Canon Rebel T5 Review: Good, Bad, & The Ugly

t5 vs t5i photo

The Rebel T5 was launched after Canon decided to discontinue the older T3. It shares many of the features of the older camera and many have wondered why Canon introduced what was essentially a refurbished version of an older technology in this way.

Our Verdict: Is the Rebel T5 Worth It?

The short answer is no, it isn't. In virtually all cases, you are better of purchasing a Rebel T5i as your entry level DSLR. To view how the T5 stacks up to the T5i, click here.

Product Highlights

  • 18 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 4 image processing engine
  • Full HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Rear LCD monitor 3” producing 460-k dots
  • 9-point AF system with center cross-type
  • 3 fps continuous shooting speed
  • Native ISO of 100 – 6400
  • 63-zone dual-layer metering system

Build Quality

The Rebel camera series from Canon is aimed at the beginner and amateur segment of the market, out of which the T5 is at the very bottom of this segment. Many of its components are plastic, though the thumb rest at the back of the camera feels rubberized and comfortable, something that it's predecessor lacked. Having said that, even among other entry level DSLRs from Canon we have felt better thumb rests.

The T5 has no weather sealing and is not designed to be weather resistant. It's not going to be the best camera for those shooting regularly in inclement weather. Overall the ergonomics are average, though the weight of the camera is light at only 434 grams (body only).

Image Sensor and Processor

The 18 megapixel image sensor is respectable, and there are upper entry level cameras with less resolution. However, this is an APS-C sensor powered camera. It is powered by Canon’s DIGIC 3 image processing engine, which is a dated technology and leads to a noticeable higher incidence of noise coming from the camera, even when shooting at much lower ISO numbers. Low light performance up to ISO 400 is good, but beyond this you'll need to do a lot of post-processing work to make things presentable.

Auto-Focusing

There are 9 AF points on the T5’s auto-focusing system, one of which is cross-type. The center cross-type AF point is the best when it comes to locking focus, especially if you are shooting in low light situations. For those who love using the focus and recompose technique using the center auto-focusing point for locking focus this may not matter. Having said this, the T5 isn’t adept at locking focus, which probably comes from the fact that it uses auto-focus technology that originated with the Rebel T3i (a dinosaur in the camera world).

Video Shooting

The T5 is capable of shooting video, and can record full HD videos at 30 fps as well as at 25 and 24 fps. Step down to 720p and the camera can record videos at 60 and 50 fps. This is more than enough for shooting videos on your vacation or family get-togethers. However, there is no continuous auto-focusing when recording videos. You can however, always, manually adjust focus when shooting. You can shoot continuously for 29 mins and 59 secs in each of the modes.

Continuous Shooting Speed

The T5 doesn't excel when it comes to continuous shooting speed, as it has a maximum continuous shooting speed of 3 fps. Even then, if you shoot in RAW the buffer will overrun after 6 frames. Conversely, if shooting stills you can shoot up to about 60 frames before the buffer starts to fill up.

This isn't a great camera for action shots, as during continuous burst only a few shots will come out correctly, with appropriate focusing, good exposure, and the moment captured as intended. With only 3 frames per second, you aren't going to have a lot of shots to choose from.

Viewfinder and Rear LCD screen

The smallish viewfinder of the Rebel T5 offers only 95% of frame coverage. It is powered by a pentamirror. Even then the small viewfinder will be bit too tight to make good compositions and it can be difficult to see the AF points.

The rear 3” LCD screen has a resolution of 460,000 dots and gives 100% frame coverage.

Storage and Battery

The T5 is powered by a LP-E10 rechargeable lithium ion battery pack.

The Rebel T5 accepts standard SD cards as well as SDHC cards.

Conclusion

Overall this is a very basic DSLR, with acceptable but not exceptional Image quality. That said, there are some good bundle offers available for the T5, including one with two true optical zooms 18-55mm and a 70-300mm. Having said that, kit lenses are never really my first choice when it comes to shooting photos, and pairing the T5 with a prime lens will give better images.

Crop sensor cameras tend to multiply the focal length of a lens. This happens due to the crop factor using the central part of the image coming through a lens. Sometimes photographers take advantage of this by pairing a tele-lens with a crop sensor DSLR.

Add to that equation the option to shoot in manual mode and this is still a decent option. This camera is probably a great buy for someone who is looking to shoot in manual mode and needs the cheapest available option. For the same price you could get some super-zoom bridge cameras, but with flimsy zooms, so in this situation the T5 is the better buy.

However, if you are serious about photography or already have a great point & shoot and are looking to take your photography to the next level the Rebel T5 isn’t a great choice. Opt for something that has better auto-focusing, more AF points preferably all-cross types, better low light performance and of course better video shooting capabilities.

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