Sharpness depends on the weakest link. So, the camera cannot capture more details than the lens lets through. Conversely, a lens can transmit even more details than the sensor can capture.
With 18 megapixels on a 1.6X-crop sensor, the T5 has rather small pixels for a DSLR, yet they remain larger than those of most mirrorless cameras. Of course, being state-of-the-art helps it extract an impressive amount of subject details while maintaining image-noise low.
The Canon Rebel T5 shows reasonable image-quality. Image noise is unnoticeable until ISO 400. At ISO 800, it just becomes visible when seen at 100%. The camera maintains details well, even as noise increases further. Both ISO 1600 and 3200 are not much worse and remains usable for mid-size prints.
ISO 6400 shows a strong mix of color and luminance noise which destroys fine details. Smalls prints are still possible but will not look perfectly clean, at least in darker areas. ISO 12800 is, surprisingly, comparable. Noise is obviously higher yet not so much as to make images useless.
The T5 has a 63-zone Evaluative metering system which uses information from most of the frame. Resulting exposure is average and is tuned to produce relatively bright images. It therefore requires a little more negative exposure-compensation than, say, a 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 5D Mark III but is immensely better than the 7D
Canon EOS 7D. Still, the T5 rarely misses by more than 1 EV either way.
The maximum dynamic-range of the T5 is somewhat lower than other modern APS-C DSLR, falling 2½ stops behind the class-leading Pentax K-5 IIs
Pentax K-5 IIs. It does have a gentle fall-off though, reducing the gap down to 1 EV at ISO of 1600 and up. Not a poor performance but certainly a weak point of the T5.
There is a Highlight Tone-Priority option designed to preserve highlight details which makes a difference and reduces the amount of over-exposure. This prevents the use of ISO 100 but is worth it in most situations.
There are six Picture Styles on the T5. Each one is customizable in terms of Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation and Color Tone. There are 8 Sharpness levels and 9 for other image parameters. While the defaults are overly punchy, tuning Saturation up one in Neutral style, makes images look more natural. Colors are not perfect but quite reasonable.
Automatic white-balance is average. Under natural light, scenes come out looking neutral. The T5 handles a variety of conditions but tends to leave a noticeable orange cast under artificial light. This effect is pronounced when light is low. Preset white-balance settings can improve things but do not always manage without some fine-tuning. Custom white-balance is spot-on though.
Image sharpness is slightly soft at the default setting of 3. Pushing it to 4 improves things slightly. One more step introduces dramatic sharpening artifacts though. Remember that a good lens makes a huge difference. The kit lens is not one of those and must be stopped down 2 stops or more to produce acceptable images.
As an entry-level DSLR, the performance level of the T5 is understandably limited. After all, this is one of the three main differentiating factor between it and higher-end models. Still, this is a DSLR and it remains faster than most fixed-lens cameras. The autofocus system of the T5 is generally accurate.
The Canon Rebel T5 is generally quite responsive. The dial and buttons get an instant response, even when in Live-View. The autofocus system is relatively fast for its class but this depends on the lens used and lighting conditions. In good light, ¼s usually suffices to lock focus. It can take up to ½s in low-light which is good.
The 3 FPS continuous drive is slow by modern standard. It may not catch action at its height but is usable for candid shots and the like. The performance of the T5 is characterized by the following numbers:
- Power On: Under 1s, very good.
- Time-To-First-Shot: 1s. Superb.
- Autofocus: Between ¼ and ½ seconds. Impressive.
- Shutter-lag: Instant with short black-out. Good.
- Video: Instant to start and stop. Excellent.
- Instant Review: 1½s. Slow.
- Enter Playback: ½s. Good.
- Exit Playback: Instant. Excellent.
- Power Off: Almost instant. Very good.
Despite being compact, the T5 manages to deliver 500 shots of battery-life according to the CIPA standard. This is below average for a DSLR yet sufficient to last for a typical day of shooting.
Whereas new DSLRs usually push the envelope of image-quality quality, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 is designed to bring their price-point down. It manages to squeeze below the price of many mirrorless and even prosumer cameras by offering a minimal feature-set. Still, it remains true to the DSLR gestalt with nice image-quality and a relatively speedy performance.
The 18 megapixels CMOS sensor, when paired with a high-quality lens, can deliver details images suitable for large prints. There, of course, lies the catch since good lenses are expensive. Metering, color and WB are not perfect but quite acceptable and rarely far off.
The Canon T5 delivers an impressive performance in two areas. First, the 9-point Phase-Detect AF is accurate and notably fast for its class. Second, the presence of a Movie mode makes this DSLR instantly ready to film. Pressing the Video-Record button immediately starts and stops capture. One has to contend with the internal sound or use an external audio device to be synched separately for high-quality sound.
In the end, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 provides a suitable option for people upgrading from a compact camera. Its limited interface is unlikely to be a problem for its target audience which may appreciate the simplicity.
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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