Canon announces two new camera bodies being added to their Rebel line with the T6i and T6s that have more megapixels, WiFi, and NFC
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.
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.