Choosing a Budget Canon EOS D-SLR Kit
Having your first Digital SLR camera is quite a blast! This budget kit we'll discuss is for persons who have already decided that they want to go the Canon route.
EOS D-SLR: A Canon Rebel T4i can fit the a basic need with a touch of all the goodies. You’ll have access to all the traditional settings that an SLR can give along with High Definition (HD) video capabilities. It’s an all-rounder kind of camera, but it may not suit someone with large hands. the EOS 60D may be better for a person with larger hands, or even a person with a need for an EOS with something more.
Lens: Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens is a common kit lens for the T2i/T3i. It's basic and a fairly good lens to start with. However, the Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 will give you a bit more range for a couple hundred dollars more. Alternatively, you could stick with the kit lens and purchase a complementary Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens. Another great lens to start out with is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II or the f/1.4 version which is a bit more expensive. Do remember that your D-SLR is crop-sensored, so all focal lengths have to be multiplied by 1.6. Therefore a 50mm lens will translate to an 85mm on your camera. There are a number of other lenses to explore, but your choices will boil down to the type of photography you will be doing more. Take some time to research and test out lenses before investing a couple thousand dollars in them. This is a reason that kit lenses are cool, because you will get a stronger feel for what you want to step up to.
Lens Filter: These screw on to the lens and help to manipulate light entering the lens in some way. Filters can help to reduce flare in your pictures and can even protect the lens. A simple UV filter is good for avoiding flare in your day shots. Each lens has a specific diameter that the filter must match. So, a Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens has a diameter of 58mm, therefore a 58mm UV filter should be used on it.
Battery: Get an extra battery for your camera. Canon LP-E8 is the compatible battery for the T4i. It’s recommended that you purchase the Canon brand instead of off-brand batteries. Be careful too, because there are fakes that are branded with the name Canon. So If for instance you are buying from Amazon, make sure to buy from a postively reviewed and trusted source or from amazon.com as the seller.
Battery Grip: It not only gives you extended use of 2 batteries, but also may give you a comfortable grip especially when taking vertical shots.
Memory Cards: Opt for at least a couple 4GB SDHC cards with at least Class 6. The higher the class, the faster image data will be saved as you capture photos and videos. If you are going to do D-SLR filmmaking, then you may need to get a couple 16GB cards.
Flash Unit: The pop-up flash on your Rebel is very basic because it cannot be shifted from its position, and the intensity of light it emits is limited. Think of getting a Canon flashgun for your EOS which at the very basic is the Canon 270EX II. Others include the Canon 320EX, the 430 EX II and the high end 580 EX II and the new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash. Since you're just starting out and on a budget, consider the first 3. Along with the flash unit, get rechargeable batteries + charger and a diffuser. Diffusers are white plastic boxes that fit onto the flash to simply control the intensity of light that is released from the flash. It helps with exposure issues.
Other accessories: Cleaning kit, camera bag and a tripod.
With these in hand, you should be well off to start shooting. Also you will need software to perform editing and enhancements. Adobe products are good such as Adobe Lightroom, but there are also some free ones that you can work with.