New Canon T6i and T6s Rebels with more megapixels, Wi-Fi, and NFC

canon-eos-t6x-670x335Canon announces two new camera bodies being added to their Rebel line with the T6i and T6s that have more megapixels, WiFi, and NFC

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The Specs

Canon has been unusually busy in announcing new camera bodies so far in 2015.  This time it is a couple of new entries into their EOS Rebel line up popular among beginners and hobbyists.  The T6i and T6s bodies are very similar spec wise:

  • 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor (up from 18 in previous Rebel models)
  • ISO 100-12800 (expandable to H: 25600)
  • High performance DIGIC 6 image processor provides outstanding image quality and speed
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® and built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) for simple connection to smart devices or the Canon Connect Station CS100
  • EOS Full HD Movie mode captures video in MP4 format
  • Hybrid CMOS AF III allows for high levels of speed and accuracy when capturing moving subjects during movie shooting or when capturing photos in Live View
  • Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch ClearView II LCD monitor (approximately 1,040,000 dots)
  • High-speed continuous shooting up to 5.0 fps
  • New EOS scene analysis system
  • 19-point all cross-type AF system allows superb autofocus performance
  • Creative filters are available as presets for photos and movies and can be displayed in real time during Live View shooting

The difference between the two models being: top LCD display panel, a Quick Control dial, and electronic level display on the T6s.  The T6i is starting out with a retail price of $749, the T6s at $849 – both prices for the body only (no lens).  The press release from Canon is here.

My Reaction

Although I need to really wait to see it for myself, or at least see the 3rd party testing results, I think the increase in megapixels has been long overdue in this lineup.  The sensor in the Rebel line has been exactly the same since the T2i was released in 2010.  The 18MP sensor has been good (plenty for great stills and good but not great video), but the new 24.2 megapixels should be a very welcome upgrade.

The built in Wi-Fi and NFC is very interesting.  Again, I want to wait for the reviews to see how well it has been implemented since it wouldn't be the first time a camera manufacturer did this poorly, but the idea of being able to control the camera from my iPad and showing/sharing the shots on the iPad is very appealing to me.  Be sure to check out the podcast interview Jim and Darin did with Jaren Wilkey where he talks about his “wireless” workflow.  Makes me wish this was in the Canon 7D MII I am planning to get in the near future.  Although if I had to choose between Wi-Fi and weather resistance I would choose the weather resistance (it is speculated that is why the Wi-Fi was excluded from the 7D MII).

I think the 19-point, cross-type AF is a big deal too.  The Rebel lines in the past have been light here, the T3i having only 1 cross-type (faster and more accurate) focus point in the center, and the T4i and T5i with only 9.  Having 19 cross-type focus points in the T6i and T6s will make it a more versatile camera capable of better shooting fast moving sports or wildlife.

Is It For You?

The Rebel line has done very well with the beginner and hobbyist photographers with good reason.  They are solid cameras that can get you started without making a huge investment in doing something you aren't certain you will like.  I think they are plenty good enough to even do “professional” work.  If you are a beginner looking to get started, be sure to check out this article on how to pick your first camera.

While the T6i or T6s would be a fine entry point model for a beginner looking to learn photography, you can get 90% of the same camera in the T3i, T4i, or T5i models for lower prices.  I have personally seen a lot of beginners do really well with a T3i and a 18-55 EF-S kit lens for less than $500 (check Canon's refurbished site).  I currently own a T3i that I use in every family portrait shoot I do (second shooter camera).

To me the T6x is a really nicely priced upgrade for someone that wants more image quality, Wi-Fi, and/or better focusing.  Especially if you sell an older Rebel model and keep all of your lenses.  If you have a T3i, T4i, or T5i, I think this will be a big enough difference you should consider the upgrade.  They are available in April, so head on over to a local camera store and check them out and compare the image quality yourself to see if you think it is worth the money.

18 thoughts on “New Canon T6i and T6s Rebels with more megapixels, Wi-Fi, and NFC”

  1. In the past 2 weeks when I click on Improve photography from your email it goes to the browser but half the page is covered woth your banner. I read all your articles but now it’s just the bottom 2inches. Help

  2. How do you think the T6s compares to the 70D? The 70D is the one I want to move up to but I am intrigued by the T6s because it seems to have a lot of the same features. Thoughts?

    1. @Tonya,

      The T6s isn’t actually released yet, so we don’t have any testing results on the new sensor or Wi-Fi functions. That comes in April, or probably a little before as Canon gets pre-release models out for those reviews. On paper the T6s offers a higher resolution sensor (24.2mp vs. 20.2mp) and HDR video, but until some more testing is done it is hard to say how much of a factor this will be. The 70D offers the dual pixel focusing system, which means you can grab focus much faster in video. There is also better sealing on the 70D compared with the T6s.

      Bottom line is we need more reviews and tests to be done. I am very interested to see how the ISO performance comes in on the new sensor.

  3. Hi Tanya Steelz.. You asked the exact question I’m pondering on! Did you get any answers to this question, if so, I would love to hear them! Thanks 🙂

    1. Yes Jay, see my response to Tonya (which basically is that we don’t know yet since we don’t have any formal testing or reviews on the new sensor in the T6s).

    2. Sounds like we will just have to wait and see! I have been holding off on making this purchase for a while now so I can wait a few more months. I have also been considering the Sony A6000 but Darin’s comment about his concerns with focusing during street photography has me concerned.

    1. @Andres,

      There isn’t a T6 in the lineup. It is T6i (cheaper, fewer features) and the T6s (more expensive, more features). In previous Rebel models (T3 vs T3i, T4 vs T4i, T5 vs T5i) there was a serious difference in image quality between the plain “T” and the “Ti” model, with the Ti model being much better and worth the extra money. This isn’t really the case between the T6i and the T6s. The sensor is exactly the same in both cameras and the image quality will be identical. The difference in a couple of features with an LCD screen on the top of the camera, better focus tracking in Live View, HDR movie shooting, and an electronic level in the T6s model. While the LCD screen on the top of the camera is very useful, if you are looking to save a few bucks I wouldn’t hesitate much on going with the T6i.

  4. So glad to run into this review! I have a question though– I currently have a Rebel T3 and am definitely aching for an upgrade. I have been eying the 70D but now with the release of these cameras, am struggling to see the benefit of choosing the mid-line camera over the rebel. The T6s has many of the same features AND the newest processor. Do you have any thoughts on choosing one over the other? Did Canon announce a new upgrade to the 70D I should consider? I am a hobbyist shooter; however, I will be honest and say I am ready to ditch the “only a Rebel” mentality I get from some other photographers. I am serious about my photography and my image quality; however, I want the best camera for my buck. Right now, as much as I have wanted to escape the rebel line, I am not so sure I get that much more out of the 70D vs the T6s at this point… Thoughts???

    1. @dawnetzel:disqus I don’t think you should feel pressure to escape the Rebel line. Crop sensors take a bad rap with a lot of professional photographers but they are VERY capable of taking great photos. There is no difference in sensor quality at all between the Rebel line as other versions of the crop sensors. In fact, the T6 version of the crop sensor is bigger than some of the more expensive crop body models and may offer even better image quality.

      The difference between the bodies comes down to the other features besides the sensor. Some of them support higher frame rates (how long in between shots before you can get another shot). Some of them have dedicated buttons so that you don’t have to dig into menus to change things. Really, unless you are going to make the jump to full frame, the Rebel line is just as good and usable as the 70D, 7D, or others.

      I think you would see a lot of benefit to upgrading from the T3 to the T6, but really the biggest gains in image quality come from upgrading the lenses you use than anything else. The kit lenses can do well in some specific situations, but they have a lot of image quality issues in many. The 50mm 1.8 is an awesome and cheap way to get some better glass in front of the sensor. Then there are other lenses that will cost you quite a bit but REALLY make a huge difference.

      Bottom line, wouldn’t say it is bad at all to stay in the Rebel line as a hobbyist. I think they can even be fine for professional portrait work with no problem. It is the lenses and the technique that will make much bigger differences.

      Good luck, and thanks for reading the site. Stay tuned!

      1. Thank you Jeff for that very useful information. My wife does photography as a hobby and for a few weddings and baby pictures for a side job. She currently had the Canon T3 and she mentioned wanting a new camera body for Xmas. I see you said that a lens might make a larger impact on her photographs. Do you have a lens that you could recommend that wouldn’t totally break the bank? Again most of the stuff she shoots are portraits, family photos, weddings and babies.
        Thank you!

    2. You probably won’t notice much of a difference from the T3i to the T6 aside from more capability. If you are looking at IQ truthfully you won’t see much difference. Mentioning also that you want to get away from the rebel line, a minor upgrade to a more than “just a rebel” would exactly be the 70D – the 80D is on the horizon so if you want a substantial upgrade wait till the reviews come out for that one. The image quality of the 70D is slightly better than the T3i but glass will get you a better image. Personally the new sensor on the T6 hasn’t been fully run in. The 18Mp on the T2i has been utilized all through to the T5i and so was, and still is, a great sensor (that’s why they didn’t change it for so long). However that has allowed Nikon, while Canon was “sitting” at the 18Mp on the rebel, to refine the best for what their consumers wanted. But Nikon glass is more expensive and Nikon shutter replacement is more expensive, ultimately your choice.
      Either go with the 70D or wait for the 80D but the 7DMKii is also a great crop sensor up for consideration. Alternatively full frame sensor with much better low light capabilities you should also consider if you are getting more serious into photography however those cameras are bigger and heavier (should help steady your images).

  5. salbador j jimenez

    Hello i own a canon t3i and i got a canon t6i try for 30 days but today i tried both on the same settings and looks like the pictures are much better on the t3i ,its that normal if so am not gping to upgrade my t3i for the moment i will apreciate your advice on my question

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