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In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at these two highly popular entry-level DSLRs to see which is best for beginning and aspiring photographers. .
Size & Dimensions
In comparison to larger digital SLRs, say Canon’s 80D, both cameras are comparatively small, especially side by side. Their physical dimensions are also quite similar (Canon: 129 x 101 x78 mm and Nikon: 124 x 98 x76 mm). The main difference, however, is their weight, where the Canon weighs 90 grams more than the Nikon. Considering the size of these cameras, this difference, though large on paper, is relatively undisguisable during prolonged use. In normal use, the size differences between the cameras are insignificant. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a smaller travel-oriented camera, the Nikon is the better choice.
Canon Rebel T6
Physical Controls & Ergonomics
Both cameras feature adequate controls and have the user modes we expect that best compliment beginning photographers. Not only that, but they both also feature manual modes, perfect when you’re ready to take the plunge of manual exposure. However, the Nikon features a mode that the Canon does not, Guide Mode. Guide mode provides a second interface that guides you through camera settings and best practices with examples to shoot the desired photo. It’s quite a unique feature for SLRs in this price range. With that, the Nikon is best for beginning photographers, considering how helpful of a function this is.
Both cameras feature 3.0-inch screens with nearly identical screen resolutions. The Canon has 920K dots while the Nikon has 921K dots. Unfortunately, both cameras are missing articulating or tilting screens, a crucial component for vlogging. Not only that, but both cameras also lack touchscreens, a pity considering these types of displays make it significantly easier to navigate the complexity of a DSLRs menu. With that, the difference between these cameras won’t be through resolution, size, or variability. Instead, the difference lies in their quality and brightness. In this area, the Nikon takes the lead by offering a bright screen that delivers a better viewing experience when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight conditions.
In performance, the Nikon takes the lead by offering a 33% larger sensor than the Canon at 24.2-megapixels. Interestingly, The Canon only has 18-megapixels and not the 24-megapixels we expect in standard APS-C sized cameras. However, if you only plan on taking photos casually or to share online, a mere difference of 6-megapixels will never be distinguishable by your viewers. However, if you plan on printing in large formats or you prefer to crop your images after the fact, the added resolution of the Nikons sensor will be advantageous. The Nikon also lacks an AA (Anti-Alias) Filter. In short, this means it supplies sharper images with greater fine details, albeit with an increased chance of moiré occurring in the shot.
Both cameras shoot 1080p Full HD video, which is more than sufficient for most users. However, unlike the Canon, the Nikon shoots at frame rates up to 60 fps. 60 fps is crucial if you want to create slow-motion effects when filming action and slow down footage. Not only that, but this also means that when the footage is slowed down, it delivers sharper footage than the Canon as well. Having the ability to shoot slow-motion in your arsenal is a definite advantage.
Unfortunately, the Canon doesn’t feature autofocusing whatsoever when shooting video. Shooting video with the Canon is strictly manual focus only, strange considering Canon has some of the best video focusing systems on the market to date. Unfortunately, with manual focusing only, focusing will be difficult without proper technique, which takes a lot of experience to master. Seeing that the Nikon does feature autofocus in both photos and videos, it has the advantage here as well.
In terms of battery life and performance, the Nikon dominates with an impressive 1,200 shot battery life. The Canon only offers 500 shots per single charge, low in comparison to what we expect from a DSLR. Typically, 1,000 shots per charge is standard. Considering these cameras are both similarly priced, this is a distinct and genuine advantage for the Nikon. If you like to take many photos or want to travel light without additional batteries, this could be the dealbreaker for you.
User Interface & Menus
If you’re a previous user to either Canon or Nikon, you will feel right at home with the overall user interfaces and menus of both cameras. Both interfaces are simple, well organized, and fully featured.
Both cameras feature wireless connectivity, which means users can connect to their smartphones. In this regard, Canon takes the lead as it features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. The Nikon only has Bluetooth connectivity, which supplies an always-on connection for faster image transfer. But, this also means that it lacks Wi-Fi capabilities in-camera. Instead, Wi-Fi support requires the Eye-Fi, a secondary paid accessory. Not only that, but the Nikon only supports the wireless transfer of images. It does not support remote control, a feature the Canon offers. Overall, considering the extra cost and the lack of wireless remote control, the Canon is best if wireless connectivity is essential to you.
In terms of continuous burst rate, the Nikon D3400 takes the lead offering a burst speed of 5 fps while the Cannon only offers 3 fps. In practice, this is not a huge difference. Sure, for most normal circumstances, most users will never see the difference. However, in critical moments were burst performance is essential, it could easily be the difference between you getting the shot versus you not getting the shot. If you’re an aspiring wildlife, sports or action photographer, the Nikon is a better fit for you as it provides a better continuous burst rate.
Both cameras lack headphone and microphone inputs.
Both cameras lack in-body image stabilization.
Both cameras lack dual SD card slots.
Both cameras lack weather sealing.
So which is best?
The Nikon is a better well-rounded camera. The only disadvantage to the Canon T6 is in its wireless capabilities, which makes it better-suited for instant sharing online and remote shooting. The Canon, however, is best suited to users who are photographers who care little about video. Nonetheless, for value and features, the Nikon is best.