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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Nikon D3400||Canon T6|
|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|
|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|