The Canon EOS 700D – or Canon Rebel T5i as it's known in some territories – is Canon's latest DSLR. Find out how it fares in the What Digital Camera Canon EOS 700D full review
The range launched back in 2003 with the Canon EOS 300D – the world’s first truly affordable DSLR – and with each evolution building on its predecessor’s performance and feature-set. It’s little wonder then that Canon’s triple-digit DSLR range has been so successful, attracting both new and experienced users alike.
And now we have the Canon EOS 700D, replacing the popular 650D, and while there appears that little has changed should Canon’s latest triple-digit DSLR still be at the top of your list?
Canon EOS 700D review – Features
The Canon EOS 700D maintains the same 18MP resolution we’ve seen in a number of EOS bodies in recent years, as opposed to rivals such as the Nikon D5200 and Sony Alpha 65 which have opted for 20MP+ sensors. This latest generation chip features a Hybrid AF system that we first saw on the EOS 650D, with the central pixels used for phase detection AF, so when combined with the Canon EOS 700D’s contrast detect AF system, is designed to improve focusing performance in both Live View and video modes.
While the 700D may loose out in the resolution stakes compared to the competition, the similar sensor size allows the 700D’s pixels to be that bit larger, which in theory will see it control image noise better and deliver a wider dynamic range.
It’s no surprise then to see that Canon EOS 700D features a broad native ISO range of 100-12,800 as standard, with the ability to shoot at an ISO equivalent of 25,600. And while the 700D doesn’t feature the latest DIGIC 5+ image processor found in the latest top-of-the-range EOS models, in continues with the DIGIC 5 processor used in the 650D.
As far as AF goes, the 700D plays it pretty safe, with a 9-point diamond formation AF system recycled from the 650D. The good news is that they’re all cross-type variants, making them sensitive to both horizontal and vertical subjects. This should reduce hunting and improve AF speed, but interestingly the Nikon D5200 sports an impressive 39-point AF system with 9 of those point cross-type.
The Canon EOS 700D’s optical viewfinder offers 95% coverage, while the 3:2 aspect ratio rear 3in display sports a resolution of 1040k-dots. With Clear View II designation, there’s no air gap between the screen and protective front panel for improved viewing angles of up to 160°. As well as this, the screen is also hinged on the side of the body, allowing the display to fold out to 175° and turning through an angle of 270°. Not only that, but the 700D is only current DSLR to sport touchscreen functionality, with a capacitative type interface.
For those looking to shoot video as well, the Canon EOS 700D can record Full HD 1080p video at 30, 25 or 24fps, while a 60 or 50fps option is available at standard HD 720p should you wish, depending on your region. The 700D features a pair of microphones on the top-plate to record stereo sound, while there’s also a wind-cut filter accessed via the menu system.
The Canon EOS 700D is now bundled with a new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, replacing the USM version on the 650D. The new lens features an impressive 0.25m closest focusing distance, 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer and a stepper motor for smooth focus transitions while capturing video footage and improved AF during Live View. Finally, it also a non-rotating front element, making it more suited for filters, which would otherwise rotate when focus is changed.
One of the most notable changes over the 650D is the ability to now preview the camera’s Creative Filters at the point of shooting, rather than applying them afterwards, bringing the Canon EOS 700D into line with the majority of other cameras that sport similar filter effects. As well as this, there’s the option to also save an unaltered image alongside an adjusted shot should you want to.
The 700D features a pretty decent flash sync speed of 1/200sec, while the built-in flash can also be used to trigger and control compatible flashguns positioned remotely for creative lighting techniques.
It’s a little surprising to see the 700D doesn’t feature built-in Wi-fi connectivity, especially with a host of Canon compacts and the full frame EOS 6D all featuring this.
Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i review – Design
The EOS 700D features a stainless steel chassis and is finished in a polycarbonate resin shell and tips the scales at just 580g – with battery, but without attached lens.
Compared to its predecessor, the 700D has adopted a new external finish borrowed from Canon’s mid-range EOS models that Canon claims delivers a more robust and durable finish. This is perhaps most noticeable in the rubberised grip placed round certain areas of the body. The matt finish is relatively successful, but certain areas – particularly round the built-in flash house – it can feel quite plasticky to the touch.
In the hand while the Canon EOS 700D has a relatively diminutive proportioned handgrip, it’s none-the-less comfortable and provides a secure grip with the attached 18-55mm lens. The grip still offers a decent amount of support with heavier lenses thanks to the curved lip just underneath the shutter button a rubbered grip and thumb rest.
After 10 years of evolving the design, it no surprise that the Canon EOS 700D is a well thought-out camera and while it shares a pretty much identical design to the 650D, there’s still the odd little refinement to be found. The mode dial now features embossed shooting mode icons, while it offers a 360° rotation to make the jump between modes even quicker.
The Canon EOS 700D’s mode dial is joined by a handy ISO button on the top plate, along with a control wheel that can be used to control a host of the camera’s settings, including aperture, shutter speed and AF selection (when used in conjunction with the AF button at the rear) during shooting. As well as this, the On/Off button also serves as a control to enter movie mode.
At the rear of the 700D there are a cluster of buttons to offer quick access to a host of settings. To the right of the viewfinder there’s a Live View activation button (hit this in Movie mode to start recording), while further to the right is the Exposure lock and AF point selection buttons that double-up as your magnify tools during playback.
The Canon EOS 700D’s exposure compensation button also allows you to toggle between setting aperture and shutter speed in Manual mode due to the single control wheel on the front of the camera. Just below it is a handy Quick menu button, letting you toggle through and adjust a range of shooting settings on the rear display, while the d-pad has dedicated settings for AF, Drive, White Balance and Picture Styles.
Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i review – Performance
The Canon EOS 700D’s AF performance is very solid. We found with the new STM lens attached, focus is very fast, zipping between either end of the focusing range very quickly, while focusing noise is almost completely silent. This is also regardless of what AF point is selected thanks to the 9 cross-type AF sensors, while AF point selection is pretty straightforward. That said, the AF points are stilled grouped relatively near the centre of the frame, while it can’t quite deliver when it comes to continuous subject-tracking AF. There just isn’t the coverage from the 9 AF points, while it doesn’t offer the same sophistication as that found in the Nikon D5200.
In Live View or video mode the combination of the Canon EOS 700D’s Hybrid AF and STM lens means focus is quick while also delivering pleasingly smooth transitions as you change the point of focus. Focus tracking is also possible during Live View, and provide your subject doesn’t move too erratically round the frame, general does a good job it maintain focus.
The Canon EOS 700D’s capacitative touchscreen offers a similar user experience to that you’ll have with a smartphone, with light touches and swipes all that are needed to make changes. This makes adjusting settings very easy, while even the smaller icons within the main menu are easy to select without demanding pinpoint precision.
When shooting in Live View, you can tap the point on the screen you wish to focus on, while the EOS 700D can be set-up to fire the shutter at the same time as you focus. When reviewing images, you can pinch-and-zoom in on the image, using your finger to zoom around the image with no evident lag. As we’ve experienced with both the EOS 650D and Canon EOS M the past though, its still not possible to double tap the image during playback to review it at 100% as most smartphones allow, while the image suffers from an ever-so slight delay before its rendered at full quality as you’re flicking through your images_pg_Inspire.Something you don’t experience when toggling through images when using the left or right buttons on the 4-way d-pad.
The screen itself renders the scene naturally in balanced lighting conditions, displaying good levels of contrast and saturation, while the wide viewing angle is a match for OLED rivals.
Interface and controls
The way the Canon EOS 700D’s interface and controls have been designed, you don’t need to use the touchscreen at all if it doesn’t appeal, with the camera functioning just as happily without those finger gestures. Controls are well laid out, while the Quick menu display is particularly well designed, making toggling between settings very quick and easier. The main menu is split into 11 sub-menus that run along the top of the screen, and using the control wheel to quickly jump between each section.
The 700D is capable shooting at a burst speed of 5fps, which is comparable to the Nikon D5200, though is overshadowed by both the Sony Alpha 65 and Pentax K-30. This is maintained for only 6 Raw files before the buffer slows, while things are a little better when shooting JPEG only at 22 frames.
Long at video footage and the canon EOS 700D delivers highly detailed and smooth footage, while the built-in stereo mics manage to capture a good range through bass, middle and treble, though it can be susceptible to ambient noise in some situations.
Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i review – Image Quality
Colour and white balance
The Canon EOS 700D’s Auto White Balance copes with a range of scenes well, delivering pleasingly natural looking shots that retain the mode of the scene. On occasion though we did experience results that could be considered a little cool when shooting in artificial light in some circumstances.
The are a host of White Balance presets to choose from (though surprisingly without the ability to set colour temperature numerically over the Kelvin scale), while there is a selection of Picture Styles to choose from, including landscape, portrait and monochrome that can be applied to the image, though the differences can be very subtle.
We’ve seen the Canon EOS 700D’s iFCL 63-zone metering system on a host of other EOS DSLRs and in most lighting conditions can be trusted to capture the scene faithfully. In some instances though under tricky lighting conditions, it can be a touch inconsistent, marginally overexposing the scene.
The Auto Lighting Optimizer is designed to balance highlight and shadow areas, with 3 strengths to choose from, as well as a disabled option. It does the job in high contrast scenes, but at its High settings can produce a slightly HDR-esque result that may not be to everyone’s taste.
There’s also HDR Backlight Control which interestingly doesn’t produce extreme HDR images, but instead attempts to produce a more balanced image with better detail in both lighter and darker areas. As 3 consecutive shots are taken in quick succession, a tripod may be desired if critical sharpness is demanded. In most instances, if a broader tonal range was needed, we’d recommend to simply shoot a single Raw file which can then be processed later.
While the 18MP sensor can’t quite resolve the same amount of detail as its higher resolution rivals at low ISOs, its still very good. In our technical tests, the Canon EOS 700D is capable of resolving 24 lines per mm (lpmm) at ISO 100, while this only drops down to 20lpmm at ISO 12,800. In real world tests and images show very good amounts of detail, though to get the best from the sensor a high-quality optic is desired.
Base ISOs are devoid of image noise, with texture beginning to become noticeable above ISO 800 and getting progressively worse as the sensitivity is increased. That said, shooting at ISO 6400 will still deliver acceptable results, though we’d recommend against shooting JPEGs if you intend to view images at full size as the 700D’s image noise reduction system blurs the image slightly in an effort to control this. Raw files, though displaying pronounced colour noise, retains more detail which can then be fine-tuned later in a program like Adobe Camera Raw.
Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i review – Verdict
With a virtually identical kit price to its closest competitor, the Nikon D5200, it’s fair to say that the Canon EOS 700D is competitively priced.
For those looking to upgrade from an existing EOS DSLR, unless it’s a EOS 500D or earlier triple-digit EOS, it’s hard to recommend. In most respects its identical to its predecessor – the Canon EOS 650D – with the exception of a couple of cosmetic changes and a real-time preview of Creative Filters, and with this in mind upgraders should perhaps look further up the EOS ladder.
For new users though looking at their first DSLR, then the Canon EOS 700D is one of the best options out there. It’s a very polished and refined camera that, while it may not excel in every area, will deliver the good across a range of shooting conditions.
Comparison with the Canon EOS 100D
The Canon EOS 700D is most comparable to the Canon EOS 100D, with regards to specification and pricing. On the face of it the only thing that really separates the two is their size. However, if you dig a little deeper you notice that there’s more between them than meets the eye.
For a full lowdown on the differences, head on over to our Canon EOS 700D v Canon EOS 100D comparison review.
Sample Image Gallery
These are just a small selection of sample images captured with the Canon EOS 700D. For a wider range of images, visit the Canon EOS 700D review sample image gallery.
The Canon EOS 700D is a direct replacement for the Canon EOS 650D, and for the most part mirrors the latter for most of its specification.
The Canon EOS 700D includes the same 18MP Hybrid CMOS sensor as its predecessor, DIGIC 5 image processor and ISO range from 100-12,800, that can be expanded to an ISO equivalent of 25,600.
The burst rate of the Canon EOS 700D remains the same at 5fps, and the wide-area 9-point all cross-type AF system also remains the same, while the 3in, 1040k-dot 3:2 aspect ratio touchscreen delivers the same vari-angle control and user experience.
Perhaps the biggest change comes to the mode dial, with it now embossed and offering 360 degree rotation through the modes. The Canon EOS 700D has also adopted a new external finish borrowed from Canon’s mid-range EOS models that Canon claims delivers a more robust and durable finish.
Creative filters can now be previewed, while a non-filtered image can also be saved at the same time as well, so if you have second thoughts on the filter used, you have an unaffected ‘straight’ image you can use instead.
The Canon EOS 700D is now bundled with a new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, replacing the USM version on the Canon EOS 650D.
The new lens features an impressive 0.25m closest focusing distance, 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer and an STM motor for smooth focus transitions while capturing video footage. Finally, it also a non-rotating front element, making it more suited for filters, which would otherwise rotate when focus is changed.
The EOS 700D slots in above the Canon EOS 600D in the EOS range, with shipping to start late April. Body-only prices are expected to be £619, while the bundled kit with the new kit lens comes in at £749.
Canon EOS 700D – At a glance
18MP Hybrid CMOS sensor
5fps burst shooting
9-point all cross-type AF
3in, 1040k-dots vari-angle touchscreen
ISO 100-12,800 (expandable to ISO 25,600)