Top positive review
57 people found this helpful
Feature-laden; offers as little or as much automation as you like...
on April 13, 2012
If you need an entry-level DSLR that is feature-laden and will return you to complete control of your photography, this kit is a good choice. The two included Canon lenses will take you from focal lengths of 18 to 300 mm. The camera will capture still images (.jpg, RAW) and HD video (.mov at 1280x720 resolution).
My first SLR was a completely manual Canon FTb, purchased from a friend when Jimmy Carter was president and we placed our images on film. If you were a strong amateur photographer, you might enjoy some feedback in a couple hours IF you processed your own black and white film. Otherwise, you waited, hoped for the best, and prepared for the fact of life that most of your prints would not be keepers...
Fast forward to the delight of digital photography in the early 21st century, when the first cameras in the hands of consumers set you back about as much as this model..for around 2 MB resolution. While the instant gratification --and endless opportunity to experiment with images on solid state media-- of digital photography was a great change, the loss of control (from a lack of through-the-lens (TTL) viewing, no ability to set aperture and shutter speed manually and the constraint of a fixed lens) was bound to frustrate former SLR shooters.
I've been doing SLR photography for over 30 years, digital photography for over 10 years. I added "D" to my SLR photography with two different Pentax cameras in the last 7 years. One had persistent issues with flash performance (even after two warranty repairs), and a more recent model simply stopped working after 17 months...only to revive when it arrived at the repair center (an event which cost $100 to find out about). So, Pentax was off my candidate list for replacements.
I looked at available options than included multiple lenses and an HD video capability, and eventually narrowed it down to this kit.
-Excellent price for a two lens kit and HD recording capability.
-Great range of control and automation features. From full auto to completely manual, you can exercise as much (or as little) control as you like over the process.
-Options for both TTL and LCD viewfinder viewing of your photo subjects.
-Good printed users manual and excellent .pdf manual with more details
-No memory card in the box. Hope you remembered one or have one around.
-Only power option is a Canon proprietary form factor battery and AC charger. You can't charge via USB or operate via standard batteries. You'll want to consider adding an extra to your bag.
-Minor issues with one of included utility programs ("Digital Photo Professional"). This can freeze (on a Windows machine) when navigating to a folder that contains images *not* produced with a Canon camera. Sounds strange...but it's true.
Overall, I've been very impressed with this camera's ability to autofocus and its response to tricky lighting situations. If I can get more than 17 months out of it, it will be a better performer than the Pentax it replaced!