A Brutally Honest Review of Canon’s New Rebel T5i, the T4i on Placebo

Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based camera store The Camera Store just released this review in which Chris Niccolls takes a look at the new Canon Rebel T5i (also known as the 700D and Kiss X7i). The 1-minute-long video may be the most honest review of the camera yet.

The T5i was announced last month to no fanfare, and resulted in much groaning from photographers who wanted to see Canon shake things up a bit in its camera lines.

Rather than announce something innovative, Canon decided to do the exact opposite. The T5i is pretty much the T4i with a new model name slapped onto it.

Can't tell the difference? We don't blame ya

Can’t tell the difference? We don’t blame ya

Don’t believe us? Check out this side-by-side spec comparison courtesy of SnapSort (we’ve fixed a couple of spec errors in this screenshot):


Sometimes new cameras are referred to as their predecessor “on steroids.” Not so with the T5i. It’s the T4i on placebo.

The 18-55mm did get some minor steroids, though.

  • Carl Wilkerson

    And in turn, the T4i was a perfunctory improvement on the T3i. Canon’s largely static APS-C product line implies that you can buy a full-frame unit if you want “improvement.”

  • Michael Palmer

    Muhahaha :-)

  • Raymond Larose

    Gotta say, that’s awesome.

  • Alan Dove

    Yeah, but the T5i is 30% more expensive and five grams heavier, so they definitely boosted those specs.

  • anncoultersadamsapple

    Haven’t watched the video yet so apologies if this is addressed in it, but I am curious if the continuous auto-focus while shooting video works any better… Just because they have the same features, doesn’t mean the features can’t work better.

  • Jordan Drake

    I’ve tested the continuous AF in video mode, it works exactly like the T4i, which is to say, not terribly well.

  • JoeNoName

    how long has canon been pushing that 18mp sensor?
    My sony a500 from 2009 has the same dynamic range and more color depth than this.

    Fun how people go to Canon without thinking rather than researching and getting something worth the money, T2i performes the same as 3 generations upward: T5i, just minor changes, but basically the same camera.

  • anncoultersadamsapple

    Thanks. Good to know.

  • t2i guest

    I won’t have the money for a full-frame camera anywhere soon; upgrading from t2i – thinking strictly at image quality – is impossible for he moment. i will jump ship.

  • Igor Ken

    The video’s hilarious!

  • Mantis

    It’s okay. Canon is just emulating Apples business model of just releasing the same thing over and over again with a new name or minor spec improvement.

  • Trythe1

    Still better than cnet

  • Arnold Newman

    Give Canon a break, guys. Their engineers are all deployed on the 200-400 f/4L in an effort to bring it to market before 2018.

  • Arnold Newman

    That price increase is ridiculous. Literally money for nothing.

  • Vouty

    All this Canon bashing seems to be people complaining that Canon won’t sell them a $2,500 pro camera for $900. Since the t2i, the Rebel has been and still is the best you can do for under a grand. With every revision, including the t5i, Canon has added useful features and fixed every complaint anyone ever had with these cameras. No, the video focus is still not perfect, but what dslr does have perfect video focus? The STM lenses are as good as focus gets at this price. You think the t5i is overpriced? Fine, buy a t4i or a t3i, if you can still find one. All good and totally worth the price.

  • Mansgame

    lol saved me 10 minutes

  • Zos Xavius

    The best you can do for under a grand? I’d take a weather sealed pentax k-30 with the glorious sony 16mp sensor over this dinosaur any day of the week. 100% pentaprism vs 95% pentamirror? Far better ergonomics, image quality, and fully manual video as well? The t4/t5 might be a tad bit better in the video dept for certain things, but everything else is pretty awful. The d7000 is under a grand too. That’s a weather sealed metal bodied semi-pro camera. The Rebel line offers relatively little value in comparison to several similarly priced options to be honest. Is canon paying you to defend their antique camera line or what?

  • Vouty

    Antique camera? The d7000 was released in 2010. Of course you can get it at a discount in 2013. Pentax used be great back in the film days but now they just seem to make candy-colored toy cameras. I’d rather have a real Sony camera than a Pentax.

  • mlieberman85

    Look, I switched from Nikon to Canon about a year ago and the criticism here is not that this camera didn’t improve enough, it’s essentially the same camera as the t4i. This article didn’t knock Canon’s entire line. It’s understandable for people to criticize it when the t4i is essentially the same camera as the newer model and the newer model is hundreds of dollars more expensive.

  • Stephen

    Yes, probably the most underwhelming update in an industry bogged down in too many cameras with too few differences.

    Differences in Canon Rebel T5i body (aka 700D aka KissX7i) over T4i body (aka 650D aka KissX6i):

    – T5i has improved multi-shot noise reduction
    – T5i is 5 grams heavier
    – T5i is 1mm deeper and 1mm taller in height
    – T5i has new SCENE mode on top mode dial (HDR Backlight Control, Handheld Night Scene and Night Portrait selected by moving mode dial to SCN then pressing the “Q” [quick] button then rotating front control dial/scroll wheel)
    – T5i top mode dial has larger raised lettering and symbols for more tactile selection
    – T5i top mode dial can now rotate 360 degrees
    – T5i can apply creative filters live while shooting rather then only after
    – T5i adds back the digital zoom option (3x to 10x)

    …yawn. What a waste of resources all-round… (Design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, sales persons time, customers time, support materials etc.)

  • Vouty

    What’s the big deal about the price? Just wait a month for it to drop. It always works that way.

  • Stephen

    Sorry, last line item correction: digital zoom option in video was not re-introuced (one fewer difference now).

  • Renato Murakami

    Yeah, pretty much… if Canon just kept the T4i name and made the improvements quietly, people wouldn’t even notice. Well, maybe some specialized blogs… I think it would’ve been better for the line overall.
    That’s why I still have my T2i with no expectations of switching, unless it’s for full frame.
    I still love my T2i, nothing to complain about it, but Canon seems to be very confused on the planning and marketing department lately.

  • Kai

    These guys totally pwned digitalrev, kai is getting lame day by day

  • bingbingwa

    Fortunately all my friends are ugly, so I don’t need a camera.

  • Duke Shin

    So… It’s the iPhone 5 of cameras.

  • R E Casper

    For The Camera Store, this review is hilarious…
    For Canon, this release is embarrassing…

  • mike

    I have the T4i that I upgraded from a XT so the upgrade was good for me but the T4i, 60D and 7D all use the same sensor. Its crazy that the 7D is twice the price of the T4i, that why I went with the T4i

  • Adam Correia

    The Canon T4i is being discontinued by Canon. It was a decision made at headquarters. This is from my Canon rep, with whom I spoke to yesterday.

  • Swade

    I need a camera that is 1mm wider and thicker.

  • Swade

    Actually, if you know about their products, you can very easily see the upgrades. That was a good try though.

  • YS

    I found Live View AF for stills to be a bit faster over the 650D, is that the same with you?

  • Mat

    And the chicks for free.

  • David on Formosa

    Canon should have waited another six months so they could release a camera that was genuinely new rather than a simple rebadge of an existing model.

  • Mehmet Kıvanç Özel

    This makes me a happy 550d user.

  • Tom Waugh

    That reply was dire!

  • KeeFyBeeFy

    Right. So externally what’s the difference between a 4S and a 4 other than the serial number? Which by the way is not easily seen.

    Another apple fanboy? Don’t get me wrong, i’ve been using apple stuff for a while now, but the fanboys are plain down idiotic sometimes.

  • fran

    That’s idiotic and misses the point.

  • Thewirehead

    How many lenses does Sony offer?

  • RB

    Externally, there’s not much difference between the iPhone 4 and 4S. Internally, there are lots of improvents — for example, the camera.

    Not a good analogy to the T4/5i.

  • Steve

    Hey look everybody, it’s an Apple fanboy!
    (How’s the stock market been treating your company lately?)

  • Patricia

    Externally, not much difference. But if you bothered to do any research at all you’d know that the fixed aperture of the 4S was increased from f/2.8 to f/2.4. The white balance improved as well.

  • zaakir

    its more expensive as its a superior camera in every other way to the t4i. You should know that.

  • zaakir

    lol yup

  • zaakir

    i enjoy kai

  • C.K. Lee

    It’s easy to make that judgement if you haven’t handled both side by side. It’s not just the sensor – construction, weather-sealing, menu system, focus points… They’re aimed at different demographics, interest and perhaps skill-set.

    Things I like on the T4i that aren’t on the 7D – touchscreen that is articulated, STM support with video AF.

  • C.K. Lee

    And they fixed the antennae issue!

    Oh, wait a minute.

  • Mehmet Kıvanç Özel

    if Kai was here he would say “that’s what she said!”

  • KeeFyBeeFy

    “Actually, if you know about their products, you can very easily see the upgrades. That was a good try though.”

    SEE the upgrades.Operative word is SEE. Whilst i agree the original post is a bad analogy. I followed along the lines of External difference.

  • JoeNoName

    i dont care for 200 lenses if I only need 3. 24, 35 and 135 :)

    Win-win for me