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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 revealed to the public, 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. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size 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 side – the T3 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon T3 vs Canon T6i
Compare T3 versus T6i top
Compare T3 and T6i rear

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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon T3» 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T6i« 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon T7i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon T6s« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon T3i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
Canon XS« » 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon XS
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Canon XTi« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the T6i, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon T3 vs Canon T6i

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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

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

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon T3» APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon T3
Canon T6i« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
Canon T7i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon T7i
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972Canon M3
Canon T6s« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon T6s
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon T4i
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
Canon T3i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon T3i
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon T2i
Canon XS« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon XS
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon XSi
Canon XTi« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon XTi

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon T3 and Canon T6i along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon T3»optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T3
Canon T6i«optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
Canon T7i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon T7i
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Canon M3
Canon T6s« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6s
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T4i
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
Canon T3i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T3i
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T2i
Canon XS« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XS
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon XSi
Canon XTi« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XTi

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? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T3 or the Canon T6i – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of 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 count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T6i is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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 says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the T3 and the T6i in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon T3»80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon T3
Canon T6i«-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon T7i« »-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon T7i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i Canon M3
Canon T6s« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon T6s
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon T4i
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon T3i« »rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon T3i
Canon T2i« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
Canon XS« »82/100HiRec3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon XS
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon XSi
Canon XTi« »HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon XTi

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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