Canon Rebel T5 Review (EOS 1200)

Canon Rebel T5 Review (EOS 1200)

With the Canon Rebel T5 (named EOS 1200D in most of the world and Rebel T5 in the US)  Canon presents a new entry-level DSLR, which with its resolution increased to 18 megapixels wants to produce more detailed images than its 12 megapixel resolution predecessor model 1100D. To make photography easier for beginners, Canon offers a matching “companion” app for smartphones and tablets, which not only explains the camera button by button, but also offers workshops of various levels of difficulty and helpful photo tips.

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Sophisticated flash system with many functions
  • Handy, ergonomically well formed DSLR

Cons

  • Principle-related restrictions for video recordings
  • Extremely slow autofocus in Live View mode
  • No modern functions such as WLAN, HDR or Sweeping Panorama
  • Simple plastic housing
  • Picture quality not quite at DSLR level

 

 

Canon was the first manufacturer to make digital SLR cameras affordable for the masses. Thus it is only logical that the manufacturer presents with the current Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) again a DSLR, which is above all one thing: inexpensive. Although the Rebel T5 including set lens easily undercuts the price of some noble compact, the buyer expects of course rightly that the camera offers all advantages which are generally said to a DSLR: A very good image quality, good ergonomics and above all a preferably unlimited expandability. Can the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) meet these expectations? Our compact test looks for answers to this question and clarifies which limitations you have to accept with the entry-level model in the EOS system.

The 18-megapixel CMOS sensor in APS-C size (crop factor 1.6) is supported by the Digic 4 image processor for data processing. Together they create three series images per second. The Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) has an autofocus with nine measuring points when using the SLR viewfinder. In live view on the 7.5 centimeter large, 460,000 pixel resolution screen, on the other hand, you have to make do with the much slower contrast autofocus of DSLRs. Videos are recorded by the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) in full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. A manual tone level control and the possibility to control the exposure parameters are available.

In photo mode, the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) offers not only automatic, scene modes and the classic exposure programs P, A, S and M with manual control of parameters, but also creative filters to give your photos a unique character. Among the total of five filters are a miniature and a toy camera effect or even a fisheye distortion. The filters can also be applied to the finished image after shooting, so that the original is also present. Of course, the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) can also save in the raw data format, where the user develops and processes the photos afterwards on the PC, offering much better editing possibilities with higher quality than in the JPEG format.

Since 2014 the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) is available at a price of almost 400 EUR. The set with the EF-S 18-55mm IS II should cost just under 500 EUR. By the way, for the Rebel T5 there is a range of a good 70 EF-S and EF lenses available. The companion app for the camera also contains detailed information about this and other EOS accessories.

 

The Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) now has an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor in APS-C size (Crop Factor 1.6). [Photo: Canon]

Ergonomics and Workmanship

The fact that the developers of the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) were under a strict austerity dictate, one notices immediately if one takes them in the hand: her case is unmistakably made of plastic. While other manufacturers often try to conceal this fact with a few applications or a fancy surface, Canon saves itself such efforts. The Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D)radiates the brittle charm of plastic and elastane. By the way, this also applies to the Canon EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS II set lens, where even the bayonet mount is made of plastic. However, the extensive use of polycarbonates has one advantage: the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) is extremely light in relation to its size, ready for use including the set lens it weighs just 670 grams.

For a DSLR the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) is relatively slim, nevertheless, the camera lies excellently in the hand. This is due above all to the handle which is pulled far forward. However, Canon would have liked to corrugate the plastic on the handle and the thumb cavity even more. Because the only slightly roughened surface means that a lot of grip is lost with wet hands. The operating elements are arranged ergonomically, so the most important functions can be called up without a long search. Operation is further facilitated by the interactive information display, on which the displayed parameters can be changed directly. This would be even more comfortable if the display were touch sensitive, but you have to do without a touch display in the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D). In comparison to its predecessor, Canon has approximately doubled the resolution of the 3 inch display, but it doesn’t have a really high resolution of around 460,000 dots.

 

The companion app for theCanon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) not only explains every camera button and function, but also offers workshops and shooting tips as well as extensive accessory information, for example on the approximately 70 EF and EF-S lenses. [Photo: Canon]

The Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) offers live view, but mainly you will shoot with this DSLR with the view through the viewfinder. The viewfinder image is produced with an inexpensive pentascope construction, it is a little dark and above all very small. And unlike the electronic viewfinder of a mirrorless system camera, the DSLR viewfinder principle shows very little information. In live mode the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) brings the viewfinder picture on the display, but this is not really useful in practice. This is mainly due to the autofocus, which works frighteningly slowly in live view mode. Several seconds will pass before he has found his destination. In addition, the display is rigidly installed and also reflects in bright sunshine.

The battery and memory card share a common compartment accessible from the bottom of the camera. Unfortunately, the space for the energy dispenser is rather limited, so that the rather small battery only suffices for about 500 pictures. For data transfer, Canon has equipped the Rebel T5 with one USB and one HDMI socket each, which disappears under a cheap-looking soft plastic cover. Under the same flap there is also a socket for connecting a cable remote control.

The Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) not only has the classic SLR viewfinder with 9-point autofocus, but also Live View on the 7.5 cm screen with 460,000 pixels resolution. [Photo: Canon]

Equipment

With the housing and the viewfinder of the Rebel T5 Canon saved strongly. Does this also apply to the equipment of the entry-level DSLR? First of all there are all the important basic functions that both inexperienced and advanced photographers want. A fully automatic system takes all the settings from you if you wish, but does not allow you to intervene. Those who value this, switch to the “creative automatic”, in which the depth of field can be influenced, after all, and which makes series shots possible. In addition, there are five subject programs, for example for portrait or landscape photography. That’s not exactly an abundant offer, but at least the motif programs can be set comfortably via the mode dial. The Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) does not know further special functions, for example a HDR program or a panorama automatic.

Who does not want to rely on the automatisms, can operate the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) also as a pure exposure automatics or control the exposure even manually. If desired, the handy DSLR takes exposure series, whereby it offers a pleasingly large number of configuration options. The autofocus of the Rebel T5 works so straight still briskly, sharply set and released has it after approximately 0.4 seconds. However, with only nine AF sensors, it is not exactly lavishly equipped. On the other hand, it is practical that you can switch between autofocus and manual focus directly on the set lens. Another switch on the lens activates or deactivates the optical image stabilizer.

When it comes to flash, the small Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) is a grown-up. With a guide number of 9.2 (manufacturer’s specification), your on-board flash is powerful enough to illuminate a portrait in backlight or to light up a smaller room. It’s also clever that Canon has provided the camera with an auxiliary light that helps to avoid red-flashing eyes. It’s a pity, though, that this auxiliary light doesn’t also support the autofocus – instead, the Rebel T5 fires a powerful flash burst. If the on-board flash is not enough, the camera can be equipped with a powerful system flash unit, Canon has not forgotten a corresponding ISO shoe.

When it comes to video recording, the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) has more to offer than its predecessor. Canon’s current entry-level DSLR now records in Full HD resolution, but at a rather modest frame rate of 30 fps maximum. Compared to a compact or mirrorless system camera, however, the Rebel T5 has other limitations when shooting video: it can’t continuously adjust the focus, it only rattles away when the shutter release button is pressed and then takes forever to find its target. In addition, the viewfinder image can only be checked on the display when the arm is extended – not the best conditions for unshaky video recordings. It is also no longer completely up-to-date that the Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) records the film sound only in mono.

One must renounce with the Rebel T5 on a WiFi connection to the mobile device as well as on a GPS receiver. The editing options in playback mode are also modest; after all, images can be altered with an effect filter during playback.

Image quality

Why should one still buy a DSLR today whose level of equipment is easily reached by a light compact camera? Because of the image quality of course! And for this the Canon Rebel T5 brings the best conditions on paper: A sensor in APS-C format, for example, which, with a resolution of around 18 megapixels, also does not appear to be too highly developed. And of course an interchangeable lens that adorns the lettering of a large and traditional camera manufacturer.

In the test with the testing software, it is immediately obvious that the ISO sensitivity is about a third of the aperture setting. However, the anon Rebel T5 does not deliver correspondingly brighter pictures by any means, apparently it already considers this circumstance. However, no great advantage can be derived from this. The signal-to-noise ratio is only good up to ISO 200, and already at ISO 1,600 the curve drops below the critical limit of just acceptable 35 dB. It’s hardly surprising that brightness noise is already visible at ISO 1.600 and becomes annoying from ISO 3.200 on. In this respect, it is only logical that Canon believes the anon Rebel T5 should have a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800, and ISO auto is even limited to ISO 6,400.

In the matter of picture noise the anon Rebel T5 is thus not completely on the level, which one would hope perhaps from a DSLR. This also applies to the grain size of the disturbances, which is somewhat high. How much the camera’s internal noise reduction is struggling is illustrated by the measurement of the texture sharpness. From ISO 3.200 at the latest, it decreases in such a way that the images appear soft and lacking in detail. The white balance is very precise. The anon Rebel T5 reproduces colours overall very neutral but strongly saturated. This results in a strong image impression, to which the crisply tuned tonal value curve contributes the rest.

In, for example 2010, the image quality of the anon Rebel T5 would have surely been a storm of enthusiasm. But in today’s competitive environment (first review was in 2014 and this update is from 2020), the camera only “survives” at best. This also applies to the set lens. In wide-angle position, the zoom shows what it is capable of in principle, as it has a very high resolution of 50 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm). But in the telephoto position, the 3x zoom weakens noticeably and with a maximum resolution of 45 lp/mm barely exceeds the level of a good compact camera. On top of that, the set lens is quite prone to chromatic aberrations and shows correspondingly pronounced color fringes at contrast edges. Added to this is an annoyingly high distortion in the wide-angle range, which makes flat motifs appear as if they were glued to an advertising pillar.

Conclusion

DSLR buyers expect an easy-to-use camera with at least a decent range of functions and above-average image quality. But just in the last point the anon Rebel T5 cannot convince so completely. In terms of image noise and detail rendition it hardly stands out from a high-quality compact camera, and the set lens is also mediocre at best. There are also gaps in the functional scope. Thus the anon Rebel T5 is missing assistance functions like a panorama, WiFi or GPS does not know it likewise. On the other hand, the camera offers Canon’s very sophisticated flash system. Video recordings are not quite the strength of the anon Rebel T5, principle conditionally the autofocus cannot adjust the sharpness continuously during video shooting. In contrast, the ergonomics of the entry-level DSLR is really successful. The camera sits comfortably in the hand, with dedicated buttons and switches for the most important settings. But the biggest pound of the anon Rebel T5 is that it can be equipped with a wide variety of lenses. Despite all criticism: Who looks for a DSLR to the favorable course, the anon Rebel T5 should absolutely include in his considerations.

Profile

Profile
Manufacturer Canon
Model Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D)
Price approx. 420 dollars at market launch
Sensor Resolution 18.6 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 5.184 x 3.456
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens Canon EF-S 3.5-5.6/18-55mm IS II
Filter thread 58 mm
Viewfinder Pentas Mirror
Field of view 95 %
Enlargement 0,8-fold
Dioptre compensation -2.5 to +0.5 dpt.
LCD monitor 3″
Resolution 460.000
rotatable
swiveling
as Viewfinder yes
Video output PAL/NTSC ,HDMI
Automatic programming yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long time exposure yes
Scene modes
Portrait yes
Children/baby yes
Landscape yes
Macro yes
Sports/action yes
further 5
Exposure metering Multi-field, center-weighted Integral, Center, Spot
Flash yes
Flash connection System hot shoe
Remote release Cable
Interval recording
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode yes
Format MOV
Codec AVC/H.264
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
at frame rate 30 frames/s
Sensitivity
automatically 100-6.400
manually ISO 100-12,800
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Incandescent lamp yes
Miscellaneous Shadow, flash, manual color temperature selection
Manually yes
Autofocus
Number of measurement fields 9
AF auxiliary light Flash
Speed approx. 0,4 s
Languages English
More 24 additional languages
One-hand operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Weight
(Ready for operation)
445 g (body only
)670 g (with lens*)
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manually on the lens
Battery life
approx. 500 images (according to CIPA)
– = “not applicable” or “not available
“* with lens Canon EF-S 3.5-5.6/18-55mm IS II

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Sophisticated flash system with many functions
  • Handy, ergonomically well formed DSLR

Cons

  • Principle-related restrictions for video recordings
  • Extremely slow autofocus in Live View mode
  • No modern functions such as WLAN, HDR or Sweeping Panorama
  • Simple plastic housing
  • Picture quality not quite at DSLR level

Canon Rebel T5 (EOS 1200D) data sheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 22.5 x 15.0 mm (crop factor 1.6
)18.7 megapixels (physical) and 18.0 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 4.3 µm
Photo resolution
5.184 x 3.456 pixels (3:2)
5.184 x 2.912 pixels (16:9)
4.608 x 3.456 pixels (4:3)
3.456 x 3.456 pixels (1:1)
3.456 x 1.944 pixels (16:9)
3.072 x 1.728 pixels (16:9)
2.592 x 2.592 pixels (1:1)
2.592 x 1.728 pixels (3:2)
2.592 x 1.456 pixels (16:9)
2.304 x 2.304 pixels (1:1)
2.304 x 1.728 pixels (4:3)
1.920 x 1.280 pixels (3:2)
1.920 x 1.080 pixels (16:9)
1.728 x 1.728 pixels (1:1)
1.696 x 1.280 pixels (4:3)
1.280 x 1.280 pixels (1:1)
720 x 480 pixels (3:2)
720 x 400 pixels (16:9)
640 x 480 pixels (4:3)
Image formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 60 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 60 p
Maximum recording time 29 min 59 sec
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)
Audio format (video) WAV

Lens

Lens mount
Canon EF-S

Focus

Autofocus mode Phase comparison autofocus with 9 cross sensors, autofocus working range from 0 EV to 18 EV
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Tracking AF, Manual, AFL function, AF Assist Light, Focus Magnifier (10x)
Sharpness control Live view

Viewfinder and monitor

SLR viewfinder Reflex viewfinder (mirror viewfinder) (95 % image coverage), 22 mm eye relief, dioptre compensation (-2.5 to +0.5 dpt), replaceable focusing screens, grid can be inserted
Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 460,000 pixels, viewing angle 170

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral metering, matrix/multi-field metering over 63 fields, spot metering (metering over 2% or 9% of the field of view, AF-AE coupling
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (Automatic
) Bulb function
Exposure control Programmed automatic, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Step size from 1/3 to 2 EV
Exposure Compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 6.400 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 6.400 (manual)
Remote access Remote triggering
Scene modes Auto, Landscape, Night Portrait, Close-up, Portrait, Sports/Action, 0 additional scene modes
Picture effects 8 Picture Styles
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sunny, White balance bracket, Shadow, Flash, Fluorescent lamp, Tungsten lamp, Manual
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 3.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 69 stored photos, 6 RAW images in sequence
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 s interval, special features: or 10 s (optional)
Recording functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram

Flashgun

Flash built-in flash (flip up
)Flash shoe: Canon, standard center contact
Flash code Guide number 9 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, fill-flash, flash on, flash off, slow sync, flash on second shutter curtain, red-eye reduction

Equipment

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD
Microphone available
Power supply unit Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Canon LP-E10 (Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), 7.4 V, 950 mAh
)500 images according to CIPA standard
Playback functions Image rotation, protect image, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier with 10.0x magnification, image index, slide show function with music, zoom out
Voice memo Voice memo (WAV format)
Face recognition Face recognition
Special functions Electronic spirit level, Grid fade-in, Orientation sensor, Live View, User profiles
Connections Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High Speed
AV Connections AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D
)Audio input: noAudio output
: no
Supported direct printing methods Canon Direct Print, PictBridge
Tripod thread 1/4″
Special features and miscellaneous built-in low-pass filterHigh-ISO mode
with ISO 12,800Dual-DIGIC-4 signal processing processorSimultaneousJPEG and RAW recording possiblePTP supportAutoLighting Optimizer (4 settings)
11 Personalization function with 33 settingsEyE-Fi
compatibleAutomatic
correction for lens vignetting

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 130 x 100 x 78 mm
Weight 495 g (ready for operation)

Miscellaneous

standard accessory Canon Ef Eyecup (Eyecup
)Canon IFC-130U USB CableCanon
LC-E10E Charger for Special BatteriesCanon
LP-E10 Special BatteryCanon
RF-3 (Body Cover)
Battery Charger LC-E10Camera Software
ZoomBrowser EX / Image Browser for Windows and for MacintoshCamera Software
Digital Photo Professional for Windows (2000/XP)
Twain Driver (98/2000)
WIA Device Driver for Windows Me/XPPanorama Software
PhotoStitchRemote Control Software
EOS Capture
additional accessories Canon ACK-E10 Power SupplyCanon
LP-E10 Special Rechargeable Memory CardCanonSpeedlite EX System Flash Units; IR Remote Control LC-5; Remote Control RC-1/RC-5; Eyecup Eg, Eye-Correction Lens Eg, Anti-fog Eyepiece Eg

 

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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.