Originally Posted by richpike
Thanks Matt. I looked at the Nikon D3100 and it was very nice, but I just got too good of a deal on the T3i to pass up.
Good advice on the F stop value - that was one of the things that caught my eye on that "nifty fifty" lens - F stop of 1.8 should make it great for shooting indoors without a flash. Most of the telephoto lenses I'm seeing are in the F4 range - does the F stop value make as big of a difference when shooting outdoors (likely during the day with my son in soccer, etc)?
Canon is good stuff, it's funny how people are with Nikon and Canon. It's like the Ford and Chevy debate. Just stick with one and you'll be good.
As for the outdoor stuff, you can never go wrong with faster lenses, the 2.8 and quicker but the 3.5 and slower will be good in daylight situations. For Canon, if you can stomach the cost their "L" lenses are the best. They have that red line around the end of the lens. Pro lenses with the advanced lens coating and fancy types of glass to reduce lens flare, distortion and generally sharper images. Oh, and they are typically much heavier because they have a bunch of glass in them. Basically if you are buying 2.8 gear, you are likely getting their semi to pro lenses.
I have a few lenses that have 15+ pieces of glass and they are damn heavy and tough to travel with so keep that in consideration as well.
Hope you have fun with the camera.