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Image Credit: af_istocker via iStock
When you're just starting out in photography and want a camera that's more versatile than your smartphone, there's a lot of choices.
Some budget-friendly cameras aren't all that great, though. Others are expensive. But there's others that offer tons of features without breaking the bank.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one such camera.
Editor's Tip: In the market for a new camera? Consider buying pre-owned to save money. Start shopping now.
Best Beginner DSLR? The Rebel T6 Might Be It
With its great combination of features and even better price tag - especially if you buy used - the Rebel T6 is a fantastic first DSLR.
It was designed by Canon specifically for beginner shooters, too, so it's the ideal choice for newbies that want more capabilities than their smartphones give them.
Features-wise, the T6 is loaded up...
It's got an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, which though it doesn't compete with Canon's top-of-the-line sensors, does a great job for beginner work.
It's got a faster processor than its predecessor, the T5, so it can make quicker work of computing tasks as well.
The T6 is also an interchangeable lens camera, meaning you can take the kit lens off in favor of something else.
This is a great feature as it allows you to buy additional lenses - say, a macro lens or a wide-angle prime lens - that will help you expand your photography horizons.
And, since Canon has an absurdly large collection of lenses that fit this camera, it's not like you'll be looking for a new lens for long.
The 9-point autofocus system is nothing to write home about, but it's reliable and for beginner explorations into photography, it's more than sufficient, so long as you shoot in good lighting.
The native ISO range is 100-6400, which, again, isn't anything special, but it is expandable to 12800, giving shooters a little more leeway when taking photos in low-light situations.
For action shots, there's 3fps burst shooting speed which is good enough to learn with, though you won't be photographing professional sporting events anytime soon at that speed.
Also featured is 1080p video at 30p for those occasions when you want to try your hand at a little videography.
The camera also sports Wi-Fi and NFC for sharing photos quickly, RAW shooting for getting highly detailed files for processing, and a battery that lasts 500 shots, too.
Get more details about the Rebel T6 in the detailed review video above by Jared Polin.
Canon EOS Rebel T6 Handling
Photographers shifting from using a smartphone or small point-and-shoot camera will appreciate the fact that the T6 is lightweight.
Even with a lens attached, the camera doesn't feel too big or bulky, which is especially nice when you're traveling and have to carry it around all day long.
Along with its low weight is a small form factor that makes it easy to handle.
The grip is big - but not too big - so shooters big and small can get a grip on the camera and feel as though they've got it solidly in their hand.
Navigating the camera's menu system is an easy experience as well, as you can see in the video above by Chris Winter.
Even when shooting in bright, sunny conditions, the menu is easy to read on the fixed 3-inch 920k-dot LCD.
If you're shooting in full auto mode, there's scant options to see and change, but as you learn more about camera settings and take control over things like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, you'll appreciate the brightness and readability of the LCD.
Speaking of which, exposure controls are taken care of via the Av +/- button and the control dial on top of the camera. That means just two controls give you the ability to give much greater creative input to the camera when changing the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
While the screen is handy for navigating the menu system, it's not all that great for live view, unfortunately.
Not only does using live view mode drain the battery faster, but it also slows down the camera's autofocus system.
However, having the option of using live view is nice, even if you just use it to focus your shot by zooming in on the subject to ensure that it's perfectly sharp.
Editor's Tip: Have old camera gear just collecting dust on your shelf? Sell your old cameras and lenses and use the money to upgrade.
Rebel T6 Image Quality and Pricing
Perhaps the two most important features of a camera are its image quality and pricing.
On the image quality front, the Rebel T6 more than holds its own when shooting in good lighting.
Not only does it produce colors that are bright and contrasty, but its metering system performs well in typical lighting situations, too.
When shooting in difficult lighting, though, the T6 tends to overexpose the image, though that can be corrected by using the camera's exposure compensation feature to darken the shot.
As noted earlier, the T6 isn't a low-light camera by any means. When pushing the ISO to 1600 and beyond, noise will be noticeable.
However, unless you're entering your photos in a contest or want to blow them up to poster size, the image quality is perfectly fine.
As far as pricing goes, it might be the T6's strong suit. It's definitely a budget beginner camera.
Since it's been two years since its release, you can find excellent deals on pre-owned camera bodies.
In fact, a like new Rebel T6 (body only) is just $279 at the time of writing.
That's a huge bonus because the money you save on the camera body can be put towards getting a good, solid lens, like the Canon EF 50mm f1/8 STM shown above (which itself is budget-friendly!).
After all, there's no point in blowing all your money on a camera if you don't have money left to buy some quality lenses!
In the end, the Rebel T6 might just be the best beginner camera thanks to its bevy of features, its reliability, the incredible array of lenses that work with it, and, of course, it's price.