For many DSLR users, their first steps into this world are usually with an entry-level camera. Then they buy a bunch of lenses and stick with the same brand. In this regard, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D is one such camera aimed at the entry-level shooter. Basic versions of what you would find on a higher-end camera, with plenty of automatic features to get you going.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 provides a slight upgrade from its predecessor, with enough features packed in and an affordable price to still be attractive. In this regard, let’s begin and see what the package has to offer.
The dimensions of the Canon EOS Rebel T6 body are like a scaled-down version of the Canon EOS 5D. This makes progression through the different camera bodies more familiar, so you can pick up one of the higher-end cameras and feel right at home. The T6 is wrapped around an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor with a DIGIC 4+ processor. Not the latest or fastest, but adequate for this level of camera body.
The grip on the camera is chunky enough for reasonably sized hands and has a textured coating and a thumb rest on the rear of the camera. The rear button layout is very Canon-esque, with a simple layout for commonly used items such as the Quick menu button, white balance, ISO, autofocus, exposure compensation, and picture styles.
The top of the camera has a simple layout with a non-locking dial for all the automatic and semiautomatic shooting modes. A button for changing the autofocus point is a worthwhile feature, which echoes some of the methods of shooting right up to the high-end cameras.
There is no dedicated video record button, as this is selectable via the top dial. The Live View button lets you compose shots via the rear screen and although it slows down autofocus speeds, it’s very useful for odd angles or nailing manual focus for things like landscape shots.
There may not be in the box filters for image processing, but there are basic Picture Styles, which include portrait, landscape, and monochrome. As images can be rendered in both RAW and JPEG files, you have plenty of options for taking images for further postprocessing.
There’s a lot in here that is similar to the Canon EOS Rebel T5. The same nine-point AF system, with one central cross-type focus point, ISO100-6,400 and slightly better lowlight performance. The rear LCD screen has been updated to a three-inch, 920k-dot display although it’s not a touchscreen, it should be clear to view on bright days.
The other inclusion that is worth noting is the Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, which allows you to sync up the camera to a smartphone device for remote control or transfer. Burst shooting is still a meager three frames per second.
Although there is no 4K video, the camera shoots in full HD (1920 x 1080) at 30, 25 and 24 fps, with basic controls over the footage. Battery life is rated at around 500 shots through the viewfinder, which should be adequate for most shooting scenarios.
Canon EOS Rebel T6 in Use
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 employs an iFCL metering system which produces generally good exposures, but dialing in some exposure compensation is a quick way to get everything on track.
Autofocusing is generally quite good in reasonable amounts of light, but this will also depend on the type of lens being used. With the Canon 50mm f/1.8, which is a good quality reasonably priced prime lens, focusing was quick in both single point and AI Servo modes. The T6 can capture slow-moving objects, but it’s not exactly aimed at fast action shooting.
The auto white balance settings are quite accurate in natural daylight, but things become more problematic under artificial light. White balance settings, such as Fluorescent do a reasonable job, but it’s always best to shoot in RAW format and tweak the white balance later in software for the most leeway.
As for the quality of the images, JPEGs on their own are sharp and well saturated as is common from the Canon line. Picture styles help as a quick way to optimize the camera for certain settings and produce good results.
RAW images are produced with more subdued tones, but the aim here is that they will be further processed in post-editing to get the best look. 18MP may not be a large amount by today’s standards, but it’s perfectly adequate for producing images that can be printed to a reasonable size and still provide good quality.
The ISO range of the camera is a reasonable performer with noise only starting to noticeably creep in around ISO3,200. The range can be expanded to ISO12,800, but this will only be used in the darkest of lighting situations and produces too much noise reduction and smoothing. If you want the cleanest of images, RAW files are always the way to go.
How Does It Compare?
One of the nearest rivals to Canon in not just the entry-level market, is Nikon with their D3500. The D3500 costs slightly more than the Canon EOS Rebel T6, but it has slightly better features. It has a higher pixel count on a newer sensor, 1,550-shot battery life, 11-point AF system, and is reasonably good at tracking moving objects.
If you’re not completely sold on Canon’s way of thinking then the D3500 should definitely be shortlisted as an entry-level camera.
|Canon EOS Rebel T6||Nikon D3500|
|Burst||3 fps||5 fps|
|Autofocus||9 points||11 points|
If this is your first foray into the world of DSLRs, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 can be a good entry point. The pixel count may not be as high as some of its rivals, but the image quality and features are reasonable enough to be useful in a variety of situations while producing very good results.
The viewfinder isn’t great, only showing a 95 percent field of view, but this is a common deficiency at this end of the spectrum. Live View can be used instead, which is very useful but can slow down your workflow.
On the whole, the T6 is not a major step up from the T5, using the same sensor and an older processor with no touchscreen, but there are inclusions making this a worthwhile offering. Image quality is very good, a reasonable feature set and at an affordable price.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is not the only entry-level DSLR on the market, but it is a good starting point to get used to Canon’s way of working and for delving into their great range of lenses.