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My memory must be failing, because I'd swear it's been at least a year since I ran a camera deal. Turns out it was back in June. In fact, it was this very camera -- but the price was higher.
So I'll start now as I did then, by admitting I'm not really a camera guy. I mean, I like cameras, but I don't have the knack for taking good photos. That can't be my fault, though -- I'm sure it's just because I've never had the right tools. (Ahem.)
Starting with, naturally, a good camera. Sure, my phone does passable work, as I'm sure yours does. But certain situations -- starting with anything that requires an optical-zoom lens -- demand a digital-SLR.
But those are expensive, right? Not today: Canon has the refurbished EOS Rebel T6 18-55mm dSLR kit for $279.64 shipped when you apply promo code TREATPLEASE at checkout. The last time I shared this deal, it was $344. Meanwhile, the camera lists for $550 and would cost you $450 most other places.
Granted, those are prices for a new one. This is refurbished, which might raise a red flag if the seller was anyone but Canon. Thankfully, it's Canon, and here's their policy on refurbs: "Products that are refurbished must pass a comprehensive quality assurance inspection before final packaging and shipment. Rigorous function and cosmetic inspections are performed by trained Canon technicians so that each refurbished product meets operational specifications and strict cosmetic standards that we have established."
In other words: good as new. Just as important, the camera comes with a one-year warranty. I'd say your refurb-risk level here is pretty close to zero.
But does it take good pictures?
With that out of the way, let's focus (sorry) on the camera itself. There's some difference of opinion when it comes to the T6 (also known as the 1300D), which has been on the market for about a year. CNET's Lori Grunin rated it 6.8 (out of 10), knocking its fairly minimal feature set and somewhat slow performance -- while also praising its photo and video quality.
Over at Amazon, however, more than 250 buyers collectively rated it 4.7 stars out of 5. And that's the same average score from nearly 200 Best Buy customers. This is not to say Lori's review is somehow inaccurate, merely that the average dSLR buyer might have different priorities and expectations than a professional reviewer. And for those buyers, the T6 rocks.
The camera comes with an 18-55mm lens, which can be swapped for any number of other lenses should you so desire -- but the included one gets the job done for everyday needs.
With it you can also shoot 1080p video, and with a lot more shooting options than you get from most phones.
Bonus deal: Calling all Marvel fans! If you somehow missed "Logan" in theaters, or you've been itching to add it to your library, don't miss this: For a limited time, Fandango has "Logan" (HD) for $5.99 plus tax when you apply promo code CHILL20 at checkout. It's priced at $15 pretty much everywhere else. Incidentally, that code will net you 20 percent off any other movie purchase as well, up to four of them. That means you can also score "Wonder Woman" for $7.99.
This is for the digital version, of course, which you can stream or download depending on what device you're using. It should also appear in your, assuming you've linked yours to Vudu and your Fandango account to UltraViolet. That said, I've done both, and it's not appearing in my Movies Anywhere library -- even though other Fandango/UV movies are. Maybe it's a studio thing?
I did catch "Logan" in theaters, and I have to say it rocked. Grim, yes. Disturbing, yes. But definitely something unique in the Marvel universe of movies, and a must-see for any Wolverine fan. ("Wonder Woman," on the other hand: meh. It was OK, just not something I feel the need to own.)