For those shopping for their first non-smartphone camera, a backup camera for a current kit or simply upgrading from a lower level/previous generation Rebel-series camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D and EOS M5 are likely to be considered.
Today, we're going to look closely at these two cameras to see which might be the better option for acquisition.
Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D and EOS M5 Shared Primary Features:
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D:
- Resolution: 24.2 MP / 6000 x 4000 pixels
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF, up to 1080p 59.94 fps
- HDMI out & external mic jack
- Crop Ratio: 1.6x
- Processor: DIGIC 7
- Metering Range: EV 1 – 20
- Auto ISO Range: 100 - 25600
- Shutter Speed: 30 - 1/4000 sec
- Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Low-Energy Bluetooth
- Flash hot shoe
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS M5:
- Natively compatible with EF, EF-S, TS-E & MP-E lenses
- AF Working Range: EV -3 - 18 vs. EV -1 - 18
- Exposure Compensation: +/-5 EV vs. +/-3 EV
- Higher Max ISO: 51200 vs. 25600
- Vari-angle LCD screen vs. tilt only
- Ambience priority, white priority AWB vs. ambience only
- More Powerful Pop-up Flash: 13.1 GN (m) vs. 5
- Integrated Speedlite Transmitter vs. N/A
- Longer Battery Life: 820 shots vs. 295 (420 with Eco Mode On)
- Larger, more comfortable grip size
- Optical viewfinder
- Lower cost
Who should opt for the Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D?
- Native EF-M lenses are smaller/lighter than similar EF-S/EF lenses
- Compatible with EF, EF-S, TS-E & MP-E lenses via adapter
- More AF points: 49 vs. 45
- Focus peaking vs. N/A
- Faster Continuous Shooting: approx. 9 fps (7fps with AF) vs. 6
- Electronic viewfinder
- Better Viewfinder Coverage: 100% vs. 95%
- Larger / Higher Resolution LCD: 8.0 cm (3.2”), 1,620 K dots vs. 7.7 cm (3.0"), 1040 K dots
- Smaller Size: 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4" vs. 5.16 x 3.93 x 3.00" (115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm vs. 131.0 x 99.9 x 76.2mm)
- Lighter Weight: 15.1 oz. vs. 18.77 oz (427g vs. 532g)
If you are a current Rebel-series owner but simply long for the benefits of a Dual Pixel CMOS sensor, and the size and weight of your current kit is a non-issue, then the EOS Rebel T7i/800D will offer a seamless transition with no adapters required to use your current set of lenses and a familiar button/control layout that feels right at home in your hands.
With no adapter required, there's one less vital piece of gear to be forgotten or malfunction.
Just remember your fully charged battery and a memory card, throw your lenses in a bag and you're good to go (although we do recommend packing other items
Note that the T7i has an optical viewfinder (OVF) while the EOS M5 has an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and both show up as advantages for their respective cameras.
Depending on what you're shooting and what your preferences are, either one may be more beneficial than the other.
Check out our OVF vs. EVF comparison
If you're interested in exploring off-camera lighting, the Rebel T7i offers an integrated Speedlite transmitter that will allow you to control off-camera Canon Speedlites
The Rebel T7i's more sensitive AF system is able to lock on in lower light, and its battery will keep you shooting long after the EOS M5's battery has been exhausted.
And if you're on a tight budget, the Rebel T7's lower price tag will make it an even more attractive option.
Who should opt for the Canon EOS M5?
The EOS M5 represents a huge step up in image quality for those coming directly from a smartphone, and its size and weight will provide an easier transition into ILC (Interchangeable Lens Camera) photography compared to a traditional DSLR body.
The EOS M5 will also be a great choice for current Canon DSLR owners who want a compact option that can also serve as a backup camera in a pinch (with the adapter) or otherwise want a reduced load for vacations, hiking or business trips, especially when one of Canon's EF-M series lenses will fit the bill perfectly..
On top of the size and weight advantages of an M-series kit, the M5's faster burst rate in single shot mode can help you capture the peak action as long as AF tracking is not needed for the specific situation.
And if you prefer the benefits of an EVF
(Electronic Viewfinder), then the M5 becomes the easy choice.
While the EOS M5 is a very capable camera with the size and weight benefits a mirrorless system brings, Canon's current [limited] EF-M lens selection may not provide all the flexibility desired in an ILC kit.
And while Canon's complete EF/EF-S/TS-E/MP-E lenses can be used with an adapter, using lenses designed for DSLRs on a mirrorless camera negates much of its most alluring quality, its reduced size and weight.
On the other hand, the EOS Rebel T7i/800D, with its native ability to mount Canon's full range of EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses, along with its higher battery life and built-in Speedlite transmitter, represents a simpler and more versatile platform on which to build a photography kit.
For those general purpose photography situations where a single, variable aperture zoom lens will suffice, the EOS M5 paired with an EF-M zoom lens can be a very convient option that will not be a burden to carry throughout the day.
Note that as Canon releases more EF-M lenses, the versatility of an M-series kit increases along with the M5's appeal.