Canon EOS Rebel T5i Review
The Canon Rebel T5i packs a second generation 18 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor with Hybrid Phase-Detect autofocus. A standard 9-point Phase-Detect AF system is used during normal shooting, while the Hybrid AF II system covers 80% of the frame during Live-View and video capture.
The T5i offers similar features and controls as other Canon Rebel DSLRs. This includes full manual-controls, including Depth-of-Field preview and Spot metering, plus Custom White-Balance. A single control-dial and a cropped optical viewfinder mark it as an entry-level offering.
This DSLR features an ISO 100 to 12800, expandable to 25600, sensitivity range. It can shoot continuously at 5 FPS for 22 images or 68 RAW files. Full 1080p HD capture at 30 FPS is supported, even with a stereo audio source. There is also support for wired and wireless remote which are normally found on higher-end models.
As usual for an entry-level DSLR, the Canon Rebel T5i offers a standard hot-shoe and standard EF-S lens mount with 1.6X crop-factor. It has a rotating 3" Touchscreen LCD with 1 megapixel which shows a complete implementation of Live-View, including a Live-Histogram.
This review takes a close look at the Canon Rebel T5i in terms of usability, performance and image quality.
Canon Rebel T5i Key Features
- 18 Megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor
- ISO 100-12800 Standard sensitivity
- Expanded ISO 25600
- 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 & Spot 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
- Hybrid AF II during Live-View, 80% frame coverage
- 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 High-ISO Noise-Reduction, 3 levels
- Optional Multi-Frame Noise-Reduction, 4 frames
- Optional Long Shutter Noise-Reduction
- Optional Chromatic Aberration Correction
- Optional Vignetting Correction
- 5 FPS Drive, Max 22 JPEG or 6 RAW
- Self-Timer, 2s or 1-10 frames @ 10s
- Dual Wireless remote receivers
- Wired remote terminal
- Mirror Lock-Up
- Auto HDR from 3 frames
Viewfinder & Displays
- 95% Coverage viewfinder, 0.85X magnification
- Rotating 3" Touchscreen LCD, 1 megapixel
- True Live-View
- Eye-Start sensor
Body & Construction
- Canon EF-S lens mount
- Single control-dial
- 4-Way Controller
- 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
- External stereo audio source
- Adjustable Audio-Levels
- Optional Wind-Filter
- Optional Sound-Attenuation
The T5i was introduced simultanously with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1
Canon EOS Rebel SL1. They share identical sensors and a very similar layout, so this review mostly covers the differences. Read the SL1 review for more details about the feature-set and ergonomics.
Usability - How easy is it to use?
The T5i is basically a larger version of the Canon EOS Rebel SL1
Canon EOS Rebel SL1. These two DSLRs were introduced together to offer the new Canon Hybrid CMOS AF sensor in two form-factors, which add on-sensor Phase-Detect AF. The larger body offers additional controls, a more substantial grip and a rotating LCD, which are all described below in this review page.
This Rebel is mid-sized for a DSLR, roughly twice the wide of its EF-S mount. There is about half-an-inch to the left edge of the camera and another half on the right of the mount, between a deep but narrow grip. It is comfortable to hold and the index finger falls naturally on the curved slant provided where the shutter-release is located. The remaining fingers have room between the grip and lens, plus enough vertical space.
As a DSLR, the T5i is mostly hollow to accommodate the reflex mirror and place the mount at the right flange distance. Canon also saved weight by using a pentamirror rather than pentaprism for the viewfinder. The expected consequence is a relatively small and dim view. Still, there are several lighter DSLRs available.
The top-plate of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i has a very similar layout to the SL1. The shutter-release has a firm half-way point with moderate travel. The only control-dial on the T5i is within easy reach, on the grip, just behind the shutter-release. There is a direct ISO button too. It protrudes nicely yet feels plasticky. When pressed, it shows ISO available ISO settings on the rear LCD. A sensitivity is chosen with the control-dial or 4-way controller. This is so smooth as it requires more movement than ideal.
A traditional mode-dial is located on the same side of the camera. It has 12 positions, including the ubiquitous PATM modes. Four scene modes get distinct positions and the remaining ones are grouped into SCN. There are two Auto modes plus a No Flash mode as well. The mode-dial has strong detents to prevent accidental changes.
A 3-position power button sits next the mode-dial. It positions are: Off, On and Video. This last one automatically engages Live-View and activates the Video-Record button on the rear. This thankfully means the Rebel T5i has a dedicated video mode and is therefore ready before filming.
The top-plate features a standard hot-shoe plus a popup flash. One can also see a small speaker and built-in mono microphone between the hot-shoe and built-in flash. There are recessed eyelets for a shoulder-strap. These make a camera-strap unobtrusive and very comfortable. The edges of the camera are also nicely rounded which improve comfort even more.
The back of the Canon Rebel T5i is quite busy for an entry-level DSLR. A 3" touchscreen LCD with 3:2 aspect-ratio leaves room for a good-sized thumb-rest, no less than 8 buttons and 4-way controller. Above the LCD, there is a small optical viewfinder with an Eye-Start sensor on top. It turns off the LCD automatically when taking the camera to your eye. Left of the OVF, there is a Menu and an Info button that work exactly as expected. On the other side, a button toggles Live-View or starts and stops video capture, depending on the position of the power-switch.
The rear LCD has a 1 megapixel resolution which make it very sharp. Note that the T5i 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. Nice to see Canon getting this right again!
Like all digital cameras, the T5i 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 crosses the right side of the camera diagonally, separating the Focus-Point Selection and AE-L buttons from the remaining controls. These two are labelled with Canon's usual icons. In Playback mode, they are used to zoom. 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 rather low on the body. It is also flat and indistinct which makes operating it in darkness troublesome. Too bad there is no option to swap it with the Live-View button which has a premium location is, most-likely, much less used.
A little lower than EC, there is the Quick Menu button. This one allows to access a few additional functions without entering the menu. It is also the one button which has no equivalence on the SL1. The other control difference is that the 4-way controller is made of 5 distinct buttons on the T5i. Each direction is assigned a function, plus the center SET button is customizable:
- Up: Brings up a list of WB options. For WB Fine-Tuning and Bracketing, the full menu must still be used.
- Right: Controls the AF mode. Choices are Single-Shot, Continuous or Automatic selection between the two.
- Down: Selects a Picture Style. Pressing Info from there allows image parameters to tbe set: Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation and Color-Tone.
- Left: Shows available drive modes, usually Single, Continuous, Remote Self-Timer (10s), Self-Timer (2s) and Custom Timers (2-10 Shots after 10s).
The last two buttons, next to the lower-edge of the camera, are Playback and Delete. Both work as usual and the T5i is Shooting-Priority. Delete has no function in Capture mode. The left of the camera has two more buttons. The top one releases the flash, while the bottom one activated Depth-of-Field preview, something not always present on entry-level DSLRs.
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 T5i 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|
|Automatic Eye-Start sensor||Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Spot-Metering|
|5 FPS Drive, 22 Images||Hot-Shoe|
|1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Stereo audio input|
|3" LCD 1 Megapixels||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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