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on May 9, 2014
I decided that this year would be the year that I learn photography and stop point and shooting. I went round and round with which camera to buy. I researched, altered my budget, researched some more. I made the mistake of not taking any online classes before buying my camera. Look up some You tube videos on equipment and how to choose the best one for you. There are no regreets with this purchase, but I may have changed my strategy a bit if I knew then what I know now.
I bought this camera over Nikon based on the "live view mode" and because most reviews stated that the Canon would be better for those trying to learn the various modes. I can say this this is indeed true, and this camera takes GREAT pictures. I am completely happy. I also bought it for the video capability, although the 70D was rated a little higher for video, it was out of my budget.

Some advice for fellow first time DSLR buyers:
1. Spend the extra money for the 18-135 STM. This was an instant regret that continues to haunt me. This lens is phenomenal, and takes GREAT pics, but the added flexibility would be worth the extra money. 55mm is great for close up portraits, this is a great wide angle lens, but 55mm is short and I find that I have to change lenses more often than I would like.
2. Budget for lenses, not the camera body. Camera bodies change like cell phones, every few years there is an opportunity to upgrade. Nice lenses will outlive multiple bodies. The more classes I take, the more I wish I had budgeted for lenses, and every class, video, review will echo this.
3. If you can find a package deal that includes the 55-250 STM lens, it will save you $ it!!
4. Buy a book besides the manual, it really helped me to understand how the camera really works. Also there is a great set of videos from "The great courses". It is taught by a National Geographic photographer and at $80 has been really eye opening as far as taking great pictures.

This T5i is a great camera for beginners and enthusiasts. There is not much difference in this camera and the T4i. I think touch screen is the biggest upgrade, the touchscreen is awesome, by the way. The controls are easy to learn and use. I have not tested it, but this camera may not tolerate wet weather like the 70D will. Live view works well. I have not used the video too much, it worked well with 18-55STM, but when I tried it with an older 70-300 kit lens it was very noisy and never focused right. This was the lens not the camera, hence my suggestion #3 above. These kit Canon lenses have changed the game, and they take great images. You will not be disappointed, but you may want to upgrade to more expensive lenses if you are doing more than chasing the kids around. A few review web sites even say that the images from these lenses rival more expensive ones.

Whether you are delving into the world of exposure and trying to take wonderful images, or this is to document vacations and family moments, you will love this camera.
1. Easy to use out of the box on "green" setting.
2. Easy to learn exposure on in "live view" mode
3. Screen is big, bright and customizable
4. Light enough everyday family use
5. Video capable, Multiple frame rates.
6. Touch screen works like my iPhone
7. New Canon kit lenses take very sharp pictures compared to older kit lenses.

None really.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 23, 2013
This is a Rebel T4i with a better 18-55 kit lens. It's intended as a drop-in replacement for the T4i, which means it's the same fast, compact stills camera with a touchscreen that simplifies configuration, image review, and the EOS learning curve. There are better movie cameras. Motion tracking for video, while a vast improvement over DSLRs before the T4i, falls short of many mirrorless bodies.

I'm reviewing it from the perspective of a working professional, which means I'm at least as concerned about what it's missing as what it has. If you're new to DSLRs, you're likely to find this camera an immense upgrade in many ways.

Buy it over mirrorless systems and the T2i/T3i if you want faster shooting and tracking with stills and the immediacy of an optical viewfinder. Choose the SL1 for the most petite size, the 60D for a quicker interface and a deeper buffer for raw files, or the 7D for even better motion-tracking. The T4i alone or with the 18-135 STM is equally compelling if it costs less. Image quality is the same between all the crop bodies. Low-light performance improves with the full-frame 6D and above.


==== T1i:
15 MP
9-point AF w/ 1 cross-point
3.4 fps
11 raw burst
1080p/20, 720p/30
1/4000 max shutter

==== T2i:
+ 18 MP
+ 3.7 fps
+ 1080p/30, 720p/60
+ Movie crop zoom, 7X VGA
+ LCD sharper
+ Metering improved
+ Auto-ISO improved
-- 6 raw burst

==== T3i:
+ LCD articulates
+ Movie crop zoom, 3X 1080p
+ JPEG adjustments & scene modes

==== T4i:
+ 9-point AF w/ 9 cross-points
+ Hybrid AF for video
+ 5 fps
+ Touchscreen
+ Stereo mic
+ Multi-shot noise reduction
+ Automated 3-shot HDR
-- No movie crop zoom

==== T5i:
+ 360-degree mode dial
+ JPEG effects in Live View
+ 18-55 kit zoom w/ STM focus

==== 60D:
+ 5.3 fps
+ 16 raw burst
+ Thumb-dial
+ AF-on button
+ Top-panel LCD
+ Mode dial lock
+ Viewfinder bigger, brighter
+ 1/8000 max shutter
+ Battery life doubled
-- No touchscreen
-- No hybrid AF for video
-- No multi-shot noise reduction
-- No automated HDR
-- Mono mic
-- Non-STM 18-135 kit lens


All Rebels have three handling characteristics: small grips (for a DSLR), an emphasis on buttons over dials, and many functions intended to be used with the camera away from your face.

Those with petite hands may appreciate the small size. I prefer the larger grips of the 60D and above. There's not much practical difference in portability; the T5i, like the 60D, is too large for a pocket or most purses. It is lighter by a quarter, but if you're really sweating the ounces, a mirrorless system or the SL1 is a better choice.

Certain adjustments are less accessible than with the 60D and 7D. For lack of a thumb wheel, this Rebel requires more buttons held in combination to activate basic functions like exposure compensation. There's no top LCD, so a quick check of your settings or changing the white balance requires booting the rear screen. Likewise, there's no joystick or 8-way pad for direct AF point selection. The higher-tier cameras make it easier to rapidly correct settings without taking your eye from the viewfinder and missing the subject or the moment.

The counterpoint is that showing everything on the rear screen with touch control significantly lowers the EOS learning curve. The touchscreen is capacitive and almost as responsive as a modern smartphone. Adjusting functions (e.g., exposure, white balance, focus points; everything) is as simple as tapping what you want. The camera won't be at the ready when you're manipulating the LCD, but thanks in part to an integrated 'feature guide' that explains most options, you probably won't need to pull out the manual on first acquaintance.

Phone gestures (e.g., pinch zoom, swiping) are now part of the picture review system, which makes checking focus vastly quicker and more flexible than on any other non-touch EOS body. Focus itself is touch-enabled in Live View mode, so you can tap to focus on static subjects anywhere in the frame without ever having to manipulate the 9-point AF system.

There's no weather-sealing in the body or the kit lenses. Don't use either in the rain without a cover. You do get a popup flash, though for lack of direct diffusion or bounce, using it as a main light will lead to harsh, high-contrast results. The rear LCD swivels to the side almost parallel to the body and rotates a full 360 degrees, so you can easily frame self-portraits, or turn it in to face the body for protection in storage.


This sensor is functionally identical to those in the T2i/T3i/T4i/60D/7D/SL1. Noise and dynamic range are the same in raw, though noise in JPEG is a tick cleaner with the T4i and T5i. Expect acceptable results up to ISO 3200. Nikon's D5100 is slightly better, Sony's A65 slightly worse. It's about two solid stops better than a typical point-and-shoot.

Unless you're in a JPEG-only shooting mode (e.g., multi-shot NR, HDR), raw gets the most out of this camera. Post-production creates the bulk of the appeal of many photographs (e.g., Instagram) and JPEG often lacks the requisite flexibility. Raw shooting also lets you defer decisions (e.g., white balance, sharpening, noise reduction, color, distortion, tone curves, and even exposure) that distract from catching whatever moment you're after.

HDR combines 3 shots taken in rapid succession. The automated result preserves highlights in a subtle, natural way, but not with greatly more range than a raw file with Highlight Tone Priority enabled. If you want to do your own processing with a program like SNS-HDR, you'll be adjusting exposures manually because Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) is limited to 3 shots from -2EV to +2EV.

Multi-Shot NR combines 4 shots to create one with less noise. You can set your own starting ISO, but the effects aren't apparent until ISO 800. At high ISO, it's good for about 1.5 stops. If the camera's already on a tripod or you can lean on an IS lens, you might as well lower the ISO and shoot for longer. A limited auto-alignment feature applies to handheld sequences for this feature and the similar 'Handheld Night Scene' shooting mode.


This camera has the same phase-detect AF unit (9 points, all cross-type) and nearly the same framerate (5 fps vs. 5.3 fps) as the 60D. That bodes well for capturing motion. What doesn't is the raw buffer. If you hold the shutter down in continuous mode, it'll take 6 raw, 4 raw + JPEG, or up to 30 JPEGs before slowing down. That's barely a second of continuous raw shooting, much less than with the 60D's 16 raw frames. The difference matters if you're trying to time a particular moment. That aside, this T5i has a reasonably high hit-rate (50%+) with recent USM lenses in moderate to bright conditions. The next performance tier is the 7D, and after that, the 5D III.

I want to point out: DSLRs suffer when shooting stills from the rear screen. Standard SLR design has a mirror and a prism (or additional mirrors) reflect incoming light into both the viewfinder and the fast phase-detect AF array. If you want a live feed to the rear screen, that mirror has to flip up to expose the sensor, so you can't use that array to focus anymore. You're left with a 'contrast detect' system (or in this particular body, a slightly faster amalgam of contrast and phase-detect) that's much, much slower. Expect to use the viewfinder unless your subject is very still.


If you set 'green box' mode and pretend this T5i is an oversized point-and-shoot, what implications?

* It makes more noise than a point-and-shoot. The mirror and shutter are definitely audible. Shutter lag can be much lower. Zoom is manual and effectively instant.

* The ergonomics don't work as well for rear-screen shooting. The camera is heavier and more awkward held in front of you, so blur from hand-shake will be more evident.

* Auto-exposure favors narrower apertures, slower shutter speeds, and lower ISOs than might be optimal. Particularly with lenses faster than f/2.8, it's less likely to choose the widest available aperture. Shooting indoors with a 35/2, for example, you're likely to see f/2.8, ISO 1600, and 1/50 instead of f/2 and 1/100.

* It won't use ISOs above 6400. Not that you'd want to, but some scenes may demand a faster shutter.

* Focus consistency and speed will depend on whether you've got an AF point on contrast. There's no great intelligence to AF-point selection, so it'll probably choose the wrong focus point about half the time. With slow lenses like the kit zooms, the error won't matter for the vast majority of shots.

* High-contrast lighting will produce variable results. The camera can't expose the whole scene correctly, so it'll guess what you want. Sometimes it'll guess wrong.

There are other full-auto modes on dial to deal with specific situations. They're useful in a pinch, but less predictable than what you can achieve with the semi-auto modes and the various metering controls.


T5i video is smoother, cleaner, and less contrasty than that of point-and-shoot cameras. As with stills, the right lenses can give you creamy backgrounds and professional-looking subject isolation. The corollary, though, is that focus actually matters. Your first impression reviewing footage is likely to be, "Why is everything always so blurry?"

Fortunately, autofocus in video mode was a major upgrade in the T4i and T5i. Canon DSLRs before the T4i had horribly slow contrast-detect AF that couldn't handle any subject motion at all. Canon's never bothered with manual focusing aids, so custom firmware or trial-and-error with the rear LCD were the only alternatives. Thanks to 'Hybrid AF,' this camera is not totally inept with movement. It doesn't work quickly or precisely with non-STM lenses, it tends to hunt (bringing the scene in and out of focus) with all lenses, it doesn't work well outside of the frame center (where it's assisted by phase-detect sensors) or in low light, and it's incapable of tracking anything faster than a caffeinated sloth. But it's not manual focus.

Realistically, if you want to film your kid playing soccer or running across the kitchen with DSLR quality, you've three options: prefocus, stop the lens down to get more depth-of-field, and try to stay perpendicular to the action; manually focus and accept that things won't be pin-sharp; or choose a mirrorless camera that can keep up.

Canon video is MOV format with H.264 compression. The implementation is inefficient and processing-intensive. You'll want a serious computer (quad-core), lots of space (350 MB/min at 1080p/30), and a decent video editor (e.g., Apple iMovie, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere Elements). Results improve with correct white balance and a custom tone curve with low contrast, color, and sharpening.

Beware camera shake. Anything over 50mm that isn't stabilized will challenge your ability to record smooth footage. You can fix that later by transcoding to an editable format and using the anti-shake facilities of Premiere, Vegas, or Virtual Dub with Deshaker, but that's a pain and they all crop the frame. This won't be issue until you start moving to primes; the two kit lenses are both stabilized. They're also STM, which means they focus by stepper motors that are (often) quieter and capable of smaller incremental movements than USM.

Certain full-frame stabilized lenses are audible on the audio track, as are the focusing mechanisms of non-STM lenses. You'll also have to contend with dial clicks, finger movement, and wind noise, which obscure what would be fairly mediocre sound quality in the best case. The T5i records CD-quality 48 KHz 16-bit stereo tracks; the fault is with the lack of isolation and baffling with the integrated stereo mic. The simplest, most portable alternative is to attach an external battery-powered mic in a shock mount to the flash hotshoe. The two most popular are around $250 from Rode. Zoom's H1 stereo recorder costs less and can also be camera-mounted.


Both kit lenses excel. The 18-135/3.5-5.6 STM in particular is the best consumer-class kit lens Canon has ever produced. If you upgrade, it'll be for more speed, a different range, or perhaps more contrast, not because it isn't sharp enough.

Some thoughts on future additions:

* Primes are lighter, smaller, cheaper, often available in wider apertures, often optically better, and have less manufacturing variation. They're less convenient, less versatile, updated with new technologies (e.g., stabilization, better lens coatings, weight reductions, faster or more accurate AF) less often, and can cause you to miss shots in fast-paced shooting environments.

* There are different requirements for movie lenses and still lenses. Some lenses are more optimal than others (e.g., less focus breathing, more parfocal, less distortion, smoother operation, distance scale). Primes often fare better.

* An f/2 lens on this body is just fast enough for most indoor use without flash. You'll want a flash for anything slower. A flash can provide more even, pleasing pictures, at the expense of a bulkier, attention-attracting rig.

* Kits with more than three primary lenses can become unwieldy in use. Two is preferable. My walkaround crop kit is a 10-22/3.5-4.5, a 50/1.4, and an 18-135-3.5-5.6 STM.

* Third-party lenses tend to have less upfront cost, better warranties, and more aggressive designs. AF and optical performance is often (but not always) inferior to OEM lenses, quality control is less consistent, and resale values are lower. Value varies by lens model. Some are better than the OEM equivalents (e.g., Tamron 70-300 VC). Some fill holes in the OEM lineup (e.g., Sigma 50-150/2.8 OS, Sigma 30/1.4). And some are lesser substitutes, but still competitive (e.g., Sigma 10-20/4-5.6). Third-party lenses that duplicate the OEM with similar performance may not always be preferable to used copies of the OEM model.

The most economical leap in image quality and subject isolation is the 50/1.8. But beware: this lens will lighten your pockets when you start seeking other lenses with the same effect.


For video, buy SD cards 32 GB or larger. My pair of 16 GB cards have been inadequate for even a one-day event. For stills, two or three 8 GB cards is plenty.

Interface responsiveness isn't much affected by card speed. Faster cards have three advantages: they can shoot longer bursts at 5 FPS, clear the picture buffer more quickly, and record video at the highest quality without risking a speed warning. Buffer depth is 30 JPEG files with a UHS-1 ('Ultra High Speed') SD and 22 with a conventional card, or 6 raw with any card. Buffer cycling times are much lower with UHS-1. In one-shot mode, this difference is invisible; very fast cards would only make sense if you were time-limited on card-to-computer transfers with a USB 3.0, SATA, or Firewire card reader.

If you buy protection filters for your lenses, try Hoya's "DMC PRO1 Clear Protector Digital" line. They have very high light transmission and cause no visible flare. Digital sensors filter UV natively, there's no reason to pay more for that feature. I've written reviews on the relevant Hoya product pages with more details and why you might (or might not) want a filter.


VS. T3i:

You gain continuous shooting speed, better AF for stills, and a touchscreen. The AF system will be faster and more accurate with wide-aperture lenses, particularly with off-center subjects. The hybrid-AF system is actually usable in slow video scenes, more than could be said for contrast-detect functionality in the T2i and T3i.

VS. T4i:

It's the same camera save for previewing image effects in Live View. The 18-55 kit lens is now STM. The 18-135 is the same; if the T4i with the 18-135 costs less, I'd choose that.

VS. 60D:

Of the 60D's many improvements, the hardest to work around is the raw buffer. You get one second at 5fps with the T5i. You get over three with the 60D. The T5i simply isn't a sports camera in raw unless you're judicious with your bursts. Shoot JPEG and it'll keep the pace all day. And shoot movies where anything moves at all and it'll leave the 60D behind in focusing performance.

Interface speed significantly favors the 60D if you're willing to learn the button assignments. Because it requires less button-pressing and the camera rarely needs to come off your face, it's faster than the T5i except for detailed picture review and choosing focus areas in Live View. The 60D actually costs less new, but don't choose the 18-135 kit. That's a non-STM lens much less sharp than the version the T5i includes.


I'm of two minds about this T5i. On the one hand, it's another fine evolution of small DSLRs (or rather, non-evolution; that sentence works if we pretend it's still called T4i). On the other, the question is whether you want a DSLR at all. Many people would fare better with mirrorless (e.g., Sony NEX, Panasonic G/GH) than a Rebel-class DSLR. They're smaller, lighter, and less clunky than the strange amalgam of 'Live View' and traditional mirror shooting that defines most current DSLRs. Focus is unerringly accurate with static subjects and vastly quicker in the movie modes. To their credit, DSLRs like this one have a broader array of narrow-purpose lenses (e.g., macro, tilt-shift, supertelephoto, superfast), far better motion tracking for stills, more subject isolation, faster and better physical controls, and if you spring for full-frame, superior noise performance.

If your priorities favor DSLRs, this isn't a bad one to choose. There's almost no photographic endeavor it can't handle. Higher-spec bodies get you better noise, speed, AF tracking, durability, and so on, but technology has advanced so quickly that if you're even vaguely methodical in shooting style, you're not likely to feel limited by this T5i. Look hard at the T4i and 60D before springing for it, though.

Please leave a comment if you intend to downvote so I can correct the inaccuracy.
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on April 24, 2013
I purchased the T5i with the 18-135mm lens kit. I LOVE the camera, but wasn't completely satisfied with the lens for my purposes. If you are on a budget the kit lens is capable of giving you great close up and wide angle/zoomed out shots, and for most people I can see this being a good starter lens (especially if you already know that the range is appropriate for your uses - such as full landscape shots, brightly lit settings, groups of people indoors etc.) For my personal choice in subject matter (including wildlife and some low light photography) I can't recommend buying kit lenses due to the zoom range limitations and higher f stop than some other affordable lenses. I ended up returning my kit and bought the body only and two separate low cost lenses to meet my needs (a fixed focal length lens with low light capabilities such as the 28 or 50mm f/1.8, and a good zoom like the "EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II") until I was able to invest in a longer zoom range L series lens. (I upgraded my zoom to the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS for bird and animal photography once I could justify the $1,500 expense, but for most people the $299 Canon 55-250mm is a great starting point especially for zoom situations such as outdoor people shots, animals in a park or a trip to the zoo.)

First about the camera itself: The touch screen is high quality and responsive, I ended up using it more often than I thought. It makes picture review a breeze after pressing the play arrow button. If you've ever used an I Phone/similar touch screen where you can make a pinching motion to to zoom in and out of photos, slide your finger left and right to flip through photos, it's the same familiar technology. Very solid camera construction, heavy weight (with the lens attached it's very heavy to carry around in your hand, especially for anyone used to a smaller point and shoot - you WILL want to use the neck strap that comes with this.) I found it to be user friendly with many dial modes that allow you to get started quickly. The only thing I did not immediately figure out how to do is take video, as I expected it to be a mode on the dial and not in the main on/off switch area unlike previous versions of this camera and my other point and shoots. Anything you can't figure out, the extensive user guide book that comes with it should provide answers. It displays a description of each mode on the screen as you rotate the dial. You will want to buy a screen protector and a "lenspen", this will get small smudges and lint on it really fast. The flash disperses light extremely well compared to any camera I've used before. I was able to take pictures of my cats from a few feet away, didn't get the laser eye effect and could see every single piece of hair and little details of their noses as if they were in outdoor light. There is only one mode that doesn't use flash when the camera detects that it is dark, so if you're taking pictures of animals outside be aware that even in sunlight its possible that your flash with pop up with a loud snap sound scaring your animal away unless you have it on the NO FLASH setting.

Battery life and memory cards: I got a 64gb SDXC card which in retrospect was overkill, each photo at the highest quality 18 mega pixels is about 7 to 9mb each, and after taking a thousand pictures in .jpg mode I was still about 2% full on my memory card space. This would likely be a good size for a week long vacation, but I transfer my images to my computer daily. ***Most importantly*** I recommend a high speed memory card (such as the "Sandisk Extreme Pro" 32 or 64gb cardsSanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 Flash Memory Card 95MB/s SDSDXPA-032G-AFFP) with the 95mb/sec transfer speed. This is very important because it affects your shot to shot speed, especially in burst mode shooting where you are taking continuous photos of moving objects. I noticed a huge difference in how many shots I could take in a row before the camera paused to write the files to the memory card before continuing shooting from the initial card I purchased (30mb/sec standard sdxc card would take several seconds to pause after 6 to 10 pictures or releasing the shutter, vs the 95mb/sec card I got afterwards that keeps shooting so fast that I typically stop taking photos before it even slows down.) If you're going to be photographing birds, children or sports I think it is the most important thing to invest in with this camera. If you're going to be shooting in RAW format for professional use the files are much larger (about 25mb each) so you'll need a larger memory card, and it will also slow down your continuous shooting speed, but for most casual photographers this file format is not necessary. Battery life is AMAZING when you do NOT use the live view touch screen or take video. I took pictures constantly, many in continuous shooting mode of birds outside, not too many with flash, for over 3 hours and still had a mostly full charge.

What I didn't like from my initial experience: This might seem like a no brainer for the experienced, but I was not expecting the camera to NOT allow me to take bad pictures. I thought I had a lemon when I repeatedly attempted to push down the shutter button to find it unresponsive. What really happened was, when you have the lens set to auto focus, you have to be the minimum focus distance away from your subject. Get too close and your camera will just act like you didn't press anything. Really I think that it should give you some sort of message on the screen to let you know that it's still alive and it just needs you to back up. It took me a while to find the little camera screen icon button that activates the "live view" (so you can see images on the screen as you take them.) I was disappointed to find that it makes the camera audibly work much harder with focusing. The booklet also warns that the camera can overheat and shut down if you use this mode too long, and I don't doubt that it adds quite a bit of wear and tear on your camera. It also drains your battery much faster, so I would suggest that you use the viewfinder only.

Image quality: I have quickly learned that this camera is capable of AMAZING shots, but it can look bad depending on the lens and lighting. I can't stress that enough, this camera can give you great detail, but LIGHT is your best friend for non-tripod shots, and all lenses are not created equal. With most lower cost zoom lenses you will see noise in your low light photos when you view them full size. You might think that the more expensive the lens, the better, but due to the cost of making a quality zoom (a range of millimeters such as the ones in the kits) vs the lower cost of manufacturing a fixed mm lens, you can actually find a really great lens for about $100! That would be the "EF 50mm f/1.8 II Fixed Focal Lens" which is commonly referred to by photographer's as the "nifty fifty". Check it out here on Amazon to see quite a few breathtaking photos taken with that lens. Its also very compact, lightweight, and basically makes your DSLR as close to a point and shoot for every day photography as you can get.

Two starter lenses gave me great results, the "EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II" (great for outdoors, anything from landscape and ducks/squirrels/birds in nearby trees, to close up flower pictures from standing 4ft focus distance away) and the "EF 50mm f/1.8 II Fixed Focal Lens" (which is great for outdoor people pictures, portraits, landscapes, flowers, is lightweight, low cost and provides beautiful bokeh and image quality, but has no zoom for wildlife.) If you're NOT shooting animals from 20+ feet away, don't often find yourself using the zoom because you can't reach a subject, and are interested in the low light capabilities of a lower f stop, the 50mm fixed lens is likely all you need to get started. If you feel the need to be more "zoomed out" AND require the lower f stop for stars/night photos/low light situations, there is also a 28mm f/1.8 lens but it runs about $450. If you're not sure what your photography style is yet, or know that you will need the wide angle ability for full landscape shots, then the kit lens may be the right starting point for you. I wasn't sure when I bought my kit if 135mm was enough reach for me, and since it wasn't, I was happy that I bought it from a no-hassle-returns store after I had a chance to try it out.

The type of camera user that I am: I take a lot of outdoor pictures including close up flowers to far away birds, animals and partial landscape pictures. I'm asking a lot from a single lens as far as range goes. Within days I found myself wishing for more zoom capabilities, coming from a point and shoot with 10x optical zoom I was actually a little surprised at the limited zoom distance on the 135mm. I bought the "EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II" lens and found that, for my purposes, it completely replaces my 18-135mm kit lens. As long as you can stand at least 4 feet away from your subject you can take the same quality close up shots with the 250mm lens, I got some really beautiful flower macros with this lens (clearly showing pollen on tiny half inch flowers.) The only bad thing I could say about the 55-250mm is that the upgrade from the 18-135mm wasn't as significant as I'd hoped as far as view distance. The few feet of visual distance you gain is worth it however, since it makes all the difference for not startling that chipmunk or bird. I found that I was able to take somewhat decent photos within 100 feet (with some noise when using automatic ISO settings and less sharpness than you might get with certain L series lenses,) GREAT photos when I was able to be within 20-30 feet, and PERFECT pictures when I was within 10 to 20 feet of my subject.

*For any beginners out there, a note about lens mm and f stops: the higher the mm number the more "zoomed in" you are to a subject. So if you have a lens at starts off at 55m you are already more zoomed in on the subject than if you had a lens that starts off at 18mm. I can see that this could be an issue if you are taking full body pictures of people in a room that you can't back up very far. For outdoor photography I found it unnecessary to have the lower range, as you can simply back up a couple feet to get a shot. In fact, I found the image quality of the 18-135mm lens very comparable to the 55-250mm for close up shots (such as flowers) I only had to change where I stood to get the picture. This was about 4 feet away with the 55-250 lens, and when holding the camera to my eye pointing downward I found that the top half of my shoe filled the entire picture. When looking into other lenses to purchase be sure to get one with IS (Image Stabilization) which I highly recommend making a priority UNLESS you are using a tripod. The "F" number in the title of lenses tells you how much light a lens can take in. The lower the number, the easier it is for a lens to do well in lower light settings. The low numbers (such as f/2.8 and lower) are usually referred to as "fast" lenses. It enables the camera to focus faster, have shallow depth of field (often resulting in beautiful bokeh- background blur patterns) and have higher shutter speeds. Many people will find the kit lenses acceptable for their uses even at f/5.6, so unless you know you will need a lower f number frequently, if the kit lens zoom range is good for you it may be a good place to start.

*************EDIT 05/04/2013*************
After a few weeks of using the camera, I've come to enjoy it even more. The burst mode has been very good with capturing birds in flight, with only a few occasions of freezing for a second (upon releasing the shutter after a series of shots) to write files before resuming shutter response. The battery life continues to amaze me after spending many hours continuously shooting (very frequently using the burst sports mode taking rapid fire shots) without running low on power.

I also tested out the "Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens" to extend my 250mm's range when I saw it on sale for about $470, but found that the image quality of its 75-250mm range was not as nice as my 55-250mm lens. For some reason when using automatic settings on my camera the amount of soft images I had using this 70-300mm lens were significantly more frequent than my 55-250mm lens. In addition to that negative it was not well suited for flower photography or much of anything close up, which I only mention because the versatility of that 55-250 lens is great. Perhaps I had a not so great copy, as my methods as a photographer didn't change between swapping out my 55-250 with the 70-300 lens, but my image quality certainly decreased. As far as bird watching goes, the 300mm range did increase my view distance and is better than being limited to the 250mm, however for the price I decided to return it to save up for the L series 100-400mm.

***YAY AWESOME LENS*** My "100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS" lens is giving me the shots I've always wanted to take, beautiful birds in flight and wildlife from 100 to 200 feet away in wonderful detail. Hummingbirds frozen in time, wood ducks with individual feathers visible at 200 feet. The push/pull zoom takes getting used to and it is very heavy weight. It's not super low-light friendly, but in most daylight situations the photographs turn out great. Those are the only "negatives" to this lens, but at the same time the weight is due to it being sturdy/quality built. This is an older model from Canon designed around 1998, but still sells well today simply because it's still one of the best out there in this price and zoom range.

The "Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II" with the 2x extender lens may have also been an option to get to the 400mm mark, however that combo was twice the price and I didn't want to take any image quality losses using a zoom extender. It is however widely regarded as one of the best lenses that Canon makes, so if 70-200mm works for your subject matter I highly recommend checking out the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II if the $2,199 price tag is within your budget. It's definitely on my wish list.

If you have had a good experience with a certain lens, I would love to hear from you about it. Thank you :)
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on August 19, 2014
For the past 4 years I shot a Canon Rebel XS and enjoyed it. I got my T5i today and was blown away by the vivid colors, the touch screen is a great thing. I bought the body only and shoot with a 18-135mm lens. This is a great combination and am very pleased with the purchase.
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on March 13, 2014
HISTORY_This is my first SLR camera of any kind. My first was a 1960s Brownie Kodak that used 110 film, then it was a 1980s Canon 35mm point n shoot, someone gave me a 1990s Fujifilm 2mp camera to get in the age of digital, the 2000s got more efficient with a Kodak P880 8mp semi-pro camera which was an awesome camera(they still sell for $100), and then Amazon forced me to get a Canon T5i. OK, not quite at gun point, but the deal was ridiculously good. After watching a YouTube review of the T3i vs. T5i, it was NO contest.

1st THOUGHTS_Canon almost got me on a 60x point n shoot at Costco, but I payed the bigger bucks, and am not sorry. I thought my Kodak pics with the nice S&K lens were great, but these are WOW. The only pictures that don't turn out and look great are the ones I have been setting up on manual, which produces wonderful results with a little more trial and error.

PICTURES_I got it with only the stock 18-55mm lens and some of the Macro shots of spring blossoms fill an HDTV space with jaw dropping colorific pics. I just ordered the $10 macro reversing ring to play around with some superduper close-ups without having to spend $3-400 on the real macro stuff. Just about everything set on auto that I've taken turns out sharp and clear, and seemed dud-proof. My friends are not the SLR owning crowd and have been very praising of the few shots I have shared.

CAMERA BODY_I'm a big guy, the camera is surprisingly light, and is not a problem to wander around with this hanging about your neck or in a side bag. Construction seems to be of strong gauge plastic with not much metal visible. Strap is very comfy too. There is NO(?) connector string for the lens cap. Spinning and flipout color screen is very useful. I have already used it for taking pics at goofy angles which make using the eye piece impossible. Controls, buttons, and switches are layed out nicely, The on-off switch and selector wheels literally feel like a Fisher-Price Toy they are so solidly built, and seem like they may last a while. Nothing on the camera feels flimsy. The battery is doubled locked in it's compartment, which I thought was an impressive touch. One drop and most batteries will barge their way out of a camera and damage the door.

WHAT'S INSIDE_Having read many reviews before purchasing this unit, I really liked the difference between the Canon and Nikon, and the ones that put me over to Canon, fast action photography and ease of controls use. Watch any sporting event and the only lenses you see on the sidelines are white Canon lenses for fast action play. The reviews appear to be correct. I read the manual on my Kindle, computer, and the book for the first week. I tried to get up to speed, and the software and controls on the camera were very simple to follow. The camera actually gives you multiple ways to accomplish a software change with wheels, direction buttons, and a super nice touch screen display. Touch screen is one of the best parts of the camera. I tell people to read directions, do they listen, no. I do, and it makes difference no matter what the electronics. Go to YouTube and watch videos, it helps a lot.

The battery charges fully in 1-2 hours. Having had the Kodak P880 before this did help ease into learning how to operate the camera. Read the directions and take pictures of anything as you go and see what they look like. I poked my head out the front door and took a handheld 3 second night exposure of streaky car traffic lights. A little unfocused but I learned how to do it when I have tripod in hand. I went back through some initial pics and post effected them with grainy BW or amped colors for some very nice artsy visuals. The software also defaults to save your original pic. The software discs that comes in the box provide manuals, and very good picture editing tools. They call them professional, but it isn't Adobe, I know that much, and does all I need it to do.

HD VIDEO_I may add to this later. The STM lens focusing system is a must for video. I watched a YouTube video and the focusing is silent compared to lenses of the past. Even the USM lenses were adding noise to the video, just like my old Kodak did. I have turned it on, and the STM focusing is as advertised, quiet! The T5i is STM approved. T3i...NOT.

FINAL NOTES_Even if you just use the no-brainer settings, the camera is well worth it. With IS(image stabilization), new STM(works on a sliding principle) lens focusing, and other Canon technology, the T5i will make your memories foolproof. There are pros doing reviews here on more technical items and I will not try to offer that level of reflection. I know how to build a great computer, but have no where near mastered what this T5i is capable of. Many reviews say this is a good starter $700 camera, and I believe them now, but like the computers I build, you need to do more than check mail. AND read the directions!! Professional photographers are spending thousands on just the body of a camera. I'm not there yet, or maybe never. Right now, the T5i, looks pro enough.

UPDATE 2015-06-24: I still really like my T5i!! After a year and a half of use and several thousand clicks to boot, I know what it can and can't do well. I have even started doing some research into the 70D, but not the LCD tiltless 7D, which is the top of the line APS-C. I'm going to update some pictures here also. The T5i pictures are always downloaded to my computer and HDTV. These are ridiculously awesome viewed on a big screen. My friend has a very nice iMac Apple computer and they do not measure up to the HDTV at 46 inches or larger.

I just returned form Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Lassen volcano, and several zoos, with picture you can only stare at in amazement. Vacation photos and video never looked so good. The T5i has a 4 second video snapshot feature that stiches all the clips together for one movie. Your friends will love you, because they don't need to watch home movies lasting more than a few minutes. At zoos, this is a huge bonus. The T5i is not the pinnacle of cameras but it can make you look like a pro to your non techie friends, and easily. One more tip on video, and this is fun. Load the supplied software, connect your camera to the PC, convert some of your favorite music to WAV(only), download the WAV files to your SD card via the usb cable, and voila, you hear your music instead of the low quality sound picked up by the in-camera mike. Turn off the mike so that it is silent. Also, turn on the audio wind filter if you want that sound. I listen to my videos with the new Sherlock Holmes BBC soundtrack, goes with everything.

I really thought the versatile LCD screen would be really nice for photo taking, but is just useful for some video and video viewing. The eye piece viewer is still the best for picture taking. One thing I just learned, I have always left the image stabilizer on. I have started using the camera without it and have had some revelating(new word) results. The image stabilizer holds the camera back from doing instant focus. Getting a picture of a bee has been impossible with the IS on, but off, the T5i will focus instantly, instead of hunting for AF, and then it is too late. This is also the dilemma for video on the T5i, and has tendency to hunt for focus. If you do the 4 second clip video, sometimes half the clip is horribly blurred before snapping into clarity.

Look at a guy like Ansel Adams(genius), the guy could out shoot 99.9 percent of the waking camera public with a shoe box pinhole camera. His favorite 'til the day he died was not a very a fancy camera in the least. It will always boil down to how good and persistent you are with whatever tool you have in the box.

The t4i and t5i in the hands of real pros can produce stunning pictures, but again, one is older than the other. The main reason Canon dumped the t4i, and you won't get them to admit it, was too much zinc in the rubber grip handles. This produced several episodes of allergic skin reactions/discoloration of the grip itself, and corporations run away from potential lawsuits with track shoes laced up. Since the t4i was dumped hurriedly, Canon decided to add a few new great wrinkles to the mix, mainly the STM lens line up, and the battery will get you another 100 shots per charge(big plus). I think those two and no lawsuits are winners.

The 70d and 7d(top o' line of APS-C) are just above this T5i in one and two position. Canon's 6D is the entry level full frame(non APS-C) but suffers the same video problems as the t5i, or so I hear. The HD video performance on the 7's is outstandingly better than the t5i which sometimes has a tendency to hunt for focus with the image stabilizer on. 70d is another $300 more than the t5i and has better specs. 70d is $1,100 with two lenses, plus extras. It even has the new dual AF, which really helps on the video end. I purchased the 55-250mm and it has been the biggest boost to my picture abilities. Only until a recent camping trip did I long for a 400mm, when I got some decent pics of an Osprey across the river and high on a branch. My best nature shot so far. Generally, the 250mm range gets you almost everything, and nicely, I will do a separate review of that lens. Some reviewers claim it is in L glass class, and I believe it, but have not used L myself.

The T5i with two lenses, and extras sells for $800, which is an unbelievable deal. The 70D is $1,100-1,200 and sports better specs than the T5i, with two lenses and extras. For $300-400 more, if the piggy bank allows, buy the 70D, with the new dual AF system, wifi, and more. So much for this update.
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on May 14, 2013
I upgraded to this model from the Rebel XTi I bought 6 or 7 years ago. The two cameras are night and day so I won't compare them. I will only say that camera technology has come a long way in 7 years. This camera can do pretty much everything the top grade professional cameras can do. I would probably be mad if I was a professional and invested a couple thousand dollars in a camera and now the entry level SLRs can pretty much do the same thing.

I've invested quite a bit in Canon lenses so I wanted to stay with the Canon brand even though Nikon has some pretty nice equipment. The only issue I have with the camera is the size. I have pretty big hands and the camera is really hard for me to hold because it is small. This will probably not be a problem for most people but it drove me crazy with my XTi and it is the same with the T5i. I knew this would be a problem so I also purchased the battery grip. The canon battery grip adds more weight to the camera but it also makes it feel more secure in my hand. The battery grips allows you to use 2 batteries which is also cool. The additional power also helps when you're using larger lenses. The battery grip cost me another $130 because I bought the Canon brand. There are some less expensive generic brand grips that are available. I would recommend the grip to anyone regardless of the size of their hands. It's a nice addition to the camera.

All in all, the camera is another quality product from Canon. There are video reviews on Youtube that go into a lot more detail than I can every give. I don't think you can go wrong with this camera.
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If you're somebody that wants to get into shooting more advanced photography then just point and shoot or cell phone photography then this is a good place to start. The main reasons are they allow you full manual controls and the interchangeable lenses. These allow you to change so much of how the cameras functions in different lighting situations. And over the last five years Canon digital SLR cameras have become very capable of 1080p high definition video cameras also. Over the course of this review I get a mention some basics about digital photography that can help you if you're a first-time camera buyer. Below I will give you a few tips that I've learned is I become a more dance photographer just in case you're new to using DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras.

I do want to point out that you can save a few dollars by getting the older models like the T3i but still get the full manual controls like this camera. Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and DIGIC 4 Imaging with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens at the time of writing this it was about $150 cheaper( If you search around you can probably get it for half the price). In my opinion it's still a very capable camera when compared the T5i. And if you're on a budget is definitely a good alternative. And that way you can get an additional lens or two. And that's the thing you want to do with a camera like this is get a few different lenses.

1. The number one reason to get a camera like this is the full manual controls over such things as shutter speed and aperture. Most point-and-shoot digital cameras that you can buy today for under $200 don't allow you to adjust these things but really if you're serious about photography learning how shutter speed and aperture work together to create photographs is very important. And the fact that this camera allows you to control these features and so many more manually means you can make great photographs. In point number two I will explain how shutter speed and aperture work together but just know that they are very important and having control of them means you're in a make better photos. Notice I said make better photos instead of take better photos that is because by learning how shutter speed and aperture work together you will be able to create photos where regular point-and-shoot cameras would fail.

2. Interchangeable lenses are a MAJOR reason you will want this camera. If you search Canon lenses on Amazon you will see that they offer a wide variety of lenses for this camera. Take for example this 50mm lens that everybody calls the nifty 50: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens The best part about this amazing lens is that it's less than $100. And the cool thing is you can get a lot of different lenses relatively cheap for these Canon cameras.

The lens that comes with this camera is ok but it's lowest f-stop is 5 and that is bad in low light situations. I definitely recommend the 50mm linked above as it helps learning the manual controls of this camera.

HOW APERTURE AND SHUTTER SPEED WORK: (The following was taken from my 50mm lens review but it walks you through understanding shutter speed and aperture)
Here I'll explain how the f-stop or aperture priority works on digital SLR cameras. Basically the aperture is a circle inside the lens that as you go up in your f-stop from 1.8 to 2.2 to 3.0 and beyond it shrinks the size of this circle in the lens. The shrinking of the circle from a higher f-stop allows less light to pass through to the sensor. The lower the f-stop i.e. 1.8 allows you to shoot at faster shutter speeds in low light situations because the circle in the lens allows more light to pass through because of the lower aperture. Here's an example say are in a well lit room and you're shooting your child (yes that sounds very weird but it's a funny joke anyway). Generally indoors you need to shoot at 1/60 of a second with most lenses they'll instantly autofocus at their lowest f-stop which would be about 4.0. But with this lens since it can go down to 1.8 on the f-stop you could shoot the same picture at 1/125 shutter speed. Resulting in about the same light but avoiding any motion blur that plagues low light photography. Now needs to be noted that as you drop your f-stop you lose depth of field. I.e. how much of your photo will be in focus and how much will be blurred. It's the effect you see on portraits where the person is in focus but the background is blurry.

Now I know many people will probably shoot holes in the foregoing explanation of f-stop but I'm not a really advanced photographer but I get how shutter speed and aperture priority work with each other. Buying a lens like this can only help somebody understand how both are related and work together.

Here's what I recommend that you do:
1. Enable manual mode on your camera this mode allows you to set both the aperture for the lens a.k.a. the f-stop and the shutter speed a.k.a. how long the shutter is opened while taking a photograph.
2. Drop the aperture or f-stop to 1.8 on this lens
3. Set your shutter speed to 1/60 of a second
4. take a picture
5. Look at your photograph notice how much is dark and light about it how sharp it is etc.
6. Go up to the next shutter speed 1/90th of the second or 1/125 and take another photograph.
7. now compare both of the photographs you took
8. to change the shutter speed again going up another step taken other photograph now compare all three photographs

If you continue to do this adjust shutter speed while knowing what your aperture is you're going to notice how shutter speed affects the lighting of your photographs all you need to do then is start changing your aperture and repeat the process of stepping through your shutter speeds eventually you'll understand how the aperture works in correlation with shutter speed. I became a proficient photographer using manual controls in less than a month just by doing this simple practice. I would recommend starting outdoors on a well lit day because then you will see how you can adjust your aperture and your shutter speeds to really make good photographs.

On the top of this camera there's a dial on the dial there is the Tv mode for shutter priority aka you can adjust the shutter speed up and down while the camera adjusts the aperture. There is also Av mode where the camera allows you to adjust the aperture of the lens while it handles the shutter speed. And then finally on that dial there is the magic M and that is manual mode and that's where you get to set the shutter speed and aperture for yourself. If you follow the tips and step-by-step above even if you just use the lens included you will get better at photography.

3. HD video: One of my favorite things about this line of cameras is you can shoot video at 1080p which is very high-resolution and looks great on high definition televisions and even on YouTube. And with the fact you can use interchangeable lenses you can really start to do some amazing things with your video. Dropping your f-stop to 1.8 on the 50mm lens and being able to shoot 1080p video is really incredible.

Those are my three main reasons why these canon cameras are the BEST for new photographers and even videographers nowadays.

I also TOTALLY RECOMMEND getting the battery grip: Opteka Battery Pack Grip / Vertical Shutter Release for Canon Rebel T2i, T3i, T4I, T5i,Digital SLR Cameras with 2 Extra LP-E8 Extended Life High Capacity Batteries, Wireless Infrared Remote and Lens Cleaning Kit They add so much to this camera as far as feel. Plus the extra battery life is so useful. And it's less than $60 with two extra batteries.

Hope this helps thanks for reading this wall of text. If you have any questions feel free to post them here and I'll try to get back to you.
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on January 2, 2014
See my review of the Pentax K30 for more information. I am not a professional photographer. I have taken pictures since 1964 with film 35mm cameras and digital cameras (after the prices came down), and I once had my own darkroom for photo developing etc. I have read numerous books on photography, attended photography classes, and for years took photography seriously. Over the last 10 years that interest has wained somewhat; however, I still read about and enjoy photography.

I purchased this camera after returning a Pentax K30. After testing the Pentax against my SX 40 (Canon) and the T5i (after the return) I found the T5i produced better photos. I thought the T5i photos were sharper with better resolution, on extreme magnification on my computer, than either of the two cameras mentioned above. In my opinion the SX 40 was superior to the K 30 but that is another story. The shots were taken at various magnifications, shutter speeds, f-stops, and lighting then transferred to my computer (an Apple), and then closely cropped and magnified to over 200 times, then compared. The shots were on maximum JPEG and RAW formats. The Canon results were excellent on max JPEG and RAW.

The camera is complex. It does a lot and allows the photographer to use numerous controls to get the shot he wants. The problem is the number of available controls can get confusing, and the manual isn't so hot. Buy one of the after market books on this camera if you are not familiar with this style or brand of SLR. I have used my SX 40 for years, but this camera is different and will take some getting used to. I bought the book entitled The Canon T5i Experience by Douglas J. Klostermann and found it to be very good. This is a digital book available here on Amazon. The camera handles well, but maybe not quite as well as the K30 as far as the controls go. Still, it will not take long to get accustomed to the camera if my experience is any guide.

The camera focuses on automatic very quickly, even on relatively flat surfaces. With my eyes the ability to focus quickly on automatic is critical. I am satisfied with the performance of the T5i automatic focus. I have blown through more than one battery charge already and the battery has a good life between charges (although my SX 40 is better). The screen on the back is bright and easy to read. In addition, the screen allows you to touch it to give the camera commands. I did not think this would be all that useful when I purchased the Canon T5i; however, I was wrong. This feature is wonderful! I am very glad I bought a camera with the touch control screen.

I have edited several photos with the camera by now and the results have been pleasing. A few sunset photos had a lot of junk off to the sides that needed to go so the pictures were highly cropped and then substantially blown up to get the sunset just right. No problems. I manipulated the color as well as the exposure and other settings and the results were great (used Apple i-photo, and Photoshop Elements).

Even with the 18 - 135mm lens the camera isn't all that heavy; although the 135mm lens makes it somewhat large. The 135mm gives a fair amount of magnification (the SX 40 gives a lot more magnification) and the anti-shake (anti-vibration) system seems to work very well. Note the anti-virbrartion is in the LENS and not the camera in the Canon system. This makes the lenses more expensive than other cameras with the anti-shake built into the camera (Pentax and Olympus that I know of).

The anti-vibration may be important for you because of the mirror in the SLR. In these cameras the mirror flips up out of the way so the light can reach the sensor to take the picture. These mirrors are not minor and tiny things. The camera operator can feel and distinctly hear the slap of the mirror as it moves up for the shot and then back down so you can see the subject through the viewfinder. I get the anti-shake feature because I am old and shake anyway, but the mirror slap can easily add shake to your photos and reduce their sharpness; thus, I think the anti-shake system is important. The one on the Canon T5i works very well for me.

I am happy with the Camera.

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on August 27, 2014
I think this camera is an amazing buy in this price range. I was able to unpack the contents & begin shooting good pictures IMMEDIATELY, using the included partially charged battery & 18-135mm STM lens. You will however, need to supply an SD Card as this is not included.

Having used the full-auto settings and the advanced settings, I'm very pleased with the purchase and I think anyone will be very happy with it right out of the box. If you've got TWICE the money to spend ($1450 at this time), then I would recommend stepping up to the new EOS 70D. Yes, it's worth it if you have the $$.

If this is your first DSLR/SLR, then two things:
1) I envy YOU, what a great camera to enter the world of photography with!!
2) You've got a lot to learn, I highly recommend you get this book: Canon EOS Rebel T5i/700D For Dummies

This is my 2nd DSLR; I've purchased this to replace my Canon T3. Although they are both REBEL series cameras, this truly is an upgrade over the T3:
1. It's got the new DIGIC 5 Image Processor (Every other Rebel has DIGIC 4) - This is quite an improvement, especially with white balance.
2. More ISO options - in combo w/the new DIGIC 5, this is a pretty big deal
3. It's faster... can shoot up to 5.0 frames per second, continuously - That's a big deal if you shoot sports/action/aviation.
4. You get 18MP - That's fairly significant.
5. In-camera HDR Combines multiple exposures - You probably will want this feature, even if it doesn't interest you right now.
6. That little 'i' lets you use a wireless remote shutter release - may be significant, depends on what YOU need.
7. Slightly larger LCD (3" vs 2.7") that flips out - significant.
8. Touch screen - Mostly Bells & Whistles here, but I do find myself using it at times.

What does this boil down to, you ask?
Better images/video, high ISO performance, touchscreen, less shutter lag, a new body sculpt (with textured grip), real-time preview of Creative Filters in Live View mode, a redesigned new mode dial that turns 360 degrees, and a few other things.

The 18-135/3.5-5.6 STM is the best consumer-class kit lens Canon has ever made. If you upgrade, it'll be for speed, or range, not because of image quality.

If you're going to be shooting in RAW mode, I recommend getting AT LEAST a 32GB card, if not a 64GB card. A 128GB card would be overkill. The included battery is a champ. It lasts a good long time & charges quickly.

Only a couple of negatives:
1) In typical Canon fashion, the instruction manual isn't very good... although it IS an improvement over the one that came with my T3. I'd recommend the book I linked above, it's good for noobs & pros alike.

2) There is no memory card included. Even a tiny one would be appreciated for the completely new user to start shooting right away when buying the 'kit' version. It may be the 1st D-SLR for some, but it's probably not anyone's 1st digital camera, so you probably have one of these lying around already.

In summary:
Is it a good camera for the $$: Yes, 5/5
Is it a good camera in general: Yes, 4.5/5 (Stunning picture quality)
Is the 'kit' worthwhile: Yes, 5/5 (including even a tiny SD Card would be nice for the digital camera newbie)
Good instructions: Barely, 3/5

Would I buy it again: YES
Recommend to a friend: YES
Overall rating: 4.5/5
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Does the Canon Rebel T5i work as a compromise "not wicked expensive" digital SLR? And is it better than previous versions? There are some advantages over the T3i and T4i. If you're shopping for an entry-level Canon DSLR, there is a short summary at the end of this review if you want to jump to the chase.

I chose another Canon because I'm familiar with the Rebel setup. If you are looking for more professional gear, you should investigate full frame cameras and higher end versions of DSLR's as they have technical advantages (Eliminating the through-the-lens cropping and noise, to name a few.) I'm a vacation hobby photographer so I don't need to spend bucks on more power than I need. I ended up with the T5i after a lot of agonizing, and I'm VERY happy with it. It worked flawlessly, right out of the box and I instantly enjoyed the upgraded, touch LCD and improved focus screen, the textured coating for good grip, and the improved resolution and speed. I'm very happy with my choice. But--will you be? And how can you save money on buying a DSLR?

A Little Background

I needed upgrade my Canon EOS DS6041 which is one of the oldest Rebels. Canon Rebel DSLR's are "entry level DSLR" or digital single lens reflex cameras, a step up from the point-and-shoot because they have interchangeable lenses and you are not bound to the optics provided on your camera body. One thing to understand (this took me a while!) --many DSLRs do not take a picture with the full frame. Your old film SLR took a picture 24mm x 36mm. On a Digital SLR, the sensor is sized to crop the picture, as if you were cutting off the outside edges. If a sensor is 24mm x 36mm, then there is no crop factor, since it covers the same area as 35mm film. The Rebel sensor is equivalent to one of those compact APC-S cameras, so the field is 1.6x smaller than a 35mm film frame, or about 22.2mm x 14.8mm compared to the 24mm x 36mm. If you want full-frame, you have to move up to a different line of DSLR (and spend more.)

The entry-level DSLR field is crowded with models and this is not helped by Canon issuing new models on the heels of older ones and selling them simultaneously. The good news is that the older models are not obsolete, and their prices have dropped, so the buyer has a lot of choice, even if it's confusing. I struggled so much with choosing an upgrade, it took me months to figure out what I needed. I ended up with the T5i and I'm quite happy about it. Depending on your needs, this may be "the one." But you could choose other models and spend less, or spend more depending on your own needs. Maybe my experience can help you narrow it down.


The general feature set is:

Resolution 18 megapixels

3X Optical zoom

Optical sensor size 14.9 x 22.3mm

CMOS Optical sensor

Optical Image stabilizer

Video capable

Flip screen-fold out screen LCD with touch screen

Speed ("film" speed) range: ISO 100 - ISO 12800/ 25600

Video Specs: H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/30p/ 25p/24p; 720/60p/ 50p Video Snapshot Mode included

Stereo Mic

Autofocus: 9-pt AF all cross-type; center cross to f2.8

Release date: April 2013


Wifi (but you can add an SD card that does this; you have upgrade to a 70D to get this onboard.)


No Time-Lapse setting

No Multiple Exposure setting


The camera body is covered with a textured rubberized coating. My old Rebel (DS6041, 10yrs old) had an aluminum body with a rubberized grip area. Over time, the rubber coating rubbed off where finger oils accumulated. Seems Canon may have issues with coatings because there is a rumor that the T5i came out to replace the T4i so soon (barely half a year) due to reports that some people had an allergic reaction to the T4i coating. I can't tell you if this is true. I didn't even want to go there to find out. It was one reason I chose the T5i over the T4i even though they are practically the same.

The wheel control on top has been changed from the T4i to put some night exposure features and backlight settings under "SCM" rather than all on the wheel. Not sure I like this: don't care about night shooting being more work to access, but backlighting is something I get concerned about on the fly and I needed practice to get set up quickly. It's well to work through your most common settings so you can be ready and not have to stumble through when out shooting in the field.


Another reason to choose the T5i was the 18-55 lens has been upgraded with better, faster focus motor EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM versus the older USM. I use a standard 18-55mm even though much of the time, I'm shooting with a 70-250mm or 70-300mm zoom. Depending on what I'm doing, I don't like to change lenses, so I do use the standard lens. If you do too, this is a good reason to choose a T5i over older models. If you do NOT use this lens and buy your lenses separately to choose your preferred lens, then either the body alone or an older body version would do just fine.

The LCD screen has been giving a stronger coating for more durability.

The live-view in video is 60fps, not 30fps. I didn't care, as I mainly do still shots. If you do video more often, you might care as you can review your video real-time and see a better rendition of it.


This camera is a lot lighter than my old DSLR and so is the lens. (Helps with handholding--less shaking if it's lighter to hold.) The textured surface is nice and grippy. The BIG improvement other than the much higher resolution is the LCD touch screen--larger, easier to use. The addition of video is handy, though I'd still possibly carry my tiny old FlipVideo because if you run a lot of video, you run down the battery. A spare battery, fully charged, is a must to keep with you, and a travel plug for the charger because it's wide-ranging 110-220v, if you go outside the US.

The better resolution (6.3mp to 18mp) is obviously a huge step-up for me. I can enlarge photos digitally with less noise. The improvement in low light speed is also a big deal. I like night photography; it was practically impossible with my old DSLR.


This is the best digital camera I've ever used. The ease of the touch screen that swings out lets me do manual shots as well as videos with perfect ease. I have done everything from night shots to action to video and I can't believe how much I enjoy using this camera.

Comparisons and how to save money:

T5i vs T4i: Better standard lens (if you get a lens plus body), 60FPS live view for video, new coating (rumored) on body

T5i vs T3i: Many differences (many on T4i as well) Autofocus is Center Cross on T3i, Continuous AF-All cross-type on T5i. Continuous shooting speed 3.7 FPS on T3i vs 5 FPS on T5i. "Film" speed range ISO 100 - ISO 6400 / 12800 on T3i vs ISO 100 - ISO 12,800 / 25600 on the T5i. TOUCH screen is new on the T4i-T5i; the T3i doesn't have this.

If you are new to Digital SLR's and moving up from Point & Shoot you can save quite a bit of money on the popular T3i and never miss a beat. If you are more experienced with DSLR's, the choice between T3i, T4i, and T5i would lean towards T5i expecially if you shop around because you can find some good deals. I bought my T5i directly from Canon as a refurb on a special sale and it saved 30% of the price. There are sales and special rebate offers constantly, so it pays to shop around.

If you are verging on the professional and find limitations (noise, speed, other issues) with entry-level SLR's and price is not an issue, the 70D may be a better choice or going with a full frame DSLR.
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