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Canon T3i versus Canon T6

The Canon EOS Rebel T3i (called Canon 650D in some regions) and the Canon EOS Rebel T6 (labelled Canon 1300D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and March 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 17.9 megapixel. 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 T3i vs Canon T6

The physical size and weight of the Canon T3i and the Canon T6 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the T3i – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon T3i vs Canon T6
Compare T3i versus T6 top
Compare T3i and T6 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon T6 is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon T3i. Moreover, the T6 is markedly lighter (15 percent) than the T3i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3i nor the T6 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 T3i gets 440 shots out of its LP-E8 battery, while the T6 can take 500 images on a single charge of its LP-E10 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
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)
Canon T3i» 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i
Canon T6« 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i
Canon T7« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon SL2« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i

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 T6 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the T3i, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 T3i vs Canon T6

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T3i and Canon T6 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 17.9 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the T3i and the T6 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the T6 is much more recent (by 5 years and 1 month) than the T3i, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

T3i versus T6 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon T3i» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
Canon T6« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----
Canon T7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p----
Canon SL2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon T3i vs Canon T6

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T3i and the T6 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T3i and Canon T6 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Canon T3i»optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n
Canon T6«optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon T7« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon SL2« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n

Both the T3i and the T6 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The T3i was replaced by the Canon T4i, while the T6 was followed by the Canon T7.

Review summary: Canon T3i vs Canon T6

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon T3i better than the Canon T6 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 T3i:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2011).


Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T6:

  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 85g or 15 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 440) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 1 month of technical progress since the T3i launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (4 points each). 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.

T3i 04:04 T6

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the T3i and the T6 in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon T3i»rev77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i
Canon T6«rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i
Canon T7« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i
Canon SL2« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon M« »Rec-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i
Canon T2i« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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