BorrowLenses Reviews the Canon Rebel T5i

BorrowLenses Reviews the Canon Rebel T5i

First, a confession: I’m a Nikon shooter. However, the first digital camera I ever really learned how to use was a Rebel T2i (was a film shooter prior to that). I have had a soft spot for the Rebel series ever since, despite being currently married to a D800. They are fantastic cameras and the T5i is no exception but, to be honest, it just isn’t at all exceptional when compared to its 2012 predecessor, the T4i.

In comparison to the T4i, the T5i…

  • Maintains the same 18.0 megapixel CMOS sensor as its predecessor, the T4i.
  • Maintains the same hybrid sensor that allows for that smooth and quiet continuous auto focusing in STM (STepping Motor) lenses.
  • Adds Scene Mode to the modes dial. Also, the mode dial spins all the way around. Small change, but nice.
  • Maintains the exact same LCD menu as in the T4i.
  • Changes how one accesses the different Scene Modes. I feel it is now slightly more difficult on the T5i. On the T4i, you can select HDR Backlight Control, Handheld Night Scene and Night Portrait on the dial itself. On the T5i, the dial must be set to SCN and then you have to navigate between the above-listed scenes using a combination of the Q-button/print button and the scroll wheel. Boo to that. My personal theory for why they set it up this way is that now firmware updates can include new Scene Modes without the dial being considered out-of-date in its labeling. If Scene Modes are your thing then this could prove exciting for you.
  • Maintains the exact same menu, info, and Live View buttons. Back panel navigation is the same and so is the ISO button. If you ignore the dial wheel then the cameras are identical.
  • Maintains same 1080p video, mic, and 3.0″ Vari-Angle Touch Screen.
  • Maintains same 9 Point All Cross-Type AF System and ISO (100-12800, expandable to 25600).


Other observations:

  • Supposedly you can preview and apply a Creative Filter at the point of shooting but I haven’t been able to figure out how. From my perspective, applying a Creative Filter behaves exactly as it does for the T4i. Happy to be enlightened on this.
  • Marginally heavier–20.5 ounces compared to the T4i’s 19.2.
  • Remember that weird thing where some of the T4i’s grips turned white? That won’t be happening to the T5i. Right, Canon?

My final take:

I would argue that people are a little more excited for the new kit lens these come with than for the camera itself. The new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM is fast and quiet and the STepping Motor is super handy when using auto-focus while recording a movie. Fortunately, if you already have a T4i you can simply rent the new lens from us on its own!

So what good is this camera? For a T4i owner, not much. It is about $100 more than the T4i was last year (body only) and it just doesn’t seem worth the upgrade. But if you’re getting tired of your older Rebel this T5i is certainly great and the T4i may continue to go down in price as a result of this release. If you are a T3i owner, click here to see our quick video comparison between the performances of the T3i and T4i.

Right now the T5i is only marginally more to rent than the T4i so it is worth testing out for yourself. Below are my test images comparing the T5i with the T4i (video tests to come later). As you can see from the images below, these cameras are pretty much at parity. You may also like to visit our comparison guide of the Canon T5 vs T5i for more information.


Taken with a 40mm pancake lens. Learn more about this unique lens here.


Taken with a 40mm pancake lens. Learn more about this unique lens here.

As a Rebel lover, I would love to see your images taken with any Rebel/Kiss camera.
Please feel free to link to your work in the comments below!

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Alexandria Huff's photography and lighting tutorials can be found on 500px and her blog. She is a Marketing Coordinator for and also writes for SmugMug. She learned about lighting and teaching while modeling for photographers such as Joe McNally and has since gone on to teach lighting workshops of her own in San Francisco. See her chiaroscuro-style painterly portraits on her website.


  1. I just recently upgraded to a 5d3 from my rebel T2i. Almost all of my work besides probably 5 images on my scenic page has been done with my old faithful T2i. Feel free to check it out. I thought about getting rid of the T2i but I think I will put it on my wall some day as a reminder of where I started.

  2. Thanks for the review, T3i owner here, but want to see what the 70D brings (invested in a few EF-S lenses, cost prohibitve to jump to full frame). All T3i photos in my stream :).

  3. “but, to be honest, it just isn’t at all exceptional when compared to its 2012 predecessor, the T4i.”

    Wrong. Here’s your oversight:

    “Reintroduces the digital zoom (3x to 10x). This is kind of cool since that was missing in the T4i.”

    Although a video-only feature, this is an amazing option. f2.8 lenses remain f2.8 lense at 3x, and there is no digital zooming. It’s simply cropping to the final actual 1920×1080 pixels on the imager. Arguably the sweet spot of the lens, and can you say NO MOIRE??????

    If I had a dollar for the number of shooters and shots that have been ruined by the 5dmkII moire (and other cameras) I would probably own a ______.

    Please take note: a single 17-55 f2.8 image stabilized Canon lens, at 3x covers similar range to the coveted 70-200 IS mkII on a 5d (do the math). It’s incredibly useful for shooters (video-only, not stills remember) as you can go darn wide at 17mm (crop) to 165mm (3x) all at f.28 stabilized on one camera body. For documentary stuff happening before your eyes, this is great. And a 70-200L f2.8 IS II lens becomes an image stabilized 600mm animal on this camera body. That’s like shooting a 900mm+ image stabilized lens at f2.8 on a 5dmkII when you factor in the crop. I’ve done it hand held over and over in video mode and clients are freaked out when they get the shots. There are drawbacks (focus throw is very narrow at 3x) but the fact that one or two lenses can do SO MUCH at such high quality in the right hands is amazing.

    Some people don’t even know this feature exists, and they don’t realize that at 3x, it’s still full resolution. It’s a great tool for video.

    When this was missing on the t4i, even WITH the great additional features (though not all they were cracked up to be…the autofocus is anything BUT smooth…)…the fact that the t4i left out the 3x crop mode was enough to keep it out of the hands of many geurilla shooters (with 5dMkii bodies and 7D bodies sleeping in their bags…HELLO ARTICULATING SCREEN = GOOD SHOTS)…

    *by the way, a t3i, IN VIDEO TERMS, is simply a 7D with articulating screen in a lighter, smaller, cheaper body, and also a 60D in a lighter, smaller, cheaper body.

    t4i has a better sensor than t3i, but left out 3x mode. This crippled it for the key NICHE secret 3x weapon. But if the t5i truly added this feature back, look out. This is truly a secret weapon for video. Add some L glass and some old Nikkor primes and you’re off and running.

    Given 3x add on, I say t5i = MAJOR bonus over t4i. Especially if it gets Magic Lantern. Magic Lantern is the most amazing thing ever. Another discussion.

  4. I love this camera…and all the Rebel series but this one is so far the best. very easy to shoot and use. Highly recommend

  5. just bought a rebel t5i from a rebel t3i.. however the lens i don’t see focusing? even on auto or any other setting. i can manully set it.. and i have it on auto on the lens. is there a setting in the menu i’m un aware of or is it defected?



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