Canon T6 Tech Info
Canon T6 Technical Info
by Mike Tomkins | Posted: 03/10/2016
The Canon Rebel T6 is based around an 18-megapixel, APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with a Bayer color filter array and dimensions of 22.3 x 14.9mm. Likely the same chip as that in the Rebel T5, it has a 4.3µm pixel pitch and a total resolution of 18.7 megapixels.
A low-pass filter is included, helping to prevent moiré and false color artifacts at the expense of a little per-pixel sharpness. There is, however, no built-in sensor cleaning mechanism. You can opt instead to have the camera simply detect the locations of dust particles on the sensor and then fill these in with data from surrounding pixels, or to clean the sensor manually.
Output from the Rebel T6's image sensor is handled by a DIGIC 4+ image processor, a newer generation than the DIGIC 4 chip in the Canon T5. Although no direct comparison is made to the previous generation, and performance looks to be unchanged in most respects, we do note that the T6 can now provide an unlimited burst depth when shooting in JPEG mode, according to Canon. In our testing, we did hit a limit, however, as we'll see momentarily, but in real-world use you may not have the same experience.
Unlimited burst depth sounds pretty impressive, but it's important to remember that performance is -- as is often the case at the entry-level end of the market -- pretty sedate. Together, the image sensor and processor provide for burst capture at a rate of just three frames per second for as many as six raw or five raw+JPEG frames. Or if you switch to JPEG capture alone -- and have a suitably fast flash card -- you'll manage to shoot JPEGs for as long as sufficient card space and battery power remain for typical scenes.
In the lab with a difficult to compress scene, the Canon T6 slowed down after 15 best quality JPEG frames versus 12 JPEGs for the T5. See our Performance page for more details.
By default, sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 6400 equivalents. This can be pushed to a maximum of ISO 12,800-equivalent, but only when shooting with manual sensitivity. If the Canon T6's Highlight Tone Priority function is used, the lower end of the range is curtailed slightly, starting instead from ISO 200-equivalent.
Like the T5 before it, the Canon Rebel T6 features a Canon EF lens mount that's also compatible with EF-S lenses. Note that EF-M lenses are not compatible with this model.
When shooting through the viewfinder, the Canon T6 uses a dedicated TTL-SIR phase-detection autofocus sensor to determine subject distance. The sensor provides a total of nine autofocus points, just as in the Rebel T5, and all but one point have a working range of 1-18 EV. The centermost point functions to f/5.6, and has an expanded working range of 0-18 EV.
Focus points can be selected automatically or manually, and the location of selected points is superimposed in the viewfinder, as well as being visible on the LCD monitor. Autofocus modes include one-shot, predictive AI servo, and AI focus. This last switches between the other two modes automatically.
There is no dedicated AF assist lamp on this model, with the internal popup flash strobe instead used to fire bursts of flash while focusing. This system has a working range of 13.1 feet at the center of the image frame, or 11.5 feet for the outermost focus points.
In live view mode, the dedicated autofocus sensor cannot be used by default, and hence the Canon T6 will switch to contrast-detection autofocus alone. Here, you have a choice of FlexiZone single or face-detection live autofocus, either of which provide for coverage across 80% of the frame width and height. Alternatively, you can opt to have the camera drop the mirror briefly during focus operation, interrupting the live view feed but allowing for phase-detection autofocus to be used.
You can of course focus manually, whether in live view mode or shooting through the viewfinder. In live view mode, a choice of 5x or 10x enlargement of the live view feed is possible, to help determine the point of focus more accurately.
The Canon T6 includes an eye-level pentamirror viewfinder, just as in the earlier T5. Viewfinder coverage is manufacturer-rated at 95% both vertically and horizontally, and viewfinder magnification is 0.8x. Eyepoint is 21mm from the eyepiece lens, and a dioptric correction function is included with a working range of -2.5 to +0.5 diopters.
The viewfinder has a fixed focusing screen, and displays information including focus point location, basic exposure information and flash status. It can also display certain other functions such as highlight tone priority, monochrome shooting, white balance correction and more. Depth of field preview is possible using a custom function.
On the rear of the Canon T6 sits a brand-new, 3.0-inch LCD monitor with a resolution of about 920,000 dots. That's significantly higher than the 460,000-dot resolution of the display used in the earlier Canon T5. The display has wide 170-degree viewing angles both horizontally and vertically, and also provides a seven-step manual brightness adjustment.
No anti-glare coating is used, however, and the display is also unarticulated, so cannot be used to frame selfies. As is typical at this pricepoint, it also lacks a touch-screen overlay, meaning that it can't be used to set the point of focus, nor to control other features of the camera.
The Canon Rebel T6 includes almost the same complement of exposure modes and features as in the earlier T5, although there are at least a couple of small tweaks.
Exposure modes include a fairly typical choice of flexible program, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, or manual exposure modes, with the latter including a bulb mode capability. These are paired with a scene intelligent auto mode, a flash off mode, a creative auto mode, and six scene positions on the mode dial (portrait, landscape, close-up, sports, food and night portrait). The food mode is a new addition compared to the earlier camera.
Shutter speeds range from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds using an electronic first-curtain shutter, and a mechanical second-curtain shutter. In manual mode, you can also opt for a bulb exposure which will keep the shutter open for as long as you hold down the shutter button, but ISO is limited to 800 and below in bulb mode.
Exposures are determined using a 63-zone AF-linked evaluative metering system from a dual-layer metering sensor. 10% partial or center-weighted average metering are also possible, but there is no spot metering function. The metering system has a working range of 1-20 EV. Autoexposure lock is possible with a half-press of the shutter button when using one-shot autofocus, or by pressing the AE lock button in program or priority exposure modes.
Exposure compensation is possible within a range of +/-5EV using either 1/3 or 1/2EV increments. An exposure bracketing function is also provided, and likewise has a 1/3 or 1/2EV step size, but a narrower 2EV working range. The bracketing function has a fixed shot order, capturing the metered exposure first, then the decreased exposure, and finally the increased exposure.
When shooting in live view mode, the Canon T6 is fixed to 315-zone evaluative metering derived from the image sensor itself, and the system has a slightly broader working range of 0-20 EV. Autoexposure lock is still possible when shooting in live view mode.
The Canon T6 offers the same Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent, Flash and Custom white balance options as the T5, but there is new feature. The Auto white balance function can now adopt a new "White Priority" setting, which will cause the warm color cast typical with shots under incandescent lighting to be better-neutralized.
White balance can be fine-tuned within a +/-9-step range on both blue/amber and magenta/green axes.
Several drive mode options are included in the Canon T6. These include single or continuous shooting, with the latter limited to a modest three frames per second to manufacturer specifications. Burst depth is unlimited with a sufficiently fast flash card if shooting solely in JPEG mode for typical scenes according to Canon, although with our hard-to-compress test target, we filled the buffer after 15 best-quality frames. But if you add raw capture you'll manage just five frames before the buffer fills. If you shoot raw files alone, this can be increased just slightly to a manufacturer-rated six frames.
A two or 10-second self-timer is also provided, should you want to avoid camera shake or get yourself in the picture, and the 10-second self-timer can optionally capture anywhere from two to 10 shots in a row.
The Canon T6 includes a built-in, popup flash strobe with a guide number of 9.2 meters (30.2 feet) at ISO 100. There's also a flash hot shoe for external Speedlite strobes.
Flash exposures are determined using E-TTL II metering with a choice of evaluative or average metering modes, and flash exposure lock is provided for. Flash exposure compensation is possible within a range of +/-2EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV increments.
The internal strobe pops up automatically as needed, and will recycle in around two seconds, according to the manufacturer rating. It has coverage of around 17mm (28mm-equivalent).
The Rebel T6 will sync flash at shutter speeds of 1/200 second or slower.
Like the T5 before it, the Canon Rebel T6 can record not just stills, but also movies at up to High-Definition (1080p) resolution. At this maximum resolution, frame rates are limited to a choice of 24p (23.976 frames per second) or 30p (29.97 fps). Drop the resolution to HD (720p), and you instead have a fixed 60p (59.94 fps) capture rate. At the lowest standard-definition (VGA) resolution, there is instead a fixed 30p (29.97 fps) capture rate.
When shooting in movie mode, you have a choice of either program autoexposure or fully-manual exposure, and priority-mode capture is not possible. Exposure compensation is available within a +/-3EV range in 1/3EV increments, and shutter speeds from 1/30 second are possible for Full HD or VGA capture, while HD capture allows shutter speeds from 1/60 sec.
Movies are stored in a .MOV container with H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC compression and use a variable bitrate. Linear PCM monaural audio is included.
Unlike its predecessor, the Canon Rebel T6 includes in-camera Wi-Fi wireless networking capability. This allows Android and iOS smart device owners to transfer images to their phone or tablet for sharing online or viewing on a larger display. The system supports 802.11b/g/n wireless networks, and can operate either in access point or infrastructure modes. It has a manufacturer-rated working range of up to 15 meters (49.21 feet) without obstructions between the camera and smart device.
As well as the Wi-Fi connectivity, a Near-Field Communications antenna is included. This makes it even easier for Android users to connect their smart device to the camera. Simply bumping the two devices together is enough to create a connection and start sharing your creations. Sadly, Apple devices can't take advantage of this feature, even though newer models do include an NFC radio. That's Apple's fault, though, as the company has chosen to lock down the hardware solely for its own use, instead of allowing third-party access as on Android devices.
The Canon T6 also includes a range of wired connectivity options. Catering to data transfer, there's a USB 2.0 High Speed connection. To put your photos or movies onto a high-definition display, there's a Type C HDMI mini-connector which automatically switches to support displays with anywhere from 480p to 1080i resolution. There's also a remote shutter release terminal compatible with the RS60-E3 wired remote, and as already mentioned, there's a flash hot shoe on the top deck.
The Canon T6 stores its images and movies on Secure Digital cards. These include both the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC card types. However, not surprisingly given its modest performance, this model does not support the higher-speed UHS-I standard, and will instead operate at the regular, lower rate with these cards. Eye-Fi cards are said to be supported, although their use is not guaranteed. There would seem to be little reason to use these, though, given the inclusion of in-camera Wi-Fi.
You can store your images not only in compressed JPEG format, but also in Canon's proprietary, 14-bit CR2 raw format. And as mentioned previously, movies are stored in a .MOV container using H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC compression.
The Canon Rebel T6 draws power from a proprietary LP-E10 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack, and a dedicated LC-E10 battery charger is included in the bundle. (In-camera battery charging is not supported.)
Battery life is CIPA-rated at 500 frames on a charge when using the optical viewfinder, the same as the T5. In live view mode, this falls to just 180 shots on a charge.
The battery compartment has a channel to allow an optional dummy-battery-type DR-E10 DC coupler to power the camera via a CA-PS700 AC adapter. An ACK-E10 AC Adapter Kit can also be used.