I got my hands on the new Canon Rebel T6s and have had it out a time or two now for some casual photography. My early thoughts on this camera is that it is a fantastic option for the budget-enthusiast and aspiring vacation photographer.
The resolution of the Rebel T6s is great at 24.2MP but that really isn’t something you notice anymore. It looks like noise-control has improved again and you are going to get good low light images with the kit lens thanks to the sensitivity of the new sensor.
Canon Rebel T6s Key Features
- 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
- DIGIC 6 Image Processor
- 3.0″ 1.04m-dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
- 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
- 19-Pt. Cross-Type AF
- Hybrid CMOS AF III
- Expanded ISO 25600
- 5 fps frame rate
- 7560-Pixel RGB+IR Metering Sensor
- Top LCD Panel & Quick Control Dial
- Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
Autofocus on the T6s is a dream for the Canon Rebel photographer, including Live View autofocus. This is how a Canon Rebel should work. If you want top-notch AF, the optical viewfinder maintains the fast phase-detection AF with an impressive 19-point cross-type AF.
Alternatively, you can switch to Live View and still get great AF performance thanks the Hybrid CMOS AF III system. It is reliable for both still imagery and video work.
Wi-Fi Connection Pain Points
My first efforts using the Wi-Fi system with Canon’s Camera Connect app on my iPhone proved disappointing. Part of the problem is that Apple has yet to enable NFC functionality for faster pairing with other devices. Right now, the only feature that uses the iPhone’s NFC feature is Apple Pay.
Accordingly, pairing the Rebel T6s with a NFC-compatible Android device is likely much simpler. That still leaves a large class of users who have iPhones and need to dig through the menu system to enable Wi-Fi each time they want to transfer images from the camera. Unfortunately, it is a rather clunky process.
It is so clunky that Canon has a separate 167-page instruction manual that just covers the Rebel T6s Wi-Fi/NFC function. This just needs to be better.
When connected, it works well and its is very convenient to have the ability to browse and import your photos to your phone or tablet for instant upload and sharing. Friends and family are immediately wowed by this feature when I show it to them (after I’ve already connected, of course).
You can also control the camera remotely with the system, although I have not really jumped into this feature yet.
Excellent Touchscreen LCD
The touchscreen LCD is another win for this Rebel. I believe it was the awkward little Canon PowerShot N that introduced the capacitive touchscreen on Canon cameras a couple years ago at CES 2013. It has since found its way into several Canon DSLRs and the T6s continues this excellent feature. It is easy to take this feature for granted because we have seen it on a generation or two of cameras now, but it is a major boon to the user-friendliness of the sometimes-intimidating DSLRs.
The responsiveness of the Rebel T6s touchscreen is fantastic for reviewing images and navigating the quick menu. While it works perfectly fine in the regular menu, I still find myself using the 4-way control dial and wheel on the back of the camera to navigate through that Canon menu system out of habit. If you are new to Canon DSLRs though, you will never appreciate just how smooth this touchscreen display works for making your overall camera experience better.
Video recording works very well on the T6s and feels more and more like a camcorder. The Hybrid CMOS AF III provides smooth autofocus transitions as you reframe or change distance with your subject. Being able to touch the screen and select the focus location makes shooting video so easy.
The one, obvious limitation when shooting video is the lack of a power zoom lens, which some other camera systems offer (e.g., Panasonic, Sony, etc.). Still, as far as DSLRs shooting video go, it doesn’t get any simpler than what Canon does with the Rebel T6s and T6i. Canon outclasses Nikon by miles in the video ease-of-use department now – even if some of the more nuanced features (like clean HDMI-out) are hampered on most Canon DSLRs.
Overall, I’m very happy with the Canon Rebel T6s thus far. I am pleasantly surprised with the more advanced AF system and good low light performance. The image quality should be plenty good enough for casual photographers and budding enthusiasts. While there is nothing about the Canon Rebel T6s that is truly break-through, it comes with solid upgrades throughout that should make it a worthy upgrade for its Rebel predecessors and any compact camera you are moving up from.
I’ll have more on the Canon Rebel T6s, as well as the T6i, in the coming weeks. You can find the Canon Rebel T6s here at B&H Photo.