Canon T6i vs Nikon D5500
The Canon EOS Rebel T6i (called Canon 750D in some regions) and the Nikon D5500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2015 and January 2015. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon T6i||Nikon D5500|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600)||ISO 100-25,600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 1040k dots||3.2 LCD, 1037k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Swivel touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|440 shots per battery charge||820 shots per battery charge|
|132 x 101 x 78 mm, 555 g||124 x 97 x 70 mm, 420 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS Rebel T6i and the Nikon D5500? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Canon T6i and the Nikon D5500 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D5500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the T6i is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5500 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Canon T6i. Moreover, the D5500 is markedly lighter (24 percent) than the T6i. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T6i nor the D5500 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (T6i) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D5500).
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Canon T6i||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon T7i||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|Canon T6s||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|Canon T5i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||580 g||440||n||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T1i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||520 g||400||n||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Nikon D5600||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The T6i was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the D5500, 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 D5500 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T6i) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Even though the D5500 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the D5500 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the T6i), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. The two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D5500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The T6i has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6i has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D5500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D5500 offers substantially better image quality than the T6i (overall score 13 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 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.
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D5500 provides a faster frame rate than the T6i. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The T6i and the D5500 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D5500 has a higher magnification than the one of the T6i (0.57x vs 0.51x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon T6i and Nikon D5500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
The Nikon D5500 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the T6i and the D5500 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS Rebel T6i and Nikon D5500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
Both the T6i and the D5500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D5500 was replaced by the Nikon D5600, while the T6i was followed by the Canon T7i. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon T6i and the Nikon D5500? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T6i:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D5500:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.51x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 135g or 24 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (820 versus 440) out of a single battery charge.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5500 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T6i and the Nikon D5500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the T6i and the D5500 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Canon T6i||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|Nikon D5500||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|Canon 77D||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon T7i||..||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|Canon M5||+||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|Canon T6s||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|Canon T5||+||..||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|Canon T5i||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649|
|Canon T4i||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|Canon T1i||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799|
|Canon XSi||+ +||+ +||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|Canon XTi||+ +||+ +||o||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|Canon XT||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|Nikon D5600||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D3400||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D3300||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|Nikon D5300||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Canon T6i
- Canon 1D X vs Nikon D5500
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Canon T6i
- Canon T6i vs Leica Q Typ 116
- Canon T6i vs Leica V-LUX 3
- Canon T6i vs Nikon L840
- Canon T6i vs Olympus E-M1
- Canon T6i vs Olympus XZ-2
- Nikon D5500 vs Nikon L840
- Nikon D5500 vs Panasonic G7
- Nikon D5500 vs Panasonic GF6
- Nikon D5500 vs Sony A850
Specifications: Canon T6i vs Nikon D5500
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon T6i||Nikon D5500|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2015||January 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 749||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Canon T6i||Nikon D5500|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||EXPEED 4|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||71||84|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.7||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.0||14.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||919||1438|
|Screen Specs||Canon T6i||Nikon D5500|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon T6i||Nikon D5500|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon T6i||Nikon D5500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon T6i||Nikon D5500|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||440 shots per charge||820 shots per charge|
132 x 101 x 78 mm
(5.2 x 4.0 x 3.1 in)
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||555 g (19.6 oz)||420 g (14.8 oz)|
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