The Nikon D3400 and Canon T6i come from two massive manufacturers. Both companies have built up stellar reputations for all their devices, and you know that you’re going to get a quality camera when you buy from either one.
Now, these two giants on the market are claiming that their camera is better and more impressive. These two cameras have their strengths and weaknesses, but there is no doubt that one of them is better. The only question is – which one? That’s the question we want to help you answer. We’ll look at some of their most outstanding features while pitting them against each other at every step. Then we’ll look for their pros and cons, and deliver a final verdict that declares the final and true winner.
Table of Contets
- 1 Nikon D3400 vs. Canon T6i: Features
- 2 Nikon D3400 vs. Canon T6i: Verdict
Nikon D3400 vs. Canon T6i: Features
Every photographer is different. When looking for a camera, your needs and wants won’t match the next photographer’s needs and wants. That’s why we’ll take a look at a variety of different features so that you can find what you’re looking for in your next purchase.
1. Build & Handling
The D3400 teaches you how to use it with step-by-step instruction. The camera itself is compact and lightweight and is designed to go everywhere with you. Beginners to the world of DSLR cameras will have no problem — the camera’s controls were designed with comfort in mind. The optical viewfinder will provide a crisp view of the world without any glare; you’ll be able to handle your camera with incredible precision thanks to a comfortable grip. This is an entry-level DSLR, so the body is mostly made out of a composite plastic material.
This camera is light, and even though there’s a slight weight difference between the D3400 and its predecessor, you probably won’t notice it at all. The weight ensures that you can use it for long periods of time without getting tired. Nikon also made switching to the ‘full auto’ modes simple with a clearly labeled mode dial. Advanced shooters might find the fact that the camera is missing another dial to control the aperture made shooting the camera in ‘manual’ mode and the lack of a dedicated button to fix the ISO a little annoying.
This isn’t going to be a problem for beginners since they will be more comfortable with the ‘Auto’ settings, but if you want to use this camera to become a better photographer, it could become a sore point over time. The D3400 has the same optical viewfinder as some of its predecessors with 95% coverage and 0.85x magnification. This means that composing shots will be easy enough, although this does mean that the viewfinder is a little smaller than other cameras.
The camera features Live-View via the 3″ LCD screen, but the screen doesn’t allow touch control. Since it’s fixed, this can make shooting in unusual lighting conditions more of a challenge.
The design of the Rebel T6i (750D) follows the same pattern set by the T5i (700D). In fact, the cameras could be twins. The Canon T6i is a small DSLR with an aluminum alloy and polycarbonate chassis in a composite shell.
It might not feel as solid as other cameras on the market, and it doesn’t feel cheap. As with other DSLRs in this class, the grip on this model could be uncomfortable for photographers with bigger hands. You’ll find an IR receiver, AF-assist lamp, and stereo microphone all conveniently set on the front of the camera. You’ll also see the SD card slot, on the left while the I/O ports sit on the opposite side. The most standard controls are on the back of the camera which makes them quick to access. This is one of Canon’s smaller cameras, so you’ll be able to take it on the go with you.
2. Autofocus System
The D3400 only has 11 focus points, which is tiny compared to its siblings’ 39-point system. That being said, you will be impressed by the accuracy and speed of the D3400’s system. You won’t feel limited or held back by the smaller system, but you notice a difference when tracking fast-moving subjects across a scene from left to right. This is due to the lack of focus points and might be a little frustrating from time to time. You won’t get the same quality tracking qualities as offered by some of Nikon’s top cameras, but when you consider the camera’s purpose, it will surpass all expectations.
If you’re familiar with Canon’s previous cameras, then you’ll be happy to know that Canon has finally updated the basic 9-point AF system with a 19-point, all cross-type AF system. This is not new or cutting-edge technology, but it does very well.
3. Sensor & Processor
We don’t have much to say about the Nikon D3400’s sensor and processor. The D3400 is the company’s entry-level DSLR camera, it is a slight upgrade from its predecessor and uses the same 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 image processor. There isn’t anything special about it, but it will get the job done as you need it to.
The Canon T6i boasts a new 24.2MP sensor and faster DIGIC 6 processor. It also features an improved 7,560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor. It’s an upgrade from its predecessor and is a brilliant system for beginners.
4. Image Quality
Nikon always makes sure that their cameras have the best autofocus systems available. The D3400’s AF system provides precise focus on your subject even during high-speed shooting and low-light situations. The D3400 always delivers JPEGs that will make you smile. The sharpening isn’t the best even after choosing the optional ‘fine’ setting, but the level of detail that can be achieved with the 24MP sensor is great.
When ADL or Active D-Lighting is engaged, the camera’s metering system will perfectly pick up good exposure in most situations. If the light is too intense, then the camera will quickly reduce the exposure to protect the highlights. It will then boost shadows and midtones to produce a balanced image.
It is true that the T6i shares core features with the T6s, so the T6i feels similar to previous Rebels. But the T6s gains a few premium features that are usually kept for Canon’s more professional models. This includes a top LCD screen, a Quick Control dial on the back, as well as an eye sensor to shut off the LCD panel while you’re using the viewfinder. Thanks to upgraded features like a better sensor, the T6i produces images on the same level as its steep competition.
5. Wifi Connectivity
There isn’t any built-in WiFi, but you can still send pictures to your devices thanks to the SnapBridge feature. The feature uses always-on Bluetooth Low Energy to send pictures to smart devices, it’s up to you to decide when. You could allow the pictures to be sent as soon as you take them, or you can send them after you’re done taking pictures. You won’t be able to control the camera’s shooting settings remotely, but this isn’t such a surprise when you consider the model.
Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about Nikon or SnapBridge, the camera has a handy guidance feature that teaches you how to get the most out of your camera. After a few minutes with the guidance system, you’ll be a SnapBridge expert.
Unlike its predecessor, the T6i now has in-camera Wi-Fi. As if that weren’t enough, it also comes with an active NFC, or near-field communications support, a first for an EOS DSLR. This nifty feature works best when used with Canon’s Connect Station CS100. This is an affordable storage device that also lets you share, view and manage your media library. Instead of struggling with menus and settings, you can quickly bump the T6i’s NFC antenna (you can find it on the bottom of the camera) against the Connect Station, and it will transfer content from camera to storage device.
The D3400 offers the same Full HD 1080/60p video spec that can be found on the previous model. This is great news because it had a good video quality with tons of detail and a smooth frame rate. Although a few moire issues were found in the D3300, they have been significantly minimized in the D3400. The AF speed has also been increased, but it is still slower in live-view than through the viewfinder. If your subject has a high contrast edge and isn’t moving too quickly, then subject tracking with full-time AF works surprisingly well.
There is a risk that the focus will jump off your subject and ruin your footage, so don’t rely on it for critical or precise video recording. The video sound quality in the D3400 is also much more impressive than previous models thanks to the upgraded AF motor in the kit lens.
We expect HD video recording in just about everything these days since it is a fairly standard feature. The T6i won’t disappoint in this category. But that doesn’t mean that you should buy it for video recording since it doesn’t have the high video specs, features, or the controls of more advanced cameras. It does a decent job of getting footage for small projects and for sharing on social media.
The great news is that the camera supports frame rates up to 60p (59.94), but only at 720 resolution. If you want to shoot full 1080p HD video, then you’ll have to use 1080/29.97p or slower frame rates. You can also shoot in full manual mode, which will give you control over all exposure parameters which will make sure that you can get the correct depth of field and shutter speed for natural motion.
7. Battery Life
Nikon says that you can get 1200 shots per charge on the D3400, which is a serious achievement when compared to the D3300’s 700 shots per charge. This means that you should get a few hours worth of shooting time out of the camera. It also only takes about 2 hours to charge the battery fully.
Unfortunately, the T6i doesn’t fare as well. According to CIPA standards, you’ll only get about 440 shots per charge, which when compared to the standard 876 shots found in most DSLR cameras is a little disappointing. Since it has such a short battery life, we recommend that you buy extra batteries. You can choose to get the Canon BG-E18 Battery Grip which is designed to use with the Canon EOS Rebel T6i and other T6s DSLR Cameras in the range. When you’ve installed it, it can house up to two rechargeable LP-E17 batteries. This creates a greater surface area than what you get with the T6i.
8. Nikon D3400 vs. Canon T6i: Pros & Cons
No two products are equal, and no product is perfect. We aim to find the best product for you and show the best and worst features of each camera. You can decide what you can and can’t live with, by reading through the pros and cons of each camera you’ll be able to more accurately decide which one you want.
Nikon D3400 Pros:
- The Camera has Active D-Lighting or ADL. This JPEG-only feature works to retain shadow and protect highlight details
- Lightweight body
- Great battery life
- Incredible single-shot AF performance
- Beginner friendly
- Compact and quiet kit lens
- Easy control layout
- No touchscreen
- No microphone port
- Body feels cheap
- No built-in sensor cleaning
- Slow live-view autofocus
- Flash activates when it’s not needed
In terms of picture quality, battery life, and durability, the D3400 scores impressively high with most users. It does well for an entry-level camera and is very easy to use which only boosts its popularity. No-one likes something that they don’t know how to use. Nikon has always been known for its beginner-friendly products and this camera is no exception. The camera isn’t going to do more than it can do, and it will be out-performed by higher grade cameras, but considering what you get, it is an impressive camera that will be able to keep up with what you put it through. There aren’t any serious issues with the camera, and despite a few annoying cons, it does very well.
Canon T6i Pros:
- It takes wonderful stills
- Features an upgraded 24-megapixel sensor
- Has Wi-Fi/NFC for sharing media with smart devices
- It has a fast response and focusing
- The 30p videos aren’t impressive
- It has a small viewfinder
- The wireless pairing needs to be upgraded
Despite the fact that it’s not a higher-end camera, it still holds its own. The T6i is a special device, this is evident when you consider its photography and video capabilities. If you’re looking to upgrade your current entry-level camera or are looking for a great camera to start with, then you won’t go wrong with this lovely device. It isn’t remarkable and probably won’t stand out from the camera, but it is the comfortable camera that will serve you well for years. It’s true that there are better cameras on the market, but if you need something to start with then you can’t go wrong here. Users love the camera and can’t stop singing its praises. When you look at what you get, you’re getting great value for money which is what’s important at the end of the day.
Nikon D3400 vs. Canon T6i: Verdict
The stills and videos that you capture with the D3400 and are vibrant and lifelike. You can shoot in low light without a problem, stop fast-action in its tracks, and create portraits with natural skin tones. You’ll be amazed by the skill that the D3400 lends you. It is a little disappointing when you remember that this is supposed to be an updated version of the D3300. They removed the in-body sensor cleaning and the external mic port, so many users expected that there would be a few more updates to the D3400. This wasn’t the case.
Unfortunately, these shortcomings become glaringly obvious when you look at the competition. There are a number of mirrorless options in the same class that offer more AF coverage, better AF subject tracking, comparable overall image quality, and better features. On the other hand, it is a solid camera that performs very well. You’ll have crisp JPEGs with impeccable color and impressive detail. It also offers dynamic range, especially for an APS-C sensor.
Stills are the T6i’s strong point, but the video capabilities are in need of an upgrade. The T6i will be good enough if you are making the move from an older DSLR or compact point-and-shoot. You can’t go wrong with it, and it has made many users very happy.
As always, the time has come for us to make a decision. This is always the most difficult part of upgrading or starting a new hobby. You know that you need to make the right choice because this is the device that you will be using until you can upgrade again, which most of us only do now and then. We have looked at some of the more notable features as well as the pros and cons. Before you started looking for a new camera, you probably had an idea of what you wanted.
Now that you have seen everything that the cameras have to offer, then you probably have a winner already. If that’s the case, then don’t let our top pick influence your top pick. You are the photographer and you’re the one who will be using the camera. Our top pick is based on a number of different factors such as user reviews, features, and capabilities. But you have something stronger on your side- personal preference. That doesn’t change the fact that we need a winner, and we have one for you.
Nikon D3400 and Canon T6i are two popular, powerful and well-built cameras that have the highest ratings on the market. If you’re looking for a quality product, you need to choose between these two.
The verdict is that the Nikon D3400 is the better camera. These are both entry-level cameras that are aimed at beginners or photographers who want to upgrade from older cameras. When you look at it that way, the D3400 has better features. Nikon has included a guidance function that aims to make you more familiar with your new camera. The interface is simple and easy to get used to and it walks you through all the important features that you will need to get accustomed to. You also get more features for your money. That doesn’t mean that the Canon is inferior, we just prefer the Nikon.