Canon Rebel T6s (760D) Review

Introduction

Initially released in the spring of 2015, Canon’s Rebel T6s, also known as the 760D outside of the United States, is a no-frills DSLR designed for enthusiasts. Officially, it replaces the 700D. Canon released it alongside the base model, the Rebel T6, or 750D. Compared to the base model, this variant sports added professional-level features to cater the line towards advanced users looking for that bit more.

And it’s a camera that Canon aims directly to suit users wanting a compact package that provides the best features available in the Rebel lineup. For a few dollars more, the 760D, on paper, inherits several additions from Canon’s higher-end cameras, along with several first in the Rebel series. It looks to be an exciting release and a significant improvement over the outgoing T5i.

It’s also a camera Canon aims to compete with Nikon’s D5500, Sony’s a6000, and Fujifilm’s X-T10. In today’s post, we will address its strengths, weaknesses, and address whether or not it’s a relevant contender, despite its age.

EOS-Rebel-T6s-specs

What are some of the goods, bads, and uglies of the Rebel T6s?

Pros:

Image Quality

It features a brand new 24.2MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor with an Optical Low Pass Filter paired with Digic 6 image processor. This camera marks the first in the Rebel series to obtain this significant update in resolution, finally moving away from the long-standing 18MP sensor. With this increase in resolution, the camera offers a slightly improved dynamic range over the T5i, though not a substantial improvement.

The 6MP bump in resolution has afforded the camera with an enormous amount of resolving power to capture and resolve fine details. And overall, image quality is excellent. Photos are sharp, well-exposed, and the color rendering is quite accurate.

The camera also obtains the updated 7560 Pixel RGB+IR metering system through the viewfinder, which provides more accurate exposure metering and color detection. This system works in conjunction with the new EOS scene detection platform to detect variability in a light source to compensate for flickering as well. And these combine to produce accurate exposures in many situations rivals often fail, particularly when shooting in high contrasts scenes where subjects are difficult to distinguish.

They also help make the cameras autofocusing more accurate across a greater subset of lighting conditions.

Like the base model, it provides continuous shooting speeds of 5 fps. And it provides an incredibly deep JPEG buffer, which offers virtually unlimited images at 4 fps. So, while it’s not the fastest, it outcompetes rivals in endurance.

Video Quality

For video, it shoots 1080p full HD up 30 fps and 720p HD up 60 fps in the MPEG-4 codec to the MP4 format. The camera also obtains the new HDR Movie Mode, which minimized dark shadows during recordings, slightly increasing the dynamic range. However, Canon restricts the mode to 720p at 30 fps, and it doesn’t offer any manual controls, the camera controls the mode automatically.

It offers a 3x digital zoom for video, which provides a lossless zoom during recording. This zoom helps you get much closer to a subject and is entirely free of any penalties or loss in quality.

It offers a Video Snapshot Mode, which collects a series of short video clips into an album to create a slideshow of moving images, interesting.

If you press the shutter while recording, the camera captures still images, though it does cause a short freeze frame.

Like many cameras in this class, video recordings limit at 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

Low Light Performance

It features a native ISO range from ISO 100 to 12,800, further expandable to 25,600. And despite the increase in resolution, low light performance is quite strong, and the level of noise remains the same as the predecessor. Users can expect usable images up to ISO 3,200. And even ISO 6,400, while grainy, is recoverable, as the images are free from color shifts or banding.

Focusing Performance

It features the brand new Hybrid CMOS AF III system with phase-detection for fast, accurate, and precise AF during Live View. And the camera inherits the 19-point all cross-type AF system from the 70D when composing through the viewfinder. This AF system effectively doubles that of previous Rebels. Canon also positioned these cross-type sensors in a diamond configuration, and they cover a good majority of the image area.

Overall, focusing in either facet is fast, easy, and accurate. These changes represent a significant upgrade in capabilities for the Rebel series, and this is the quickest and most precise system used in the lineup up until this point. The tracking performance, particularly in Live View, is a huge step up. Not only is it tenacious, but it’s also quite smooth. And while this system is not quite to the level of the Dual Pixel CMOS AF found in the 70D or 7D Mark II, it’s nearly identical.

And it’s well suited for professional use. When using an STM lens, the continuous AF is also silent, making video recordings almost camcorder-like with virtually no hunting. Plus, the 760D also offers Servo AF in stills, allowing it to track subjects during burst shooting. Thus, the camera can focus in-between frames, ensuring accuracy, and makes it a contender for moderate sports, action, or wildlife applications. Compared to the T5i and T4i, these improvements alone justify an upgrade.

Note: while focusing in Live View is quick, it’s not fast enough to track high-level sports. In these situations, it’s best to compose using the viewfinder and rely on the 19-point phase-detect system instead.

For those who prefer manually focusing, the camera offers focus magnification in Live View. However, it doesn’t support magnification during video recording.

Display & Viewfinder

It features a 3.0-inch vari-angle TFT touchscreen LCD with a resolution of 1.04M dots. Having a fully articulating screen is the ideal configuration, as it provides the most versatility when shooting at all angles. Plus, it’s perfect for selfies and self-composed video recordings. The screen is also bright, with good viewing angles. And it sports touch focus, touch shutter, pinch to zoom, and full menu navigation.

It features a slightly larger viewfinder than the base model now at 0.82x but maintains the 95% coverage of the imaging area. The viewfinder also offers a rear proximity sensor, which automatically disables the LCD as the eye approaches, preventing glare during composing.

Unlike the base model, it features a backlit top-deck status LCD, which displays basic shooting parameters at a glance, a first in the Rebel lineup. This saves time looking at the viewfinder or rear screen and is a feature Canon typically reserves for their higher-end cameras, like the 7D Mark II.

User Interface

It obtains Canon’s long standing intuitive and straightforward menus. Both newcomers and seasoned shooters will find the easy to use, simple to navigate, and quickly mastered. It also features a very intuitive touchscreen interface for quick and natural control over settings. And the menus are also context-sensitive and only show applicable features depending on the mode.

It obtains the Quick Menu, allowing users to change all critical cameras settings on a single page.

It offers the customizable My Menu, where up to six top-tier menu items can registerable.

Physical Layout & Ergonomics

Unlike the base model, it features dual command dials to change both aperture and shutter speed quickly. This is another first in the Rebel series and one that allows for easier manual control.

Compared to the older T5i, the ergonomics have improved significantly, particularly the grip. Canon redesigned the grip to provide better contouring, which makes the camera sustainably more comfortable during prolonged use. Like the base model, however, it maintains the strong magnesium alloy chassis and polycarbonate finish.

The Mode dial now has a lock to prevent accidental changes during transportation.

Niche Features/Extras

It has a built-in pop-up flash, which also has an integrated speedlite transmitter to trigger compatible off-camera flash units.

It has a microphone input, and the camera also provides manual control over audio levels.

It has a built-in one-dimensional electronic level, which indicates a horizontal tilt for composing landscape shots.

It has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, allowing the camera to pair to a smartphone or tablet, another first in the Rebel lineup. Once connected, users can wirelessly transfer images, send images directly to a printer, or remotely control the camera. And the app also provides complete manual control over the camera.

It offers highlight tone priority, which increases the range in highlights to prevent overexposures. This option is useful when shooting snow or beach scenes.

It features HDR backlight, which combines three separate exposure into a single image for a wider dynamic range.

Cons:

Image Performance

The camera uses rather aggressive in-camera noise reduction algorithms, which reduces image quality when shooting at higher ISOs for JPEGs. Overall, in low light, shooting in the RAW format is best to avoid any unnecessary loss in detail.

Video Capabilities

It lacks 4K UHD video and any high frame rates in 1080p, be it 60 fps or 120 fps. If you desire slow-motion video, you’ll have to drop down to 720p HD, which is quite disappointing.

It doesn’t obtain any higher-end video features, such as the ALL-I or IPB compression methods. If you want these features, you’ll have to upgrade to the 70D instead.

The camera automatically segments video recordings into 4 GB chuck, which requires post-processing to combine the clips for a seamless video.

Battery Life

Battery life is poor and below average for a mid-range DSLR. Canon rates its LP-E17 battery to deliver 440 shots per charge, which is much lower than the 600 shot lifespan typically seen in entry-level SLRs. Overall, battery life is one area that hasn’t kept up pace with competitors.

Display

The viewfinder has downgraded slightly to a lower magnification compared to previous iterations in this lineup. Overall, it’s quite small and doesn’t provide a large enough magnified view. This is strange considering its prism assembly is rather bulky and could easily accommodate a larger magnification.

Ergonomics

The camera weighs 520 g and is slightly bigger than the predecessor, a strange move from Canon considering the ongoing mirrorless craze, and most rivals offering more compact form factors. This increase in weight makes the camera more sturdy and substantial, but it’s quite a bit bulky compared to competitors.

Lacking Features

It lacks both zebras for highlight clipping and focus peaking.

It lacks a headphone input.

It doesn’t support USB charging.

Is this a good beginner camera?

Yes. It’s an excellent DSLR with strong image capabilities. And it provides a complete feature set, with all of the core necessities that beginners need. Not only that, but it also provides an intuitive interface with added professional features, giving it a distinct edge over the base model. And the few additions it does offer, make the S model into a more professional feeling body that provides ample value to make it worthwhile. With the upgrades to the sensor, focusing, and feature set, the camera remains competitive on the market, despite its age. And it offers plenty to give first time users room to grow.

What are the best lenses & bundles for the Rebel T6s?

General Photography:

EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Macro Photography:

EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM

Landscape & Astrophotography Photography:

EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM

Portrait Photography:

EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

Sports & Wildlife Photography:

EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM

Product & Still Life Photography:

EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Extra Batteries:

Canon LP-E17 Battery

SD Cards:

SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB
SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB 
SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB

Tripod:

Manfrotto Compact Action Aluminum 5-Section Tripod    

Battery Grip:

Canon BG-E18 Battery Grip

Is this a good camera for you?

Yes.

Current T5 and T5i users, or below, should consider upgrading. The updates to the focusing and touch implementation make it a worthy upgrade.

It makes a reasonable choice as a hybrid camera for both stills and video recording. It offers a confident autofocusing system for Live View, giving it camcorder-like abilities and smooth and accurate focusing. Though, it doesn’t provide any high-level advanced video features, such as high frame rates or better compression. So, while capable, it’s a bit limited.

If you desire a small, compact, travel-friendly camera, it isn’t the right choice. Even considering its Rebel classification, it’s quite a large bulky body. Thus, it’s better suited to those who enjoy the SLR experience and are more comfortable with the bigger body.

With its added manual centric features, it makes a solid choice for those looking for a backup camera to an existing setup.

It makes a better choice over the base model for most users, particularly if you desire the added features it provides. Considering their marginal price difference, the extra money spent here gives you a nice selection of added functionality, without any compromises.

In the end, Canon’s Rebel T6s is a fully-featured DSLR that provides the best image quality possible from a 24MP APS-C sized sensor. And it’s a camera that remains quite competitive, despite its age. For the price, coupled with its added features, it feels like a far more professional camera than its price suggests. And it makes full manual control both easy and efficient. It’s the result of many years of improvement in the successful design and a solid choice in the Rebel lineup.

Overview
  • Image Quality
  • Video Quality
  • Focusing Performance
  • Low Light Performance
  • Dynamic Range
  • Battery Performance
  • Display & Viewfinder
  • User Interface
  • Physical Layout & Ergonomics
3.7

Summary

Canon’s Rebel T6s is an excellent DSLR that provides a complete feature set. It offers several distinct additions that give it the superior edge over the base model and offers ample value that makes it a worthwhile purchase, despite its age. It remains one to watch, even after so much time.