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Canon Rebel T5 Review – APS-C Camera for My Travel Photography

My First Camera: Canon Rebel T5 Review

Let’s just start by saying I’m not a professional photographer. I’m just a casual photographer who enjoys shooting with a DSLR camera. I mainly use my camera for my travel and sometimes local events in Los Angeles.

I started my photography journey borrowing a Canon Rebel T3 camera. After I got used to it, I got addicted and went on to get my own camera. I was still unsure of how long I would go on with the hobby so I decided to just start with a budget camera, which ended up being the Canon Rebel T5 (Also known as the Canon 1200D) in 2015, to learn and build my photography skills. 

Which Lens for the Canon Rebel T5?

Like many who begin the DSLR camera hobby, I went through a phase of buying lots of lenses for this camera. I have two that I find practical and can cover everything that I need for my photography needs.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 – Probably Best All-Around Lens for Travel Photography

Ever since I bought the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, it has been my main lens for all my travel photography. Even though it’s a pretty big and heavy lens, I haven’t found myself wanting a deeper zoom or wider lens. The shallow depth of field from the f/2.8 is a good amount if I ever want to take portraits. But honestly, for my use, I haven’t made good use of the shallow depth of field. I normally shoot in f/11 when I’m traveling. 

10-18mm Wide Angle – Do I need a Wider Focal Length?

There’s only some circumstances where I’ve wanted a wider lens. I have a 10-18mm lens that I was using for travel before, but the fish eye distortion was kind of annoying. 

Thoughts on Other Lenses and Gear Acquisition Syndrome

18-55mm Kit Lens

The 18-55mm Kit Lens that comes with the Rebel T5 is a perfectly good lens looking back. I got caught up on all the Bokeh that I see in other’s photography and wanted the same effect. This kit won’t get that bokeh but for travel and casual photography, this is honestly good enough.

With that said, gear acquisition syndrome is very real in the photography hobby. A beginner could easily blow thousands of dollars on a full frame camera, not really understand how to use the functions or take good photos and then possibly just get bored of the hobby.

EF-S 24mm Prime and EF-S 50mm Prime Lenses

Many swear by using prime lenses for their photography. For my use, I would need to specifically have a plan before going out to use this. Bringing these types of lenses are kind of risky for travel and I fear missing out on good shots due to the focal limitation of these lenses. If I’m traveling with others, it is just inconvenient to have to keep moving backwards or forwards to get a perfect shot.

The 50mm Prime Lens translated to APS-C is actually an 80mm lens on a full frame camera. This makes this better for portrait photography and pretty difficult to use for street photography if you’re trying to capture the background as well.

The Nifty Fifty 50mm prime lens that most people adore on their full frame camera is actually closer to the 24mm lens for crop factors. 24mm translates to 38.4 mm in full frame cameras. This is more practical and easier to shoot with.

Determining Which Lens to Buy

If I could go back, I would try shooting with the Kit Lens for a while and then extracting the metadata from photos in Lightroom or Adobe Bridge and checking which focal length I most often use. In my case, I jumped the gun and wanted more gear.

Would I Upgrade to a Full Frame in the Future?

I’ve thought about this for a while, especially during the time I was fixated on camera gear. To sum it up, probably not. I don’t like upgrading stuff when I don’t have a need to upgrade. Full frame cameras are also very bulky and heavy compared to an APS-C camera. The cost to upgrade is just not worth it to me for the moment.

If I were to upgrade, it would probably when the Canon T5 stops working on me. My two lenses (10-18mm and 17-55mm) covers a long range as it is. I’d rather just focus on improving my photography skills and editing skills than upgrade the gear unnecessarily.

Also, if I were to upgrade at this moment, I’d like a mirrorless camera. But that’s just my gear brain talking.

Who To Recommend this Camera For?

This is a great beginner DSLR. If you’re looking to just learn and don’t plan to shoot photography professionally, this is perfect for you. You can probably buy this refurbished or used pretty inexpensively. Once you get past the “gear acquisition syndrome”, you’ll find this is a perfectly good camera to have.

If you’re unsure of how well you’ll like photography, try out the more inexpensive camera body’s before upgrading.

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