In 2014, Canon added the T5 to its popular Rebel line. The Canon EOS Rebel T5 carries on the heritage of this entry-level DSLR series with a jump in the megapixel count and better video facilities.
This type of DSLR is clearly aimed at the beginner user, with just enough features to obtain quality images, but nothing too overwhelming. We will see if Canon can carry on their tradition of providing great quality in a smaller and beginner-level package.
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Design
The T5 moves on from the last Rebel model, the T3, with more things under the hood than anything else. The bare necessities spring to mind with an 18.2-megapixel sensor, 1080p HD video, and a 3-inch LCD screen.
You wouldn’t say the T5 a major step up since the release of the Canon EOS Rebel T3 back in 2011, but Canon is well adept at producing their offerings for the amateur photographer in a small package.
All the controls are located on the righthand side of the camera, with buttons seemingly more accessible than before. For instance, the playback and display buttons have moved a little with the speaker now being located on the top left of the camera.
Small changes, but the simple layout is just as intuitive as it was before, without being overwhelming. The familiar Canon mode and main dial are present, along with a dedicated flash button and power switch. There is no top plate LCD screen as per higher-end DSLRs, but you can’t have everything.
18.7 megapixels may not seem a lot these days, but in reality, this is plenty for producing reasonably sized prints. Basically, leave the pixel count game to the smartphone camera brigade.
The Canon EOS Rebel T5 is 15g lighter than the T3 with a total of 480g. The camera body is not as sturdily built as Canon’s best DSLR models and doesn’t have any of the weatherproofing, but you have to factor in what you’re getting for the money.
The handgrip is quite compact, like the body, but there is still enough there to have a confident hold on the camera. The buttons can be used with one hand, making everything very easy to use.
It gives the impression of a high-end DSLR, without the high-end features or, should I say, the clutter for beginners.
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Image Quality and Use
Straight out of the bag, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 is a solid performer when shooting in reasonable levels of light. Using the bundled kit zoom lens and a higher-end 24-70mm zoom, images came out sharp with a good definition of color throughout the range.
Picture styles help with a lot of the heavy lifting. Faithful mode does what it says on the tin, with the dynamic range and white balance being good operators and easily tweaked, especially when shooting in RAW format.
Luckily, the camera can shoot both RAW and JPEG formats. This helps when you go into lower light scenarios where you invariably will need to crank up the ISO levels. The built-in flash is there for basic work as something that would be needed on a beginners camera, but you will soon graduate to on-camera flashes if you are taking a lot of flash images.
ISO tops out on the T5 at 6400, which means images start to get quite grainy even at even a few hundred ISO. Images taken in low light can be susceptible to purple fringing, which actually stands out more in RAW files than in the JPEGs. Crank the ISO up to its maximum and things get very grainy.
One thing that lets the camera down from the get-go is if you buy the camera body with the supplied kit lens. The glass at the front of the camera makes a huge difference, so it’s better to buy the T5 as just the camera body with the extremely good value Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II IS. You won’t have zoom capabilities, but it’s better to have a prime lens with a higher image standard than a zoom.
This is not so much of a problem once you go down the rabbit hole of photography as you’ll soon want to upgrade the camera and lens, so it’s better to start with the best glass you can afford.
The T5 will only be able to capture reasonably fast action or sporting events, with only three frames per second, but at least the autofocus with a faster lens is good enough for freezing moving objects.
A slightly better lens also helps with video performance. As with still images, you’re getting basic operation here. Video ISO is similar to still images where it’s acceptable up to 800, but after that, you will have employ noise reduction features. At least the output is HD this time around and is reasonable enough for candid video shots or a bit of vlogging.
How Does It Compare?
Nikon is the usual contender when it comes to competition for Canon. The Nikon D3300 from specs. alone has a lot more to offer. 24 megapixels, 60p instead of 30p HD video, a slightly faster shooting rate, and a much higher ISO. It also has a slightly higher price tag, but you cannot argue with its features.
|Canon EOS Rebel T5||Nikon D3300|
This isn’t a groundbreaking advancement from the T3. No touchscreen, no Wi-Fi, no flip-out screen, or microphone jack. There is a larger LCD and better sensor as found in the Canon EOS Rebel T5i, but that’s it.
The T5 is a notable upgrade from the T3, but the Rebel name is still bumbling along while other makers are cramming in advancements. A shame really, as the Rebel series was a great stepping stone into the world of DSLRs for many Canon users.
A better lens upfront is definitely recommended if you’re going to buy the T5. You cannot fault its ease-of-use, but there are also much more rounded offerings from other manufacturers available.
There is one big caveat. Canon makes some fantastic high-end lenses and buying a beginner’s DSLR from one brand usually makes you stick with them as you buy into their range of lenses.
Swapping further down the line can be very expensive, but if you’re looking no further than a beginner DSLR, and there is quite a good range of choices already on the market.