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on May 1, 2011
If I had to do it over again I would buy the camera and the longer lens separate and not buy the package. Cost wise I spent an extra $100 for the tripod, case and other accessories were cheap junk for the most part. I received a Zeikos tripod and Zeikos case with my package. The tripod is flimsy and cheap and the case was OK, not great. The Canon case is much better quality. The 16G SD card was OK for starters (get an extra one just in case) and the extra battery was OK. Stick with the true Canon batteries if you can. The cheap imitations go dead quick and don't have the lifetime of the Canon battery in terms of longevity. There was a card reader that didn't work and some dodgey SD card case that I chucked in the rubbish. Not very happy with the kit, seemed like a waste of money to me.

The camera is everything I expected and the 55-250mm lens definitely works well. Went out shooting pics yesterday to get a feel for the camera and lenses and got good results. It's a big step up from my old Fuji S7000 so the learning curve is pretty big. Still it shoots far better pics than I expected and with digital fotos it's easy to delete the ones you screw up.
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on October 23, 2012
A lot of research went into this purchase. I used two T3i's that belonged to friends and made sure they would work in low-light conditions. I also reviewed consumer reports, and this was the overall highest rated DSLR under $1,000. I also used my sister-in-laws 40D. It is much more rugged, but the photo's aren't really any better.

About 1000 photos in, I haven't found anything not to love about this camera. It has functioned flawlessly. It has quick point-and-shoot modes or allows you to go as low-level as you wish. I shoot telephoto in some unusual lighting situations, and I have found that the custom white balance settings work perfectly. I've been able to take great action photos of night high-school football games using the expanded ISO option.

The T3i contains no weatherproofing, so keep that in mind. Increased toughness would be the advantage to going to the pricier professional-level cameras. The 1/4000 second shutter speed was fine to stop a hummingbird's wings in action so I can't imagine the typical user needing a faster speed. The ISO expansion allows you to go all the way to 12500, which is about as far as is practical currently. It allows decent photos under very weak light conditions.

The built in flash isn't that great, but you wouldn't expect it to be. It's mainly for have-to situations and anyone taking regular flash photos would want a better flash for the hotshoe. The viewscreen can be tilted to almost any angle, which allows some great shots over obstacles or from waist level. It's great for photos of the kids when they're playing. Can easily shoot from waist level and avoid the impish look you can get from photographing down on kids.

The only quirk I have found is that the wireless remote (optional) only works from in front of the camera. It's designed to use when you're helping a person pose or you're in the photo yourself. Being able to activate it from the rear would be nice for wildlife shots.

I didn't buy it for videos, but I was amazed at the quality of them. Sound is mono unless you buy additional microphones, but that's not why I bought the camera anyway.

Yes, I would like to have the 60D, but you just aren't going to beat the T3i for under $1,000. With a little shopping, you can get the additional 55-250 lens which is wonderful. The image stabilization works perfectly. Until I can afford the 60D, I'm very satisfied.
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on January 8, 2013
I received a lot of coin for Christmas and decided it was time I upgraded from a decent point and shoot to a DSLR. My niece has the original T1i and I've seen the pictures she takes over the years with it and have always been impressed with their quality and clarity. After doing a lot of research I decided on the T3i over the newer T4i. It was 200+ dollars cheaper and from what I read it wasn't going to shoot better pics. The video is better, but I don't plan on using it for that anyway. I added a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II cheapo lens to complete the package, so I have 2 good IS zoom lenses and a great portrait lens that can handle very low light and has great depth of field for portraits.

You have to understand that the last SLR I had was my trusty old Olympus OM-1, which was totally manual. A great camera but this thing just smokes it in every way. It's fast and I cannot believe the quality of the pictures for such a cheap body and lens set. While it would be great to own a better body and some L lenses I just cannot justify spending all that money on something I do as a very intermittent hobby. I just wanted to be able to take high quality pics when the opportunity presented itself.

Overall this kit is a great starter for someone like me. Sure the card is only 16GB and it's not a fast one, the extra battery seems to have less capacity as the original Canon, the tripod is slightly flimsy, the bag is a bit on the cheap side (though plenty roomy for a camera, 3 lenses, cleaning kit, and charger and extra battery), and the other items are not going to be used (card reader - have one on my laptop, screen protectors - cut to size? Nah that won't look good and is probably unnecessary), I still give it 5 stars since it's got everything you'll need from the get go for around the same price as buying just the body and the 2 IS lenses. Once I get more into it I'll look to replace the basically freebies with better stuff where I see the need.
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on July 30, 2013
I'll brake this down by the items in the package-
The Camera and Kit Lens: These are the quality I expected from Cannon. Camera is great, shoots awesome pictures. Don't expect the camera to turn you into a pro though.

The Zoom Lens: This is great, not sure what people are complaining about for the price. Focus is fine, pretty quick in good lighting - in poor lighting it struggles a little.

The Tripod: This was the most disappointing out of the kit. It's cheap, the plastic was molded rough and I honestly don't trust my $800 camera on top of it unless I'm holding on to it. It works, it does it's job but it isn't anything to get excited about. Go spend $50 at a local shop and pick up a nicer one if you really need it.

The Bag: Smaller than I expected, but it will fit both lenses and the body in it. This is probably the first thing that will get replaced in the kit just because I'd like a lot more padding for the money it's holding.

The SD Card: This is just an OK card, I've already replaced it with a $32 32GB Class 10 card from Amazon. The biggest issue with the card that comes with it is snapping multiple pictures, review gets slow because you have to wait for it to write the files.

The SD Card Reader: Already died on me, and was terribly slow the 4 times I used it. Just plug the camera into USB and pull the files off with it, or buy a better reader.

The extra battery: The battery is noticeably lighter than Cannons that comes with the camera. It takes about 1/2 as many pictures as the factory battery, but I don't know of anyone who buys the Cannon batteries as replacements, they cost 3x what the generic battery does. So this is OK, just don't expect it to have the same capacity as the original battery.

The DVD: It's OK, and will get you started in learning about what the camera can do. But especially in photography - rules are made to be broken, so don't take it's suggestions as law.

The lens cleaning kit: It's there. Just make sure you always use a fresh clean cloth when you touch your glass, its fragile and delicate.

Screen Protectors: I don't actually think I got these, that or I lost them/threw them away with the box everything came in. How sad.

All in all, I'd probably buy it again. The camera is great, and everything eventually will need to be replaced anyways, so this gets you a decent way to get everything you need to get started quick. I really wish it had a bounce flash with it instead of maybe the tripod though, I would get more use out of it.
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on August 21, 2014
I don't know much about cameras, but this camera is awesome in my book. I'm slowly learning how to use this camera and it seems pretty user friendly so far. There are an infinite number of things you can do with this thing and I'm very impressed with it so far. Numerous tutorials on YouTube as well if you need more info on how to do something. Highly recommended for the novice photographer all the way up to a pro. I'm fairly impressed with the bundle items as well. I wasn't expecting much, with the exception of the second lense (the 55-250mm), based on some of the reviews here on amazon. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of some of these items. The SD card for instance appears to be of good quality and is made specifically for dslr cameras and HD video recorders. I also haven't had any problems with the tripod as some have mentioned, but I haven't used it very much either. Like I said, I'm no pro photographer, but this thing seems pretty great to me.
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on December 19, 2012
I purchased this as a gift for a photographer who has been using Canon SLR camera's for a long time. She really wanted this to get into the Digital SLR Camera's. Well she can't stop saying how amazing the camera is. The bundled Telephoto Zoom Lens is what caused me to go for this bundle over the rest on amazon. If your looking to get one of the bundles and you don't understand why one is so much cheaper. Make sure the bundled Zoom lens is a Telephoto Zoom Lens, if it's not then you know why it's so cheap. You get what you pay for after all.

The included camera bag is very nice and has plenty of storage. The Tripod is a good starter, better than nothing. The included SD card is a nice touch, it's good to get started. If the user plans on using the camera to the it's full extent and shooting full HD clips with it then it would be better to get a faster card. The class 10 Sandisk Extreme and Extreme Pro are good cards, the Extreme should be good enough. The battery is a cheapo but it will work in a pinch. The other accessories are alright. They seem a little cheap. Nice to have but don't make the kit a must.

Overall this kit is great and was worth every penny!
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on January 2, 2013
Several reviews mentioned that the extra items in this bundle don't make this a deal. If you're just making the transition to digital SLR, imho, this is the real deal. The t3i, and 2 lenses are worth the price - the rest are added bonuses. I already had a good Ambico tripod but everything else is very helpful. I was into film SLRs back in the day with my trusty Yashica and Olympus, but it's a whole new world with digitals. The SDHC card, spare battery, case & cables are all items I would have to add anyway, but they are included. The case I received is "logo'd" as Vivitar, which I thought was strange but it is functional with room to spare. I especially enjoyed the DVD that was included - it's fairly comprehensive across several different cameras but gives a good overview as a supplement to the 319 page manual for the camera. The camera & lenses are wonderful and should cover most situations. I've only taken 240 photos so far and only two bad ones in the bunch. A great camera so far, and it can only get better as I learn more about it. (Good-Bye "point-n-shoot"!)
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on August 22, 2013
Mark my words guys, this is best and most cost effective bundle you can get for Canon T3i.

Just the 55-250 mm lens that comes along with camera kit of 18-55 mm itself covers the cost. Rest all accessories are like totally free additions. Sony 16GB SD card is good enough to store lot of pics (you would need another card though for videos). Focus camera was surprising decent and not as bad as other reviews mentioned. Camera stand is weak in design and needs careful handling. There are bunch of other stuff which are useful in this package. Overall I am very satisfied with this purchase.
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on September 16, 2013
Great price for all the goodies. Got mine from Focus directly and was satisfied with quality. The SD card was a SONY class 10, which surprised me since I was expecting a cheapo class 4. Same with the camera bag, some other reviews stated it was cheap, I think it was great, plenty of cushion and very customizable. Bought it as a gift for someone, all was good quality. I have been an amateur photographer (have covered many events but not my source of income, just a big hobby) for over 15 years and I have seen plenty of cheapo packages out there, this was not; although not top end it should be good enough for any amateur photographer. Some things like screen protectors (for a flip screen camera) are a bit silly in my view, I would rather prefer a lens brush, blower or even a lens cap bungee band but considering all the other items, it was a great value.
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on July 29, 2013
Hard to argue with the pricing as the camera and lens bundle alone is what the big box stores charge. It's all the extras that make this package hard to beat. In a recent insert, this camera was featured at $749 with the lens package, if you wanted a bag and memory card there was an accessory bundle for $59 extra. So, doing some simple math that made that package $809 as opposed to the $759 for this one. That other package did not inlcude a battery , tripod, HDMI cable or cleaning kit. Assigning a simple value of $50 for these other pieces means that one comes out $100 ahead as opposed to buying from national chains.

As to the camera itself, it takes amazing pictures. Love the articulating screen. And what speed. If you are concerned about battery life, order some extra batteries and save 50 - 83% lower price.
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