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Besides more megapixels and low price, Canon’s EOS Rebel T5 budget DSLR is new in name only

Check out our review of the Canon EOS Rebel T5 digital camera. 

If you’re looking to get your hands on a new entry-level, budget DSLR, Canon has the new EOS Rebel T5 for you. A successor to the T3 (the number 4 is considered bad luck in Japan, so it’s sometimes skipped over), the T5 has a few updates that are mainly evolutionary. Priced at $550 and available next month, the camera comes with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II kit lens. 

The T5 uses an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and the older Digic 4 image processor. It still has an ISO range of 100-6,400, but it’s now expandable to 12,800. The camera has a nine-point autofocus system with one center cross-type AF point. Continuous shooting remains the same at a low 3 frames per second. The rear now has a larger, fixed 3-inch LCD (rated 460k dots). Movie capture is at Full HD 1080/30p. Strangely, in 2014, there’s no Wi-Fi in this camera.

Since this is a camera designed for users stepping up to an interchangeable lens camera for the first time, there are plenty of creative shooting modes and filters to pick from. Canon includes Basic+ and Creative Auto modes, and a Feature Guide that displays quick info on the various modes and settings. One hopes that users will move out of the auto modes and dip their feet into the semi-manual and manual modes. 

For the price, don’t expect this DSLR to be feature rich – it’s fairly barebones, but that’s probably by design, since it’s meant to be a starter camera. But we wish Canon had threw in a bit more to make it a worthy upgrade from the T3, considering there are plenty of mirrorless models at this price point that are claiming better specs, performance, and features. As we said in our T3 review, the camera doesn’t deliver what it should, even for the low price – and that seems to be the case with the T5 (we’ll reserve judgment until we actually play with one, but we don’t have high hopes). Considering that DSLRs are Canon’s bread-and-butter, the turmoil facing camera makers, and increased competition from mirrorless cameras (as well as rival Nikon, which also makes great DSLRs), Canon should have really stepped up its A-game in this sector if it wants to recruit new DSLR buyers.

One thing going for the T5 will be its size; despite the bulk, consumers seem to gravitate toward the DSLR form-factor as a better camera than smaller mirrorless models. If you strictly want to step up to a new DSLR but are on a budget, Canon has an option waiting for you.

New accessory

In addition to the T5, Canon introduced a new accessory, the Macro Ring Lite MR-14EXII ($550). Designed for shooting up-close using EF macro lenses, the Macro Ring Lite supports E-TTL wireless autoflash when used with one or more Speedlite 600EX-RT flashes. Canon says it’s a lot faster and allows for brighter focus. The accessory works with all Canon DSLRs, naturally.

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