eraten wrote:$799 @ Amazon for the body only. This lens is pretty crappy but it's decent for a starter. Considering it.
When thinking, how good is this lens?, remember that judgement is very, very relative. For example, let's compare the lens with this outfit with another and see how things shake out. Looking at the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Autofocus Lens we are talking discounted street price at, $339.00. You can see pricing and specs on B&H site, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/12140-USA/Canon_2515A003_50mm_f_1_4_USM_Autofocus.html The lens alone that comes with this kit at the same place runs, $199.99. Specs and reviews seen here, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/519475-USA/Canon_2042B002_EF_S_18_55mm_f_3_5_5_6_IS.html Wow! $140.00 more. And the more expensive lens does not have image stabilization and won't even zoom! One of them must be crap, right? Wrong.
One of the most expensive parts of a lens is the optical elements. The quality of the glass itself in both of these is going to be relatively the same as Canon does a bang up job in the optical department. But the 50mm f1.4 has much larger glass and thus much more expense. The constant f1.4 will give you remarkable low light results that far surpass the 18-55 f3.5-5.6 lens with this kit. The 50mm f1.4 is a more professional grade lens. OK, so the Woot kit has a crappy lens, right? Wrong again. Again we come to the term relative. There is a clear difference in the two and the more expensive stands above the lesser but comparing the two is not 'apples to apples' in any way. Canon offers body only DSLR's that start out in the thousands. The owners of those cameras are most likely going to own the lens that comes with this case. Canon (as well as Nikon, Pentex, etc.) all recognize there is a entry level/hobby level that wants more than a point and shoot can offer but also has limits on what they can or will spend. So, here you have the Rebel line with more affordable lens. Yes, the lens is limited compared to the more expensive one but it cost hundreds less. It is able to make it into the hands of the market that wants more than point and shoot (much more) and has some pretty good points on it's own. 1st you have a zoom lens that offers true wide angle up to what is commonly called 'normal'. The 50mm we talked about here is called a 'normal' lens. The term comes from the fact that at 50mm the lens sees more closely to the human eye than at any other size. The 18-55 thereby gets you up to normal. 2. While you are going to be limited some by the f3.5 - 5.6 indoors and without flash the limitations will be no more and probably less than the point and shoot you now use, with some exceptions. But, the glass is ground by the same folks at Canon that did the more expensive lens and although your glass is smaller than the f1.4, it still is high optical quality in itself. The Bottom line is, the lens in this kit is not crap. It can be out done easily for a lot more money. But entry level to low end (price wise) SLR lens. It is a good piece of glass.
If you want to compare apples to apples then compare this canon 18-55 to a non-canon brand with the exact same features. I'm not taking the time go searching for examples but there are plenty out there. Not just in the lower price range but in the higher price range also. You almost always will find other brands for less money than the lens made by the camera maker. That is tricky too as there are all kinds of things that can be found in a heads up comparison and too many to go into here.
This is Canon's latest entry to the entry level DSLR. As is the case with all products that have not been on the shelf all that long, the discounts are not going to be that deep. The one Woot offers here is pretty darn good considering that fact. If you get into this stuff and you decide later you want a better lens, you won't get a big trade value but you will get some trade value if you want to trade out for more. If you know you want more, you can decide on body only and go for more lens. Or, you can find a kit with a comparable lens level but has more zoom and of course more cost.
When it comes to lens quality there is crap out there but Canon does not make crap. They make several lines of lens. Good, Better, and top of the line. The lens in this kit is a good lens.
Lastly if you were handing your camera and lens to a pro or a top end enthusiast and they happen to be one of the very small group of snobs, they may turn there nose up while talking down at you. That does not change the fact that dollar for dollar you have some really nice camera equipment. It just identifies them as a snob. The nicer guys and gals are going to give you encouragement with a smile and a line like, "nice Canon (or Nikon, etc.)" and possibly give you a few pointers while the tell you about how they started out on a 35mm rangefinder. If you are lucky enough to run into one of those, stick around as long as they will talk. You will get some great info. If you run into the snob, even if he/she has $10K worth of equipment on them right then, just walk away. They mostly want to hear themselves talking about what all they have and what all you don't. You won't learn one darn thing from them. You will just get an ear ache and a pain in the butt.