Canadian Camera Consumer Comparison
March 1, 2010 10:21 AM   Subscribe

What is a good price (In Canadian lucre) for a Canon EOS Rebel XSi 12.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens?

Retailer Best Buy is currently offering this model (Including a $200 'value' bundle) for $780 CDN. According to the flyer, $160 is knocked off if this $360 CDN telephoto lens is purchased with the camera. While I am in no way skilled or knowledgeable enough to make use of the lens, I would like to learn how to use it eventually. I am comfortable paying for it now even if I don't touch it for a year, if it makes economic sense to do so.

Best Buy's Canadian sister retail chain, FutureShop, is currently offering the same model for $650 CDN. However, there is no mention of a 'value' bundle or cam & lens discount.

I guess ultimately the question is, does this $650 - $780 CDN price range represent a good deal for this model of camera? Is the 'value' bundle actually a value? Would I be better off putting off the purchase of the telephoto lens, or looking somewhere else (Eg. Is the BB price so inflated that I could realize greater savings by purchasing the lens at another retailer, rather than going for the $160 cam & lens discount?) And if you own or are familiar with this model, how well does it work for you? I am a total n00b to photography, and while I have enough money to spend on a good-decent camera, I don't have enough cash to invest on a series of 'learner' cameras as I work my way up, so to speak; I'd prefer to buy a camera that's sort of out of my league now and learn how to become proficient on it.

Much thanks for your advice and/or help!
posted by Alvy Ampersand to Shopping (8 answers total)
I have this camera, and I bought it with the 18-55 kit lens. When I bought it, just over a year ago, it was my first DSLR. I was a complete beginner, but I very quickly fell in love with the camera and what it can do. I scoured the threads here on AskMe and bought a "nifty fifty" and that is the lens that lives on my camera most of the time.

I am by no means an expert yet, but that kit lens is pretty crappy and disappoints me more often than not. So if I were to do it over again, I would skip the kit lens and just start with the nifty fifty. Using a prime also forces you to think more about composition, you have to use your feet rather than just zooming in to fill the frame.

I don't speak Canadian lucre, I speak cash dollars American, so I can't opine as to the prices you are looking at, but I would price what just the body + a nifty fifty would cost, and strongly suggest that instead.

I think the Xsi is a great camera for beginners. The body does what you need it to do, and the interface is pretty easy to learn. As you get more proficient, spend your money on better lenses and that's where you will see the difference. Take photos every day if you can, experiment, and you will quickly learn what you like and how things work together.

posted by ambrosia at 10:45 AM on March 1, 2010

Considering you can get the camera kit for $600 at Vistek, I'd say its not such a great deal. I'd shop around some more and, try places like (especially their ebay store because prices there are better for the most part).
posted by squeak at 11:32 AM on March 1, 2010

Your new best friend is PhotoPrice.

If there is a Canadian retailer on that list that has a better price than Henry's, but you want to buy local, Henry's will match it.

I am also an XSi and kit lens owner. I only use the kit when I don't have enough room to frame my shot with my 50mm f/1.4 USM. The value kit is essentially a camera bag and a second battery. The battery is handy, and moreso if you want to shoot outdoors in the winter, but the bag is kid of meh. The batteries go on sale from time to time for only $60, so I wouldn't bother with the kit. Get a bag you really like, and add the battery later if you find you need it.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to MeMail me!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:52 AM on March 1, 2010

Check out or, they could have decent deals as well.
posted by jjb at 11:54 AM on March 1, 2010

Sorry a correction: That kit does not include the second battery, out here they do. Not worth $200, period.

Also, that 55-250 is the same quality as the kit lens, that is to say, not that great.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:54 AM on March 1, 2010

Oh bloody hell you are in Winnipeg anyhow! If you want a chance to play with an XSi, just let me know. We can go shooting together!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:58 AM on March 1, 2010

Thanks for the replies, everyone! I'm leaning towards the XSi body with either the 1.4 or 1.8 50 lens; maybe we can set up some sort of meetup/photo-taking thing once I get sorted out, WinnipegDragon!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:09 AM on March 2, 2010

For sure. Check out Winnipeg Photo Community as well, the best local forums that I am aware of.

The guy who runs it is a full time freelancer and he sets up workshops and meetings on a regular basis. The last one was on Studio lighting, and he brought in professional models and several thousand dollars worth of lighting to play with.

For reference (pardon the self link) here are the shots I got with my XSi and 50mm f/1.4 USM. Everything on my blog was shot with the XSi with a combination of the 50mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.8 (when I owned it), the kits lens, and my much-loved EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM Macro.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 3:39 PM on March 2, 2010

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