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Canon M5 vs T8i

The Canon EOS M5 and the Canon EOS Rebel T8i (labelled Canon 850D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2016 and February 2020. The M5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the T8i is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon M5 versus Canon T8i
Canon M5 Canon T8i
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF-M mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/24p Video
ISO 100-25,600 ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200)
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.2 LCD, 1620k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Swivel touchscreen
9 shutter flaps per second 7.5 shutter flaps per second
295 shots per battery charge800 shots per battery charge
116 x 89 x 61 mm, 427 g 131 x 103 x 76 mm, 515 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M5 and the Canon EOS Rebel T8i? 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M5 and the Canon T8i. 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.

Size Canon M5 vs Canon T8i
Compare M5 versus T8i top
Comparison M5 or T8i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T8i is notably larger (31 percent) than the Canon M5. Moreover, the T8i is markedly heavier (21 percent) than the M5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M5 nor the T8i 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
2.
 
Canon T8i 131 mm 103 mm 76 mm 515 g 800 n Feb 2020 749 i
3.
 
Canon SL3 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 449 g 1070 n Apr 2019 599 i
4.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
5.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
6.
 
Canon M6 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779i
7.
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
8.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
9.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749i
10.
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
11.
 
Canon M10 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 301 g 255 n Oct 2015 499i
12.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
13.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
14.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The T8i was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 23 percent) than the M5, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.

Technology-wise, the T8i uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the M5 (DIGIC 7), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon M5 and Canon T8i sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the M5 and the T8i have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the T8i is much more recent (by 3 years and 4 months) than the M5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Canon EOS M5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel T8i are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.

M5 versus T8i MP

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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
2.
 
Canon T8i APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
3.
 
Canon SL3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/25p........
4.
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
5.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
6.
 
Canon M6 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
7.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
8.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
9.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
10.
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
11.
 
Canon M10 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
12.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
13.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
14.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884

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 T8i provides a better video resolution than the M5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/24p, while the M5 is limited to 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

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 T8i 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 T8i, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
2.
 
Canon T8ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.5 Y n
3.
 
Canon SL3optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon M6optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
8.
 
Canon SL2optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon T7ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
11.
 
Canon M10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n
12.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The Canon T8i has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M5 and the T8i write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

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 T8i and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
2.
 
Canon T8iYstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Canon SL3YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon M6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
8.
 
Canon SL2YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
9.
 
Canon T7iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
10.
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon M10-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
12.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--

Both the M5 and the T8i are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The T8i replaced the earlier Canon T7i, while the M5 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon M5 better than the Canon T8i 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 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 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 7.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (116x89mm vs 131x103mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 88g or 17 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2016).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T8i:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 7).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/60p).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (800 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (23 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the M5 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M5 comes out slightly ahead of the T8i (9 : 8 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.

M5 09:08 T8i

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M5 and the Canon T8i 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 T8i 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.

Expert reviews

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], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon M54/5+82/1004/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
2.
 
Canon T8i4.5/5+80/1004/53.5/5 Feb 2020 749 i
3.
 
Canon SL3..o79/1004/54/5 Apr 2019 599 i
4.
 
Canon M50..+79/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
5.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..82/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
6.
 
Canon M6....80/1004/54/5 Feb 2017 779i
7.
 
Canon M1003/5+..4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
8.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +78/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
9.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..80/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749i
10.
 
Canon M34/5o75/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
11.
 
Canon M10........4/5 Oct 2015 499i
12.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
13.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
14.
 
Nikon D55005/5+79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
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.

Canon M5:
Check Amazon price
Canon T8i:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon M5 vs Canon T8i

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon M5 Canon T8i
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF-M mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2016 February 2020
    Launch Price USD 979 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon M5 Canon T8i
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.72 μm 3.72 μm
    Pixel Density 7.22 MP/cm2 7.22 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/24p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 7 DIGIC 8
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 77 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.4 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.4 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1262 ..
    Screen Specs Canon M5 Canon T8i
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification .. x 0.51x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1620k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon M5 Canon T8i
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 7.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon M5 Canon T8i
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon M5 Canon T8i
    Battery Type LP-E17 LP-E17
    Battery Life (CIPA)295 shots per charge800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 116 x 89 x 61 mm
    (4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
    131 x 103 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 427 g (15.1 oz) 515 g (18.2 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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