We get asked this question a lot. A lot.
I always reply with the same answer that Sara Anthony Photography told me when I asked her nine years ago:
Canon Rebel Camera Body: Obviously, there are constant upgrades and changes with this camera, and I can’t speak on distinct differences. What I can say is the Rebel is a great DSLR starter camera.
Don’t pay for the “kit lens,” the lens that comes with the camera. Purchase the camera body only, and spend additional money on a quality lens. There are a few budget options I’d recommend for introductory lenses:
a. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8: $125 This lens is referred to as the “nifty fifty,” and is known as being a great starter lens. What’s different between the kit lens and the nifty fifty? The nifty fifty can handle low-light better and has a much shallower depth of field, allowing for better bokeh (the blurry background to help your foreground stand out).
b. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8: $349 I talked about this lens in our What’s in our Bag? post. We still shoot with it occasionally! Because it’s the cheapest lens in my current bag, I took it to our recent trip to Mexico. Although it wasn’t ideal (it’s not multi purpose), it takes a beautiful photo. You can see our Mexico pictures here.
c. Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8: $499 This is a great walkaround lens, a lens that works for many purposes. I sold this lens a few years ago when we upgraded to professional lenses, but I would always recommend it for beginners wanting a bit more!
Questions? Comment below!