Nikon D3400 vs. Canon Rebel T6i

Overview

Well, well, well. It looks like this match up will be a smackdown. Nikon and Canon have battled it out for years, competing for consumer attention and brand loyalty. We all have those photographer friends who swear by one brand or the other. So, who takes the cake today? This one’s a toughie. Both are entry level cameras with similar image quality and a rich variety of useful features. They’re excellent at what they’re intended for: giving beginner shooters a simple but effective tool for learning the ropes. Making a choice between the two will come down to the details, and what specifically you prioritize in your personal workflow.

Canon Rebel T6i

  • Price (body only): $529.99
  • Sensor: APS-C, 332.3mm
  • ISO range: Auto, 100 - 12,800
  • Autofocus: 19 points
  • Resolution: 24.2 megapixels
  • Continuous shooting speed: 5 fps
  • Video: 1080p, Full HD
  • Battery life: 440 shots
  • Extra features: Built-in WiFi, NFC (near field communication)

Nikon D3400

  • Price (body only): $399.99
  • Sensor: APS-C, 366.6mm
  • ISO range: Auto, 100 - 25,600
  • Autofocus: 11 points
  • Resolution: 24.2 megapixels
  • Continuous shooting speed: 5 fps
  • Video: 1080p, Full HD
  • Battery life: 650 shots
  • Extra features: Bluetooth capability

Canon EOS Rebel T6i Pros:

It’s true, the Canon T6i unarguably has more features. While the D3400 does boast Bluetooth capability, the T6i takes it a step further with built-in WiFi. This was a first for Canon DSLRs when it was released in 2015.  It’s a convenient addition that eliminates the inevitable cable tangling and often annoyingly slow pace of camera to computer transmissions. Getting photos from your camera to your phone is quicker with the T6i than the D3400.

Another convenient feature of the T6i is its fold-out LCD screen. The screen also offers touch controls, which should by now be a staple of every entry level DSLR on the market. The D3400 has neither of these perks, which definitely makes it less appealing to techy beginners looking for extra bells and whistles to simplify their workflow.

Speaking of simplifying workflow, wouldn’t it be nice to know that your camera will always focus where you want it to? The Canon T6i has got you covered there. It has 19 autofocus points; 8 more than the D3400. This is a significant improvement if you’re a videographer or sports photographer and often shoot moving subjects.

Nikon D3400 Pros:

We can’t overlook pricing when comparing the two models. That’s where the Nikon D3400 really has the upper hand. It’s more than $100 cheaper than the T6i at its current market price, and while the T6i may boast a few more fancy features, they’re ultimately comparable in terms of usability, functionality, and overall performance. If budget is your primary concern, the Nikon D3400 is the model for you.

The D3400 is the clear winner in the Battle of Battery Life, with 650 shots per charge. Compared to the Canon T6i at 440 shots per charge, you can cram in at least 200 more shots with our Nikon contender before the battery taps out. This is a significant detail if you shoot weddings, portrait sessions, or in any scenario that makes switching out your battery particularly irritating. You don’t realize how convenient a long battery life is until you have a battery die mid-shoot. Yikes!

The Nikon D3400’s final shining characteristic is its remarkable ISO range. While the Canon T6i caps out at 12,600, the D3400’s range climbs up to 25,600. Seriously, wow. If you shoot primarily at night, or in low-lit spaces like live music venues, the D3400 will treat you right. High ISO ranges mean less grain, more detail, and fewer editing headaches.

What They Both Have:

Both the Nikon D3400 and the Canon EOS Rebel T6i are entry level cameras.  They provide a simplified shooting experience geared toward beginner photographers. Their menus and interfaces are easy to use, and with relatively small, lightweight bodies for DSLRs, they handle well. Both allow you to shoot in both JPEG and RAW formats. They’re both APS-C cropped sensor DSLRs, each with 24.2 megapixels (though the D3400’s sensor is just a fraction bigger), and thus have extremely similar image quality. Both have a continuous shooting speed of 5 fps and shoot video in 1080p, Full HD. If you’re an aspiring photographer or videographer looking for a starter DSLR, either of these models will be a great fit.

What They Both Lack:

With 4K video being all the rage these days, it’s important to note that neither of these two models deliver on that front. With Full HD 1080p shooting, their video performance isn’t by any means disappointing, but they don’t meet today’s industry standard for peak quality film.

Which One Wins?

It’s easy to point to the Canon T6i as the clear winner here, as it objectively offers a few more advanced features that the Nikon D3400 can’t match. However, when you consider price point and compare specs, they’re equally valuable for serious enthusiasts, students, and budding professionals just starting out. Both Canon and Nikon consistently produce incredible cameras, and you really can’t go wrong with either of these entry level DSLRs. It all comes down to personal preference, and if a few extra features are worth a spending a little more, then go for the Canon.  

Both the Nikon D3400 and the Canon T6i go above and beyond when it comes to snapping beautifully sharp photos with an easy to use, intuitive interface. The D3400 goes the extra mile in terms of ISO range, price, and battery life. The Canon T6i shines with its fold-out touch screen, WiFi capability, and lightning fast autofocus. If you’re ripping your hair out trying to decide which model is right for you (I really hope you’re not ripping your hair out), consider creating your own personal pros and cons list. This round is just too close for me to call. 

If you’re ready to start pursuing YOUR photography dreams today, check out my FREE training that will equip you to Show Your Camera Who’s Boss. People who take my training walk away a more confident camera user and better photographer Join me on my free training and learn how to show your camera who’s boss.

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