User experience: Nikon D5500 vs Canon Rebel T6i/T6s

(Thanks the Author: Mavis) Until now, I have had a great experience with the Nikon D5500 and I was curious to see if there were substantial differences with the Canon Rebel T6i. The T6i has a long vacation behind it and within this period it encountered many opportunities for different photo situations. I like to take photos a lot, but I am still only an amateur photographer and thus I can only describe this camera in a rather light way. Whoever wishes to get more details or wishes to know more technical data, can inform him or herself through the many answers from professionals in these messages. I share my experience with this camera targeting interested beginners.

Product Delivery: Alongside with the camera, a battery, a battery charger, a carrying strap, and interface cable and the selected lens (18-55mm), as well as a manual with the detailed instructions in German were delivered. Furthermore, two DVD / CD-ROM, one of which included an instruction manual, while the other ones contained various softwares, e.g. for editing photos.

My First Impression: Compared to the Nikon D5500, the material Canon T5i used affects the presentation. The matte plastic on the sides and the flash is very sensible to the fingertips and it looks sort of dirty very soon. Luckily, the processing is not affected at all. The button and control wheels are easily reachable, and the card slot and battery cover are reasonably easy to open, just as the inputs for microphones and HDMI. The card slot (Backup cards are: SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I) and the battery slot are separated, which I like because the card can be removed much with simplicity.

The swiveling display is easy to use and rotates in every possible direction and it can also be mounted to the back part of the camera as a regular monitor. The material used attracts contamination and is quickly spotted by regular use. This is why I do not like to use the touchscreen.

Practical experience: The way to use the camera was self-explanatory, but after reading the user manual it was clear how versatile this camera was. Aside from the very good auto mode, which one should not use when taking good or fast shots, the creative programs offer many options to use the camera optimally. I liked the AEB setting particularly, which you can use to take three consecutive shots with different lightning. Then, you can choose the one that you deem as more appropriate.

The scene modes for particular scenes offer optimal settings to photographs children, food, candle light, night portraits and night photos without a tripod or HDR backlight. The Creative Auto option allows you to record multiple variations, such as Extra-Recording only effect, in which you can select creative filters, image style and shooting landscapes. It will make two shots, normal recording and one with the desired effect shown at the same time so you can choose your favorite. Until now, I have no complaints with said images and it is fun to play with the effects and compare images afterwards how it looks with the automatic settings and how it looks with the manual settings. The operating wheel can be very fast in certain settings like sport shots, close-ups, landscapes and portrait pictures.

The 19 AF points seems like very little to me when comparing it to the 39 the Nikon D5500 offers. You can and must select them manually, and it does not have the automatic option or the individual field option to choose from and the 5-zone subdivision of measurement fields, but Nikon holds up much better with a much larger coverage. When it comes to automatic AF point selection there have been no important deviations and the motive is recognized and supported by the field.

In the end, I could not tell the difference between the images produced by the two cameras, despite the different measuring field number.

The autofocus scored a great point with me. While the Nikon scans and achieves focus noisily, The t6i focuses instantly and silently. I liked the automatic sensor when it shuts down.

Picture quality: I have taken many shots with the camera and can definitely say I am completely satisfied with the quality. The images are very sharp and the colors (the Nikon required the effect to be readjusted at the beginning) are very bright without a blue tinge. There were no problems even when I shot pictures with low light.

The first movie that I turned around also convinced me. The motive was a Jazz band on a stage that was colored with many flowers. The camera paned and focused between the human motives in movement and the flowers attracted the autofocus. The sound was recorded quite clean even without the microphone in contrast to the Nikon that recorded the sound where the autofocus was set to, which was a very annoying function. I do not use the WI-FI option since I am quite old-fashioned and only save my pictures to my computers and not to social networks.

The question of whether I prefer the Nikon D5500 or Canon Rebel T6i, as I asked in the title, is not one that I can answer conclusively. Both cameras have their strong points and some weak ones. But the image quality of the two is so good that you can definitely choose any and have picked a winner.

Author: Mavis

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1 Comment - Leave a comment
  1. ChristopherR says:

    Snapsort.com reports the D5500 as having better color depth, more dynamic range and much lower noise at high iso and being able to take almost double the number of shots on a charge. So for image quality that makes the D5500 seem like a better choice. However seeing some test photos the D5500 in lower light very high iso shows a red leaf pattern detail being washed out (lost) but canon going to very high iso (lowlight) shows loss of edge detail on zoomed in shots. The sharper edge features of Nikon could be because it doesn’t have the Anti-Aliasing filter a fixed glass in the optical path on the T6s. It also may be the reason for the color depth and dynamic range values being higher in the Nikon.
    So wouldn’t all that being said make people who want better images choose the D5500 over the T6s? Also the D5500 is cheaper, however you’d then have to decide whether you want Nikon or Canon. Quite a dilemma.
    Can you comment on that?

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