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Canon T6i vs T6s: Which is Right for You?

Canon T6i vs T6s: What’s the Difference?

If you’re looking to buy a new Canon T6i or T6s and can’t decide which way to go, here’s how I’d look at it: if you’re interested in a camera that can take sharp, vibrant, high-quality photos and video, go with the T6i. If you’re interested in photography and learning to be a better photographer (and those high-quality images), then get the T6s.

Need more details? Let me explain…

The Differences

The Canon T6s costs about $100 more than the T6i. Why is that? Will it produce better pictures? To answer these questions, start by taking a look at the chart of differences between the cameras below:

 Canon Rebel T6iCanon Rebel T6s
Price (body)$749$849
Price (18-135mm STM kit)$1049$1049
LCD on TopNoYes
Proximity Sensor
(turns off rear LCD)
NoYes
Back of CameraControl PadQuick Control Dial
HDR Video Not PossibleYes, at 1280 x 720
(30 or 25 fps)
Mode Dial LockNopeYes

The cameras are otherwise identical. They use the same processor and sensor, so with the same settings, there will be no difference in image quality between the T6i and T6s. But that doesn’t mean that the differences listed above aren’t important.

The Body

There are two major differences in the camera bodies of the T6i and T6s. The first is the top-mounted LCD panel on the T6s, which is absent on the T6i.

Canon T6i and T6s Top Panel LCD
The Canon T6s has an LCD display that provides instant access to shutterspeed, aperture, ISO and exposure-compensation information, as well as battery and memory card levels.

The LCD provides all of the basic exposure information at a glance: shutterspeed, aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation, as well as the battery and memory card levels. For those who are interested in controlling their photography, knowing these things is critical and having it constantly available can save you from shooting with the wrong settings (especially if you’re not shooting in a fully automatic mode). However, if you’re more interested in letting the camera’s technology take care of the details and you’re happy to usually use the camera as a point-and-shoot, then this LCD will be wasted (the same information is also available on the rear LCD with the press of a button if you want it).

If you don’t know how aperture, shutterspeed, and ISO affect your pictures but would like to, I recommend taking 5 minutes to watch my video on the subject, here: The Three Basics of Photography.

The second main difference between these camera bodies is the control dial on the back of the camera.

Canon T6s and T6i back, control dial
Rather than the standard control pad, the T6s has a control dial to for instant exposure-compensation access.

Exposure compensation is a feature that is only used by advanced photographers, but it is very important for anyone interested in shooting events professionally or semi-professionally. Briefly, exposure compensation allows you to brighten or darken your image when the camera’s automatic metering doesn’t get it quite right… and unless you’re shooting in full manual mode, exposure compensation is the only way to do that.

For example, this is very important if you’re taking a picture of a person against a bright background. Despite the sophisticated metering systems found in modern cameras, they will still often under-expose in situations like this, leaving the person in muddy shadow or even full silhouette (though the bright background will be exposed correctly). Of course, this can be fixed with fill flash if you want to use artificial light, but if you don’t you can simply add +1 or +2 stops of exposure compensation to brighten them up.

Since I was shooting against a bright sky, I added +2 stops of exposure compensation here. The sky was over-exposed as a result, but that's better than losing the subject in shadow.
Since I was shooting against a bright sky, I added +2 stops of exposure compensation here. The sky was over-exposed as a result, but that’s better than losing the subject in shadow.

This is possible with both cameras, but with the T6s, it can be done with the thumb on the rear control dial without even removing your eye from the viewfinder, and it’s quick and easy to set it back to normal. With the T6i, you’ll need to press the +/- button on the back of the camera and then make the adjustment on the rear LCD (or in the viewfinder) using the main command dial. It’s not exactly difficult, but it’s nowhere near as quick and easy as the process on the T6s.

This is a feature that is used by a very small percentage of camera owners, but most professionals and many advanced amateurs. If you think you’re going to be interested enough in photography to learn how to use it, great! It can be very useful. If not, then there’s no point in paying for it.

It’s also worth mentioning that the T6s has a sensor that turns off the rear LCD when the camera is brought to your eye for shooting through the viewfinder. The shooting mode dial also has a locking mechanism, which is a new feature to the Rebel line.

Incidentally, Canon’s description of the T6s also says it “can shoot incredibly quickly in Live View mode with Servo Burst Shooting.” However, the T6s manual makes no mention of the term “Servo Burst“, so how this might differ from the T6i remains a mystery.

Video

In addition to the body differences between the T6i and T6s, there’s one significant difference in functionality: the T6s can shoot HDR video. HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range”, referring to a scene has a dramatic difference in luminance between the brightest areas and the darkest areas. The purpose of HDR video is to lower the contrast and capture more detail in scenes with high dynamic range rather than allowing highlights to be blown out or shadows to go completely black.

However, this mode has some limitations. For American users who will be using the NTSC format, HDR video can only be shot at 1280 x 720 at 30 fps. For PAL format shooters, only 25 fps is available. Either way, full HD (1080p) resolution is not possible.  This is almost certainly because the camera will be shooting at double that frame rate (60 fps or 50 fps, respectively) but with alternating frame exposure. The first frame would be exposed normally and the second would be under-exposed, and then those frames would be combined into a single frame to pull as much detail as possible from the scene and creating a video with half the original frame rate. This explains how the cameras can shoot 30fps video at 720p (normally only 60fps is available at that resolution), and it also explains why it’s not possible at 1080p (since 60 fps is not possible at that resolution for either camera).

This has the potential to be a very useful feature for users who shoot a lot of video. However, it should be noted that this type of functionality can be added to many Canon cameras by using the free Magic Lantern firmware side-car.

Conclusion

Again, if you’re just looking for a good camera, buy the T6i, but if you’re interested in photography, buy the T6s. The lone exception would be for those of you who are not that into photography but shoot a lot of video and would find a limited capability for shooting HDR video helpful. The differences between the two cameras are minor enough that this should be a relatively easy decision to make. I’d go for the T6s for the top LCD alone.

If you’re ready to buy a new camera now, think about buying it through one of my links here at Amazon.com. It won’t cost you any extra, but it will be a big help to me.

 

Editor-in-Chief

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DOUG MCLEAN
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DOUG MCLEAN

do both the T6s and T6i use the same wireless shutter release?

Fatih
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Fatih

Hello Matthew,

I can be considered as beginner. I have some experiences with Canon T4i and T6i with 18-55 and 75-300 lenses which I borrow them from library for some days to take pictures. However, I would like to get my own camera. I usually take the landscape pictures, places where I travel, nature, some events and post them through social media. I like to take my coffee and camera to get some pictures when the weather is nice. I am not very interested in doing advanced level Photoshop and taking videos. I want to learn some techniques and fundamental facts to take better pictures with good compositions and catching the right angle. Looking for something which meets my expectations. For instance, I was comfortable with T6i, but I am not sure if a significantly better one with a reasonable price difference will make sense to buy. Also, do you think buying the bundle deals with tripods, wide angle lenses, some UV filters, etc. make sense?

Kalpit Bhavsar
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Kalpit Bhavsar

I’m a starter. I like taking nature landscape photos. I have no experience with DSLR’s so this one would be my first one. Now I’m mostly going to use it for Nature photography and some time for personal family use you know. Which camera do you recommend? Price range somewhere around $600-$700.
My friend told me that having 75-300mm or 55-250mm lens would help me a lot. So what do you say?

Destiny
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Destiny

Thank you so much for the review it really did help out a lot but I still don’t know what camera i should get this is my first camera and I want it to last me a good while, I just want to take good pictures and record videos.
What do you personally think I should get?

Austin C.
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Austin C.

I want to film YouTube videos and have good quality, would it really matter if I were to purchase the T6i rather than the T6s due to there being no difference i? normal video shooting?
Thanks.

Veronica
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Veronica

This is a great review; thank you.

One question: You mention that the T6s can shoot HDR video. Can you confirm whether the HDR option can be disabled for video. I am guessing that this must be the case but I want to make sure prior to making the purchase.

A. Hiroko
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I have been going back and forth with this for months now. I I would like the top LCD feature but the current pricing I’m seeing has the t6i at $699 and the t6s at $1,169. That’s a $470 difference.

As this is my first DSLR and I plan to use it for Youtube videos and amateur photography I think it’s a better and safer investment at this time. But your review and detailed explanation helped me tremendously.

Christopher
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Christopher

Can you use just the viewer on the top of the camera and close the back monitor screen to save power and increase the number of shots?

SRJ
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SRJ

Hi Mathew,
Nice comparison of 750D and 760D.

If i have to make a choice between 760D and 70D, what would be better in 70 D over 760D. I have been to a showroom where i came across that the 70D is a discontinued camera and 760D is the better alternative with almost all features and a better sensor.
If 760D has everything superior to 70D why does it costs less. And if there are better features in 70D, could you list them.

Basically i am looking for a camera in the range upto 75K – 80K Indian Rupees. I would be glad if you could guide me. I was stuck up with 70D and D7100 till the time showroom guys made the choice more difficult and confusing.

ChristopherR
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ChristopherR

Good comparison. I’ve come to the conclusion to stick with Canon, and it has come down to the T6i or T6s. I don’t care much for videos with a camera, and for $100 difference in price tag that pushes me towards the T6i. Also to note the T6i has 22.7 bits of color as opposed to 22.6 bits, a very minor difference but then the top LCD feature and the thumb exposure dial swings my decision back however I don’t care much for the . Again a toss up. I’m again considering the 70D but the T6 has a much newer processor. As I write I’m considering the 7DMkii but the $$ have swayed me back. T6i or T6s hmm. I know prices are going to jump up soon so I’m trying to make a decision soon. Or should I wait for a T7?

Chris Dunlap
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Chris Dunlap

Your article was so helpful we are using your link to purchase. Thank you for your well written review.

nebeyou
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nebeyou

Thank you for this nice review. I will go for T6S

Wolf
Guest

Yesssss!!! Finally somebody who understands what a Camera comparison should entail! Prior to yours, I read one that had absolutely no differences between the T6i and the T6s. Agreed, there aren’t that many, but the top screen is certainly a difference worth mentioning.

My problem is that I’m an artist, not a techno photographer. I can’t recall all the stuff I’d need in M to set my camera in certain situations where there’s no time to read the manual, so I usually (oh horror) end up in Auto. So, following your advise, I’ll probably go for the cheaper Canon T6i. Thanks for a great comparison and advice!

Wolf

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