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Canon T5i vs. T6i: Your Complete Comparison Guide

Canon T5i vs. T6i

In this article, we’ll be reviewing two of the top crowd favorites and heavily sought multi-functional cameras ever produced by Canon – Canon EOS Rebel T5i and the Canon EOS Rebel T6i.

Both are user-friendly cameras and packed with powerful features at an affordable price tag. Each has its own strengths and disadvantages that set them apart.

In this article, we’ll do an IN-DEPTH, NO BIAS review to help YOU choose the better option!

Canon EOS Rebel T5i and Canon EOS Rebel T6i: A Closer Look

The T6i and T5i belong to the realm of Digital Single Lens Reflex or more commonly referred to as “DSLR” cameras. These have leveled up the world of photography since their release.

Before we dive in, let’s quickly look at each camera’s main features and specifications.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

The Canon T5i was introduced to the market in March 2013. It’s a DSLR camera sporting an APS-C Sensor, with 17.9 megapixels.

  • Year released: 2013
  • Dimensions: 133 x 100 x 79 mm
  • Body weight: 580g
  • Mount lenses: Canon EF
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • Sensor resolution: 17.9 MP
  • Viewfinder: Yes; 95%
  • Autofocus: 9 points
  • Natural Sensitivity: ISO 100-12,800 (up to ISO 100 – 25,600)
  • Video Frame Rate: 1080/30p
  • Frames per second: 5 shutter flaps
  • Screen type: Articulated LCD touchscreen
  • Screen size and resolution: 3”, 1040k dots
  • Battery life: 440 shots

Canon EOS Rebel T6i

The later model – Canon T6i – was released in February 2016. Although it’s also equipped with an APS-C sensor, this camera boasts 24 megapixels.

  • Year released: 2016
  • Dimensions: 132 x 101 x 78 mm
  • Body weight: 555g
  • Mount lenses: Canon EF
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • Sensor resolution: 24 MP
  • Viewfinder: Yes; 95%
  • Autofocus: 19 points
  • Natural Sensitivity: ISO 100-12,800 (up to ISO 100 – 25,600)
  • Video Frame Rate: 1080/30p
  • Frames per second: 5 shutter flaps
  • Screen type: Articulated LCD touchscreen
  • Screen size and resolution: 3”, 1040k dots
  • Battery life: 440 shots

What Made Them Crowd Favorites?

Canon introduced the Rebel T5i and Rebel T6i models during the 2010s.

Following the footsteps of the successful Canon Digital Rebel in 2003, these two digital cameras further established the name and dominance of Canon in the world of DSLR cameras.

The 3Ps – portability, power, and price of the Canon Rebel series turned many heads and loyal customers.

This crucial mix, supported by their high compatibility and connectivity, solidified their mark in the camera industry.

Without further ado, let’s compare these two by looking at the key similar features and differences of Canon T6i and Canon T5i.

Canon T5i vs Canon T6i: Let’s Compare Them Side-by-Side

Physical Camera Body

If you are looking for PORTABILITY and COMPATIBILITY – Canon may seem to have mastered these, as evidenced by the Rebel T5i and Rebel T6i.

Dimensions

If we compare the external casing or body of the cameras, they would seem identical. They only differ by one or two millimeters – which, for us, is not noticeable at all.

With their size, these two cameras can be easily grasped or sit comfortably on your palm.

Both weigh roughly half a kilogram or just a little over one pound which is much lighter than most DSLRs.

On average, DSLRs with similar features and specs to that of Canon T5i and Canon T6i weigh around 900g or 2lbs!

Store it in the gear bag without adding much weight to your baggage. You can even wear them around your neck with a camera strap, and you’ll hardly feel the weight!

The Rebel T6i has the upper hand as it is slightly lighter by a 25 g margin.

Lens Compatibility

Another reason why photographers love these cameras is because of lens compatibility.

Both cameras feature the same Canon EF/EF S lens mount. Thus, the interchangeable lenses that can attach to the T6i should fit the T5i as well.

The good news is – there are around 300 NATIVE LENSES compatible with the Canon EF!

Our tip: Do check if the lenses have an optical stabilization feature. As with any interchangeable lens camera, neither the T6i nor T5i has sensor-based image stabilization.

Screen Matters

What we also like about these two gadgets is they offer swivel LCD screens equipped with contact-sensitive technology. Simply put – they both have FLEXIBLE TOUCHSCREENS.

It may be a minor factor for some, but it can be quite useful in tricky places.

For example, if you have a limited space where your camera is mounted, you can easily tilt the LCD screen to see and properly frame the photo. 

For vloggers and selfie lovers out there, this feature is a MUST!

Our Take:

  • In terms of the camera body, LCD, and dimensions, it’s a close tie between the two cameras. The two options are lightweight and compact, a truly portable companion for long trips.
  • In the lenses mount category, it is also a tie since both have the same design.

However, for photographers who prefer simple to navigate settings, you can go for the Canon T5i. It has a mode dial beside the power button.

Reviews gave the mode dial a thumbs up because you can easily access multiple camera settings plus in-camera editing features with just a twist of the knob.

What Can Be Improved

Among the number of cameras we’ve reviewed, we were surprised to know that the two cameras are NOT WEATHER-SEALED.

Thus, if you’re expecting harsh weather conditions during the shoot OR planning to ride a boat, you might want to store your camera back in its bag as it cannot endure water or inclement rain.

The battery life of both cameras is AVERAGE. because a single battery cycle can ONLY take up to 440 photos.

The good news is both cameras operate on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Many cameras have longer battery lives because they have a capacity of about 800 to 1,000 photos in one charging cycle.

Battle of the Features

In photography, the power and quality lie beyond the physical body of the camera.

An important feature in any DSLR would be the optical viewfinder.

Optical Viewfinder

This small window/peephole allows you to adjust the frame and see the image where the camera is pointed out.

Optical viewfinders are ALSO useful for FRAMING in bright or sunny environments. Both options offer a field of view of 95%.

HOWEVER, they differ in magnification power and Autofocus.

Canon T5i has the upper hand when it comes to magnification. It has a 0.53x magnifying power, compared to the 0.51x of Canon T6i.

The greater the magnification, the closer the image is to what we see with our naked eye. The proportion and image seen in Canon T5i are more similar to what we see when zoomed in.

On the other hand, if we look at the Autofocus points, Canon T6i has superiority as it has 19 points. Meanwhile, Canon T5i only has 9 points supported with a cross-type AF system.

Autofocus points are beneficial in framing your subject when looking through the viewfinder.

Canon T5i has a cross-type system, while the Canon T6i is fortified with the Hybrid CMOS AF 111 system. This enables accurate autofocus on your subject, plus offers the following features:

  • FlexiZone-Multi
  • FlexiZone-Single
  • Face detection
  • Tracking AF

Our Take:

The two cameras have the same optical viewfinder feature and field of view. The T5i is a better choice in terms of magnification than the T6i.

Overall though, we’re choosing the T6i because of the 19 AF and Hybrid CMOS Autofocus system. The accurate focus is helpful in framing and pinning down your subjects in the photos.

What Can Be Improved

Although both cameras offer a decent field of view, there are DSLR cameras that offer a wider field of view of up to 100%.

The 95% might be limiting, especially for landscape photographers who need to capture many things in a single frame.

A Look at the Imaging Sensors

A crucial factor in any camera is found in the imaging sensors.

For those who are new to photography, the imaging sensor is responsible for capturing high-quality images.

  • If you want high image quality, go for BIGGER camera sensors.
  • Cameras with large image sensors produced better quality photos compared to gadgets with smaller imaging sensors.

The reason behind this all boils down to the PIXELS it can generate.

A large sensor would be able to produce larger individual pixel units. The bigger the pixel, the more crisp the image would be.

“What’s in a pixel that affects image quality?” you may ask.

Actually, there are THREE factors in a pixel that influences image quality:

  • Color depth: The depth of color expressed in each pixel controls the “life” of the photo through the colors it can generate. Bigger pixels would be able to sustain the vibrancy of the image (or lack thereof)
  • Dynamic range: Larger imaging sensors have a wider range. This measures the light intensities and is responsible for bringing shadows and highlights to the image components.
  • Sensitivity to Low-light: This basically refers to how much light is needed by the sensor to capture quality images. Larger sensors have better low light sensitivity than smaller sensors, translating to better performance in low-lit environments.

Smaller pixels CANNOT fully contain the complexities of these aspects. However, note that large photos with larger pixels have bigger file sizes and take more space in your card’s memory.

Depth of Field

In addition to larger pixel units, sensors would enable you to control and adjust the field depth in the image.

For macro photographers or those who like to focus on their subjects by blurring out the background, large sensors would be your best friend.

Bigger sensors give you more control and help highlight your subject more effectively.

Reminder: larger sensors tend to cost MORE. In addition, they come in larger and bulkier packages compared to smaller sensors.

APS-C Sensors

Do Canon EOS Rebel T5i and Canon EOS Rebel T6i have different imaging sensors?

The answer is NO.

Both sport the same APS-C Sensor (22.3 x 14.9 mm), another power sensor from Canon.

  • Many people appreciate and prefer the APS-C because it has a “crop factor” of 1.6.
  • The sensor’s width to sensor height ratio, or “native aspect ratio,” is 3:2.

The good thing about the sensors of both gadgets is they offer the right balance of portability and power.

These qualities explain why professional photographers and beginners choose either the T6i or the T5i from the Rebel Series.

ISO Range

It is good to note that both cameras have similar ISO settings for Native Sensitivity Range.

The Canon EOS Rebel T6i and Canon EOS Rebel T5i operate on ISO 100-12,800, extending to ISO 100-25,600.

In an environment with bright light, the camera would be able to adjust the ISO values automatically.

The enhanced ISO range enables better still photography and a more crisp burst mode than similar models made in the same period.

Our Take:

Is it a tie between the Canon EOS Rebel T6i and Canon EOS Rebel T5i regarding imaging sensors?

It’s a YES and a NO.

If we look solely at the imaging sensors, it’s a YES because they have the same sensor.

However, if we also take into account the image processing engine, then NO.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i clearly benefited from technology advancements made in the gap years between the two.

The T5i runs on DIGIC 5, while the T6i sports a DIGIC 6. The advanced image processing engine of T6i has better color accuracy, noise reduction, and faster processing speed.

To sum it up, both have the same imaging sensors, but the Canon EOS Rebel T6i is a MORE advanced camera that produces BETTER quality images.

DxO Marks

If you need quantified results to base your judgment, a common reference would be DXO Marks.

DXO Scores analyze and rate actual sensor performance. These provide a more objective review as the results are generated from the lab. Plus, they analyze RAW images from the camera sensor.

The overall DXO Score considers three aspects:

  • DXO Portrait for Color Depth
  • DXO Landscape for Dynamic Range
  • DXO Sports for low-light sensitivity

Based on the set of raw images captured using the two gadgets, Canon EOS Rebel T6i won by 10 points, a considerably wide gap from Canon EOS Rebel T5i.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i DXO Overall: 71

  • DXO Portrait: 22.7
  • DXO Landscape: 12.0
  • DXO Sports: 919

Canon EOS Rebel T5i DXO Overall: 61

  • DXO Portrait: 21.7
  • DXO Landscape: 11.2
  • DXO Sports: 681

Our Take:

Between the two, the T6i is superior when it comes to the production of image quality.

There is minimal difference in DXO Portrait and DXO Landscape scores. However, the T6i garnered a better low-light sensitivity score which heavily influenced the overall DXO Mark of T6i.

This means that in a dimly lit environment, the Canon EOS Rebel T6i would be able to adjust and capture a clearer image than the Canon EOS Rebel T5i.

Megapixels

Do the same sensors produce the same resolution or megapixels? In this case, NO, they don’t.

The Canon EOS Rebel T6i has a clear advantage in image resolution as it has 24 megapixels.

Meanwhile, although still above satisfactory, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i has 17.9 megapixels. It affects the liner resolution by 16%.

It’s also no surprise that Canon T6i offers higher pixel density.

  • Canon EOS Rebel T6i Pixel pitch: 3.72μm
  • Canon EOS Rebel T5i Pixel pitch: 4.31μm

What is the use of megapixels?

Have you ever tried cropping out or resizing an image, and it ends up getting blurred? Megapixels are responsible for that.

A photo captured with higher megapixels can be resized or zoomed in without gravely affecting the quality of the image—basically, the MORE megapixels, the BETTER.

Thus, if I take the same photo with the Canon EOS Rebel T6i and Canon EOS Rebel T5i, I would be able to zoom in Canon T6i’s photos without blurring the cropped image. 

This would also be highly useful when printing pictures. If we compare the maximum print size of these cameras, Canon T6i would be our pick.

Canon T6i

  • Excellent quality photo (300 dots per inch): 50.8 x 33.9 cm or 20 x 13.3 inches
  • Very good quality (250 dpi): 61 x 40.6 cm or 24 x 16 inches
  • Good quality (200 dpi): 76.2 x 50.8 cm or 30 x 20 inches

Canon T5i

  • Excellent quality photo (300 dots per inch): 43.9 x 29.3 cm or 17.3 x 11.5 inches
  • Very good quality (250 dpi): 52.7 x 35.1 cm or 20.7 x 13.8 inches
  • Good quality (200 dpi): 65.8 x 43.9 cm cm or 25.9 x 17.3 inches

Our Take:

The significant difference in megapixels automatically gives our vote towards Canon EOS Rebel T6i. The 24 MP camera would ensure clear and crisp photos – BEFORE and AFTER editing.

Video Performance & Frame Rates

Although second to images, videos, especially HD clips, would also be a good factor to consider when weighing camera options.

The Canon T5i and Canon T6i generate above-average read-out speeds. It is fast enough to capture live or fast-moving objects and produce HD videos.

For movie specifications, both cameras have a sensor that operates at 1080/30p.

As for frames per second, they also have a similar rate of 5 shutter flaps. In addition to capturing fast-moving objects, this feature can also be critical for sports photographers.

It’s good to note that the Canon EOS Rebel T5i has the “Movie Servo AF” feature in live view.

This is critical to perform continuous AF – which means you won’t be missing any beat in live and fast action shots.

Connectivity and Accessories

Connectivity is also an important factor because it determines the ease of receiving and transferring data to the external environment and your devices.

Between the two, we prefer the T6i as it supports Near Field Communication (NFC) and WiFi options.

These allow easy transmission of photos to your mobile phone, which can also act as a remote control for your Canon camera.

The built-in Wi-Fi is a great addition as it can facilitate easy image transfer and backup.

Canon T6i:

  • HDMI Port: mini
  • USB Port: 2.0
  • Speaker: Mono
  • Internal Mic: Stereo
  • External Microphone Socket: Yes
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Bulb Shutter: Yes
  • Hotshoe Port: Yes
  • Wifi Support: Yes
  • NFC Support: Yes
  • Shutter Priority: Yes
  • Aperture Priority: Yes

Canon T5i:

  • HDMI Port: mini
  • USB Port: 2.0
  • Speaker: Mono
  • Internal Mic: Stereo
  • External Mic Socket: Yes
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Bulb Shutter: Yes
  • Hotshoe Port: Yes
  • Wifi Support: No
  • NFC Support: No
  • Shutter Priority: Yes
  • Aperture Priority: Yes

They both store and write their files on an SDXC Card. Moreover, it’s possible to utilize a UHS-I Card in both gadgets.

UHS-I Cards allow Ultra High-Speed data transfer up to a whopping 104 MB per second.

Our Take:

Most of the connectivity features are similar. But we’ll have to go with the T6i in terms of connectivity.

It can support WiFi data transferring, which may come in handy when there are no cords available. It’s also more convenient as you won’t need to physically connect your camera to your receiving device.

What Can Be Improved

We noted that neither cameras have BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY nor a port for headphones.

An HDMI or USB port can mitigate the lack of Bluetooth features. 

However, the headphone port is crucial for videographers because it allows the videographer to monitor and control the audio when recording.

Price

As with any purchase, price plays an important factor in the decision-making process. Comparing the two, the T5i was introduced at a lower price than the T6i by 13%.

Although they are discontinued today, retail prices do not stray far away from introductory prices.

Our Take:

For those with financial constraints on their camera decision, the Canon T5i would be a more budget-friendly entry-level camera.

  • Since they have the same lens mount, you can improve image quality by changing the lens you attach to the camera.
  • You can choose from a range of interchangeable lenses that will help you capture high-quality photos and better control over optical zoom settings.

Summary: Best Bits of Canon T5i and Canon T6i

There might be a lot of information to process in this comparison guide, so we’ve also prepared a summary of the strengths of each camera.

Both cameras share a lot of similarities and are reliable cameras that can capture high-quality images. So, the burning question is – what would make you choose one over the other?

Reasons to Choose Canon T5i

  • A more affordable option: Since it is an earlier model, it can be expected that its tag would be cheaper as well. Its discounted price is 10 to 13% cheaper than the T6i!
  • More powerful magnification: The magnification capability of the T5i trumps the T6i
  • You can switch the touchscreen back to a manual screen:  You can turn off the touchscreen feature back to a traditional screen.

Reasons to Choose Canon T6i

  • More powerful imaging sensor: similar sensors, but it’s more powerful. Higher image quality can be expected in terms of color depth and dynamic range.
  • Better performance in low lit environments: its sensitivity to low light is better than T5i, which means you can get clearer photos in light compromised areas
  • Better connectivity: it supports WiFi and NFC, which means you can connect to devices without the need for a cord!
  • Higher megapixel: 24 megapixels (6 MP higher than Canon T5i) is enough for you to get crisp images even after resizing
  • More modern image processing engine: runs on DIGIC 6, resulting in better JPGs
  • The more recent model between the two

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between Canon Eos Rebel T5i and Canon Eos Rebel T6i?

The T5i is an older model than the T6i, so the former lacks some features and specs.

However, in terms of magnification and price, you can go for the T5i. It’s our recommendation for those who need a reliable yet multi-feature camera without spending too much.

Is Canon EOS Rebel T5i Better Than Canon EOS Rebel T6i?

The overview section provides insights into the strengths of each camera.

Most of the reasons and side-by-side comparisons support T6i over the T5i. However, this doesn’t mean the T5i isn’t worth considering.

Remember: There is a perfect camera for EACH photographer. It all boils down and depends on personal preference!

Is Canon EOS Rebel T7i Better Than Canon EOS Rebel T6i?

T7i is a later model compared to T6i, so expect more advanced features in this camera. However, some strengths are present in the T7i are ALSO PRESENT in the T6i. These include:

  • Optical pentamirror viewfinder
  • 1920 X 1080 Full HD Video Resolution
  • Canon EF/EF-S Mount

As with any camera comparison, it all boils down to personal preference and the type of photography one plans to use the camera with.

Verdict

The two Canon cameras are fan favorites in the photography world. They offer amazing price to value ratios and unique features that are hard to beat. 

We understand if you have difficulties choosing among the two Canon cameras. Here’s how to help you become more decisive:

Go over the conditions we laid out below so that you know which conditions satisfy your needs the most.

One thing’s for sure, though: You’re in GREAT HANDS with both cameras!

Buy the T6i If…

You are looking for a brand new camera with top-tier specs. It may be pricier than the T5i, but you get better image quality and storage. How so? An APS C sensor with 24 megapixels and Wi-Fi connectivity will give you more control over the quality of images you want to capture.

But the T5i If…

You need a reliable and powerful camera without spending too much.

Features such as superior magnification and a user-friendly touchscreen give it the upper hand over other cameras.

REMEMBER: You get all these and them some at an AFFORDABLE PRICE POINT!

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