Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D Review

The Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D delivers 18 megapixels of professional grade image quality in a compact, lightweight, adequately-featured and easy-to-use body that wears a very affordable price tag. Much of that statement can be applied to Canon's other recently-released Rebel DSLR camera models, but the price tag of this model is an especially "small" Rebel T5 feature. The T5 is not going to excite seasoned photographers, but those not needing advanced features and capabilities will find this camera to be a great value with performance far above camera phone and point and shoot models.

The Rebel T5 is referred to as the Kiss X70 in Japan and the 1200D in non-North America continents.

Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D Front

In the compact Canon Rebel lineup, there is typically a fully featured premium model and a nicely-featured, lower-cost, entry-level model (in addition to older Rebel models that remain available and the tiny SL1 / 100D). The entry level EOS Rebel "T*" models (1*00D models) follow in the feature wake of the premium EOS Rebel "T*i" models (**0D models), gaining features that the earlier-released flagship models received perhaps years ago. An interesting comparison to make is between the Canon EOS Rebel T5/1200D and the 2010-era Rebel T2i/550D.

Canon's current flagship Rebel DSLR camera model is the Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D. I'll discuss the specific difference between this model and the T5 / 1200D along with my recommendation near the end of this review. Canon's current entry-level Rebel model is, of course, the Rebel T5 / 1200D.

The T5 is the replacement for the three year old Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D. The Rebel T4 model name was skipped to (apparently) better align the T5i and T5 names. The site's DSLR camera comparison tool is an easy way to see the complete list of differences – I'll load the Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D vs. Rebel T3 / 1100D comparison link for you.

Here are the highlights from this comparison:

  • 18.0 vs. 12.2 megapixel resolution
  • Expanded ISO H: 12800 has been added
  • 3.0" (7.5cm) TFT, approx. 460k dot LCD vs. 2.7" (6.8cm) TFT, approx. 230k dot LCD
  • Scene Intelligent Auto mode vs. Auto mode
  • Creative filters added (Grainy B/W, Soft focus, Toy camera, Miniature effect, Fish-eye)
  • Reduced max JPG images captured in a burst (69 vs. 830)
  • Increased RAW max frame rate (3 fps vs. 2 fps) with one additional image at rated speed (6 vs. 5)
  • 1920 x 1080p video vs. 1280 x 720p
  • Manual audio recording volume now available
  • Max video duration of 29min 59sec vs. 17min
  • Increased slide show features including transitions and background music
  • Decreased battery life rating (approx: 500 vs. 700)
  • Carbon fiber/glass fiber-reinforced polycarbonate resin body vs. stainless steel and polycarbonate resin with conductive fiber
  • Rubberized grip surface
  • Compatible with the GPS Receiver GP-E2

Sensor size plays an important an important role in image quality and Canon DSLR cameras minimally have an APS-C format imaging sensor. Here is a graphic that helps visualize sensor size across some of the available sensor formats.

Sensor Size Comparison

All other attributes being the same, bigger is better when it comes to sensor size and how that size relates to image quality. Larger sensors have more light reaching them. There is no question that camera phones are wildly popular today, but this popularity is primarily due to their convenience, not the image quality being delivered by their tiny sensors.

Here is a sensor and other feature comparison chart of most of Canon's DSLR cameras to date.

ModelFOVCFSensorPixel SizePixels/MegapixelsViewfinderDLA*
Canon PowerShot G1 X1.9x18.7 x 14.0mm4.3µm4352 x 326414.3  f/6.9
Canon PowerShot G124.7x7.4 x 5.6mm2.7µm3648 x 204810.0  f/4.3
Canon PowerShot G94.7x7.6 x 5.7mm2.5µm4000 x 300012.1  f/4.0
Canon EOS M1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0  f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .87x95%f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .85x95%f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .85x95%f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .85x95%f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .87x95%f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.7µm4752 x 316815.1 .87x95%f/7.5
Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .80x95%f/6.8
Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D1.6x22.2 x 14.7mm5.2µm4272 x 284812.0 .80x95%f/8.3
Canon EOS Rebel XSi / 450D1.6x22.2 x 14.8mm5.2µm4272 x 284812.2 .87x95%f/8.3
Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D1.6x22.2 x 14.8mm5.7µm3888 x 259210.1 .81x95%f/9.1
Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D1.6x22.2 x 14.8mm5.7µm3888 x 259210.1 .80x95%f/9.1
Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D1.6x22.2 x 14.8mm6.4µm3456 x 23048.0 .80x95%f/10.2
Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel1.6x22.7 x 15.1mm7.4µm3088 x 20566.3 .80x95%f/11.8
Canon EOS 70D1.6x22.5 x 15.0mm4.1µm5472 x 364820.2 .95x98%f/6.6
Canon EOS 60D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 .95x96%f/6.9
Canon EOS 50D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.7µm4752 x 316815.1 .95x95%f/7.5
Canon EOS 40D1.6x22.2 x 14.8mm5.7µm3888 x 259210.1 .95x95%f/9.1
Canon EOS 30D1.6x22.5 x 15.0mm6.4µm3504 x 23368.2 .90x95%f/10.2
Canon EOS 20D1.6x22.5 x 15.0mm6.4µm3504 x 23368.2 .90x95%f/10.2
Canon EOS 10D1.6x22.7 x 15.1mm7.4µm3088 x 20566.3 .88x95%f/11.8
Canon EOS 7D1.6x22.3 x 14.9mm4.3µm5184 x 345618.0 1.0x100%f/6.9
Canon EOS 6D1.0x35.8 x 23.9mm6.54µm5472 x 364820.2 .71x97%f/10.5
Canon EOS 5D Mark III1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.25µm5760 x 384022.3 .71x100%f/10.1
Canon EOS 5D Mark II1.0x35.8 x 23.9mm6.4µm5616 x 374421.1 .71x98%f/10.2
Canon EOS 5D1.0x35.8 x 23.9mm8.2µm4368 x 291212.8 .71x96%f/13.2
Canon EOS 1D X1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.9µm5184 x 345618.1 .76x100%f/11.0
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV1.3x27.9 x 18.6mm5.7µm4896 x 326416.1 .76x100%f/9.1
Canon EOS 1D Mark III1.3x28.1 x 18.7mm7.2µm3888 x 259210.1 .76x100%f/11.5
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N1.3x28.7 x 19.1mm8.2µm3520 x 23368.2 .72x100%f/13.2
Canon EOS 1D Mark II1.3x28.7 x 19.1mm8.2µm3520 x 23368.2 .72x100%f/13.2
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm6.4µm5616 x 374421.1 .76x100%f/10.2
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II1.0x36.0 x 24.0mm7.2µm4992 x 332816.6 .70x100%f/11.5

Starting with the first advantage in the bulleted T5 v. T3 comparison list, let's take a look at resolution. Stepping up from 12.2 megapixels to 18.0 is going to be noticeable in your images. Here is a Rebel T5 vs. T3 resolution comparison using the site's image quality tool. Use the mouseover feature on that page to see the resolution increase the T5 enjoys.

The T5 may be in the entry level line, but it matches the Rebel T4i/T5i and other 18.0 megapixel Canon EOS models in resolution. And it matches these other cameras in image quality as well.

Click on the color block image below to view a pair of image comparisons between several current-at-review-time DSLR cameras. This comparison is hosted on its own page to avoid (especially for mobile users) the large file download that would be required to show the comparisons on this page. I will include the image quality discussion from the comparison page below. You can skip down to the image size table if you read the commentary on the comparison page.

Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D High ISO Noise Comparison

The T5 image details in these comparisons are slightly smaller than in the other 18 megapixel DSLR samples. This is because the T5's Live View display is not quite 100%, causing me to frame the test target slightly wider than other models.

The T5i may be the flagship Rebel model at T5 review time, but the T5 gives up nothing to the T5i in terms of image quality including high ISO noise levels. Well, the T5 gives up ISO 25600, but ... that ISO setting is good for practically nothing on a current-at-this-time APS-C DSLR. From a feasibility standpoint, ISO 25600 appears to be a functionality that is simply disabled on the T5. From a usability standpoint, aside from the marketing advantage and bragging rights, ISO 25600 should probably have been left disabled in the T5i also. Even the current APS-C ISO 12800 is useless to me. I avoid ISO 6400 in the APS-C models, but I will use the still-noisy ISO 3200 if necessary.

By ISO 1600, the T5's images are looking decent. ISO 800 delivers cleaner results and noise is not noticeable at ISO 400 with a detailed scene (such as the fabric example shown on the comparison page). The smooth color blocks in the test target make obvious any noise present, and with this noise illuminating subject, the drop in noise levels continues to be seen even down to ISO 100. ISO 100 is the ideal ISO setting to use – as long as this setting allows the shutter speed and aperture settings required for a particular image. The other ISO settings exist because ISO 100 often does not allow adequate (or available) shutter speeds and aperture settings.

When the Rebel T4i was developed, it appeared that Canon had increased the sharpness level the camera was delivering. We saw this again with the T5i and 70D and we see it again with the T5. The increase in overall image sharpness is very welcomed, but a penalty is paid in terms of noise.

When comparing the also-18-megapixel T3i and T2i to the T5, you can see the T5's increased sharpness and increased noise. The T5 enjoys a modest-but-noticeable resolution increase over the T1i and a much more significant resolution increase over the T3. The T5 results are much sharper than the T3 results, but the T5 results again have more noticeable noise in them.

Since you can adjust the amount of sharpness given to your photos, any of these cameras can be tuned to your preference. I slightly prefer the new default setting, but change of "1" in the sharpness setting is the approximate difference. This adjustment leaves only a small noise advantage to the most-recently-released APS-C sensor format cameras.

In-camera noise reduction is always available in EOS DSLRs, and noise reduction is also available during post processing. Noise reduction is very effective at reducing visible noise, but it is also destructive to the details in your image and to image sharpness. Even at ISO 100, the standard out-of-the-box noise reduction will have an effect on your image quality.

Check out the Canon EOS Rebel T4i Noise Results to see examples of noise reduction and how NR affects image quality. These results mirror how the T5 results would appear. I usually apply light NR only to my very high ISO images.

In contrast to the evenly-colored blocks making high ISO noise very apparent, the fine details such as those in fabric are optimal for hiding high ISO noise. It is not until ISO 800 that T5 noise begins to be apparent against this optimal-noise-hiding pattern.

Note that, while I only show full stop ISO settings in the comparisons, the non-Rebel camera models have 1/3-stop ISO settings available. That the T5 and its siblings can only make ISO adjustments in 1-stop increments can complicate exposure settings slightly.

Also note that sensor dust can negatively impact image quality and that the T5, while it has an anti-stick Fluorine coating on the top surface of the imaging sensor filter, does not have a self-cleaning sensor system.

The image quality the Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D delivers is impressive for any APS-C DSLR camera and very impressive for a DSLR camera with this low price tag. For image quality alone, there is no reason to select a higher grade APS-C camera. The following table shows comparative RAW file sizes for a photo of a standard in-studio setup with a moderately-high amount of detail taken with the referenced Canon EOS DSLR body.

Model / File Size in MB @ ISO:(MP)100200400800160032006400128002560051200102400204800
Canon PowerShot G1 X(14.3)19.119.620.220.921.723.124.926.2    
Canon EOS Rebel SL1(18.0)23.724.224.825.827.128.730.833.437.2   
Canon EOS Rebel T4i / T5i(18.0)24.124.525.226.127.629.031.133.737.4   
Canon EOS Rebel T3i(18.0)25.525.926.627.528.730.332.434.9    
Canon EOS Rebel T2i(18.0)25.525.826.527.428.630.232.334.9    
Canon EOS Rebel T1i(15.1)20.621.021.522.423.425.027.129.8    
Canon EOS Rebel T5(18.0)25.425.926.627.528.830.232.535.1    
Canon EOS Rebel T3(12.2)17.818.018.318.919.720.622.0     
Canon EOS Rebel XSi(12.2)15.415.916.617.518.7       
Canon EOS Rebel XS(10.1)10.410.610.911.311.9       
Canon EOS 70D(20.2)25.125.726.527.729.331.133.335.939.5   
Canon EOS 60D(18.0)25.225.626.227.028.329.932.234.8    
Canon EOS 50D(15.1)20.320.721.322.123.224.726.729.5    
Canon EOS 7D(18.0)24.124.525.326.227.328.630.733.2    
Canon EOS 6D(20.2)25.325.626.026.727.929.230.933.135.338.642.5 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III(22.3)28.629.029.530.331.633.135.337.840.644.749.2 
Canon EOS 5D Mark II(21.1)26.927.127.728.629.731.333.636.741.2   
Canon EOS 1D X(18.1)23.723.924.324.825.726.727.929.731.834.537.441.3
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV(16.1)22.022.222.823.424.325.326.728.530.834.235.9 
Canon EOS 1D Mark III(10.1)13.013.313.814.515.316.417.8     
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III(21.1)25.626.527.429.031.033.4      
Canon RAW file sizes increase with: 1. Resolution 2. Bit Depth (14-bit is better/larger) 3. Detail (noise adds detail, so high ISO file sizes increase). Memory and disk are cheap - buy more. :)
Use the figures above to get a rough estimate of the memory card size you need to hold RAW T5 image files. Of course, the JPG file format is significantly more storage space efficient and the selectable levels of JPG image quality allow space requirements to be adjusted downward dramatically. My advice is to shoot RAW and buy lots of memory - memory cards are cheap and the cards are also useful for temporary archiving and backup use.

The Rebel T5 utilizes SD/SDHC/SDXC cards for storage. The T5 is not listed as supporting the fast UHS-1 standard, but a fast card still can make a difference in the T5's buffer depth (more about this later).

Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D Candy Sample Picture

This candy picture was captured with the Rebel T5 and the 18-55mm IS II kit lens.

The EOS Rebel T5 features Canon's latest 63 zone dual-layer light sensor. By accounting for color and luminosity in addition to the amount of light coming into the camera, the camera is able to calculate exposures more accurately.

The T5's metering system works very well. Evaluative metering (linkable to all AF point), Partial metering (approx. 10% of viewfinder at center) and Center-weighted average metering are available with spot metering remaining absent. EOS Auto white balance has matured and in general, works well.

The Canon EOS Rebel Series DSLRs get Canon's entry-level AF systems (a sacrifice made to achieve the low price), but Canon's entry-level phase detection AF is still very fast compared to contrast-detection AF found in many point and shoot models and camera phones.

"The AF systems of the Rebel T5 and T3 are completely the same." [Chuck Westfall, Canon USA] This system has a 9-point AF system utilizing a high-precision, f/5.6 cross-type center point. As usual for Canon's non-1-Series bodies, the T3 requires a lens with a maximum aperture of at least f/5.6 or wider (as reported by the lens) for AF to function.

In general use, the T5 delivers very reliably delivers accurate focusing. This is not the AF system that I would choose for very challenging AI Servo fast-action capture, but the better systems of course cost more.

While the T5 has contrast AF available in Live View mode, this focus method is painfully slow compared the fast DSLR phase detection AF speeds using it. Thus, when using AF, you are likely using the viewfinder. DSLR viewfinders are very nice relative to point & shoot camera viewfinders (if they even have one), but the T5 viewfinder is small relative to DSLR cameras as a group. Viewfinder size is all about what you are used to, but the T5 has a small body size with a small viewfinder to match it. Having a usable viewfinder is a huge asset compared to point and shoot models completely lacking a viewfinder or having viewfinders that lack usability. Viewfinders are useful for stabilizing the camera against your eyebrow and they have an especially big advantage when shooting in bright sunlight. Putting a DSLR viewfinder to your eye blocks out all except what you will see in your image – and sometimes even a little more.

The T5 viewfinder provides 95% coverage, so you are going to have a little more subject in your image than you see in the viewfinder. I seldom hear people complaining about this issue and you do get used to it. But you might need to later crop out something that unintentionally became present in your image. Being used to using 100% viewfinders, I often find the 95% viewfinders slightly annoying when reviewing my images later. A specific example: The candy in the sample picture shared above was in a small plastic container. Some of my pictures have the viewfinder-hidden edge of the container in them.

The T5 continues the Rebel tradition of using a pentamirror vs. pentaprism for the viewfinder. A pentamirror viewfinder is lighter and less expensive, but with less air-to-glass surface transitions, a pentaprism is brighter.

As was the case with the T3, cost savings were realized in the choice of the T5 LCD. While not top-of-the-line, the 3.0" (7.5cm) TFT, approx. 460k dot viewfinder on the T5 is a nice upgrade from the 2.7" (6.8cm) TFT, approx. 230k dot viewfinder on the T3. The T5's LCD is harder to clean and harder to see in bright sunlight than the better models available.

Canon's top-of-the-line Touch screen 3.0" (7.7cm) 3:2 Clear View II TFT, approx. 1040K dot LCD can be seen below on the higher end camera models. While the SL1 retains a smaller body size, the T5i and 70D gain Canon's Vari-Angle LCD.

Camera Back View Comparison

SL1 | T5i | T5 | T3 | 70D

For many more comparisons, go to the Camera Back View Comparison page.

Canon (often) changes the camera layout on each new model introduced – just to keep those of us who use all of their camera models thoroughly confused. While I'm sure that is not the reason for the changes, I assure you that it gets confusing. Learn where the T5 playback button is and then pick up an SL1 or T5i. You might find yourself hitting the trash button instead.

I do find the T5 layout to be improved from the T3 and the layout is now closer to any layout standard that Canon may be moving toward. The Live View/video record start/stop button has been moved up beside the viewfinder to match this function's location on most current EOS models. This move declutters the next set of buttons straight down.

The Av and Q buttons move slightly to the right to accommodate the larger LCD and the display button moves left slightly, where it is more easily reached with the right thumb. The cross keys now have their function printed directly on them. The playback key moves to the left where it is also slightly easier to reach. The top right buttons were given a new round shape.

Press the "Q" button to navigate an LCD full of relevant-at-the-time shooting or playback settings using the Cross Keys. When the setting you want to change is selected, press Set and make the change desired. A new-for-entry-level-Rebel feature found using the Quick menu system during image playback is Creative Filters. Choose from Grainy black and white, Soft focus, Fish-eye, toy camera and Miniature effects to give your images a different look.

As with the previous Rebel models, Cross Keys continue to be used to select menus options, specify settings to be changed or to make changes to a selected setting or menu option. While not as fast to use as the Rear Control Dial found on the higher-end EOS models, the Cross Keys are logical and easy to use.

To make life easier for novices, Canon has included the EOS Feature Guide with an enhanced Quick Settings Screen that now includes detailed descriptions of camera settings. For example, turning the mode button results in a description of that mode being temporarily displayed on the LCD. Users who know camera exposure mode basics will likely find the Feature Guide to be annoying as it slows the display of the camera settings they need to see. Fortunately, this feature can be turned off via a menu option.

Canon's tabbed menu system is very well designed and easy to use. Absent on the T5 (and T3) menu is the mirror lockup function. While Live View can instead be used to get this function, I do miss mirror lockup as it is one of my most-used features.

Like the rest of the recently-delivered EOS DSLRs, the T5 has video recording capabilities. The T5's video feature set is much upgraded from the T3's and practically matches the T5i's capabilities, though continuous video AF is not provided by the T5. Turn the T5 Mode Dial to Video Mode, focus and press the Live View/Video button to start recording.

Here are the T5's video recording features and specs: Movie exposures are either Program AE or manual exposure. The ISO speeds up to ISO 6400 can be used for manual exposures. The movie file size is now unlimited (or limited by the card being used) - continuous HD recordings can be as long as approximately 22 minutes utilizing 4GB clips. Created are H.264-encoded .MOV files.

Available resolutions and frame rates are:
1080p: 1920x1080px at 30fps (29.97fps), 25fps, 24fps (23.976fps) 330 MB/min
720p: 1280x720px at 60fps (59.94fps), 50fps 330 MB/min
SD: 640x480px at 30fps (29.97fps), 25fps 82.5 MB/min

An SD Class 6 (which is rather slow) or higher memory card is required for video recording.

The T5 includes a built-in, get-the-job-done monaural microphone (Linear PCM, manual or auto levels, no wind filter). A 3.5mm jack for an external stereo microphone is not provided. The quality from the built-in mic is not bad, but without an external mic port, an external recorder is needed for best results. An integrated mini-HDMI port makes it easy to view the results on any HDTV.

All compatible lenses can be used for video recording including Canon EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses.

DSLRs, with their huge-to-video-camera-standards sensors, deliver impressive video image quality – especially in low light. A huge number of people/companies/businesses are now using DSLRs for their video needs. The large sensor combined with the huge range of lenses available gives even those on a tight budget the ability to create incredible video projects utilizing shallow DOF and low/available light.

The T5's video capabilities alone are worth far more than the cost of this camera and lens kit.

Summing up the back of the base Rebel T5 model, what is needed to get the job done is there and the Canon menu and Quick menu systems using the LCD are especially great. Let's move on to the top of the camera.

Camera Top View Comparison

SL1 | T5i | T5 | T3 | 70D |

For many more comparisons, go to the Camera Top View Comparison page.

There are not many top-of-the-camera differences between the Rebel T5 and the T3. The microphone was moved from the top to the front, the A-DEP (Auto Depth of Field) mode has gone away and the fully automatic green square mode has been upgraded to the Scene Intelligent Auto mode (green square +).

The T5 provides modes designed for complete beginners through seasoned experts. Canon's fully-automatic, point and shoot Scene Intelligent Auto mode enables especially the latter group to capture excellent images without a deep understanding of the camera controls. SIA mode utilizes the EOS Scene Detection system to determine the type of scene being photographed and adjusts the camera settings to best capture your image.

Those wanting to provide more scene/subject information to the camera can select modes including portrait, sports and landscape modes. The camera will automatically choose the settings it thinks will best capture the selected subject type.

The "CA" (Creative Auto) mode has again been included on the dial. Creative Auto mode allows the photographer to adjust the shot settings using easily understood words instead of using f/*.* settings and 1/*** time value shutter speeds. These settings are displayed on the rear LCD while adjustments are being made.

Expert photographers can have as much control over the camera settings as they want, right up to fully manual settings.

The higher end camera models provide additional controls with the Rebel T5i and SL1 primarily adding a dedicated ISO button. The T5's flash up button can be reprogrammed to perform as the ISO button (using the menu) with the flash up function then being handled in the Quick menu. The 70D-and-higher models add a top LCD with many more buttons for faster and easier control over the camera.

Camera Side View Comparison

SL1 | T5i | T5 | T3 | 70D | 60D

For many more comparisons, go to the Camera Side View Comparison page.

The side of the T5 remains unchanged from the T3. A rubber port cover hides a remote release port (not an N3 type), USB port (mini-B) and HDMI mini output port (HDMI-CEC compatible).

Small size and light weight are primary characteristics of the entire EOS Rebel line. The T5 is not much larger than a Canon PowerShot G-Series point and shoot camera. Small size is great for convenience and portability – and for small hands. The larger bodies are easier to control and especially so when a large lens is mounted.

ModelBody DimensionsCIPA Weight
Canon PowerShot G1 X4.6 x 3.2 x 2.6"(116.7 x 80.5 x 64.7mm)18.8 oz (534g)
Canon PowerShot G124.4 x 3.0 x 1.9"(112.1 x 76.2 x 48.3mm)13.7 oz (389g)
Canon PowerShot G94.2 x 2.8 x 1.7"(106.4 x 71.9 x 42.5mm)12.9 oz (365g)
Canon EOS M4.3 x 2.6 x 1.3"(108.6 x 66.5 x 32.3mm)10.5 oz (298g)
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7"(116.8 x 90.7 x 69.4mm)14.4 oz (407g)
Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"(133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8mm)20.5 oz (580g)
Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"(133.1 x 99.8 x 78.8mm)20.3 oz (575g)
Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1"(133.1 x 99.5 x 79.7mm)20.1 oz (570g)
Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4"(128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)18.7 oz (530g)
Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4"(128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)18.6 oz (527g)
Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1"(129.6 x 99.7 x 77.9 mm)16.9 oz (480g)
Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1"(129.9 x 99.7 x 77.9mm)17.5 oz (495g)
Canon EOS Rebel XSi / 450D5.1 x 3.8 x 2.4"(128.8 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)18.4 oz (522g)
Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4"(126.1 x 97.5 x 61.9mm)17.5 oz (497g)
Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D5.0 x 3.7 x 2.6"(127 x 94 x 65mm)19.9 oz (564g)
Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D5.0 x 3.7 x 2.6"(127 x 94 x 64mm)19.0 oz (539g)
Canon EOS 70D5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1"(139.0 x 104.3 x 78.5mm)26.7 oz (755g)
Canon EOS 60D5.7 x 4.2 x 3.1"(144.5 x 105.8 x 78.6mm)26.6 oz (755g)
Canon EOS 50D5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9"(145.5 x 107.8 x 73.5mm)29.1 oz (826g)
Canon EOS 40D5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9"(145.5 x 112 x 73.5mm)29.5 oz (836g)
Canon EOS 30D5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9"(144 x 105.5 x 73.5mm)28.1 oz (796g)
Canon EOS 20D5.6 x 4.2 x 2.8"(144 x 106 x 72mm)27.5 oz (781g)
Canon EOS 7D5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9"(148.2 x 110.7 x 73.5mm)32.2 oz (914g)
Canon EOS 6D5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8"(144.5 x 110.5 x 71.2mm)26.6 oz (755g)
Canon EOS 5D Mark III6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0"(152 x 116.4 x 76.4mm)33.5 oz (950g)
Canon EOS 5D Mark II6.0 x 4.5 x 3.0"(152 x 113.5 x 75mm)31.9 oz (904g)
Canon EOS 5D6.0 x 4.4 x 3.0"(152 x 113 x 75mm)32.0 oz (906g)
Canon EOS 1D X6.2 x 6.4 x 3.3"(158 x 163.6 x 82.7mm)54.0 oz (1530g)
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1"(156 x 157 x 80mm)48.5 oz (1374g)
Canon EOS 1D Mark III6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1"(156 x 157 x 80mm)47.6 oz (1349g)
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1"(156 x 158 x 80 mm)55.5 oz (1574g)
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III6.1 x 6.3 x 3.1"(156 x 159.6 x 79.9mm)49.5 oz (1404g)
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1"(156 x 158 x 80 mm)55.2 oz (1564g)

The Rebel series is not built as well as the *0D series cameras, but these cameras still have a solid, high quality feel to them. With the new rubberized grip surface (similar to the T5i's grip), the T5 feels remarkably better than the T3. The T3's plastic grip surface created a cheaper feel and made the camera more difficult to hold onto. I commented in the T3 review that I thought the plastic grip surface was a mistake. I'm glad to see the mistake corrected – the rubberized grip surface is worth whatever small cost it has.

Still lacking rubber is the T5's neck strap. Like the T3's strap, the T5 strap has only about 6.5" of rubberized backing in center (instead of entire strap). The also-narrower (1") strap is slightly floppy, but it works fine and takes up less space in a case.

Canon has not released a shutter durability rating for the T5, so we are only left to guess what the current rating may be. It is likely that only very serious photographers will reach the shutter life expectancy.

ModelShutter Durability Rating
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100Dn/a
Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700Dn/a
Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650Dn/a
Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600Dn/a
Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550Dn/a
Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D100,000
Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200Dn/a
Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100Dn/a
Canon EOS Rebel XSi / 450D100,000
Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D100,000
Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D50,000
Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D50,000
Canon EOS 70D100,000
Canon EOS 60D100,000
Canon EOS 50D100,000
Canon EOS 40D100,000
Canon EOS 30D100,000
Canon EOS 20D50,000
Canon EOS 7D150,000
Canon EOS 6D100,000
Canon EOS 5D Mark III150,000
Canon EOS 5D Mark II150,000
Canon EOS 5D100,000
Canon EOS 1D X400,000
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV300,000
Canon EOS 1D Mark III300,000
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N200,000
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III300,000
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II200,000

As one would expect, the entry level line of EOS DSLRs trails the rest of the EOS line in regards to speed-related performance. Here is the chart:

ModelFPSMax JPGMax RAWShutter LagVF Blackout
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D4.028/11407/875ms 
Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D5.022/306/675ms 
Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D5.030675ms 
Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D3.734690ms130ms
Canon EOS Rebel T2i / 550D3.734690ms130ms
Canon EOS Rebel T1i / 500D3.4170990ms130ms
Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D3.0696  
Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D3 / 28305110ms150ms
Canon EOS Rebel XSi / 450D3.553690ms130ms
Canon EOS Rebel XS / 1000D3 / 1.5n/a590ms
Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D3.02710100ms170ms
Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D3.0144100ms170ms
Canon EOS 70D7.040/6515/1665ms97ms
Canon EOS 60D5.3581659ms100ms
Canon EOS 50D6.3901659ms100ms
Canon EOS 40D6.5751759ms100ms
Canon EOS 30D5.0301165ms110ms
Canon EOS 20D5.023665ms115ms
Canon EOS 7D8.0110/13023/2559ms100ms
Canon EOS 6D4.573/125014/17<60ms 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III6.065/16k13/1859ms125ms
Canon EOS 5D Mark II3.978/31013/1473ms145ms
Canon EOS 5D3.0601775ms145ms
Canon EOS 1D X12/141803836-55ms60ms
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV10.01212840-55ms80ms
Canon EOS 1D Mark III10.01103040-55ms80ms
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N8.5482240-55ms87ms
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III5.0561240-55ms80ms
Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II4.0321140-55ms87ms

Interesting is the change from the T3 to the T5. The T5 is now spec'd for the same max frame rate for both RAW and JPG capture whereas the T3 lost 1 fps for RAW capture. The Max JPG captures in a burst drops from 830 all the way down to 69 while the max RAW captures in a burst increases by 1 to 6. What I can tell you is that 69 is a lot and that six is very little.

To test burst rate, I shoot in M mode (wide open aperture, fastest-available 1/4000 shutter speed), ISO 100, MF, IS off, lens cap on, and all noise reduction turned off. The first time I tested the T5 frame rate, I inadvertently used a medium-speed 133x Lexar SDHC card. Canon's ratings are seldom higher than I can get from the camera, so I figured out the problem. With the slower card installed, the T5 delivered 5 shots in 2.1 seconds with a 6th shot captured about .64 seconds later. As the buffer cleared, additional shots were captured every 1.6 seconds. With a fast card in the slot (a Sony 32GB SDHC Class 10 Max 94/45 MB/s Read/Write Memory Card), the T5 delivered a better 8 shot burst in 2.4 seconds with additional shots captured every 1.0 seconds.

Get a fast card if you plan to shoot in burst mode.

Here are the MP3 audio clips.

Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D Burst Sound
Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D Single Shot Mode Sound

Having a slow frame rate (and shallow RAW buffer) makes the Rebel T5 less well suited for capturing fast action and less well suited for capturing many shots of a time-critical event.

The Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D uses the same battery as the Rebel T3 – the Canon LP-E10 Battery Pack. The included LC-E10 charger is conveniently small and plugs directly into the wall (no wires).

Not the same between the T3 and T5 is the battery life rating. There are a lot of parameters that effect battery life (especially flash use), but the T5 is rated for approximately 500 shots vs. the T3's 700 shot rating.

I generally test battery life by using the file number corresponding to the shutter count. Unfortunately, I forgot to format a memory card that had been used in another camera and the T5 picked up the other camera's file number. So, deep in my first battery run-down, I lost my count. I don't think that surpassing 500 shots on a fully charged battery is going to be a big challenge unless significant use of flash is involved.

The T5 tracks 4 levels of battery charge on the rear LCD. No Canon Battery Grip is available for the T5.

Unlike the T5i, the T5 is not compatible with the small Canon wireless remotes such as the RC-6. The wired Canon RS-60E3 Remote Switch is the Canon remote switch option.

Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D Flash Up

Obvious from the picture above, the T5 has a built-in flash – like all of the Rebel models before it. But the T5 flash is rated to only 9.2 GN vs. the T5i's 13.0 GN rating. It is also important to note that, unlike the T5i, the T5 does not have an Integrated Speedlite Transmitter. You cannot control remote Canon flashes without an external flash controller (such as the Canon 600EX-RT Flash and Canon ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter). Like the Rebel T5i, the T5's flash max X-Sync shutter speed is 1/200 sec.

When you buy a Canon DSLR, you are buying into an incredible family of lenses and other compatible accessories. The camera body is of course the base and a lens is the other essential piece of kit.

The T5 is, at review time, available only in a kit with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens This is a decent value lens for those on a very low budget. The light weight and small size of this lens matches nicely with the T5's small size and light weight. It is the same lens included in the T3 kit. I understand why Canon opted to not package the better Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens with this camera (to keep the price down), but that is the low end kit lens I would have preferred to have in my box.

Because the quality of the lens is a huge factor in DSLR image quality, I strongly recommend that you (now or later) buy one of the better Canon general purpose lenses available. Even the lowest-end DSLRs, with their very dense imaging sensors, can utilize the quality of the best lenses available.

The product support provided by Canon USA is excellent (Sorry, I have no experience with the other Canon regional companies). When I call for support, I get an intelligent person who sincerely wants to help me with whatever my question or problem is. Repair service, though I have seldom needed it, is fast and reliable.

I do not attempt to cover every feature available in my DSLR reviews – there are simply too many available features to cover in reasonably-sized review. For complete information, I recommend the owner's manual. The full owner's manual is 342 pages long. The paper version comes in the box, the digital version is linked for download at the end of this review. If you bring a T5 home to live with you, I highly recommend that you read this manual – then go use your camera. Then read the manual again.

Who is the Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D ideal for?

This camera is perfect for everyone that wants amazing DSLR image quality but cannot spend more than the low T5 price tag.

The T5 is a great option for your child's entry into the world of DSLR photography – which leads to a great way to spend family time together: sharing your photography passion with your kids. Your kids learn a useful life skill while spending quality time with you.

A better option?

If your budget allows, I highly recommend stepping up to at least the Canon EOS Rebel T5i / 700D. Here is a complete Canon EOS Rebel T5/1200D vs. Rebel T5i/700D specification comparison. I'll share the highlights of that comparison by listing the T5i advantages here:

  • 5.0 fps vs. 3.0 fps
  • 9 cross-type AF points vs. 1
  • AF working range of EV -0.5-18 vs. 0-18
  • Touch Screen Vari-Angle 3.0" (7.7cm) 3:2 Clear View II TFT, approx. 1040K dots, Solid Structure and Anti Smudge vs. 3.0" (7.5cm) TFT, approx. 460k dots
  • DIGIC 5 vs. DIGIC 4
  • Mirror Lockup function supported vs. Live View only
  • Integrated Speedlite Controller
  • EOS integrated sensor cleaning system
  • Hybrid CMOS AF including reasonable-performing continuous AF during video recording and in Live View
  • Spot metering
  • Dedicated DOF Preview button
  • Flash GN of 13 vs. 9.6
  • SCN Mode (Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control)
  • Multi Shot Noise Reduction
  • Chromatic aberration correction
  • Additional Creative filters (Art Bold, Water painting)
  • Supports External microphone
  • Battery Grip available
  • Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Control supported
  • Better kit lens (STM version)
  • ISO 12800 (but you would not want to use it anyway)

The T5's big advantage is a lower price. As I write this review, the difference is $150 USD.

Those wishing to consider an even more capable camera should next read the Canon EOS 70D DSLR Review. The EOS 70D is currently the next step up from the T5i in Canon DSLR performance. Some of the 70D's advantages include a better 19pt AF system, larger viewfinder (pentaprism vs. pentamirror), larger grip, longer battery life, rear control dial, top LCD, faster frame rate with a deeper buffer, faster max shutter speed (1/8000 vs. 1/4000), faster max flash synch shutter speed (X-synch = 1/250 vs. 1/200), finer ISO setting control (1/3 stop vs. 1 stop) and electronic horizon level. The modestly larger size and weight of the 70D will not be seen as a benefit to everyone.

There have been many iterations of the Canon EOS Rebel cameras and those being now-introduced show the maturity of the product line. There is very little remaining to complain about in these models – at least when considering the low price of the camera. The Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D is as an entry-level DSLR with a solid feature set and excellent image quality with a small price tag.

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My Recommended Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D Retailers
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the Canon Store (new)
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