Canon
Digital Rebel T5i
Review & Photos

By Jim Zimmerlin

Click here to go to my main page

All about the
Canon Digital Rebel T5i camera
(also known as the EOS 700D)

Canon T5i Digital Rebel

Here are a few sample images to show you what it can do...

All pictures on this page are the original copyrighted works of Jim Zimmerlin
and should not be copied or used without his permission.

Demonstration shot from the Canon T5i Digital Rebel
Flowers!
Great color and detail.
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Sapphire Princess watermelon donkey for an ass
Watermelon Donkey!
The restaurant staff on a cruise ship thought their boss was a bit of an ass, so they made this as a tribute to him.
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Sapphire Princess Terrace Pool
Sapphire Princess Cruise Ship
We love going on cruises!  See cruise pictures from my older cameras here.
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Carnival Glory sailing from the port of Miami
The Carnival Glory heads out to open water from the port of Miami
I shot this from my balcony cabin on the Carnival Breeze, which was just a few minutes ahead of the Glory.
This is a good example of where an image stabilized lens comes in handy!  I shot this handheld at full zoom!
Shot with the Canon L-series 100-400mm image stabilized zoom lens
Carnival Breeze - Canon T5i demo shot
The aft pool and jacuzzis on the Carnival Breeze
See more shots from our Caribbean cruise, all taken with the T5i, here.
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Sample natural light photo from Canon T5i Digital Rebel
Our son, Jeff
What's interesting about this shot is that it was shot indoors in natural light without a flash.
The camera, in auto iso mode, automatically went to 5000 iso to get the shot.
You'd expect a camera at 5000 iso to produce a grainy image...  but the T5i is up to the challenge!
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Sunset at Pismo Beach - Canon T5i test photo
Sunset at Pismo Beach, California
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Sample picture from Canon Digital Rebel T5i
A couple watches the sunset from the Pismo Beach pier
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Kiss at sunset - sample image from Canon Digital Rebel T5i
A kiss at sunset
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Sample photo from Canon Digital Rebel T5i
A dandelion in my yard (approximately 3/4 of an inch wide)
Another good example of how little noise there is in high iso photos.  This is iso 6400, and the camera was handheld.
Shot with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 image stabilized lens
Sapphire Princess margaritas and chips and salsa
Margaritas, Chips, Guacamole, and Salsa
One of many wonderful vacation moments we've experienced on cruise ships!
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Indoor high iso sample photo from the Canon T5i
My wife, Kellyn
Possibly the most difficult shot on this page.  Restuarant interior in low light, and backlit, too.
The camera was set to auto-iso, and automatically set itself to iso 4000.
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Jim Zimmerlin and Kellyn Zimmerlin
Me and Kellyn
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens on a tripod, using the built-in self timer
Canon Digital Rebel T5i test shot
This shot is totally fowl
Shot at the Avila Barn
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Carnival Sunshine serenity waterfall
Carnival Sunshine Waterfall

Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Test photo from Canon Digital Rebel T5i
A colorful building near the pier in Pismo Beach
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Panoramic photo from Canon T5i Digital Rebel
A panoramic photo of the port of Miami
The version of the panoramic photo that you see here has been resized to give you a taste of it.
Click on the photo to view a full-sized version of it, or right click and choose "save as" to view it later.
For the full effect, expand the photo to fill the entire height of your screen, and then pan left to right to view the whole thing.
All the software needed to produce panoramic images is included with the T5i camera.
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
T5i Digital Rebel using available light
Comedian John Wesley Austin performing in the comedy club on the Carnival Breeze
Shot in available light, handheld, from the far back of the comedy club, image stabilized with full zoom.
Camera was in auto-iso mode and automatically went to iso 3200 to compensate for the low available light

Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens
Sample photo from Canon T5i Digital Rebel
Macro shot of an African Daisy
Look at the detail in the pollen!
Shot with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 image stabilized STM lens

Shooting Video With The T5i

Canon has made huge improvements to the Digital Rebel in the last few years in regards to its ability to shoot video.  While Digital Rebels have been able to shoot video for several generations now, they weren't always very good at getting it right!  But the T5i stands head and shoulders over some of the earlier versions in this regard.

Here's a video I shot in fully automatic mode with my T5i.  Notice the excellent job the camera does with proper automatic focus, even as the distance of the girls to the camera changes.

Here's a tip regarding watching the videos on this page...
All of the videos were shot in full 1080p high definition, but YouTube defaults to playing them in bandwidth-saving low definition.  However, there's an easy way around that.  Do yourself a favor and locate the buttons in the lower left corner of the videos to switch over to 720p or 1080p high definition...  and then locate the button to view in full-screen mode.  They'll look much better that way.

Here's another video from my T5i...
Again, notice the excellent automatic focusing by the camera and the STM lens:


Time Lapse Video!

With the use of a tripod and an inexpensive intervalometer, you can have the camera take a series of photos at exact intervals and then put them together (using Microsoft's free Windows Live Movie Maker)in to a time-lapse video.  It's a fantastic way to show off things that happen slowly in real time.

Here's a time-lapse video I created while aboard a cruise ship departing from the port of Miami:

Here's another time-lapse video I created...
this one shows our cruise ship departing from the port of Nassau, in the Bahamas:


Canon Digital Rebel T5i
EOS 700D
Product Information

Canon T5i EOS 700D with battery grip
Digital Rebel T5i shown with the 18-135mm STM lens and optional battery grip and lens hood

This camera is known in the USA as the Digital Rebel T5i.  In some other parts of the world, it is known as the EOS 700D.

My local camera store has a special relationship with Canon and they had the brand new T5i in stock and ready for sale weeks before the big box and online stores were scheduled to have theirs.  I felt it was time to upgrade from my old Digital Rebel T2i, so I jumped at the chance to be one of the very first people in the USA to own one of Canon's latest and greatest Digital Rebels.


I've been extremely impressed with the new Canon Digital Rebel T5i.  I had already owned eight previous digital cameras when I decided to upgrade to the Rebel T5i, and it's been interesting to see how each camera has been better than the ones before it.  Within minutes of first fiddling around with the T5i, it was obvious to me that this was a huge improvement over my old T2i.

The most important improvement is the STM lens system.  If you ever think you'll be shooting video with your T5i, you definitely need to be using a STM lens and not an EF or EF-S lens.  Back when I had the T2i, I shot a LOT of video...  and it was sometimes a frustrating process, especially when it came to focus.  Canon recognized there was a lot of room for improvement, and that's what led to the development of the STM lens.  A T5i with a STM lens should definitely be your choice if you want a DSLR that can shoot video.

Let's take a look at a video I shot with the T5i.  This was a performance by a fantastic singer on the Carnival Breeze during a Caribbean cruise in April of 2013.  The camera was in fully automatic mode, with image stabilization turned on.  Even though my hands were a bit shaky, the image stabilization did a good job of keeping things fairly smooth.  Please pardon my major shakiness at about 1:40 in to the video, when I had to use one hand to wave off somebody that was about to walk in front of the camera!

Another big improvement I noticed after my upgrade from a T2i to a T5i is the articulating LCD monitor on the back of the camera...

Canon EOS 700D Digital Rebel T5i

The first night I had the camera, I took it down to Pismo Beach to shoot some test photos at sunset.  The articulating LCD monitor really came in handy when I was lining up the shot of the couple having a romantic time watching the sunset.

A kiss at the pier at sunset - Pismo Beach, California

The key to framing that picture was to get the sun in the right place.  The picture wouldn't look right if the sun was too high or too low.  In order to get the sun in just the right place, I had to put the camera about four feet off the ground.  Of course, I'm almost six feet tall, so that's a little awkward.  But it was easy with the T5i because I just pointed the articulating LCD monitor up so that I could look down to the camera and frame up the shot in the monitor.  The results speak for themselves.

Besides being compatible with the new STM lenses, the T5i is also compatible with the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses.  Here's my T5i attached to the biggest, badest lens in my arsenal...

Canon T5i with 100-400mm L series lens
Canon Digital Rebel T5i with 100-400mm "L" series image stabilized lens attached.
Notice that with a big lens like this, you attach the LENS to the tripod...  and let the camera hang off the back.

There's a great feature on the T5i (and on the T2i, too) that can have the camera choose the appropriate iso setting for you automatically.  Let's see if I can explain why this is one of my favorite little features.  As I mentioned earlier, a few years ago I owned the Digital Rebel XTi.  There were a lot of times when I was using the XTi that the camera simply refused to take the shot...  because I had chosen too low of an iso setting for the shot I was trying to get.  If you choose too high of an iso setting, you will get grainy looking photos...  and if you choose too low of an iso setting, the XTi would just refuse to take the picture.  But with the auto-iso feature on the Rebel T5i, this will never happen to you!  This one simple feature is so incredibly useful.  I could never go back to a camera without auto-iso now.

Other standard Rebel features:  the ability to shoot in "RAW" mode, which gives you the ability to make much higher quality adjustments to your photos than you can when working with .jpg images...   a full range of shutter, sensitivity, and exposure adjustments...  and there's an intelligent flash "hot shoe" on the top of the camera.  I had a camera a few years ago that featured a cheap stripped-down hot-shoe.  Canon's system is so much better!  The camera and the external flash talk to each other and share exposure, shutter, focus, and white-balance information.  It really makes for the best quality flash photos I've ever been able to take.  Also, if you get the 580EX external flash, you have the ability to add a second less-expensive flash unit later, which you can place in another part of the room and the two flashes will fire together at the same time.  This is called using a master flash and a slave flash.

I've owned four different versions of the Digital Rebel over the years...  the XTi, the XSi, the T2i, and now the T5i.  With each new version, Canon has managed to improve the low-light performance.  It's absolutely incredible what the T5i can do in low-light situations without a flash. 


If you appreciate that I took the time to create this web page to give you information about my experiences with the Canon T5i, and you're planning on purchasing one of these cameras, please do me a favor and make your purchase from Amazon.com by clicking on the ad over on the right side of the screen.  Amazon will pay me a small commission for any products purchased after clicking on that ad...  and that's the nicest way you can thank me for putting this information on the Internet for you.


Let me give you some good advice regarding accessories for the Digital Rebel...

My favorite accessory for the camera is the BG-E8 battery grip.  It's great for several reasons.  First off, it holds two Canon batteries at the same time...  so you can go twice as long without having to worry about running out of batteries.  Unless you are shooting thousands of pictures at one time, you never need to worry about whether you've got enough battery charge left when you have the battery grip attached to your camera. 

Second, the battery grip features an extra set of camera controls that are oriented for vertical (portrait mode) shooting.  Without the battery grip, when you rotate the camera to shoot in portrait mode, it's very awkward to reach the shutter release, for example.  With the battery grip attached, the shutter release on the battery grip is in the perfect spot.  It's also easier to hold the camera in portrait mode when the battery grip is attached.

Finally, the camera just looks bigger and more professional with the battery grip attached.  If you put the battery grip and a big zoom lens on your Digital Rebel, people may ask you what newspaper you work for!  Without the battery grip, the camera just looks too small...  almost like a toy...  when you have a big zoom lens attached to it.

Here's a picture of my T5i in the configuration I like best...  mounted on top of the battery grip, and with the 18-135mm image stabilized lens on the front.  With those two batteries inside the grip, it can shoot forever.  And the battery grip just makes it feel and look so much better.  Be aware that genuine Canon accessories can be a bit pricey...  so if the price of a genuine Canon battery grip scares you off, don't be afraid to use generic accessories.  I use a generic no-name battery grip, as well as generic batteries and a generic lens hood.  And if you order a battery grip, be aware that you need to order one extra battery so that you have a total of two batteries to put inside the battery grip.

Canon Digital Rebel T5i with STM lens and hood
T5i shown mounted on top of the BG-E8 battery grip






Shooting HD Video With The Canon Digital Rebel T5i

As I mentioned earlier... in addition to shooting extremely high quality still photos, the T5i (or 700D, if you're outside of the USA) shoots great high-definition video, too.  And I'm talking blu-ray quality video...  in full 1080p resolution.

The easiest way to watch videos that you've shot with your T5i is to connect the camera directly to your HDTV.  Be aware that to do this, you need a special cable which is not included with the camera.  The cable needs to have a standard full-sized (type A) male HDMI connector on one end, and a mini (type C) male HDMI connector on the other end.  Whatever you do, don't go to a local retail store to buy this...  you will pay way too much!  Here's a link to an inexpensive one from Amazon.com:

 
 

Browse all Canon lenses at Amazon.com


One of the great things about using a digital SLR camera versus a point-and-shoot is the hot-shoe which allows you to use an external flash unit.  Most inexpensive digital cameras do not have a hot-shoe, so you're stuck with only the built-in flash.  But when you get in to the world of digital SLR cameras, you have a hot shoe so you have the option of adding an external flash on to the top.  You will find that you are able to get much better results in many situations where you are shooting indoors...  especially if the room has a white ceiling you can bounce the flash off of.

I use a Canon Speedlite 580EX external flash on my camera, and it makes all the difference in the world in the quality of my indoor photographs.

The Rebel T5i is great at high iso photography, which means that in a lot of cases you can shoot indoors in natural light.  But, this only really works well if the light in the room is very evenly distributed.  In the real world, you tend to have very uneven lighting with a lot of shadows.  So, a flash is quite helpful.

If you just use the built-in flash, though, you get very strong un-natural looking light.  You can get a much more natural looking soft lighting effect by using an external flash and not pointing it directly at the subject...  you swivel it up towards the ceiling and let the light bounce off the ceiling and fill the room.  This is called "bounce flash".  If you're going to buy an external flash, make sure it can swivel!  Some lower-priced external flashes can not.  And make sure it can swivel both vertically AND horizontally, so you can bounce it off the ceiling regardless of whether you are shooting in portrait or landscape orientation!  The Canon Speedlite 580EX is a good match for any Canon camera that can accept an external flash,  and will swivel in both directions.  There's also a lower priced alternative called the 430EX.

External flash for Digital Rebel T5i
My Digital Rebel with a Speedlite 580EX flash mounted on top and oriented for bounce-flash operation.

Here's a demonstration of why an external flash is so useful.
Three photos of our neighbor, Natalie, using different lighting techniques:

Canon bounce flash demonstation photo

The one taken with natural light is not bad at all...  there was a fair amount of light coming in through a window.  The one using the built-in flash is horrible...  the lighting is very harsh.  You can see it actually made her squint.  But the best photo of all is the one using the Speedlite flash bounced off of the ceiling.  Look at the difference in the way her face is lit in that photo.  If you're going for the best possible indoor photos, the Speedlite is worth every penny!  If you purchase a Canon flash by clicking on the ad below, Amazon.com will send a small commission my way.  Thanks.

    

If you think you might ever want to use multiple external flash units, you want the 580EX...  because it can act as a "master" to other "slave" flash units in the same room.  If you don't ever see yourself doing this, you can go with the 430EX.


Finally, don't forget that Canon does not include a memory card in the box with the Digital Rebel.  So, you'll need to be sure to get one...  otherwise you won't be able to take any photos with your new camera!  Each jpg image shot with the Rebel requires about 7 megabytes of memory space, and each RAW image takes up a whopping 25 meg...  so I'd suggest you get a 16 gigabyte memory card so that you've got room for plenty of photos when you are on vacation and not able to download the photos to your computer for days at a time.  If you're planning to shoot video with your T5i, do yourself a favor and get a 32 gigabyte card.

A Neat Little Inexpensive Lens
For The Digital Rebel

I'd like to suggest an inexpensive lens that should be in the camera bag of every Canon Digital Rebel owner...

Canon's 50mm f/1.8 lens is a rare bargain in the world of Canon lenses.  The reason that you want it in your arsenal is that f/1.8 rating.  What that means is that this lens has an aperture that is open wide to let LOTS of light in...  which makes this a fantastic lens for shooting in low-light situations.  For example, if you want to do some shooting indoors in natural light without using a flash...  this is the lens for you, because of that f/1.8 aperture.

At f/1.8, this is definitely the best low-light lens in my camera bag...  and in addition to being very useful for indoor shots in natural light, a low-light lens like this is also great for shooting video.  I've shot a lot of video with Canon T5i camera, and much of that has been with this 50mm f/1.8 lens on front of the camera.  You get great video in natural light with this lens.

I still haven't mentioned the best part yet, though!  You'd think a low-light lens like this would sell for a lot of money, but it doesn't!  You can pick one of these up for just a little over $100.  And that makes this the best bargain you'll ever find in the expensive world of Canon lenses.  This lens even has a nickname among Canon fans.  It's called "the nifty fifty"!

Canon Digital Rebel T5i with nifty fifty 50mm lens
Canon EOS 700D (Digital Rebel T5i) with the 50mm "nifty fifty" lens mounted on front

 

If you're thinking that a inexpensive lens probably takes crappy pictures, think again!
Here's a shot I took with the Nifty Fifty lens.
Barrel Racing - Canon T2i demo shot by Jim Zimmerlin
I used the nifty fifty lens in this situation because there was very limited light and I needed to shoot at extremely fast shutter speeds.
Most lenses would have choked in this situation.
 

inexpensive Canon 50mm lens

If you purchase a "nifty fifty" lens by clicking on this ad from Amazon.com they will send a small commission my way.  Thanks!


A Great Little Carrying Case
For The Digital Rebel

When you own an expensive camera like this, you need to protect it when you are lugging it around.  Canon makes a great little carrying case...  and it's just the right size for the Digital Rebel...  even if you add on the optional battery grip.


Want to see pictures I've shot with other digital cameras?
Check out the Jim Zim photo gallery
 
I'm working on writing a few pages of things I've learned about digital photography.
I've finished the first one...  about compressing images.  Click here to read it.

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