First Impressions: Canon Rebel T5i

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel T5i product images (9 of 9)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

In their customary fashion, Canon has renewed their best selling DSLR line: the Rebels. This year, we have the Canon T5i–the successor to the very good Canon T4i which we highly rated. To say that the company only put in modest upgrades is an understatement. In all truthfulness, it is essentially the same camera as the T4i. Yes, that’s right: same sensor, same autofocusing technology, same body for the most part.

And for those of you scratching your heads at this point, the upgrades may have you springing for the T4i instead of the T5i.

Tech Specs

What’s New

– New STM Lens Kit with the 18-55mm or 18-135mm (and they’re actually pretty snazzy)

– Mode dial rotates in a 360 degree action now and a new scene mode

– New texture and finish

– Digital zoom in movie mode

What’s Old

Specs from the T4i taken from the Adorama listing

  • 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, ISO 100 12800; expandable to 25600 (H) for shooting from bright to dim light and high performance DIGIC 5 Image Processor for exceptional image quality and speed.
  • High speed continuous shooting up to 5.0 fps allows you to capture all the action.
  • Improved autofocus performance with a 9-point all cross-type AF system (including a high-precision dual-cross f/2.8 center point), and new Hybrid CMOS AF increases autofocus speed when shooting photos and video in Live View.
  • Enhanced EOS Full HD Movie mode with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects, manual exposure control and multi frame rates (1080: 30p (29.97) / 24p (23.976) / 25p, 720: 60p (59.94) / 50p, 480: 30p (29.97) / 25p), stereo microphone, manual audio level adjustment, and Video Snapshot with editing for video shooting options.
  • New Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II (approximately 1,040,000 dots) with smudge-resistant coating features multi-touch operation and Touch AF for an easy and intuitive experience, flexible positioning, and clear viewing even when outdoors.
  • Scene Intelligent Auto Mode delivers expertly optimized photos and now offers improved scene detection for amazing results when shooting at night.
  • Expand your creativity with new advanced imaging features like Handheld Night Scene mode, HDR Backlight Control mode, and seven Creative Filters including newly added Art Bold Effect and Water Painting Effect.
  • Multi Shot Noise Reduction provides outstanding noise reduction while preserving precious detail at high ISO speeds.
  • Compatibility with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, including new Ultra High Speed (UHS-I) cards.


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

As a personal opinion and as a higher end Canon camera user for years, the Rebel line will always feel like toys to me. However, I need to acknowledge that for what it’s worth, they are some damn solid cameras overall. They have been thrown out of planes and survived and even thrown down stairs and kept clicking.

For the audience that the Rebel is targeted toward, it will endure many of the non-sensical things that are done to it. However, with this still being an electronic device we recommend that you still try to be careful.


The autofocusing with the new STM lenses was very quick. To be honest, Canon didn’t need to do much with the Rebel’s focusing at this point. It is already better than the Canon 5D Mk II–a camera that revolutionized the industry but also had the company’s older focusing system. If you took the Canon 7D and 6D’s focusing and slimmed them down a bit more, you’d have the Rebel’s focusing.

It is accurate, fast, and reliable when not in Live View mode. Admittedly, we didn’t test it out in this mode.

Ease of Use

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon Rebel T5i product images (7 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

The Rebels, once again, are the easiest cameras to use in many regards. They’re great for students and people just getting into photography. For the experienced users, you might find needing to reach for the Av button and then turning the dial to adjust apertures in manual mode to be a bit annoying unless you’re using it in a studio.

Speaking of which–this camera has wireless flash modes! Yay!

Anyway, the touchscreen also makes interacting with the camera to be very simple.

Image Quality

Because this was a pre-production sample, we couldn’t load our own cards into the camera. But if the image quality is the same as the T4i, then we can expect similar results. Check out our T4i review.

First Impressions

Coming out of the meeting, I was a tad bit disappointed because Canon’s Rebels were always really awesome. And don’t get me wrong, they still are. But now it just has me questioning what they’re doing. They have the SL1, the T5i and this only means that they have to be saving all their advanced features for a higher end APS-C camera of some sort. So while the Rebel T5i got a modest bump in the specs area, I only hope that Canon is going to be giving us something even more powerful down the road.

The EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR camera is scheduled to be available in April for an estimated retail price of $749.99 for the body alone; $899.99 bundled with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit, and $1,099.00 with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens kit.

The new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens also is also scheduled to be available separately in April at an estimated retail price of $249.99.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.