Nikon D3400 VS Canon T6

Introduction

Beginner photographers or those that want to start out with this beautiful hobby most likely search for easy to use and affordable cameras. For that purpose, it is important to do your research and opt for an entry-level DSLR camera that will deliver you ample fun, impressive photo shooting performance, and value for the price.

Each camera manufacturer has its own entry-level stars, and each year they deliver newer and better models, but newer doesn’t mean better every time, so it would be wise to do your market research and consult your friends that have knowledge about photography.

Today we are going to take a look at two excellent entry-level DSLR cameras that deliver amazing performance for beginners, the Nikon D3400 and the Canon T6.

Nikon D3400 is one of the best entry-level digital SLR cameras in the market that was released in 2016 and ever since has been one of the most popular choices for beginner photographers. It is all worth noting that Nikon is one of the most prominent camera manufacturers for beginners.

Canon T6 is another example of the technological prowess of the entry-level Digital SLR camera market from the Japanese manufacturer. It is also released in 2016 and has been the go-to camera for a lot of beginners, and as always Canon quality is all over this camera despite its entry-level marketing and price.

Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D3400

As I mentioned earlier Nikon is a master of producing entry-level Digital SLR cameras, by sticking to the tried and true formula of no-frills camera. Coming in with no advanced features, no confusing controls, just a bare-bones DSLR camera that will shoot good photos and will teach you how to “photography”, in small simple steps that will allow you to have fun with your new device.

But then again the Nikon D3400 is a pretty capable and compatible camera that will be useful with a wide range of lenses form Nikon’s lineup and delivers you full control over a useful set of things that are essential for progressing and achieving better shots, like exposure and focus. On top of that, it is extremely light, has a great battery life, and it has a pretty quiet operation, with its attractive price.

The manufacturer has delivered a pretty small and lightweight camera here, weighing just 445grams in our scales complete with the battery and SD card. However, you still get a pretty secure grip with it thanks to the thumb and handgrip, on the rear and front respectively. It has a polycarbonate construction that may not be the most durable, but it will be just enough for this compact camera.

You might think that the  11-point Autofocus with 1  cross-type AF point system of the Nikon D3400 is not really capable, but I was extremely impressed with its accuracy and speed, which took me by surprise. It worked perfectly with still subjects, but it wasn’t as capable of fast-moving subjects, which is mostly due to the low number of autofocus points. However, as a beginner I would stick to shooting still objects to hone my skills and learn better about focus, exposure, and ISO.

Thanks to its 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, this camera delivers high-quality photos, and in my opinion, it is its largest selling point. Delivering impressive sharp detail and amazing high ISO shooting, it is the best sensor in this market segment. In low ISO settings of settings, it took amazing pictures, but it didn’t lack behind in high ISO ranges as well.

It has a high 5fps burst shooting speed, combined with its solid metering and white balance performance. It has an exposure compensation button on the controls, so you can manually adjust it when you need it. I was very impressed with the Auto White Balance execution and overall the results were very impressive.

Taking all these specs and performance into consideration, combined with our testing, I can say that this camera is perfect for landscape and sight photography.

Canon T6

Canon’s Rebel T series has always delivered excellent entry-level DSLR options, and the Canon T6 is one of the best choices you can do if you want to dive into photography, and just like the aforementioned Nikon it is a no-frills DSLR camera that will teach you the basic elements of photography before you progress and hone your skill.

As every camera manufacturer, Canon too, divides tremendous attention and budget for researching and developing their entry-level affordable cameras, since most of the photographers will continue with the same brand of camera that they started with 60 percent of the time.  It is extremely easy to use, has WiFi and NFC connectivity, amazing ease of use and a great screen for previewing your photos.

The Canon T6 is a pretty small and light camera as well. Coming in with a polycarbonate construction and a weight of just 485grams. However, it has a better and more textured grip than the Nikon D3400, delivering better security in your hands, and it definitely feels like a more quality model, more like a mid-range DSLR. The button configuration is pretty easy to understand and it will deliver excellent control on the fly.

In the autofocus department, the Canon T6 is equipped with 9-point autofocus with just one cross-type autofocus point that is combined with a nice AF-assist illuminator. It excelled with still subjects and was pretty speedy in well-lit rooms. Surprisingly, it had a good performance with moving subjects as well, thanks to its AI Servo AF mode that delivered good functionality with slow-moving subjects, just don’t expect to shoot racing cars and you will be good.

The Canon T6 is equipped with an 18MP APS-C image sensor, that delivers great photographs in low ISO settings, but it started getting blurry going higher into the ISO range, but the results were acceptable up to ISO 6400. The sensor picks up a great deal of noise in high ISO, but it is nothing unfixable with a bit of touch up afterward.

In addition to this, it uses the DIGIC 4+ processor, which is a great upgrade from its predecessor’s DIGIC 4 processor. The overall image quality was excellent, with a slight hint of warmness, generally pleasing if you don’t push it to shoot in low light situations.  The pre-set Picture Styles from Canon, provided to be a nice addition, as these presets delivered a nice change of tones to some really bland looking photographs.

It is not as fast as the Nikon model, but it is capable of 3fps burst shooting, and it resulted in better quality at that. It has an iFCL metering system that does a perfect job of delivering great exposure settings with plenty of accuracy. The Auto White balance was decent and it does so accurately in a wide range of scenarios, however, the results came a little warmer than expected under artificial lights. Whatever, you want to shoot, this camera will deliver versatility for a beginner, however, thanks to its amazing feature that allows it to track moving objects you will be pleased.

Feature Comparison

Nikon D3400 Canon T6
Camera Type
DSLR
DSLR
Megapixels
24.2
18
ISO Range
100-25,600
100-6400(12,800)
Flip-Out Screen
NO
NO
Microphone
YES
YES
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
No
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
APS-C

Conclusion

There is no easy way to say it but both of these cameras are excellent in their own rights as entry-level DSLRs. If you check the comparison table you will see that they can’t be significantly separated, except the resolution, but then again even the resolution won’t play a major role in the overall picture. In the end, it will come down to your needs and personal preference.

For example, the Nikon D3400 combined with its lightweight and amazing sensor, the Nikon D3400 makes for a great camera for outdoor landscape and nature photography. It is an excellent option for outdoorsy types that will go on hikes and want to capture beautiful sceneries.

On the other hand, the Canon Rebel T6 thanks to its nice performance in JPEG format, it doesn’t need much work afterward, an overall great camera for beginners and for enthusiasts that aren’t so serious with this sport. It makes for a great camera for families and capturing great moments of your children and loved ones, it also makes for a great camera for parties thanks to its impressive indoor performance that produces nice photos.

So if you want to shoot landscapes and are a frequent traveler, the Nikon D3400 is the perfect entry-level option for you. Whereas if you want to shoot around your backyard, your family vacations, local events and parties, the Canon T6 will deliver good use with its AI Servo AF mode, which delivers excellent results. On top of that, the Canon T6 is a little more affordable and delivers better value for its price, they are in the same category though.

You can’t definitely go wrong with each of them, however, you should consider what will be the main purpose of your next camera and you won’t make a mistake.