for your budget I'd get the Rebel T6 with 18-55 kit lens bundle for $499.99. Then I'd probably add a 55-250 zoom lens for the wildlife. This will be like $700. What sort of wildlife though?
Avoid the $600.00 kit that comes with the lens from the bundle above plus a 75-300 kit lens because the 75-300 is perhaps Canon's poorest lens from both image quality and build quality.
for your budget I'd get the Rebel T6 with 18-55 kit lens bundle for $499.99."
I am good with this suggestion but not so much on the 55-250mil. Depending on what type 'wildlife' is the subject, 250mm is really too short (focal length). Unless you shoot wildlife at the zoo a 400mm lens is really the short end (again focal length). Even on a crop camera like the T6, 300mm should be the shortest you consider.
There is a real inexpensive manual 400mm pre-set 400mm lens made. It comes under various brand names but is the same lens. Such as Soligor, Paragon, Sirius, Ensinor, Quantaray, Optomax, Kenlock, Praotor, Hanimex, etc. It is a manual lens but this is how you really learn to be a photographer. The kit Scott recommended and the Sologor 400mm will still make your $600 budget. Maybe enough left over for lunch.
Another though, there are some good used gears out there. However, there is nothing like new!
The "Rebel T6 with 18-55 kit lens bundle for $499.99" will work fine for most of the general photography you will normally do. That's why Canon selected it for the kit. I would opt for the T6 over the T5i. The more specialized part of photograapy like wildlide requires special lenses.
The ef-s 18-55mm lens supplied with the kit can not do this.
This is a Kingfisher was shot with the Sologor 400mm f6.3 lens. As you might guess the distance from the small bird is fairly great. At the same distance using the 18-55mil kit lens you could barely tell there was a bird in the photo!
This is shot with a lens similar to the 18-55mil at the 18mm side.
This shot was at the longer end of a 18-55mm lens.
Hope this gives you and idea of what you can expect. Remember the beauty of a DSLR is the fact you can change and use different lenses. You can pick the lens best suited for the task at hand. One lens can not do everything but the 18-55 zoom is pretty versatile. Especially for beginners.
No not really if you don't consider the extra features it has. All camera/lens combos have their limits. Even my multi-thousand dollar 1 series camera and "L" series lens has a limit to what it can do. However, a great deal of this depends on talent. A cheapo DSLR in the right hands can make beautiful photos. A $10,000 camera in a snap shooter's hands won't do any better than the T6 you are considering.
That said and understood, if you can spring for the T6i, I would. It does have some worthwhile features. Still the bottom line is you. You need to learn it. You need to learn how to post process it.
I have done DSLR 101 classes for a long time and I am always amazed at what some of the folks do. What you put in is what you will get out. GIGO, right?
Personally I would consider a second-hand or refurbished camera. Body prices drop fairly quickly from new. When you buy into a camera brand you buy into a system, that is to say you are more likely to upgrade using the same brand rather than switch to another. At this stage in your photographic journey I suggest you start modestly and work on technique, which is separate from the technology. Better equipment does not make you a better photographer, learning to use what you have to the best of your ability, and taking lots of images and critiquing them vigorously will.
Bodies change with frequent regularity, but lenses not so much. For that reason I would suggest paying more attention to a good lens and consider a second-hand body. If you want a good step up from the standard kit lens I would suggest one of two options:
The Canon 15-85mm IS EF-S USM lens is a great unit and you may be able to pick up a refurbished one for a reasonable price. At the wide angle end the extra 3deg is a great blessing and is a very sharp unit.
The Canon 18-135mm IS EF-S STM USM lens is another great walk-around lens. Same principle apples to looking for a good used or refurbished unit.
It is also worth noting that unless you want to go to a full-frame (a much more expensive investment) then you will be getting a camera with a crop sensor. Canon's APS-C(rop) sensor is reduced by a factor of 1.6 compare to the full frame. It sees less of the image than a full-frame unit and that has what is often called a "magnifying effect" on the field of view, or effective focal length.
When you look at the numbers displayed on any lens, they are given in terms of what a full-frame camera would read. Thus, because you are using a lens on a crop-frame camera you need to mulitply both the focal lengths and the f-number by that factor (1.6). Thus a camera with a theoretical lens displaying the following figures: 100 - 300mm f5 would actually behave according to the following numbers: 160-480mm f8 which is a very different performance range.
What is the significance of this? Well, if you want to shoot with wide angles a lens of 18-55mm will actually lose some of its wide angle capability, thus the effective range would be 18x1.6 = 28.8mm to 55x1.6 = 88mm. On the other hand, a 55-250mm lens will have an effective FOV of 88-400mm, which makes it more suitable for a wildlife starter lens perhaps. The 55-250mm IS EF-S STM lens is considered quite a good unit. I do agree with the previous contributor that the 75-300 should be avoided!
One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is what kind of output do you want to generate? If you don't intend to print large images, then you might want to consider a bridge camera, such as the Powershot SX60HS. These cameras look like a small DSLR, but they have a permanently attached lens and a much smaller sensor. They have all the same basic functions as the DSLR units, but have an enormous range of focal lengths. Currently, in terms of a full-frame unit its focal range is 21-1365mm! So the drawback is that, having a much smaller senor it is prone to more noise (grain) if it does not get sufficient light, but in good light it can produce excellent results - it would give you a good grounding at a very modest price.
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