Review: Canon T5i (But You Can Call it the T4i Mk II)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon T5i camera review product images (3 of 7)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 4.5

When we first were briefed on the Canon T5i, we were told that it is nearly the same camera as the T4i. The only differences between the T4i and the T5i are the textured feeling, a 360 degree rotation dial, a new STM lens bundled with it, and a digital zoom in mode movie. But otherwise, Canon kept the camera the exact same.

To be extremely honest here, the T4i wasn’t a bad camera at all. In fact, when we reviewed it we loved it. But we’d be the biggest bunch of lying journalists on the web if we didn’t express our disgust with how lazy someone at Canon must have been to say, “Let’s make it the exact same camera, charge a bit more, and only make some minor changes.”

We understand the Japanese mentality of not wanting to take risks due to cultural stances, and we’re not disappointed in the camera’s performance at all. In fact, there isn’t much bad that we can say about it. But instead, we’re disappointed in Canon’s lack of effort to push the fold.

With that said, this review is going to be a mix of our T4i review and our T5i first impressions along with a couple of new additions from our month of testing it. If you’re just as disgusted as we are though, we encourage you to stop right here and not read on.

Pros and Cons

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon T5i camera review product images (1 of 7)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 4.5

Pros

– Great image quality

– Excellent autofocusing

– We like the textured feeling to the camera

– The 360 degree rotation dial makes things easier in real life use

Cons

– It’s the same damn camera as the T4i for the most part

– Where is our Wifi transmission, time lapse mode, and other features that can potentially make the camera even better

Gear Used

For this review, we tested the T5i with the Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG and the Samyang 16mm f2 along with the Nissin MG8000 flash.

Tech Specs

Tech specs taken from the B&H Photo listing of the camera

  • STM Lens Support for Quiet AF in Movies
  • 18.0MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
  • ISO 100-12800, Expandable to 25600
  • Full HD 1080p Video with Continuous AF
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • 9-point All Cross-Type Autofocus
  • Multi Shot Noise Reduction
  • EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

Ergonomics

Taken from our First Impressions of the camera

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel T5i product images (1 of 9)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.8

The Canon T5i essentially has the same ergonomics as te T4i. Since we were handling a pre-production model, the logo was covered up.

However, the front is still very plain and simple with barely anything except for the lens release, infrared sensor and the AF assist bulb at the front.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel T5i product images (2 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

The left side of the T5i houses the normal ports: HDMI, AV out/USB, microphone jack, and shutter release. Unfortunately, there is no headphone jack for all you Rebel users that love recording video. That means you’ll need to stick to your external recorders.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel T5i product images (3 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

The top of the T5i is where users will find the new 360 degree mode dial. This is also where the on/off/video switch is, ISO button, exposure control dial, hot shoe, microphones, and pop-up flash are situated.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel T5i product images (4 of 9)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.8

The back of the T5i has the same vari-angle LCD screen that videographers and photographers alike will fall in love with. It is contrasty, sharp, bright, and fixes into place with a nice snap. Many of the camera’s controls are also here such as the image zoom, menu, info, Video record/Live View button, Aperture control/exposure compensation dial, quick menu button, white balance, AF setting control, drive control, and picture style as well as playback and trash.

There is plenty of room for your thumb as well to be comfortably place when holding the camera.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel T5i product images (5 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

The Rebel T5i takes SDXC, SDHC, and SD cards. You’ll only be able to put one in at a time. And yes, it’s Eye-Fi Compatible.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel T5i product images (6 of 9)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 2.8

The bottom of the camera is where you’ll find the battery compartment and the tripod socket. Otherwise, this is just a plain jane Rebel.

Build Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon T5i camera review product images (4 of 7)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 4.5

When you hold the T5i, you have to admit that it feels like their most solid Rebel camera to date. Part of this has to do with the textured feel to it the exterior even though the camera isn’t really that much different than the T4i otherwise.

With all this said though, don’t drop it. This surely isn’t one of Canon’s tougher and more rugged cameras.

Ease of Use

Many folks that go for these types of cameras will find them easy to use. A couple of people in my Reddit Meetup Group here in NYC own the camera and shoot with it in auto. They find it simple to use and love the images that they get–they also really don’t care to learn the more advanced modes.

If you’re the person that cares about advancing your photography though, then you’ll also have a simple time adapting. However, you’ll probably find much more comfort in using their higher end models after some time.

Autofocusing

Since the Rebel T3i, the autofocusing has been really quite good and Canon doesn’t really need to do much in this department. However, the borders could surely be pushed if they gave it more autofocusing points or a dumbed down version of the Canon 7D’s autofocusing. In fact, we’re sure that lots of folks would appreciate that.

Image Quality

Taken from our Rebel T4i review with minor additions

Image Quality

The T4i’s overall image quality is really quite good. The RAW files straight out of the camera need very little editing and the color accuracy is also really quite good. Overall, the files tend to render themselves more toward the warm side of the spectrum as well.

The image quality won’t only be good enough for mom and pop. It will also be good enough for professional shoots. The photo above is from a piece I wrote and photographed for Gear Patrol. You can see all the photos and read the article here; but the image quality was more than good enough for them.

Here are some other image samples:

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon T5i camera review images (3 of 3)ISO 1251-60 sec at f - 4.0

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon T5i camera review images (1 of 3)ISO 16001-60 sec at f - 1.4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon T5i camera review images (2 of 3)ISO 2501-60 sec at f - 5.6

High ISO Abilities

In general, the high ISO abilities of the Canon T4i are really pretty damned good. The noise at 12,800 ISO is easily dealt with with a simple touch of a noise reduction slider in Adobe Lightroom 4, but otherwise, I really didn’t feel a need to touch many of the photos otherwise. But even then, the image noise looks like film-noise. Here are some samples for you.

ISO 6400

ISO 6400

ISO 3200

ISO 3200

ISO 3200

ISO 3200

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon T4i high iso results (4 of 4)ISO 6400

ISO 1600

ISO 1600

ISO 12,800

ISO 12,800

ISO 6400

ISO 6400

ISO 6400

ISO 6400

RAW File Versatility

The raw files in Adobe Lightroom 4 are fairly versatile and about on par with the top end of the mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras out there with the exception of the Fujifilm X Pro 1. Here is another sample rendered with Chris Martin’s lightroom plugin.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon T4i Review photos (2 of 7)ISO 100

Conclusions

We really, really have to be honest here: there isn’t a bad thing about the T5i. However, we still think that most people should instead just spring for the T4i and save themselves some money. We also really wish that Canon pushed the innovation card here, but they really didn’t–and for a company doing so well that really infuriates us because they can be even better.

Bottom Line: Spring for the T4i.

Please Support The Phoblographer

We love to bring you guys the latest and greatest news and gear related stuff. However, we can’t keep doing that unless we have your continued support. If you would like to purchase any of the items mentioned, please do so by clicking our links first and then purchasing the items as we then get a small portion of the sale to help run the website.

Also, please follow us on FacebookFlickr and Twitter.