Don’t be fooled. One tiny letter may separate the Canon T5 from the Canon T5i. Yet these two cameras are definitely not the same. Let’s just say there’s more to them than meets the “i”. In this article, we’ll cover the differences to help you determine which camera – Canon T5 or Canon T5i – is your best bet as a photographer.
In a hurry? Here are quick recommendations on which camera is right for you.
For the aspiring pro photographer, excited but unpaid
Canon T5 – it’s cheaper than the T5i
For the pro photographer, shooting models or parachuting into war zones
Canon T5i – With it, you’ll get the absolute best photos.
For the child photographer, eagerly exploring photography
Canon T5 – It’s more than enough to get started at any age.
For the lucky person to whom money is no issue
Canon T5i – The quality can’t be beat
As you look at cameras, an immediate consideration will probably be price. The Canon T5 is the lower-priced of the two. After price, you’ll likely judge the cameras by their technical specs.
One “tech spec” to consider is the processor used by each camera. Processors matter because they determine the speed of the camera, as given in frames per second. A better processor means your camera performs faster, enabling you to capture more photographs at once.
Curious how the Canon T5 and the Canon T5i compare on processors? The T5 uses a DIGIC 4 processor, which produces 3 frames per second. The T5i, on the other hand, comes with a DIGIC 5 processor, enabling it to produce 5 frames per second.
Depending on where you stand as a photographer, this issue of frames per second (fps) may or may not be a huge deal. If you’re a beginner, you probably won’t care. Nor will you experience a painful delay or lag, when using the T5 versus the T5i. But if you’re at the pro level, small differences like a processor may be much more important to you. If that’s indeed your position, the Canon T5i beats the T5 on processor.
Another “tech spec” to reflect on is lenses. The T5 comes with 18 – 55mm, 3.5-5.6 IS kit lenses made of a highly-durable plastic. When attached to the camera, the kit lenses will provide you, the T5 user, with a focal length of between 29-88mm.
On lenses, it’s worth noting that the lenses for the T5 are not exactly cutting-edge technology. That’s because the lenses were first developed by Canon back in 2007. So if you want more state-of-the-art kit lenses, you should probably gravitate toward the Canon T5i. The reason being that the T5i’s lenses debuted in 2013. In the span of six years (2007-2013), Canon was able to substantially upgrade its lenses.
One such upgrade was the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens. If you’re a pro photographer, you’ll love this lens. It trounces the T5 from a performance standpoint, while incorporating revolutionary STM (Stepping Motor Technology) for all your video recording needs. Another lens of note for the T5i is the 8-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, providing great all-purpose flexibility.
Continuing on features, a third one is ISO. Which stands for…ISO! It indicates how sensitive your camera’s sensor will be when interacting with light. The higher the ISO settings on your camera, the more your camera will sense the light. Using ISO, you can therefore take photos at night or in very dimly lit indoor areas.
Keep in mind, however, that the images you take will often be grainy – especially if they are high ISO images. For ISO, how do the T5 and the T5i compare? As you might expect by now, the T5i is superior on ISO too.
Use the T5i and your maximum ISO range will be up to 25,600. That’s double the maximum range of the Canon T5 (12,800).
Canon’s T5i further outpaces the Canon T5 on our next feature, screens. In fact, you could even say the Canon T5i is more “in touch” with photographers. The T5i is more “in touch” because of its touch screen. As a photographer, the 3-inch touch screen further simplifies an already easy-to-use camera. T
he screen on the T5i also has a far higher LCD resolution than the T5, more than double, at 1,040,000 dots (T5i) versus 460,000 dots (T5). Photographers, especially those in the field, will further appreciate that the T5 screen can be moved around at various angles (i.e. “articulated”). Flexibility like this is perfect for those times when your camera must be positioned to capture images at off-beat angles.
Speaking of off-beat, something you may want to consider in choosing your camera is video. Naturally, you’re selecting a camera for the purpose of taking pictures. Yet the ability of your camera to capture video still matters. Especially today, with the rise of Facebook Live, Vine, YouTube, and other video platforms. Video is becoming an ever more important part of our daily lives, as a way we communicate. So while you’ll primarily use your camera to take pictures, it’s still a good idea to think about its video capabilities too. From a video standpoint, the two cameras both get the job done. The T5i, however, gets the job done with a built-in, stereo-quality microphone and a port for connecting an external mic. The T5i also guards against blurry videos with continuous autofocus. These features of the T5i are excellent if you want to capture superior digital videos with your camera.
More In-depth Canon T5 and Canon T5i Comparison
Seen enough? We’ve covered quite a few tech specs. Enough that, at this point, you can probably see the clear differences between the Canon T5 and the Canon T5i.
As we noted before, the names of these two cameras can be misleading. For there’s definitely more separating them than just an “i” in their names. Given all the differences, you’re hopefully closer to a decision on which camera is right for you. To help you finish making that decision, here’s some suggestions.
These suggestions are based on the kinds of people who typically get each camera. Read them and see which camera corresponds to your own situation.
To begin, let’s say you’re purely focused on price. There’s no shame in that. We get it, money matters. And if it’s all that matters to you, go with the cheaper camera – the Canon T5.
Both are options for you with the lower-priced T5. Despite its lower price, purchasing the T5 doesn’t mean you’re settling either. It’s still a great camera.
A camera so good that it ranks #1 among all DSLR cameras on Amazon.com. The T5 won’t disappoint you, in other words. It’s just a question then of whether you want a great camera or an exceptional one.
If money is less of a determinant for you, then consider the T5i. It’s exceptional, to both the T5 and other cameras too, in nearly every sense.
Difference are clear, for example, with the screen’s LCD resolution, more than double that of the T5. A screen with higher resolution enables you to be more aware of your photos, as you take them.
Your screen is also more flexible on the T5i, given its ability to be craned at angles like the screen on a camcorder. The T5i also deserves your pick on account of its ISO capabilities which are double that of the T5. Along with ISO, the T5i is technically superior with its faster processor.
The processor on the T5i enables images to be shot at 5 frames-per-second, versus the 3 frames-per-second of the T5. If, as you shoot, you then wish to add in some video – the T5i excels there too. The continuous autofocus and mic capabilities further elevate it, head and shoulders above all other DSLRs.
So, do you want an exceptional camera?
You might not actually. Even if price isn’t your deciding major factor, you may simply not need all of the “bells and whistles” of the Canon T5i.
Perhaps you’re an amateur photographer.
In that case, you probably don’t need the absolute latest, most sophisticated DSLR camera known to man.
The reason being that you’re unlikely to use (or even comprehend) every last feature and nuance found in T5i.
You’d be better off with the T5, a camera that will more than satisfy your yearnings for basic digital photography.
Professional photographers, on the other hand, should look beyond the T5 and set their “i”s on its successor. It’s the ideal choice for any true photography pro.