Canon has announced a new entry-level DSLR which could make a good first dedicated camera for those stepping up from using their smartphone whenever the photographic mood strikes. The EOS Rebel T6 features an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, along with beginner-friendly features, and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC for sharing content quickly and easily.

The T6 (known as the EOS 1300D in some countries) is a follow-up to the popular T5/1200D (which appeared in our 2015 round-up of the best DSLRs for beginners), and a (very) little brother to the recently announced Canon EOS 1D X Mark II and 80D. While many specs are the same as its predecessor, the T6/1300D has a number of improvements aimed at upgrading smartphone photographers and the Instagram crowd. In addition to its built-in Wi-Fi, these include new photo modes and in-camera filters.

In terms of core photographic specification, the T6/1300D packs an 18-megapixel APS-C (22.3 x 14.9mm) CMOS sensor which is paired with Canon's Digic 4+ image processor. This allows the camera to have an ISO range of 100 to 6,400 (expandable to 12,800) and the ability to shoot continuous full resolution images at 3 fps (frames per second).

Autofocus is dealt with by a 9‐point AF system which includes one center cross‐type AF point. The T6/1300D is also capable of recording Full HD 1080p video footage at up to 30/25 fps, with the maximum frame-rate increasing to 60/50 fps at HD 720p resolution. This all makes the T6/1300D a reasonably capable DSLR suitable for any beginner photographer.

However, the marketing from Canon is clearly focused on luring smartphone photographers away from seeing their phone as their go-to camera. Features being promoted include the ability to makes images pop with a shallow depth of field (thanks to the larger sensor and many Canon EF and EF-S lenses available), beginner photo settings such as a dedicated sports, macro, portrait and even food modes, and in-camera creative filters.

While there's no doubt even entry-level DSLRs are still far more capable than the very best smartphone cameras, the multi-purpose convenience factor of phones – along with the relatively terrific shooters found in recent phones like the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s – may make Canon's argument fall (at least somewhat) flat with consumers at large.

The camera itself measures 129 x 101.3 x 77.6 mm (5 x 4 x 3 in) and weighs 485 g (17 oz), making it small for a DSLR, but still a lot bigger than your phone and many entry-level mirrorless cameras. On the back there's an optical viewfinder and a 3-inch 920k dot LCD monitor. As you'd expect from a DSLR there are plenty of dials and buttons, for when users feel ready to take control themselves.

In addition to making it easy to share content wirelessly, the built-in Wi-Fi and NFC can also be used to control the camera remotely from a smartphone running the Canon Camera Connect app. The T6/1300D should be able to shoot around 500 shots on a single charge if using the optical viewfinder to compose images, or around 180 shots if using Live View mode.

The Canon T6 will be available in April priced at US$550 bundled with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II kit lens.

You can check out a promotional video for the Canon EOS T6/1300D below.

Product page: Canon EOS Rebel T6

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