Canon EOS 1200D (Rebel T5) review

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This camera can be bought as body only or with a kit lens. I got it for review with the latest 18-55 F/3.5-5.6 IS STM. This lens had quite a few iterations over the last 10-11 years and the latest one (the one that is bundled with this camera) is the best yet. Yes, it is made from plastic from top to bottom, but it has a certain level of build quality. The zoom operates smoothly, auto focus is very fast and silent and the built-in image stabilization works as it should. The best thing about is the image quality on which for typical usage I have no objections. It is sharp corner to corner and chromatic aberrations and light fall-off are well controled.


Canon EOS 1200D uses familiar 9-point AF system. Focus point are well spread across the frame. With the kit lens, auto focus speed is near instant and completely silent.

Live view auto focus is a bit different story. Since this model does not use Dual AF technology as found in EOS 70D, auto focus is a slow process. It takes 2-3 seconds in good light to find focus, so Rebel T5i is best used with optical viewfinder when phase detect AF focuses under a second.


Continuous shooting at 3 frames per second will not impress anyone but the buffer size might. I managed to shoot 111 JPEG photos until the buffer filled. That’s 37 seconds of non-stop shooting! When the RAW format is used, this falls down to only 7 frames before the slow-down due to full buffer.


One of the biggest improvement over the Rebel T3 (1100D) is the image sensor. The predecessor used ancient 12MP unit and the new Rebel T5 has a not-so-ancient-yet-still-old 18MP sensor. This is the sensor used in numerous cameras since the EOS 7D and it seems it still has some life in it. It might look a bit outdated compared to modern Sony sensors in Nikon, Pentax and Sony cameras, but differences are now that big in real life. Color reproduction and dynamic range are good as expected. High ISO performance is good up to ISO 3200, but I would not use it often above that.


LCD screen has 3″ diagonal and 460,000 dots what is relatively low for modern standards. I’d like to see 920,000 dots but Canon will not give it on its entry level camera – this is reserved for 700D. Viewing angles are excellent – no problem there. It is not articulated nor has touch capability.

Optical viewfinder is small but sharp and bright. Basic info is displayed at the bottom: remaining shots, ISO, EV and shutter/aperture values.


The camera uses standard SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. Battery is an LP-E10 Li-Ion unit with 860mAh strong enough for around 500 shots on a single charge. You get a proper external charger in the box; there is no modern charge-in-camera-by-USB nonsense here.



Menu system is similar to the one found on other EOS cameras. Features are separated in several groups coded by different colors – it is easy to navigate and remember what is where. 1200D also remembers the last option used separately for each of the tabs so it is very easy to change a setting, see how the camera responds and then change it again without the tedious navigation through the menu – something I found lacking on all of the Canon Powershot compacts and many mirrorless cameras. The last item in the menu system is the familiar “My menu” in which you can assign options you tend to use most for quick access.

“Q” button on the back brings up the quick menu. This one has 4 color variations and is used for changing more often used setting. Visually it is very articulated and will appeal to less experienced users.

Playback has usual display options – image only, basic info or detailed info with brightness and/or RGB histogram. Histogram is also available in live-view, both as a brightness or RGB value.

At first, I had some issues with LCD information display turning on every time I turned the camera on or after each shot taken. It took me some time to find there is an option in “Custom functions” submenu which regulates the info display, and after I set it to “previous display status” everything was fine (below).


EOS 1200D can record videos at Full HD video quality. You can choose between 25 and 24 fps at maximum resolution, and 1280 x 720 is available with 50fps. Video quality is generally good, but I think it is not  sharp enough and Moiré effect is clearly visible. Also, you cannot attach an external microphone on EOS Rebel T5, what might be a problem if you intent shooting a lot of video material.

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One thought on “Canon EOS 1200D (Rebel T5) review

  1. I am having trouble taking a single shot, and the picture will not display on the screen, I received this camera as a gift. I also see the BUSY notification when I try and take a picture. HELP??

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