Pros Cons
  • Simple control layout
  • Lightweight camera body
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for quick photo sharing
  • Very nice JPEGs 
  • Good battery life
  • 18MP sensor is far from class-leading
  • Limited high ISO range
  • Cheap-feeling body
  • Slow live view autofocus
  • No touch screen
  • Poor quality kit lens

There's really nothing wrong with the Canon T6. I'll admit that I liked shooting with it better than I thought I would. It produces very nice, punchy JPEGs that you can share easily thanks to built-in Wi-Fi. It's not the most solid-feeling ILC your money can buy, but on the positive side, that means it's also pretty light and easy on the shoulders. It may not be at the cutting edge of photographic technology, but it does what it's meant to do just fine.

The Canon T6 may be a fresh face, but there's no part of this camera that we haven't seen before. Its 18MP sensor likely dates back to the Canon T2i. It was a very good sensor in 2010, and still holds up pretty well, but if you consider the quality of the current DSLR and mirrorless competition, it's looking a little stale.

Let's be clear, there's nothing inherently wrong with a six year old sensor. More demanding users might miss the improved resolution and dynamic range of a newer model, but you can take fantastic photos with a six year old sensor. Major prizes have been won by pictures taken with a six year old sensor. But when it's your $500 on the line, our job is to advise you to spend it wisely. And a camera's sensor is just one specification, albeit an important one, of many to consider.

The Canon T6's processing isn't afraid of saturated colors and heavy contrast. ISO 100, F5, 1/800sec

Among current entry-level DSLR offerings, the Canon T6's closest competitor is the Nikon D3300. The D3300 has an edge over the T6 in terms of sheer number of features, and its more modern sensor means that it's a better camera if you plan on shooting Raw. The D3300 also provides a couple more autofocus points, a battery rated to 700 shots (vs 500), smooth 1080/60p video (vs 1080/30p) and 5 fps burst shooting compared to the T6's 3 fps. But the T6 brings built-in Wi-Fi to the table while the D3300 needs an optional adapter. Personally I find it very hard to give up Wi-Fi, so that's a serious spec point worth considering against its closest entry-level DSLR peer.

What you really, really want

If you're considering a Canon EOS Rebel T6, and this will be your first time purchasing a Serious Camera, congratulations! You're going to be thrilled with the image quality. Now get ready to make some tough decisions, because excellent cameras are cheaper than ever. If you've arrived at the Canon Rebel T6 as a candidate, you may be attracted by a number of things, but a very reasonable price and brand recognition are likely to be on that list. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But maybe, just maybe, the camera you're looking for actually looks a little different.

The wide world of interchangeable lens cameras will help you achieve what your smartphone usually can't: out-of-focus backgrounds known as bokeh. ISO 800, F4, 1/200sec

For the same money (in some cases even less!) that will get you a Canon T6, you can get a camera that's smaller and lighter, stacked with extras like a touchscreen, in-camera filters and special modes like panorama, timelapse, and high speed video. That camera is likely to be a 'mirrorless' camera. Manufacturers like Sony, Olympus and Panasonic have been innovating in mirrorless for years, and Canon has its own offerings. Modern mirrorless cameras might not all look or feel like your traditional DSLR, but in certain ways, they often outperform them.

But the DSLR still holds some key advantages over mirrorless rivals. They offer much better battery life and lens selection, for example. The optical viewfinder is another important one for many photographers. For more on the subject, read our primer.

The final word

The Canon EOS Rebel T6/1300D is cheap, takes nice photos and will sell by the bucketload: these things we know to be true. If your mind is made up on something shaped like a DSLR, you're looking for a bargain and built-in Wi-Fi is a must-have, the Canon T6 will do the trick. It's an entry point to the wide and wonderful world of Canon glass, if you're looking to move beyond the kit lens (and you should). The camera's low light capabilities are limited and using live view for any reason is a real pain, but it takes very nice images in good light, right out of the box.

But if you can make do with shorter battery life, an electronic (or no) viewfinder and forgo the large grip, a mirrorless camera might be your ticket. Canon's own mirrorless line provides two options for around the same price as the T6: the $450 M10 with 18MP sensor or an upgrade to 24MP in the more advanced M3 for an extra $100. The Sony a5100 and Fujifilm X-A2 are also worthy of consideration at this price-point. 

Canon EOS Rebel T6 (EOS 1300D)
Category: Entry Level Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 provides a beginning photographer with good image quality right out of the box. It's a lightweight, easy-to-use DSLR with Wi-Fi for quick photo sharing. Its sensor lags behind the competition and its Live View shooting experience is frustrating, but it produces nice JPEGs without much work on the user's part. Overall, its very reasonable price point makes it a good buy for beginners.
Good for
Beginners, JPEG shooters, bargain hunters.
Not so good for
Those looking for best-in-class resolution and dynamic range, video or extras like panorama or filter modes.
73%
Overall score

Canon Rebel T6 samples