The Rebel T5i is the recently introduced flagship of the Rebel line but with a feature set and specifications largely reminiscent of its predecessor. Whether a modified AF system, real-time viewing of creative filters, a digital movie zoom and tweaks to the mode dial and scene modes in live view along with a new exterior finish will send hordes of T4i owners running to their nearest Canon dealer remains to be seen.
The camera produces good still and video image quality, has enough automatic bells and whistles that users who wish to merely point-and-shoot can have it their way while more experienced operators have a range of adjustments to set up camera performance to suit their taste as well. Autofocus performance is pretty good, ISO performance is competitive with other cameras in the class and the camera can shoot at five frames per second for several seconds and then clear its buffer promptly with an appropriately high performance memory card. External controls allow access to ISO, white balance, autofocus, picture style, and drive mode shooting options, a bit more flexibility than is typical with an entry-level DSLR. A touch screen monitor and quick control button offer access to a number of other shooting functions and camera settings, but at the expense of depositing smudges on the monitor that degrade its usability in some bright outdoor conditions.
Like the Nikon D5200 that I recently reviewed, the Rebel T5i is a nice little camera with no glaring weaknesses. The viewfinder offers 95% coverage which makes precise framing of images problematic, and like the Nikon the T5i has no weather sealing. That puts both cameras at a disadvantage when compared to the Pentax K-30 and the T5i seems to clip highlights a bit more than the others when shooting high contrast scenes. If you’re a T4i owner there may not be enough incentive to change cameras this time around, but if you’re moving into a DSLR for the first time, the Rebel T5i isn’t a bad place to start looking.
- Good still and video image quality
- 5 fps continuous shooting rate
- Quick write speed with appropriately high performance memory media
- Light and compact
- Lacks weather sealing of one direct competitor
- 95% viewfinder coverage makes precise image framing problematic
- Seems to clip highlights a bit more than competition