Every morning, as part of my routine, I check Amazon's "Deal of the Day" to see if it happens to be photographically relevant. Today, after a near-endless parade of DVDs of TV shows, it is. Finally. On offer is a really quite responsive and highly capable 10-megapixel Canon Digital Rebel Xs DSLR with 18-55mm IS lens for $409. [Note: link removed 12/21; sale's over. Today's deal is a DVD of a TV series called "Torchwood," so we're back to normal. —Ed.]
It made me wonder. Is this the cheapest DSLR and lens I've ever seen for sale? I really can't claim to follow such things all that closely. Two landmarks in the history of the emergence of digital photography that I remember vividly were the advent of the Canon D30 [sic], a 3-megapixel camera introduced in the Spring of 2000 for the then-breakthrough price of less than $3,000 (just), and the original Canon Digital Rebel, a 6-megapixel camera announced in the summer of aught-three for less than a thousand dollars, which was equally remarkable. If not a little more so. I saw many very fine pictures come out of that appealing little camera, and I'm sure many people reading this have fond memories of one or the other of those two now-quaint devices. We thought both those prices were wondrous, at the time.
And now look where we are. A quick check doesn't uncover any cheaper DSLR-and-lens combo available just at the moment. And if this isn't the cheapest ever, what was? I'd like to see someone write a history of digital camera prices. I'm not sure I have the stamina myself, but someone who likes numbers and charts would find chewy stuff to feast on, I'm guessin'.