Thrifty but quality Canon easy to hike with set up for Casual Birder
I used to buy department store binoculars and thanks to the wisdom of folks here, my wife and I for three years have enjoyed his and her quality bins each in the $300 price range and bought at clearance for $120 each. They aren't $2500 bins, but they have increased our interest in birding and opened our eyes to quality and very happy. The object of the game for me is quality time with my wife out in the woods and Everglades... I just love the hike and the outdoors, new birds to life list, exciting.
Currently own a Canon Rebel xsi with the kit lens. Looking to buy my wife a 27th anniversary present because she now wants to take pictures of beautiful birds and butterflies. She is not technological so will be shooting in automatic mode just about all the time. We tend to hike about 2-3 miles each bird outing so looking for a canon DSLR and one zoom telephoto lens that is not too heavy, bulky, and its pretty much point, zoom, shoot, and leave it on later for family shots. It occurs to me that the high end rebel with a better lens would be a better bet than a 60d or 7d (I want a 7d for my own future hobbyist plans but affording it would probably be more painful than the joy of owning it)
any suggestion of a body and the one lens that we should buy and take out to the forest for three mile walks? We tend to buy refurbished stuff directly from the Canon USA store