Nikon D3400 vs Canon Rebel T6 - Which is the Best Value?

Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera

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Canon Rebel T6

Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera

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When looking for a camera under $500, entry-level DSLRs are great choices. They have larger sensors than smart phones or point and shoot cameras, which means better image quality.

With advanced features, the ability to shoot RAW, and interchangeable lenses, these cameras open a world of photographic possibilities.

The Nikon D3400 and Canon EOS Rebel T6 has similar specs and were released at the same price point. In a head to head comparison of the Nikon D3400 vs Canon T6, which camera is the best choice?

Nikon D3400 Specs

  • 18 Megapixels
  • 3 fps Continuous Shooting
  • 1,200 Shot Battery Life
  • 11 Autofocus Points

Canon T6 Specs

  • 18 Megapixels
  • 3 fps Continuous Shooting
  • 500 Shot Battery Life
  • 9 Autofocus Points

Sensor

Both cameras have APS-C sensors. Physically these are much larger than the sensor you would find in a smartphone or point & shoot camera.

Comparing megapixels and high ISO capabilities is where the differences appear.

The D3400 has a 24.2 MP sensors, compared to the T6's 18 MP. Meaning, pictures from the Nikon will be 33% larger than the Canon. You'll get more detail and have a greater ability to crop with the Nikon.

Nikon again comes out ahead with a maximum ISO of 25,600 vs 6,400. For low light performance, such as indoor sports or school events, the Nikon is the better choice.

Design & Features

There is not a huge difference in terms of size and weight. The Canon is slightly larger and heavier, but not enough to be noticeable. Both are comfortable to hold with well laid out controls.

The LCD screen on each is 3 inches. Neither one has a tilting or touch screen. To get those features, you need to look at higher-end models.

Shooting Speed

There is a large difference in the continuous frame rate the cameras are capable of. The Nikon, at 5 frames per second, is 66% faster than the Canon's 3 fps.

For taking pictures of sports and action, the faster the frame rate, the better. This is why professional photographers spend thousands on cameras capable of 10+ frames per second.

If you are planning on taking pictures of anything moving, the D3400 is going to be the better choice. The 2 extra shots per second will give you a much better chance of capturing great images.

Lens Selection

Canon and Nikon are the two largest camera companies with the largest market share. They've held those spots for decades.

Hundreds of different lenses are available for both cameras. If you want to buy new or used, you'll never have a shortage of options.

Each camera is sold with one or two kit lenses. Most commonly, the camera is sold with one lens, a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. The second kit will have the 18-55mm and a 75-300mm or 70-300mm lens.

Having a telephoto zoom is important if you're going to be far away from your subject. This is a lens you'll want for school events, spots, and wildlife. 

Autofocus

Here's another factor where the D3400 edges out the Rebel T6. So, how big of a difference is having 11 phase detect autofocus points than 9?

More autofocus points means better continuous autofocus tracking over a large part of the image frame. This will translate into more images being in focus when taking bursts of shots.

Video

Both cameras have built in microphones and can capture full HD video. However, the Nikon is able to do 1080p at 60 frames per second, while the Canon can only do 30 frames per second.

30 fps is the standard for YouTube and other video platforms. So both will be fine for sharing video.

If you want to do slow motion, only the D3400 will be capable. Slowing down the video will cause the footage to playback at half the speed it was captured at.

Wireless Connectivity

Canon is clearly superior here. The T6 has built in WiFi capability that follows the IEEE 802.11b/g/n standard. You won't have to worry about speed if you want to wirelessly transfer files from the camera.

Nikon uses Snapbridge, which is their name for Bluetooth. This will allow you to easily transfer images to your phone or tablet while on the go.

A small downside to Snapbridge is the speed. Large files will not be able to be quickly transferred. For practical purposes, you're not going to share full res pictures online.

Battery Life

If you always remember to charge your batteries, the D3400's' 1,200 shots vs Canon's 500, isn't a big deal. That's more than you're likely to shoot in one day.

Travel, vacations, and life is where things can change dramatically. Unless you're a photo taking fiend, the Nikon should be able to get you through at least 2-3 days. That doesn't hold true for the Canon.

Buying an extra battery easily solves the problem. Though, that adds additional cost and is another thing to remember to carry.

Overall Winner

The Nikon D3400 is the clear winner. It is better at shooting moving subjects and indoors without the use of flash. On top of that is has a higher resolution sensor and better video.

If the lack of WiFi is an issue, take a look at the Nikon D3500. It is practically the same as the D3400, but has fewer buttons and built in WiFi. Settings and controls previously accessible through buttons will have to be done through the menu system.

An advantage the Canon Rebel T6 has is that it is cheaper. Even the replacement model, the Canon Rebel T7, is cheaper than the D3400. Though, the only significant change is a higher resolution 24.1 megapixel sensor.

What negates the price advantage is to buy used. There's an abundance of cameras that get used a few times, sit in a drawer for a couple years, and then are eventually sold. Buying used can easily save you $100, or more if you want the 2 lens kit with the telephoto zoom.

Specification Comparison

Nikon D3400 Canon T6
Announced 08-17-2016 03-10-2016
Sensor APS-C Sensor - 24.2 Megapixels APS-C Sensor - 18.0 Megapixels
Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 Pixels 5184 x 3456 Pixels
Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.9 in. (124 mm) x 3.9 in. (98 mm) x 3.0 in. (75.5 mm) 5.08 in.(129 mm) x 3.99 in (101.3 mm) x 3.06 in. (77.6mm)
Weight (Body Only) 14 oz. (395 g) 15.52 oz. (440 g)
Lens Mount Nikon F Bayonet Mount Canon EF & EF-S Lenses (excluding EF-M)
Shutter Speed 30 sec. to 1/4000 30 sec. to 1/4000
Flash Sync Up to 1/200 sec. Up to 1/200 sec.
Continous Shooting Speed 5 FPS 3 FPS
Self-Timer 2, 5, 10, or 20 sec. 2 or 10 sec.
ISO Range 100 - 25,600 100 - 6,400
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in 1/3-stop Increments ±5 EV in 1/3-stop Increments
Built in Flash Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 11-points 9-points
Type of Autofocus TTL Phase Detection TTL Phase Detection
Viewfinder Optical Pentaprism 95% Coverage Optical Pentaprism 95% Coverage
LCD 3 Inch 3 Inch
LCD Resolution 921,000 Dots 920,000 Dots
Image Stabilization In Lens In Lens
Kit Lens Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS II
Video 1080p at 60/50/30/25/24p 1080p at 30/24p
Built-in Mic Yes Yes
Microphone Jack No No
Image Formats JPEG & RAW JPEG & RAW
Memory Card SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC
CIPA Battery Rating 1,200 Shots 500 Shots
Connectivity Snapbridge (Bluetooth 4.1) Wifi & NFC
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