I am very seriously thinking of getting a Rebel SL1 for my girlfriend, Ali. She is a great photographer in her own right - a very 'arty' person: a lot of people comment on her photos. Ali also paints, sketches, make sculptures, etc AND on top of that she has a great singing voice - writes and records music.
We are in a committed relationship, and while we're not (yet) engaged, I do hope & expect we will get married sometime soon. Ok, bit of a long background (I hear you thinking "where is this going with all of that?") So the only camera that Ali has at the moment is her smart phone (I think it's a Samsung - does pretty decent photos - but obviously nothing like a dedicated camera, and not the creativity of a DSLR).
Ali has used my 7D and while not used to DSLRs yet - she really enjoyed playing with it - and using a few of my different lenses (eg Canon 15-85mm, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 70-300mm L). Ali commented on how much better she could focus with my camera (it was faster and didn't hesitate / shift like her smart phone did for macros). Ali and I are the same height, and she has about the same size hands as me. I know she will find smaller / lighter camera more convenient (she carries a reasonably large leather sling bag with her always).
Therefore the Canon SL1 with the new 18-55mm IS STM lens, remains really compact. (I have noted from photozone.de that this new lens has great image quality - IQ). I will probably wait some time till the price for both the SL1 and new 18-55mm IS STM lens drops a bit - and look at it in person at a store before I buy it. (I think having a compact combination is quite important for Ali, so it can fit into her bag).
So I'm toying up with the idea of whether to get the 18-55mm IS STM OR the 18-135mm IS STM lens (which also has really good IQ). The main disadvantage of the 18-135mm is that it's physically bigger / longer... but of course the extra reach is handy. I have the 18-55mm II (non IS) version, so maybe I will get the 18-135mm IS STM - because if / when Ali needs a compact lens, the old 18-55mm II (non IS, non STM) lens can do. Because even that lens, stopped down, has decent IQ.
Anyway, I think Canon has released quite a nifty little functional DSLR camera with the SL1, and I look forward to reading reviews, and testing it out in a store sometime soon.
Hmmmm... decisions, decisions. Well, time will tell.