There was a time when the budget segment of any camera brand line is frowned upon. That is not the case anymore. Big camera brands like Canon and Nikon have slowly beefed up their entry-level offering even when it is in the south point of the price range.
The Nikon D3400 and the Canon T6 are the best examples of how brands are slowly incorporating never before seen features in this price range without asking for more.
|Canon EOS Rebel T6||Nikon D3400|
|Release Date||April 2016||August 2016|
|Compatible Lenses||Canon EF and EF‐S lenses||Nikon F bayonet mount|
|Image Sensor||18 Megapixels, 1.6x APS-C 22.3mm X 14.9mm||24.2 Megapixels DX – APS-C 23.5 mm X 15.6 mm|
|ISO Range||100–6400 (exp. to 12800)||ISO 100 -25,600|
|Shutter Speeds||1/4000 to 30 sec.||1/4000 to 30 sec.|
|Number of Focusing Points||9 points Cross-type AF||11 AF points|
|Viewfinder coverage||Approx. 95% vertically and horizontally||Approx. 95% vertically and horizontally|
|FPS||3.0 fps||5 fps|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||Approx. 5.08 x 3.99 x 3.06 in. / 129.0 x 101.3 x 77.6mm||Approx. 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in. / 124 x 98 x 75.5 mm|
|Battery Life – Number of Shots (Camera Body Only)||Up to 600||1,200 shots (CIPA)|
|Weight (Body Only)||17.1 oz. / 485g||14 oz. / 395g|
Nikon D3400 vs Canon Rebel T6
These two entry-level DSLR cameras are among the most recommended DSLR for those who are new in photography and with a tight budget. However, being entry-level is where it begins and ends with these two. Both cameras are capable tools despite their price tag.
Entry-level Yet Capable Product from Canon
Canon is known for producing cameras since the early 1930s. The company released its first SLR camera back in the 1970s. From then on, the company is among the many brands associated with professional photography.
The Rebel T6 is Canon’s entry-level offering that packs a punch for those looking for a budget yet capable in imaging DSLR. For Canon camera loyalists, the Rebel T6 comes in a form factor and design like the EOS 1200D. Its control and button placement are nearly the same. Both cameras also weigh the same at 485g ready to shoot. This camera comes with a modest set of features compared to pricier DSLRs.
- The biggest win for those picking up this camera is its powerful imaging capabilities. Canon’s budget offering comes with a feature set including an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor.
- The camera comes with a capable 63-zone exposure metering, which performs well in terms of producing accurate exposures in any lighting condition.
- A 3.0” 920k-dot LCD monitor. It comes in handy for reviewing photographs on the go.
- Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC which is a useful tool for sharing your photographs with friends and family.
Knowing that the camera is in the budget segment, it does come with some limitations.
- Noticeable detail loss, blotchy colors, and color speckling in shadow areas when shooting at ISO 3200.
- The 18MP sensor comes with a restricted dynamic range. This limitation produces high-contrast photographs with murky shadows.
Nikon in the Budget Segment
Nikon has also slowly made its name in the budget segment of DSLR cameras. It has released a couple of capable and affordable DSLRs in the past including the excellent entry-level performer – the D3300.
The Nikon D3400 is the successor to the brand’s entry-level king. This camera comes with every feature needed by an amateur photographer. The spec sheet for this entry-level DSLR includes:
- a 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS sensor and an EXPEED 4 image processor, which works together to produce high-quality images that are detailed, color-accurate, and low-light sensitive,
- SnapBridge Bluetooth connectivity that allows photographers to transfer their work on a mobile phone or a personal computer without the need for cables,
- full-HD recording capability that supports multiple frame rates up to 60 fps, as well as HD 720p, and
- standard zoom AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens to deliver smooth, fast, and quiet autofocus performance.
In terms of its limitations, many users complain about these two issues:
- Limited control that may disappoint users looking for more advanced features.
- The camera’s screen lacks touchscreen capability which could have helped more in using the D3400’s features.
A Battle of Entry-level Cameras
Being in the entry-level segment is no longer an excuse for camera brands to be lax. The competition and the user demand has significantly peaked in recent years to do just that. An example is when you pit the Canon EOS Rebel T6 vs Nikon D3400. Both cameras are capable as those DSLR cameras you can find in the mid-tier segment.
If you are still having some Nikon D3400 vs Canon T6 battle inside your head, here are some points to ponder:
A DSLR camera with a great autofocus (AF) performance is a must regardless of how experienced a photographer is. Autofocus helps the photographer in determining the focus in a photograph. It is recommended to pick up a camera with higher autofocus points but this feature is mostly exclusive for higher tier DSLRs.
The D3400 from Nikon offers AF points of up to 11. It gives an option to use a single point at a time, a group of points for a single shoot, or let the camera automatically activate points as the photographer focuses on his subject. You might be frowning over the lack of AF points of this camera, but it is not its biggest downfall. The Nikon D3400’s autofocus is described by many photographers as already perfectly tuned for the needs of any photographer.
For the Rebel T6, its autofocus performance leaves photographers wanting more. Compared to the D3400, this camera only offers nine AF points. The T6 allows photographers to manually select the desired points with a dedicated AF sensor button and the directional pad of the control field.
Given the lackluster offering of the T6, the Nikon D3400 definitely wins this round.
Ergonomics & Controls
Weight and controls matter in photography. A lightweight yet capable camera trumps any that offers great imaging performance but is packaged in a non-ideally ergonomic manner.
Canon’s Rebel T6 has some advantage in this round. It is lightweight and comes in a relatively small form factor. Despite its size, it still offers more control. It comes with a mode dial that offers a standard exposure setting, a setup button that doubles as a shutter speed button when on manual mode, and a 4-way control field for menu navigation. However, this camera lacks custom-defined modes but beginners will be glad to learn from using the scene modes found in the mode dial.
The D3400 takes design cues from its predecessors in the entry-level segment. It comes with a mainly plastic body that makes it lightweight for tagging around. Photographers who are prone to dropping their cameras can take refuge with the rubber non-slip design found on the camera’s grip. Perhaps the biggest advantage offered by this DSLR camera is its “i” button, which allows the user to bypass the main menu to instantly change key settings.
The Rebel T6 weighs a bit more compared to the Nikon D3400. It is a big factor especially for those who are conscious of what they bring on a photography trip. But it is a draw between the two in this round as both cameras make use of the APS-C sized sensor so their lenses in similar focal length and aperture will be similar in size and weight.
Value for Money
Canon definitely wins this round. The T6 offers more bang for the buck for an entry-level DSLR camera. While it does not have the premium features offered by the Japanese brand on its pricier products, the Rebel T6 still has a high-quality finish and reasonable features in it. These features still allow beginners to enjoy and make the most of what Canon offers in the world of photography.
However, the Nikon D3400 is still the most recommended starting DSLR for any newbie photographer. If the budget is not restrained when picking up tools needed by someone starting the hobby, the D3400 is a must-have camera to learn the ins-and-outs of photography.
Image & Video Quality
Photographers looking for more control over depth of field should get the Nikon D3400. This camera offers 1.1x larger sensors compared to the Canon Rebel T6. This feature also allows photographers to play more with blurry backgrounds in their images. The sensor found in the D34000 also performs well in producing images that captures colors resembling to real objects and backgrounds.
For a more detailed comparison, the Canon T6 comes with an 18.0MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and features Digic 4+ processor while the Nikon D3400 offers a 24.0MP APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features Expeed 4 processor.
Continuous Shooting Speed
Continuous shooting is another factor where the Nikon D3400 performs well compared to the Rebel T6. The former offers a continuous shooting speed of 5.0 frames per second (fps) compared to the 3 fps possible on a Canon Rebel T6. The D3400’s continuous shooting speed allows it to deliver an average performance when used for sports photography.
As stated earlier, the Nikon D3400 is the most recommended buy for beginners or those who are looking for a capable but affordable DSLR camera. It performs well in the following aspects if there is a Canon EOS Rebel T6 vs Nikon D3400 discussion:
- A larger viewfinder at 0.56x viewfinder magnification compared to the Rebel T6.
- More AF points to allow better focusing of the subject either manually or automatically.
- Better ISO performance which helps in producing acceptable images regardless of lighting conditions.
- Lighter compared to Canon’s Rebel T6, which is a big deal especially if photographers tend to pack light during outdoor trips.
However, it does not mean the Canon Rebel T6 should be disregarded. It is still a very capable camera in the entry-level segment. It edges against the D3400 in the following aspects:
- Built-in AE bracketing that helps when shooting in tough lighting conditions and HDR.
- Wireless connectivity for easily transferring images from the camera to a smartphone or computer.
- NFC connectivity for easy pairing with compatible devices.
- Longer range flash coverage to produce images with near real-life colors when shooting in low-light environments.
Nikon D3400 vs Canon T6: Which is the Best?
The answer depends on what it will be used for. Each camera comes with its own set of features that make it stand out against the rest. A photographer must first determine what kind of photography he will be doing to get the most suitable tool for his hobby. This advice is not only for when you are getting an entry-level camera but also when investing in pricier, high-tier equipment.
The Nikon D3400 is a perfect beginner’s tool. It especially performs well for those who want to dip and try some sports photography due to its average-performing continuous shooting speed. It is also best for portrait photography due to its large APS-C sensor, optical built-in viewfinder, and 24MP resolution sensor.
On the other hand, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 still holds some ground in the Nikon D3400 vs Canon Rebel T6 showdown. It is the camera to get for photographers for daily photography due to its large APS-C sensor, as well as for landscape photography with its very high-resolution sensor at 18MP and Live-view capability.
At the end of the day, these two offerings from Canon and Nikon are capable cameras. But any photographer buying them should also be aware of limitations that come with purchasing products at the entry-level.