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Lifewire / Kelsey Simon
Sharp image quality
EF and EF-S lens mount
Not great video quality
No microphone jack
9 point AF system
No 4K video recording
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 costs less than the average DSLR, making it a great option for those interested in getting into photography and wanting to save.
We purchased the Canon EOS Rebel T6 so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Digital Single-lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras are the next step for those wanting to take photos better than what their smartphone cameras have to offer. Canon’s EOS Rebel T6 is a great option for those looking for an affordable and beginner-friendly DSLR. The EOS Rebel T6 offers an 18-megapixel sensor, 1080p video, and built-in Wi-Fi. With an EF and EF-S mount, it’s a great place to start and grow a lens collection, before upgrading to a higher quality and more expensive DSLR body.
The EOS Rebel T6 weighs a pound without a lens, and close to two with the standard 18-55mm lens that comes with the kit. It’s larger than other newer DSLR designs, and felt big in our hands in comparison to Canon’s lighter EOS Rebel SL2. However, it still fit well in our small hands, the ergonomic grip on the right side shaped perfectly. Our thumb and pointer finger also fell in the appropriate locations.
The Rebel T6 comes with a lens mount designed to fit both EF and EF-S lenses. This is great because it means Canon’s wide-range of lenses are available for use on this more affordable body. It’s also great because if you want to upgrade to a more expensive Canon body down the line, all of the lenses purchased to work with the T6 should transfer over.
The Rebel T6 comes with a lens mount designed to fit both EF and EF-S lenses. This is great because it means Canon’s wide-range of lenses are available for use on this more affordable body.
The external controls are designed to offer most setting options upfront without having to dig through menus, but Canon has made an effort to minimize the number of unnecessary buttons. This is great, as often it’s the external controls that can leave new DSLR users feeling overwhelmed. Specific settings can be found in the menu, which is viewable on the camera’s 3-inch live view screen. Unfortunately, the screen is static and non-touch, which is a big bummer, as most newer models come with at least one or the other feature.
While the body does come with a built-in flash and hot shoe, we were disappointed that the T6 does not come equipped with an external microphone jack. For those only shooting photos, this won’t be a big deal, but if you’re considering the T6 for video, you’ll be disappointed in the sound quality, and will need to consider investing in external microphone.
The EOS Rebel T6 is simple to set up. We purchased the kit with the 18-55mm lens, which came with the DSLR body, a battery, a battery charger, a USB to Mini B cable, a standard 18-55mm lens, and a neck strap. The battery comes uncharged, so the first thing we did was plug it in. It took about two hours to charge. After that, simply insert an SD card and the battery into the bottom of the camera where a door will open.
It’s also a good idea to install the neck strap, just to help with carrying and handling the camera. When you first turn on the T6, you’ll be prompted to set the date, time, and location, but after this, you’ll be ready to start shooting. The battery life is decent on the T6, lasting roughly 500 shots when using the viewfinder. It will last about half as long if you use the live view screen and mess a lot with menus in between shots.
The EOS Rebel T6 features an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, with an image size of 5184x3456 pixels. It can only shoot up to 3 frames per second (fps), which is honestly a let down in comparison to other cheaper Canon models that can shoot up to 5fps, such as the Canon EOS Rebel SL2. The T6 comes with the more basic 9-point autofocus system, which was more than enough for us when were taking shots. However, we noticed that the T6 did take a second longer to shoot than compared to DSLRs with a 24-megapixel sensor, which was especially noticeable in lower-light.
The photo quality of the T6 is strong, even with the slight disadvantage of the AF system and sensor. When inspecting images of animals, we could see individual hairs as well as the cracks in skin and water droplets hanging on whiskers. Zoomed out, subjects in focus looked sharp. It was only upon closer investigation that the T6 let us down. While zoomed in on images and looking in dark areas, we noticed quite a bit of noise, and highlights simply weren’t as bright as on shots taken with other cameras, and the contrast wasn’t as strong. In our photo comparisons of the T6 to the SL2, we found the T6 to be a bit lacking. Images simply weren’t as crisp.
While zoomed in on images and looking in dark areas, we noticed quite a bit of noise.
If you aren’t so concerned with these slight image differences, then the T6 isn’t a bad option. It won’t stand up well against moving targets, as the autofocus system can’t grab on fast enough, but this is a common issue with cheaper DSLRs, including the SL2. In low light, it took longer than average to focus, but not more than a few seconds. It also falls prey to using flash more often than we liked, but this was fixed with a quick change in the settings.
The T6 comes with Canon’s standard shooting modes: Scene Intelligent Auto, manual exposure, aperture priority AE, shutter priority AE, and program AE, no flash, Creative Auto, portrait, landscape, close-up, action, food, and night portrait. While it doesn’t come with a variety of effects, each mode comes with a variety of filters such as vivid, soft, warm, intense, cool, brighter, darker, and monochrome. We used the portrait and food modes the most, as they were great for those not wanting to fiddle with lots of options, but still keeping subjects in focus.
The T6 can record in 1920x1080, but only up to 30 frames per second. It doesn’t come with 4K video, like some of the newer and more expensive DSLRs. We weren’t so much bothered by the fact the T6 didn’t have 4K, but it is a let down that it doesn’t come with 60 frames per second recording. This made our videos less smooth, but even so, that still isn’t our biggest complaint when it comes to the T6’s video quality.
Our biggest dislike of the T6 was its lack of Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus. It might not seem like a big deal, but when we were reviewing our video, it was obvious that any movement made while filming caused focus to shift and made the video blurry. You could refocus but that required a touch of the focus button, and if you were filming yourself, that was an uncomfortable thing to have to do.
Our biggest dislike of the T6 was its lack of Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocus.
The lack of Dual Pixel auto-focus really makes the T6 lacking for content creators, especially those interested in creating videos of themselves, without help. That said, if the subject being recorded isn’t moving much, and focus can be recaptured regularly, the video quality is solid. It looks sharp, and any present noise isn’t noticeable without zooming in. If you’re looking for a camera to record others with, such as with home videos, the T6 will be more than able to do the job.
The software on the EOS Rebel T6 is the same Canon menu system as on other DSLRs. It comes with the dial on the top right which allows you to change between shooting modes. Within each, you’ll be able to make even more decisions about your shots, if you want the control. Flipping through these menus is easy and intuitive, and requires the use of a few direction buttons near where your thumb naturally rests.
The T6 comes with Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC), and combined with the Canon Connect app, transferring photos to your mobile device is easy. We tried to connect both Wi-Fi and NFC, and using NFC was easier, especially if you’re on the move and don’t have a stable Wi-Fi connection. The app will direct you to search for your camera model, then ask how you want to connect. The NFC requires you hold your phone against the side of the camera and the phone will prompt you to hold still as it connects. Once connected, it was easy to view the camera’s photos, and select which images we wanted to upload to our email or social media.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one of the cheaper DSLR bodies currently available that is still worth considering. It costs $549 for the kit with the basic 18-55mm lens. Amazon often puts the camera on sale, and usually, you can get it for closer to $419. There was a time when the cheaper cost of the T6 made it a buy worth checking out. But honestly, with the advancements DSLR cameras have made, the T6 might no longer be worth the savings. The SL2 kit costs $549 and comes will full HD with 60fps recording, and a 24-megapixel sensor. That’s only a $130 difference, and it the SL2’s upgrades that could be the difference between getting a camera that will last you a few years, versus one you’ll be looking to upgrade in six months.
The Canon Rebel EOS T6 is a camera designed with beginners in mind, but so is Canon’s Rebel EOS T7 (view on Amazon), which is the same camera design but with better upgrades, and not for much more cost. The T7 can be found on Amazon for only $30 more than the T6 ($449 versus $419). Considering the upgrade means going from an 18-megapixel sensor, to the stronger 24-megapixel sensor, it just doesn’t make sense not to spend the extra $40 and get the more upgraded DSLR.
A cheaper DSLR but maybe not worth the savings.
We understand that spending over $500 on a DSLR can be a huge expense. The T6 can seem like a great option at first because of the savings, but when you do a side by side comparison of its photos with the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 or the Canon Rebel EOS T7, it becomes obvious why it might be worth shelling out that extra $50-$100. This is particularly true if you’re looking for a camera with strong video and photo, as the T6 is lacking when it comes to video quality.