02-16-2017 11:18 AM
How about a T6 with a 75-300 for backyard birding?
Canon sells a couple of different EF 75-300mm lenses. They differ primarily in when they were released. None of the budget priced lenses produce very good images. You should consider one of the EF-S 55-250mm lenses, especially ones with model numbers that end with "STM". In fact, I would recommend any of the Canon lenses that end with "STM".
02-16-2017 12:17 PM
How about a T6 with a 75-300 for backyard birding?
If you have a hummingbird feeder in your backyard, start with that.
If you are talking about the T6 with the kit lenses (the 75-300mm being one of them), you'll be very pleased. That is the kit that I have. It produces excellent images, given the cost and my level of expectations. I paid a mere $389.99 for that refurbished kit right here on the Canon site. Keep in mind, though, that the 75-300 doesn't have image stablization, so you will probably need a tripod for it.
You mentioned that you wanted to keep the cost down until you find out if this is the hobby for you. The T6 kit is a great choice and I am very pleased with mine. You'll learn a ton about DSLR photography without having to overspend. If you're like me, you'll learn something new everytime you shoot. Go for it.
02-16-2017 12:51 PM
02-16-2017 02:14 PM
If you're seeing this as a single package bundle (it is common to find these bundles on Amazon) then this is the sort of thing we usually tell people to avoid. They're charging about $100 more than the camera itself. It's typically all junk-grade extras.
The camera with an actually Canon lens is good. But often they'll bundle in extra "lenses" that are really just focal length multipliers or reduces that they screw onto the front of your existing lens. They're not actually Canon EOS EF or EF-S lenses. Those "lenses" are often more trouble than their worth and we've seen more than a few instances in which they were of such junk-grade quality that the threads jammed when attaching them to the real camera lens and the owner couldn't remove them. They'd have to send the lens in for service to have the thing removed without breaking the lens (and I think I recall a case where it jammed so hard that the owner ended damaging the lens trying to remove it.
Also the "filtters" they own aren't worth having. There are some quality filters that are worth owning... such as a good quality circular polarizer and as you get a bit more advanced you'll discover you can do some interesting things with a good quality neutral density filter. But good quality filters, while not crazy expensive, aren't cheap either (e.g. it could cost $100 or even as much as a $150 depending on the type of filter and it's size IF it's a high quality filter.)
They often include a tripod... again, it'll be a junk-grade tripod ... very fragile. I tell people that your tripod should not require handdling with white gloves. It should be able to take a bit of getting knocked around and not break. This is the gear that holds your gear. If it goes crashing over ... there goes your new $450 investment crashing to the ground.
Most of the gear these bundle deals include are gear that you probably would not select if you were purchasing it separately.
If you buy your T6 as a "kit" (meaning it will include the camera body as well as the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens) then it will come with everything you need to start shooting except a memory card. So you will need to buy a memory card.
Also... it's very important to make sure you are not getting "gray market" gear. When you get your new camera, check the warranty card. It should have a watermarked label across the front that reads "USA & Canada Only". Canon will pre-stamp the serial number of the camera on that card (you wont have to fill that in). Make sure that serial number matches the serial number on your camera body. If it does, then you got a camera that was imported through authorized channels and authorized dealers. If you do not see the "USA" warranty card and only see an international warranty card, then you received a "gray market" camera. These are real Canon cameras, but they were intended for sale outside the US and they were not imported by authorized distribution channels. Canon will not only not honor the warranty on such a camera, they usually wont even agree to perform service on it outside warranty (even if you are willing to pay). In other words you own a non-warrantied and non-serviceable product... probably not a situation you want to be in if & when ever need service.
I would pay $550 for the bundle you describe. For example, looking online, I see that B&H Photo sells the T6 in a bundle that includes the camera+lens (what Canon would normally include) but also throws in a SanDisk brand 16GB memory card and a camera bag. Their bundle is $450 (the same as the camera alone). The extras are advertised as being worth about $40. Given that a memory card typically sells for a price somewhere around $1 per 1GB. the card itself is probably worth around $16 (give or take) and that means the bag is probably worth somewhere around $20-25. That's not going to be a fantastic bag, but it is going to offer you some decent basic protection. So there you go... you'd save $100 but would still get a card and a bag. With that $100, you could probably buy a substantially better tripod (although a $100 for a tripod is nothing... most decent tripods will run upwards of $200) and you'll avoid the "lenses" that you don't want to use and the filters that will end up at the bottom of your sock drawer.
02-16-2017 04:45 PM
Look also at the Canon refurb cameras. Come with same warranty as a new camera.
02-16-2017 05:11 PM
As John points out, the least expensive option you'll find will be the Canon online store in the Reburbished section.
For example, here are two:
Canon EOS T6 with kit 18-55mm lens + 75-300mm lens for $389.99:
Canon EOS T6 with kit 18-55mm lens for $349.99
These are refurbished cameras, but Canon provides the same 1 year factory warranty as you would get buying a "new" camera. While a refurbished camera *might* have had an issue (which would have been corrected by Canon), often the camera never had anything wrong with it - the buyer changed their mind and they're not allowed to sell it as "new". They do replace all the packaging, manuals, cables, etc. so the only difference you will notice is that it doesn't come in the colorful retail packaging. You get the same warranty. And you pay a lot less. You can put the savings toward other gear if you prefer.
Both the basic 'kit' lens as well as the 75-300mm lens are primarily designed to be affordable. This doesn't necessarily mean they are low quality, but it does mean that they lack features photographers prefer (such as a low-focal ratio that can be provided at any focal length in the zoom range).
Low non-variable focal ratio zoom lenses substantially complicate the optics and it necessitates using physically wider lens barrel, larger glass elements, which now also have to be thicker glass elements, which increases the optical dispersion problems, which then requires the use of extra corrective elements to eliminate the color fringing around the edges, etc. etc. so those lenses end up costing significantly more money. (They are fantastic to use!!! ... just not cheap.) Start with the kit lenses... and over time you may eventually deicde to get different lenses. Since it's a removeable lens camera with over 70 lenses to choose from (and that's before we count the 3rd party lenses that it can use) you'll find you have a lot of options.
If you'd rather buy online, the major retailers are B&H Photo and Adorama (both out of New York). I sometimes buy from B&H Photo, and sometimes I buy from a local camera store (ProCam - which has stores in Chicago and Detroit) as I do like to keep my local "real" camera stores in business (I can get service from a real camera store that I can't get from a big-box store that just happens to sell cameras along with washer & dryers and TVs.)
02-16-2017 05:23 PM
Thanks Tim. Excellent information. Is buying from B&H as good as buying directly from Canon? John
I can't speak to B&H as I haven't purchased from them, but I know that they are very well known and many customers seem to like them, amateur and pro alike. I would not hesitate to make a purchase from B&H.
That said, I have bought directly from Canon and would do so again. I bought my refurbished Rebel kit from Canon, and it came with the T6 itself, a camera strap, an EF-S 18-55mm IS II lens and the EF 75-300 mm. It also came with a Basic Instruction Manual and a cable to connect your camera to the PC if you so desire.
It arrived very well packaged and padded, in multiple boxes, packed inside of an outer larger box. All of the gear showed zero signs of use, wear, or blemish. And it came with the same one-year warranty that new gear would come with. So I felt that I had nothing to lose in that regard.
One of the reasons I went with refurbished is due to reading numerous posts here from users who went that route and were very pleased with the outcome. You can count me among them. Canon apparently puts the gear through a multi-point inspection process and fixes whatever needs fixing, if anything. I get the feeling that a lot of the "refurbished" gear is very lightly used to begin with. From a cosmetic standpoint, mine looked as clean as a brand new model.
I believe there is also a 14-day return policy for the gear.
Anyway, I don't think you can go wrong by making your purchase from Canon directly. I would do so again myself.
02-16-2017 06:04 PM
B&H, Adorama, Roberts are all very good. There are some New York stores to avoid. Stick with these and you will be OK.
Never buy a camera kit from Amazon. NEVER!
If you have a local read deal camera shop or a Best Buy that is good. Plus they will let you try each model. Local might be a little higher price but it is worth it to see it and handle it. You get what you pay for.
For the most part filters are useless on a DSLR. There are a few exceptions but not many.
02-17-2017 02:54 AM
"...anyone can walk into a professional kitchen and be a gourmet chef."
Maybe not but anyone can walk into a professional kitchen a cook a hot dog. That is all that is required to own a 'professional' kitchen or professional camera. The 7D Mk II has the green square! It is included for a reason. Just because you can not get the most out of a professional camera doesn't indicate some one else will not. Maybe they won't or can't on day one but later?
"That's the best solution for an experienced user, but not for someone new to DSLRs." Hmmm, false assumption?
Ernie, i love your enthusiasm. Don't ever let it go. Okay?