The Canon T6i (or EOS 750D depending on where you are in the world), Nikon D5500, and Sony a6000 are three of the best selling cameras on the market today. They are all very good cameras, but you may be surprised at how they rank against each other for sensor performance.
The newest camera here is the Canon T6i which was announced February 6, 2015. Being the newest, you’d be forgiven for thinking it has the best performing sensor of the bunch. It doesn’t. The Canon T6i has the worst performing sensor by a significant margin.
This is particularly surprising when you consider how long it took Canon to finally up-date the sensor to 24 megapixels from the previous 18 Megapixel sensor it used in the Canon T5i, Canon T4i, and Canon T3i. One would think that they’d at least come to market with the best performing 24MP sensor yet since they didn’t bother to increase resolution above their competitors. Instead, we get the worst performing sensor. Strange way to compete to say the least.
Then we have the Nikon D5500 which was announced January 6 of 2015. It has the top performing sensor of the bunch. Nikon continues it’s on-going supremacy at getting the most out of a given sensor size and megapixels.
The oldest camera here is the Sony a6000 which was announced February 12, 2014. It’s performance is very good, coming in a close second to the D5500, which deserves additional credit since it’s a year older, and technology is moving at the speed of light these days. And not to beat a dead horse, but the year older a6000 beats the Canon T6i in every category.
Perhaps most significant here is the dynamic range. The Nikon D5500 beats the Canon T6i by a full two stops, while the older Sony a6000 beats the T6i by a full stop.
Or, maybe high ISO performance is even more telling, especially if you’re a low-light shooter. The D5500 and the Sony a6000 are both around a full stop better than the Canon T6i for high ISO, low-light shooting.
If you’re like me and can remember a time (pre-Nikon D300 / D700 / D3 era circa mid-2007) when Canon was the undisputed King of Sensors, this really has to leave you wondering what happened to them. Canon used to make the best sensors, and now they can’t even make a sensor that can compete against a year older camera from Sony?
I hope whatever Canon is cooking up for the much anticipated Canon 80D delivers a better showing than this. I’d like to see Canon resume it’s spot as a top competitor, rather than an also-ran.
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