Canon's Image Stabilized version of their 18-55/3.5-5.6 kit lens is now available from stock from a number of vendors (see below). It's Canon's answer to entry level cameras from Sony and Pentax which have image stabilization built into the body. At $199.99 the EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6IS is Canon's lowest cost IS lens to date and offers up to 4 stops of stabilization. The lower cost is the result of a new IS mechanism, which, by all accounts, has not compromised the performance. It would be an excellent choice for those looking for a first lens for their new Canon DSLR and who have a limited budget. A "companion" EF-S 55-250/3.5-5.6 lens has been announced in Europe and according to some Canon representatives I have spoken with, should also be available in the US sometime in the near future.
For those familiar with Canon MTF plots, the data for this lens is shown below:
For those not familiar with such plots, performance looks quite decent.
Currently the price of the non-stabilized 18-55 USM lens is $149.95 and the price of the non-stabilized, non-USM version is $119.95
|Focal Length & Maximum Aperture||18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
|Lens Construction||11 elements in 9 groups|
|Diagonal Angle of View||74° 20' - 27° 50'|
|Focus Adjustment||AF, with manual focus option|
|Closest Focusing Distance||9.8 in./0.25m|
|Max. Diameter x Length||2.7 in. x 3.33 in./68.5mm x 84.5mm|
Here's what Canon has to say about the EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6IS:
"In response to demands of photographers, this standard zoom lens is designed with Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer technology while retaining the compactness and lightness of previous models. Its stabilization allows sharp hand-held shots at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than otherwise possible. It consists of 11 elements in 9 groups and uses an Aspherical lens element to correct aberration for excellent image quality throughout the zoom range and a circular aperture for exquisite rendering of out-of-focus backgrounds. Without a lot of size, weight or cost, this lens expands picture-taking possibilities any time slow shutter speeds are needed."
The Canon EF-S 18-55/3.5-5.6IS is available from stock at Amazon.com for $199.99 with free shipping.