PW

Canon T3 versus Canon T6i

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel T6i (labelled Canon 750D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 and February 2015. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The T3 has a resolution of 12.2 megapixel, whereas the T6i provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon T3 vs Canon T6i

The physical size and weight of the Canon T3 and the Canon T6i are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the T3 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon T3 vs Canon T6i
T3 versus T6i top view
T3 and T6i rear side
Body view (T3 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T6i is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Canon T3. Moreover, the T6i is markedly heavier (12 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 nor the T6i are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the T3 gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the T6i can take 440 images on a single charge of its LP-E17 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon T3 (⇒ rgt) 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 no 2011 449discont. check
Canon T6i (⇒ lft) 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 no 2015 749discont. check
Canon T7i (⇒ lft | rgt) 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 no 2017 749 latest check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 no 2015 679discont. check
Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt) 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 no 2015 849discont. check
Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 no 2014 449discont. check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 103 mm 60 mm 40 mm 304 g 210 no 2014 699discont. check
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 580 g 440 no 2013 649discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 no 2012 429discont. check
Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 no 2011 599discont. check
Canon T2i (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 no 2010 699discont. check
Canon XS (⇒ lft | rgt) 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 no 2008 449discont. check
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 no 2008 799discont. check
Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 no 2006 799discont. check

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the T6i, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.


Sensor comparison: Canon T3 vs Canon T6i

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the T6i is 3 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T3 and Canon T6i sensor measures
Sensor size

With 24MP, the T6i offers a higher resolution than the T3 (12.2MP), but the T6i has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 5.15μm for the T3). Yet, the T6i is a much more recent model (by 4 years) than the T3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

T3 versus T6i MP
Sensor resolution

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the T6i has a markedly higher DXO score than the T3 (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon T3 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 720/30p 21.9 11.0 755 62
Canon T6i (⇒ lft) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 22.7 12.0 919 71
Canon T7i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p .. .. .. ..
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.8 11.8 1169 72
Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.6 12.0 915 70
Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.9 11.3 724 63
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 23.0 12.7 556 71
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 681 61
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/24p 20.3 11.2 179 47
Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.5 793 65
Canon T2i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.5 784 66
Canon XS (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no - - - -
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 no 21.9 10.8 692 61
Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.0 664 62

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the T6i provides a better video resolution than the T3. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the T3 is limited to 720/30p.

Feature comparison: Canon T3 vs Canon T6i

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T3 and the T6i are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T3, the Canon T6i, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon T3 (⇒ rgt) optical no 2.7 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon T6i (⇒ lft) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon T7i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 6.0 12 no
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.2 5 no
Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 2000 6.5 7 YES
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 461 swivel no 2000 2.2 5.5 YES
Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel no 4000 3.7 13 no
Canon T2i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 3.7 13 no
Canon XS (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 13 no
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 230 fixed no 4000 3.5 13 no
Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 13 no

Both the T3 and the T6i have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3 was replaced by the Canon T5, while the T6i was followed by the Canon T7i.

Review summary: Canon T3 vs Canon T6i

So how do things add up? Is the Canon T3 better than the Canon T6i or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 60g or 11 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 440) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2011).

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T6i:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 40%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years of technical progress since the T3 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the T6i is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

T3 04:10 T6i

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the T3 or the T6i. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. You can find the full text of the reviews, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
.com
dp
review
.com
ephoto
zine
.com
imaging
resource
.com
photography
blog
.com
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon T3 (⇒ rgt) 80/100 69/100 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2011 449discont. check
Canon T6i (⇒ lft) - 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 749discont. check
Canon T7i (⇒ lft | rgt) .. 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 4/5 4/5 2017 749 latest check
Canon M3 (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2015 679discont. check
Canon T6s (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 849discont. check
Canon T5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4/5 - 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 449discont. check
Canon G7 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 3.5/5 4.5/5 2014 699discont. check
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 649discont. check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Canon T4i (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 72/100 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2012 429discont. check
Canon T3i (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2011 599discont. check
Canon T2i (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 77/100 Gold 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2010 699discont. check
Canon XS (⇒ lft | rgt) 82/100 HiRec 3.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2008 449discont. check
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec HiRec 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2008 799discont. check
Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt) 85/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed 4.5/5 4/5 2006 799discont. check

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.


Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

vs

    You are here  »   »