Canon M5 vs T1i
The Canon EOS M5 and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (labelled Canon 500D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2016 and March 2009. The M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the T1i is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The M5 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the T1i provides 15.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M5 and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M5 and the Canon T1i. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T1i is notably larger (22 percent) than the Canon M5. Moreover, the T1i is markedly heavier (22 percent) than the M5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M5 nor the T1i are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon M50||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon T6||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849||ebay.com|
|14.||Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699||ebay.com|
|15.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||470 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T1i was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 18 percent) than the M5, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of chip-set technology, the M5 uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 7) than the T1i (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the M5 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 15.1 MP of the T1i. This megapixels advantage translates into a 26 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the M5 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.69μm for the T1i). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the M5 is much more recent (by 7 years and 5 months) than the T1i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon T1i are 23.8 x 15.8 inches or 60.4 x 40.2 cm for good quality, 19 x 12.7 inches or 48.3 x 32.2 cm for very good quality, and 15.8 x 10.6 inches or 40.2 x 26.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M5 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS M5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T1i are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the M5 provides substantially higher image quality than the T1i, with an overall score that is 14 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the M5 provides a higher frame rate than the T1i. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the T1i is limited to 1080/20p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the M5 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the T1i has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M5, the Canon T1i, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Canon T1i||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon M50||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Canon M100||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1/s||Y||n|
|7.||Canon SL2||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Canon T6||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|10.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6/s||Y||n|
|11.||Canon T6i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Canon T6s||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Canon T2i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7/s||Y||n|
|15.||Canon XSi||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|16.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M5 has a touchscreen, while the T1i has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The M5 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the T1i does not have a selfie-screen.
The M5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the T1i uses SDHC cards. The M5 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the T1i cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS M5 and Canon EOS Rebel T1i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|2.||Canon T1i||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon M50||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon 77D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon M100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SL2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon T6||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon T6i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Canon T6s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Canon T4i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Canon T2i||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Canon XSi||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the M5 has a microphone port, which is missing on the T1i. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the M5 and the T1i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The T1i was replaced by the Canon T2i, while the M5 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the M5 and T1i can be found, respectively, in the Canon M5 Manual (free pdf) or the online Canon T1i Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon M5 better than the Canon T1i or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M5:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.1MP) with a 26% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 7 vs DIGIC 4).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/20p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 920k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 3.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (116x89mm vs 129x98mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 93g or 18 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 5 months of technical progress since the T1i launch.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T1i:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (18 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2009).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M5 is the clear winner of the match-up (24 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M5 and the Canon T1i place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M5 or the T1i perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||ebay.com|
|2.||Canon T1i||..||+ +||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon M50||..||+||4/5||79/100||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||ebay.com|
|8.||Canon T6||4/5||o||4/5||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449||ebay.com|
|9.||Canon M3||4/5||o||..||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||ebay.com|
|10.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499||ebay.com|
|11.||Canon T6i||5/5||..||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||ebay.com|
|12.||Canon T6s||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649||ebay.com|
|13.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||ebay.com|
|14.||Canon T2i||..||+ +||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||ebay.com|
|15.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|16.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon M5 vs Canon T1i
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon M5||Canon T1i|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2016||March 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 979||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M5||Canon T1i|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||15.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4752 x 3168 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||4.69 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||4.53 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/20p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||DIGIC 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||77||63|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.4||21.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.4||11.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1262||663|
|Screen Specs||Canon M5||Canon T1i|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Magnification||.. x||0.54x|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M5||Canon T1i|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||9 shutter flaps/s||3.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M5||Canon T1i|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon M5||Canon T1i|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||295 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
116 x 89 x 61 mm
(4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
|Camera Weight||427 g (15.1 oz)||520 g (18.3 oz)|
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