gps review Canon Digital 18 135mm 55 250mm Accessory
I won't spend much time on the camera review because there are enough Canon T4i reviews on Amazon by people much more capable than I at utilizing all the camera's features. This review will primarily focus on Cameta Camera and the bundled package.
First, the camera. I can't add much to what has already been said in hundreds of reviews but so far, I'm thrilled with the camera. Coming from a point and shoot, I expected a huge upgrade in resolution and capabilities and I wasn't disappointed. The T4i takes ultra clear photos and is surprisingly easy to use. I was concerned about the learning curve but the owners manual does an extremely good job of explaining the camera's features and which features to use for whatever photo situation you encounter. If you're considering a Canon T4i "how-to" book, I recommend at least reading the Canon owner's manual first to see if you even need anything else. Not to mention the fact that the camera is very intuitive and explains each shooting function as you rotate the mode dial. Also, I actually expected the touch-screen capability to be an added bonus rather than a frequently used feature, but after using the camera, I find myself going to the touch screen more than I expected. The touch screen is very responsive, easily matching any smart phone, and provides a bit more ease of use than a non-touch screen SLR. I've seen some reviews saying that the T4i is not a significant upgrade over the T3i and I can't argue that since I have no T3i experience. However, I will say that just the touch screen alone seems to be worth the extra cost. At some point, I suspect all SLR's will have this feature anyway.
Lens: After reading dozens of reviews about which bundle to choose, I went with the 18-135 lens bundle vs. the 18-55 package. The 18-135mm lens is a newer model Canon lens designed with video recording in mind. It's an STM lens which stands for "stepping motor". This improves on USM (Ultrasonic motor) lens technology by making the lens quieter and more responsive. This is extremely handy when recording video so you don't have lens focusing noise in the audio. Another benefit is that it's an excellent all-purpose lens. This bundle also comes with a 55-250mm IS lens but I haven't used it yet because the 18-135 does pretty much everything I need. I purposely bought this package with the expectation that I will eventually use the telephoto lens but so far, the 18-135 lens is my go-to. However, I should add that the additional 55-250 lens is an Image Stablized mid-level, high quality lens so you should feel comfortable choosing this package. I would say that the only downside to the 18-135mm lens is the significant weight difference over the 18-55. You'll definitely feel it if you use it for extended periods.
Bundle: To be honest, I probably won't use all the additional stuff this camera came with. But at this price, I paid less for the camera and two lenses and all the other stuff than some places were charging just for the camera body and 18-135 lens. So you should look at it from the perspective that you are getting a camera body and two lenses for a great deal, and all the other bundled stuff is free. Anyway, the camera bag is probably the best part of the accessories. There's plenty of pockets, the nylon bag seems tough, and it holds everything in this particular bundle except the tripod (possible pro OR con to the bag depending on your needs - it's pretty big). So now the tripod - I already had one so probably won't use this one much but for being basically free, it's okay. Comes with a nice carrying case and looks semi-professional, but it's a bit on the wobbly side. You'll need to tighten down all the knobs very well before bolting your $1000 SLR to it. And then there's the assortment of other stuff: Vivitar UV lenses (decent), remote control (average quality; range is barely 5 feet), lens cleaning kit, etc. I haven't used most of these other items so it wouldn't be fair to comment. Still, they're basically free, so it's a win-win. Also should mention 32 gig Transcend SD card. Roughly a $20-30 value for free. Again, most of these bundled items are things you'd need anyway and you're getting them for nothing.
Cameta Camera: A+. I was nervous about buying an expensive item through an Amazon storefront even though Cameta has a brick and mortar location in NY. I had heard of Cameta Camera years ago on eBay but didn't know much about them. I did plenty of research and found that they had generally good reviews. I could have gotten the same deal on Cameta's website but opted to go through Amazon for whatever level of added protection it may provide. My experience was excellent. I ordered my camera bundle on a Friday afternoon and received it the following Tuesday (that's New York to Kansas in roughly 3 shipping days). I was thrilled with the delivery time. Also, I received an email the same day I ordered indicating that the bundle had already shipped. Other than that, there was no communication (this is a pro; I don't need anyone calling/emailing asking me to upgrade/add shipping insurance/etc). The entire package was well protected with plenty of air-filled packing material. Shipping and handling: free. And no taxes either. The asking price is what I paid. Overall a very good experience.
I have nothing but good things to say about the Canon T4i and Cameta Camera. If you're shopping for a bundled lens deal, you can't beat this one. Highly recommended.
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