Among the long line of successful entry-level DSLRs from Canon are the Canon Rebel T5 and the Canon Rebel T5i. Although they’re similarly named, the Canon T5 (also known as the 1200D) and the Canon T5i (known as the 700D) are quite different cameras. While either might be an ideal choice for a photographer looking to start into the world of DSLR photography, it’s worth looking deeper to ascertain which has the technological advantage.
The Canon Rebel T5 replaced the Canon EOS 1100D, which was during its time and after one of the most popular entry-level DSLRs on the market. Although the Canon EOS 1100D was, and remains, a great camera, there were definitely areas of improvement that the Canon Rebel T5 fulfilled when it was released in February of 2014. These included a more upgraded body featuring a stainless steel chassis and all-aluminum exterior, a substantial upgrade from the EOS 1100D’s plastic body.
In terms of the features of the camera we can see that the Canon T5 offers an 18-megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 100-6400 as standard with 12800 extended, a 9-point autofocus system, 1080p video capabilities, a built-in mono microphone and a DIGIC 4 processor.
Released in mid-2013, the Canon T5i replaced the Canon EOS 650D. Although some passionate T5i users would argue otherwise, the two cameras are quite alike, and owners of the previous 650D are unlikely to see a major benefit in upgrading. However, for those wanting to see the differences, they come in the form of Creative Filter live previews, design tweaks on the mode dial to allow 360-degree turning and some textural updates to the body.
Now, in terms of what is inside the Canon T5i, there’s an 18-megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 100-12800 standard, with up to 25600 expanded, a 9-point autofocus system, 1080p video recording, built-in stereo mics, continuous autofocus in movie mode, a touch screen display and a DIGIC 5 processor.
T5 vs T5i Comparison Table
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Unfortunately, for many beginners to DSLR the specifications of a camera can cause more confusion than clarity when it comes to choosing a model. So, to help in figuring out just what is important in your new camera, we’re going to break down the basics of both the Canon T5 and the Canon T5i.
Despite what you might have been told, ISO is not an acronym for anything. In fact, it’s an indicator as to the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light. It comes from the time of film, and translates into a digital setting through ISO settings. Basically, the higher you set your ISO settings, the more light your camera will pick up on, allowing you to capture images in low light. The plus side of ISO is it allows you to take pictures inside or even at night, but the downside is that the images can be much grainier than lower ISO images.
On the Canon T5 and the Canon T5i we can see that the Canon T5i has a better ISO range, offering a maximum range of 25,600 to the Canon T5’s 12,800. However, both cameras offer similar noise interference at higher levels, so most users are unlikely to notice this overall. Above about ISO 1600, the levels of noise start to exceed the abilities of the built-in noise reduction, leaving exceedingly grainy images.
The Canon T5 features an improved screen from its predecessor, leaving behind the outdated 2.7-inch screen for a user-friendlier 3-inch version. It features an LCD resolution of 460,000 dots, showcasing clear images to any eye.
On the other hand, the Canon T5i features a 3-inch screen with considerable extra features. The biggest of these is the touch screen, perfect for those who want to get better access to the camera’s menus and experience a flowing ease of use. The touch screen is equally useful to both the beginner and those who want to keep things simple, and the screen’s 1,040,000 dot LCD resolution only completes an already pretty picture. Even more than that is the fact that the Canon T5i’s touch screen is also articulated, which means you can pull it out and move it like a camcorder. This makes for ease of photography, especially when it comes to awkward angles that are very high or low. Coincidentally, it’s also great for selfies!
However, just because the Canon T5i is a touch screen doesn’t make it automatically better, neither does the LCD resolution or the articulated features. These features are advanced upgrades that users should expect if they choose to take the step up, in terms of budget, by purchasing the Canon T5i.
One think you’ll likely have noticed is that the Canon T5 and the Canon T5i run on different processors. The T5 has the older DIGIC 4 processor, while the T5i is fitted with the newer DIGIC 5 one. Most beginners, and indeed some experts, would not notice the difference between the two, but it’s worth having an idea of how this difference manifests.
The Canon T5, due to the older model processor, tends to run a little slower than the T5i. Again, this isn’t a noticeable change to many, but we can see that the Canon T5 producers fewer frames per second (fps), at three compared to the Canon T5i’s five. This means you can capture more photographs at once, which is often the difference between a good photo and a great one. The camera’s processor can also have an impact on its functionality in lower light conditions, and we know that the T5i is better in that regard already.
When it comes to video, both the Canon T5 and the Canon T5i perform really well. Certainly, they produce quality video that can be treasured and cherished by any photographer, and continue Canon’s tradition of producing camera bodies that excel in capturing video memories. However, noticeable differences in the quality come when we look at the video specific technology.
For example, the Canon T5 is not equipped with a stereo microphone, as is the case with the T5i. This means, although it captures video sound just fine, there can be some distractions caused by the sound of the lens motor at work. Additionally, the Canon T5 does no offer a continuous autofocus capability, which may result in videos being a little blurry when photographers are adjusting to their new camera. The Canon T5i also has an external mic port, which allows users to record high-quality audio with an external microphone, another feature not included on the Canon T5.
These kinds of differences are unlikely to be noticed by the entry-level photographer, especially if this happens to be an initial foray into the world of DSLR video. However, if you’re a passionate videographer, wanting to extend yourself into the world of DSLR video you will find that the Canon T5i offers much more simply as it is a newer and more technologically updated model.
Both of the Canon cameras are cropped body camera, meaning that when lenses are fitted they will not be true to their focal measurements. Don’t worry though, cropped cameras are totally normal in the world of semi-pro and amateur photography, and there’s no hindrance to photographers in terms of lenses or quality. Cropped cameras simply have a smaller sensor than a full-frame camera, and let us assure you that with the price of full-frame cameras as they are now, it’s much easier to adjust to the cropped frame than to upgrade.
The Canon T5 kit lens is the Canon’s 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 IS, one of Canon’s older lens designs that first popped up in 2007. It’s a very solid kit lens, and most users will find it perfectly suited to their needs. On the Canon T5 it translates into an effective focal length of 29-88mm and includes image stabilization technology that works well. Like more kit lenses it is plastic, which makes it cheap but not particularly durable. Still, with dependable image quality in most situations, it really is a great lens to start with.
The lens that was marketed with the Canon T5i body as a kit was a Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. This is an upgrade from both the lenses offered with the Canon T5i’s predecessors, and the lens offered with the T5. This lens was a 2013 release, and includes better optical performance as well as STM or Stepping Motor Technology. This is ideal for those photographers shooting video, as the Canon T5i with the STM lens will record video with considerably more silent motor noise.
The Canon T5i was also kitted with the wider range Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. For users wanting something that’s more all-around, this lens is ideal, and getting it with the kit can save you as much as $200 off its retail price. For a beginner, the 19-135mm lens makes for an easy start in the world of zoom photography.
It’s pretty clear from this that, as in many respects, the Canon T5i far outpaces the Canon T5 when it comes to kit lenses. However, this isn’t that surprising considering that the Canon T5 is in a much lower budget bracket. If you’re set on something as simple and entry-level as the Canon T5, you might be able to pick up some of the slack with a better lens. The Canon T5 body by itself is very cheap, which will give you more money to play with when it comes time to getting good lenses.
Canon has a range of lenses to suit the needs of any photographer, and buys should remember that a lens is an investment that may very well outlast your camera body. A high-quality, Canon-branded lens could last a decade, while most users find they tend to either outgrow or extinguish their camera bodies before that.
A Final Comparison of the Canon T5 and the Canon T5i
When we come down to it, although both the Canon T5 and the T5i have their own benefits, it is clear that the Canon T5i is the better camera. However, this isn’t to say that the Canon T5 isn’t the perfect camera for you.
The benefits of the Canon T5 over the Canon T5i are that it is considerably cheaper, a factor that most photographers will have on the top of their considerations. The Canon T5 has been seen at prices almost 50% less, which is not something to be ignored. In addition to this the Canon T5 is about 20% lighter and can capture around 60 extra photographs on a full charge than the Canon T5i.
Now, in looking at our winner there are certainly a lot of things to highlight. In comparison to the Canon T5, the Canon T5i is a more advanced, more versatile piece of photographic equipment. It features a screen resolution more than 2.5 times higher than the Canon T5, on an easy-to-use touch screen interface. Add that to the fact that the screen is articulated, and you’ve got the full package with screen alone. Then add in the superior video technology, including continuous autofocus, a built-in stereo mic and an external mic port.
Even the general image capturing technology is much better on the Canon T5i. It features faster continuous shooting capabilities – 5fps to the Canon T5’s 3fps – as well as better maximum light sensitivity – 25,600 ISO compared to 12,800 ISO – and boosted light sensitivity – 12,800 ISO compared to 6400 ISO.
Ultimately, the Canon T5 is a great camera, and nobody is saying that it isn’t. If you’re looking for a cheap way to get into photography, the Canon T5 will likely be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s also a great camera for kids to get into DSLR photography, if you want to include them in your passions. But when it comes down to it, the Canon T5i is just a better camera. It’s more expensive, but with the vastly improved features and technology, it’s worth it.