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Canon T3 versus Canon T5i

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (labelled Canon 700D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 and March 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T3 has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the T5i provides 17.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon T3 vs Canon T5i

The physical size and weight of the Canon T3 and the Canon T5i are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the T3 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon T3 vs Canon T5i
Compare T3 versus T5i top
Compare T3 and T5i rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T5i is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon T3. Moreover, the T5i is markedly heavier (17 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the T5i 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the T3 gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the T5i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon T3» 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T5i« 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon T7« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
Canon XS« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon XS
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Canon XTi« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 31 percent) than the T5i, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon T3 vs Canon T5i

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the T5i is 3 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the T5i uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5) than the T3 (DIGIC 4), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon T3 and Canon T5i sensor measures

With 17.9MP, the T5i offers a higher resolution than the T3 (12.2MP), but the T5i has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.15μm for the T3). Yet, the T5i is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 1 month) than the T3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The T5i has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in relatively fast and reliable autofocus acquisition during video recording.

T3 versus T5i MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon T3» APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Canon T5i« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon T7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p----Canon T7
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon T2i
Canon XS« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon XS
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon XSi
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon XTi

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the T5i provides a better video resolution than the T3. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the T3 is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon T3 vs Canon T5i

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T3 and the T5i are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T3, the Canon T5i, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon T3»optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
Canon T5i«optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T7
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T2i
Canon XS« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XS
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon XSi
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XTi

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The T5i has a touchscreen, while the T3 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

Both the T3 and the T5i write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon T3»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon T3
Canon T5i«YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
Canon T7« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon T7
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
Canon T4i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T3i
Canon T2i« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon T2i
Canon XS« »Y-----2.0---Canon XS
Canon XSi« »Y----mini2.0---Canon XSi
Canon XTi« »Y-----2.0---Canon XTi

Both the T3 and the T5i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3 was replaced by the Canon T5, while the T5i was followed by the Canon T6i.

Review summary: Canon T3 vs Canon T5i

So how do things add up? Is the Canon T3 better than the Canon T5i or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 85g or 15 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 440) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (31 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2011).


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T5i:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 21%.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5 vs DIGIC 4).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the T3 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T5i is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 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.

T3 04:11 T5i

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the T3 and the T5i in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon T3»80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T5i«-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon T7« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon T7
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon T2i« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
Canon XS« »82/100HiRec3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon XS
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Canon XTi« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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