Monday, May 6, 2013

REVIEW: Canon Rebel T5i/700D – Part I: Real World Sample Images

Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

It seems like just yesterday that I was reviewing the Canon Rebel T4i because it was only about 9 months ago when I published that review! You can read what’s new in the press release, but basically you get an improved hybrid auto focus system and a scene mode which mimics the point and shoots like the s110. I didn’t find the new AF system  to be exceptionally different or better than its predecessor and the scene mode is a gimmick feature, so I’m not seeing anything that T4i users should be concerned about. I did notice the problem that I had with 580EX II flashes seems to be resolved, but that only matters if you were using one of the old flashes. Both the T4i and T5i both work great with the 600EX-RT external flash.

This model still features the articulating touch screen display of its predecessor which I like, and it it still has that “made by Mattel” plastic feel. When paired with an STM lens, like the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens I tested, its super light weight and super quiet when beeps are disabled.

Real World Sample Images

These are taken from in-camera JPEG’s with zero modifications taken during everyday life events. Nearly all were taken in Aperture Priority (Av) mode unless otherwise noted, and all were handheld. The goal of these samples is to show you exactly what you’d expect to get if you were taking your own real world shots.

Visit for a full gallery and click the images to see the full-size originals. All images are copyright Ron Martinsen – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may view them, but you may not store, edit, print, distribute or otherwise reuse any images without written consent.

f/11 @ 38 mm, 1/50, ISO 800, No Flash
I was very impressed with this shot from the all-plastic kit lens

T5i, f/11 @ 52 mm, 1/100, ISO 3200, No Flash
While not as sharp as 24-70mm f/2.8L, it’s good enough and will look great with Color Efex edits

f/5.6 @ 24 mm, 1/60, ISO 5000, No Flash
The token “check out my yummy meal” shot shows that even ISO 5000 isn’t too bad
High ISO performance seems to be a big improvement over the T4i

f/4 @ 18 mm, 1/160, ISO 100, No Flash, Shade WB
At ISO 100 the performance is very satisfying

f/5.6 @ 55 mm, 1/80, ISO 1600, No Flash, Landscape Picture Style, Shade White Balance
Out of 8 attempts with Live View, we got one decent shot of this moving millipede

f/4 @ 18 mm, 1/30, ISO 500, No Flash, Fluorescent White Balance
You know those nasty piano practice rooms/dungeons? This is about as good as it gets.

f/4 @ 18 mm, 1/500, ISO 100, No Flash, Shade WB
This is a proper DSLR with decent dynamic range

f/5.6 @ 45 mm, 1/80, ISO 400, No Flash, Landscape PS, Shade WB
I was very disappointed with the in-camera noise reduction that destroys detail
Compare this with a similar shot taken with a Fujifilm X20here

f/5.6 @ 32 mm, 1/160, ISO 2000, No Flash
The AF will keep up with your toddler, but you’ve got to pay attention to your settings
This was done in Manual (M) mode with Auto ISO so I could force 1/160 sec shutter speed
to avoid motion blur – a faster shutter speed would have been helpful, but the f/5.6 kit lens kept my ISO’s up way high on this sunny day hike

f/3.5 @ 18 mm, 1/40, ISO 800, No Flash, Shade WB, Landscape PS
This is what 18mm looks like, now pay attention to the log at the end of the stream

f/5.6 @ 55 mm, 1/80, ISO 4000, No Flash, Shade WB, Landscape PS
This is how far 55m will get you, so you’re better off with the 18-135mm lens I tested with the T4i

f/11 @ 45 mm, 1/160, ISO 3200, No Flash
This lens has decent sharpness (alternate version for bokeh lovers)

f/11 @ 51 mm, 1/80, ISO 6400, No Flash
This will look awesome with some Color Efex editing

f/11 @ 52 mm, 1/80, ISO 6400, No Flash
All butterfly shots were done with Live View and touch to focus – you can get these too!

f/11 @ 55 mm, 1/80, ISO 1250, No Flash

f/8 @ 45 mm, 1/250, ISO 100, No Flash
Proof these are unedited – crooked verticals! ;-)

f/8 @ 18 mm, 1/400, ISO 100, No Flash
18mm is plenty wide in real-world use

f/5.6 @ 35 mm, 1/640, ISO 100, No Flash
In “Sports” mode with great light, I was able to catch some bird shots,
but the AF burst performance is terrible

f/8 @ 24 mm, 1/250, ISO 100, No Flash
I was very satisfied with the in-camera color

f/5.6 @ 70 mm, 1/500, ISO 100, No Flash, 24-70mm f/2.8L II lens
A better lens didn’t help as much as I would have hoped

f/8 @ 155 mm, 1/250, ISO 800, No Flash, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens
With my favorite lens the results were good, but not as great as I expected


I’ve shown the best of the best shots here, but if you visit the gallery you’ll see that not all are as solid as these. That said, I was very impressed with the kit lens, and very disappointed with the in-camera noise reduction. As a result, my advice is to turn noise reduction OFF and use Noiseware or Dfine instead. Your images will look much better in the end – especially if you add a little sharpening with Sharpener Pro.

For my conclusion visit Part II of my review. I’ve also reviewed the Fujifilm X-S1 which I tested at the same time as the T5i. I’d also encourage shoppers in this price range to give the Fujifilm X20 or Fujifilm XE-1 careful consideration as well as I honestly think both exceed the performance of the T5i/700D.

See my Which camera should I buy? article for my general shopping advice.

Where to order

Click here to order the Canon Rebel T5i/700D at B&H. My friends at Adorama have it available here.

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Anonymous said...

how do you change the lens to be at say 135 mm instead of 18 mm ? Or say 70 mm? I can't find anything on google or in the manual for help.. said...

You rotate the zoom ring so that the white notch lines up with the number you wish to zoom to.

Here's a photo of where the zoom ring is located: