The Canon EOS Rebel T6 (aka the EOS 1300D) hits the basics for a low price.
- The Canon EOS Rebel T6's photo and video quality are definitely better than those of a point-and-shoot.
- Its feature set is beyond minimal and it's slow for a family camera.
Why are you considering a cheap dSLR? Think it through before forking over the money for the Canon EOS Rebel T6, aka the EOS 1300D.
Much of the camera is based on a higher-end model from 2013 that’s still available, the EOS Rebel T5i (EOS 700D), but with features stripped out and Wi-Fi added. And that model was only a minor update over its predecessor from 2012, the T4i (EOS 650D).
Like most basic dSLRs in its class, the T6 is basically a point-and-shoot with a big sensor for better photo quality; though one of the attractions of a dSLR is the ability to swap lenses, most people stick with the one that comes with the kit.
The photos look like they were shot with a dSLR or mirrorless camera with the same size sensor, so they’re definitely a step up from a phone or point-and-shoot. And they’re about as good as its direct competitors, like the Nikon D3300 and the Pentax K-S2. But its photo and video quality aren’t nearly as good as the Sony A6000’s, either.
JPEGs look reliably OK through ISO 800, as long as there’s some light; beyond that, processing raws gets you less smearing of detail and color noise as high as ISO 6400. And the automatic white balance is quite good.
The T6’s performance reflects its old origins, delivering good autofocus and continuous-shooting speeds — for a few years ago. But it’s not really satisfying for shooting subjects in motion, especially fast-moving kids or pets.
Typical design for its class
It’s relatively light but feels substantial, typical for a beginner dSLR. It does retain some of the irritating aspecs of its predecessors, including the tiny, hard-to-see autofocus points in the viewfinder. Forget about stealthy shooting, since the shutter is loud. And if you feel like jumping back and forth between stills and video, you have to rotate all the way to the end of the mode dial and back.
There are a few reasons to spend just a little more or go mirrorless. The T6’s fixed LCD is typical for dSLRs in its price range, but if you like to shoot using the back display — Live View — it’s much nicer to have a tilting or flip-and-twist articulated display. Partly because fixed displays are hard to see in bright sunlight; you can increase the screen brightness for easier viewing, but then you can’t verify exposures. Fixed displays are also suboptimal for shooting video.
But because it doesn’t have spot metering, the camera doesn’t handle backlit subjects well automatically.
Once you determine why you want it, you’ll find that there are better, similarly priced options that you probably didn’t consider because they don’t seem as shiny.