So you’re ready to take things to the next level huh? Getting a DSLR camera is a viable option. But with so many DSLR cameras to choose from, determining a great choice for your needs is no walk in the park. Trust me – I’ve been there.
But luckily for you, I’m here to hold your hand through the process. In this piece, we shall take time to review one of the best entry-level DSLR – the Canon EOS Rebel T6. This camera has captured the hearts of many newbie photographers courtesy of its affordable price-tag.
And before you call me out on it, I know they say cheap is expensive. But the Rebel T6 is an exception to this rule. Canon found a perfect balance of price, quality, and performance. Though it’s not the best I’ve seen, it offers casual photographers a great experience.
18MP MP APS CMOS
3.0-inch, 920,000 dots
NFC and Wi-Fi
Full HD 1080p
The Canon EOS T6 is a beginner DSLR camera. It’s an upgrade of the Canon EOS T5. But despite being an upgrade, there are minor differences. The EOS T6 features an APS-C sensor with an 18 MP sensor. It also includes NFC and Wi-Fi technology for easier photo sharing when on the road. In comparison to its elder brother, the T6 sports a faster processor.
But even with all these features, the feature that has everyone talking is on its box: the sweet and affordable price tag for both the camera and a beginner 18-55mm lens.
But is a cheap DSLR really worth your time and investment? Well, yes it is. But in the spirit of full disclosure, it does have its fair share of shortcomings.
Who is it for?
Generally, it’s perfect for beginner photographers looking to capture images of still objects. With the 3fps capability, shooting moving objects will yield blurry images.
Now, though it’s a great choice for casual photographers who are looking to step up their photography game from smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras, it’s especially perfect for food enthusiasts. Here’s why.
DSLRs have different modes for almost every setting. The T6, Canon decided to highlight the food mode by dedicating a spot for it on the mode dial. The mode is represented by the fork-and-knife symbol. It’s right next to the Night Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Sports and Macro modes. Food photography is a growing trend. Don’t believe me? Type in #food, #foodporn or any other food keyword on Instagram and see how many results you’ll be bombarded with. Canon knows this and has made it easier to access this mode.
Food images shot in this mode have superior contrast and saturation. Also, I noticed that this mode helps to cancel out the orange/red tints cast over foods courtesy of the ‘romantic’ lighting in restaurants. To adjust the coolness or warmth of the scene all you need to do is press the ‘Q’ button. But why should you care about this food mode? Well, it gets rid of the need to adjust white balance and other related settings to achieve better images.
The T6 has the same sensor as the T5. However, it sports an improved processor – the DIGIC 4+. Given the features, it no surprise that their performance is similar.
The T6’s image quality is pretty good. If this will be your first DSLR, you’ll be impressed by what it can do. The JPEG images have impeccable saturation and warmth – something we’ve come to expect from Canon DSLRs. On the flip side, the raw images are slightly subdued in comparison to the JPEGs. They have reduced contrast levels. I personally love this since it allows me to process files to meet my tastes.
The 18 MP sensor offers great detail as it does in the Rebel T5. Overall, JPEG images have a great resolution between ISO 100 and ISO 3,200. However, at ISO6,400, the quality reduces slightly. Though the DSLR features an ISO12,800 expansion option,
Build and Handling
Again, the T6 design and build are quite similar to the T5. Only a few things have changed.
The T6 has a textured grip and thumb rest. This textured coating gives the impression that the T6 is of a higher quality than regular entry-level DSLRs. It feels more mid-range than entry-level.
The grip has a nice contour designed to fit the middle finger. Quick note: beginners with larger hands will experience lesser comfort. For those who have used a Canon DSLR before, the T6’s rear configuration will feel familiar. But even if you haven’t used a Canon DSLR before, you’ll catch on pretty fast.
As mentioned previously, the ‘Q’ button provides quick access to common settings. I also loved the dedicated buttons to adjust settings like autofocus mode, white balance, and ISO. And since the T6 doesn’t have a touchscreen display, all setting adjustments are made through physical controls.
The AF speeds are quick in good lighting though it slows down in darker spaces. In the AL Servo AF mode, you can capture images of moving objects. But there is a limit to this. Unfortunately, the T6 only keeps up with slow-moving objects. The DSLR will struggle with objects that move fast. But hey, this much is expected from a low-priced entry-level DSLR. With that said, this camera isn’t ideal for action and sports enthusiasts.
The Rebel T6 has both Wi-Fi and NFC technology. These connectivity options allow you to connect the camera to your phone through the Canon Camera Connect App. The app is available for both iOS and Android platforms. Using the app, you can use your smartphone as a touchscreen LCD for your camera. You can have the DSLR mounted on a tripod and 50m away from you and still see what the camera is looking at.
Additionally, you can also transfer images straight to your smartphone. With the direct transfer feature, you can post HD images directly to your social media accounts. I mean what’s the use of taking HD images if you cannot show them off to the world?
The initial setup for the camera app may take a few minutes. But subsequent logins will be a breeze. I should point out that the app is direct and intuitive.
Though the Wi-Fi feature comes in handy, I’d rather Canon added a direct access button to the Wi-Fi function on either the top or back panel. With the current design, users have to go through the menu settings to locate it.
As for the NFC feature, it connects quick but only works with Android NFC. Iphone users are unlucky in this.
SD Card Location
The Rebel T6 has the SD slot at the bottom. Now normal camera use, this isn’t a problem. But if you intend to mount it on a tripod, you cannot access the SD. This can be pretty inconveniencing but not a deal-breaker per se.
Lacks a microphone port
Without this jack, you cannot connect an external microphone for better sound quality during videos. The built-in microphone will have to do. For vloggers, this can prove to be a real pain.
Though the processor upgrade to the DIGIC 4+ is great and commendable, the new engine has its own shortcomings. As hinted above (in the image quality section), the DIGIC 4+ doesn’t perform well in noise reduction. In the process of preserving more detail, it is forced to let in more chroma noise. At lower ISOs, this isn’t a problem. But at high ISO, it is noticeable and can be a nuisance.
Worth a Buy?
I have to say I enjoyed shooting with the T6 – and so will you. The DSLR produces punchy and quality JPEGS that are easy to share via Wi-Fi and NFC technology. Though it’s not the most solid DSLR you can get, it is light and portable. It may not feature cutting-edge technology but it offers new entrants a great experience. And plus it comes with an affordable price tag.
Now some might argue that the sensor and tech used in this DSLR are outdated. Actually, it’s about 10 years old. But whether it’s old or not doesn’t matter provided it gets the job done and gives some of the newer entry level DSLRs a run for their money.