Canon EOS T5i 700D review-in-progress
The Canon EOS Rebel T5i, or EOS 700D as it's known outside North America, is the company's latest upper entry level DSLR. Announced in March 2013 it comes only nine months after the T4i / 650D, making it the fastest refresh in this product line. This time it replaces the T4i / 650D but the earlier T3i / 600D remains in the range as a cheaper option.
It's fair to say that not a great deal has changed between the T5i / 700D and its predecessor. Indeed they're identical other than three changes: a new mode dial which can rotate through 360 degrees and keep turning, previews of Creative Filters in Live View, and a new external coating inherited from mid-range models like the 60D to provide a more durable finish. Beyond this, the only difference between the T5i / 700D and the T4i / 650D is the basic kit lens option: an updated EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 IS now equipped with STM for quicker and quieter movie focusing, which has the additional benefit of a front section that doesn't rotate.
Beyond that, the T5i / 700D is identical to the T4i / 650D before it. Same body, same 3in articulated screen, same viewfinder, same 9-point all cross-type AF system, same movie modes, same 5fps continuous shooting and same 18 Megapixel CMOS sensor with hybrid AF. Strangely the T5i / 700D doesn't adopt the newer 18 Megapixel sensor with Hybrid AF II as seen on the EOS SL1 / 100D announced on the same day, so it misses out on that model's broader distribution of phase detect AF assist points across the frame.
Not implementing Hybrid AF II is a missed opportunity as without the latest sensor enhancement, the T5i / 700D comes across as little more than a means to distribute the new kit lens. To be fair, the earlier T4i / 650D was an excellent camera, so the T5i / 700D inherits all that goodness, but in terms of an upgrade, there's barely any difference.
This isn't all bad news though. As an older model, the EOS T4i / 650D is already enjoying some decent discounts which can only get better now the T5i / 700D has been announced. This means new buyers could grab themselves a bargain T4i / 650D and enjoy virtually the same feature-set as the latest model - they can even opt for the EF-S 18-135mm kit lens if they want STM focusing. See my Canon EOS T4i / 650D review for more details.
Then when as the T5i / 700D becomes more established, its price will fall until it becomes the natural choice for Canon shooters at this end of the range. So don't think of the T5i / 700D as an upgrade - it's more a gentle refresh, or even a simple repackage. Owners of older models looking for an upgrade should turn to the expected successor to the mid-range EOS 60D.
So that's the EOS T5i / 700D for you. It's basically a T4i / 650D with some very minor tweaks, arguably produced to make this end of Canon's range look a bit fresher against the competition, but ultimately an unnecessary move in my view. I do however like the final exorcism of the EF-S 18-55mm's rotating front element. While Canon followers may be perplexed by the body refresh, owners of polarizing filters the World over will rejoice.
Between you and me though, I think I'd personally prefer to have that new kit lens mounted on the EOS SL1 / 100D announced on the same day. How about you?
Available in April 2013. Pricing
Canon EOS T5i / 700D body only: $749 USD / 629.99 GBP / 799 EUR (RRP)
Canon EOS T5i / 700D with EF-S 18-55mm STM: $899 USD / 759.99 GBP / 969.99 EUR (RRP)