I’ve always had Canon cameras over the years so when checking out this wiki page I decided on the Canon EOS 550D.
As soon as I started asking about I got so much relevant feedback from friends and colleagues that I thought it may be useful to list here for newbies like myself.
The key source for reviews seems to be http://www.dpreview.com
Advice from a friend who saw potential issue of a newbie swapping lenses all the time and knows I have a cat!
I would have to say you will not be unhappy with this camera (in fact you will be v. happy) but you will have to be really careful when changing lenses i.e. point the camera body down, don’t do it where it’s windy dusty, pet hair is really bad as well etc. Don’t do what I saw some dopey mare do at Niagra Falls (right next to them which was change lenses – I reckon if it didn’t knacker her camera immediately then it would have lasted for at max a month.
Also make sure you get a Magic Lantern guide which will tell you how to use it properly.
Get a branded memory card, must be a Class 10 so the video works properly.
You will also want to get UV/Skylight filters to protect your lenses as the filters are sacrificial. …there is no point getting cheap filters as that bit of glass sits in front of your lens.
Hoya Filters are the best and a must to protect the lens.
I did a further search on the “Magic Lantern guide” to find them available on Amazon for each individual model of camera e.g Magic Lantern Guides®: Canon EOS Rebel T2i/EOS 550D
Image stabilisation is a must it would seem, so look for the IS suffix in the lens’ description.
Looking for that all round usability my boss pointed me to Jessops and this deal with 18-135mm lens. I thought this was even more pricey but then he assured me the lens in question is worth it.
It all depends on who you talk to of course, asking about I’m next told that the aperture is all important in low light conditions so the Canon EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens is no match for say the Sigma 17-70 mm f2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM optical stabilisation one as you’ll be cursing you can’t take a picture as the light dims without a tripod!
So what’s more important, low light or an extra bit of zoom? I’m guessing that that is just something you have to work out for yourself.. in the end I opt for the 550D kit with the Canon EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens from Amazon – just over £700 so a nice saving on the Jessops price, in fact enough for card, UV filter and spare battery!