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Sony RX100 II versus Canon T5i

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II and the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (labelled Canon 700D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in June 2013 and March 2013. The RX100 II is a fixed lens compact, while the T5i is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (RX100 II) and an APS-C (T5i) sensor. The Sony has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the Canon 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: Sony RX100 II vs Canon T5i

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony RX100 II and the Canon T5i. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions 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 RX100 II – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Sony RX100 II vs Canon T5i
Compare RX100 II versus T5i top
Compare RX100 II 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 considerably larger (125 percent) than the Sony RX100 II. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RX100 II nor the T5i are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX100 II has a lens build in, whereas the T5i is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the T5i and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the RX100 II gets 350 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the T5i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E8 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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)
Sony RX100 II» 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.9 oz 350 n Jun 2013 749- i
Canon T5i« 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Canon G7 X« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.6 in 10.7 oz 210 n Sep 2014 699- i
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i
Canon T3i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Ricoh GR« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799- i
Sony RX100 V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.2 oz 320 n May 2014 799- i
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i
Sony NEX-5R« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.7 oz 330 n Aug 2012 749- i
Sony RX100« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 330 n Jun 2012 649- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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: Sony RX100 II vs Canon T5i

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony RX100 II features an one-inch sensor and the Canon T5i an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the T5i is 186 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony RX100 II and Canon T5i sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Sony RX100 II offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 17.9 MP of the Canon T5i. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 4.31μm for the T5i). However, it should be noted that the RX100 II is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the T5i, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

RX100 II versus T5i MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 RX100 II has a notably higher overall DXO score than the T5i (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, 0.5 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Sony RX100 II» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.512.448367
Canon T5i« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Canon G7 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.012.755671
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278
Sony RX100 V« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
Sony RX100 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.412.349567
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780
Sony A5000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979
Sony NEX-5R« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078
Sony RX100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.612.439066

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the RX100 II provides a higher frame rate than the T5i. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Sony RX100 II vs Canon T5i

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the T5i has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX100 II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony RX100 II and Canon T5i along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Sony RX100 II»- n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Canon T5i«optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G7 X« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 6.5 Y Y
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n
Sony RX100 V« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y
Sony RX100 III« »1440 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 10.0 Y Y
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Sony A5000« »- n 3.0 461 tilting n 4000 3.5 Y n
Sony NEX-5R« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n
Sony RX100« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the RX100 II and the T5i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T5i was replaced by the Canon T6i, while the RX100 II was followed by the Sony RX100 III.

Review summary: Sony RX100 II vs Canon T5i

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony RX100 II and the Canon T5i? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 17.9MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a build-in lens, while the T5i requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 133x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the T5i).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the T5i).

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • 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 shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (440 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX100 II emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

RX100 II 11:08 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 RX100 II and the T5i in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. 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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Sony RX100 II»HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jun 2013 749- i
Canon T5i«-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon G7 X« »HiRec77/1004.5/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2014 699- i
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i
Canon T2i« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i
Sony RX100 V« »HiRec83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i
Sony RX100 III« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2014 799- i
Sony A5100« »Rec-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i
Sony A5000« »Rec-4.5/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i
Sony NEX-5R« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2012 749- i
Sony RX100« »HiRec78/1004/55/55/5 Jun 2012 649- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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