The Good The Canon EOS Rebel T5i retains the great articulated touch-screen implementation that's optimized for video, and delivers the same excellent photo quality and solid video as its predecessor. Plus the performance is slightly improved.
The Bad The phase-detection autofocus system is feeling its age and competitors have caught up with the Live View performance. The tiny autofocus points in the viewfinder also remain annoying to use, and the feature set remains lackluster.
The Bottom Line While the Canon EOS Rebel T5i is -- almost literally -- the same solid camera as its predecessor, it's starting to lag frustratingly behind the competition in some ways.
Same as it ever was
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you: the only significant differences between the now-discontinued Canon EOS Rebel T4i and its replacement, the T5i, are the price and the kit lens options. There are some small enhancements, including a new finish and grip; 360-degree rotation mode dial; and real-time shooting with creative filters with Live View preview. Interestingly, I also found some performance differences between the T5i and its predecessor, most notably in significantly better continuous shooting. But overall it's really the same camera and in this case, that's a mixed blessing.
I think Canon tweaked its default settings so that still-photo colors aren't quite so out of whack, though there are still some hue shifts. JPEGs look clean up through ISO 800, which is typical for this class, and usable at full scale to about ISO 1600 and ISO 6400 at smaller magnifications. While a 13x19 print of an ISO 6400 photo wasn't quite as clean or sharp as I would have liked, it doesn't look that bad.
Video also looks about the same as the T4i's; good, but not significantly better than you get from similarly priced competitors. While I didn't see any rolling shutter, there's quite a bit of aliasing and moire. I do like the tonality of low-light video, despite the appearance of some color noise on blacks. (I'll be uploading video samples soon. Please check back.)