Canon EF-S 18-55mm f305-5.6 IS Lens
Welcome to the Canon kit lens version 2, or is it 3? However one names it this is an improved version of the original Canon EF-S 18-55mm that was introduced with the original Canon Rebel. It's still the same size, it's still made of plastic,and it still takes the same 58mm filter size and lens shade. So, what's improved.
Well, it's got new optics for one, and you don't need to do a bunch of test shots to show it. One obvious example is the much enlarged front element, the better to help with barrel distortion and other bad things that lurk in many an inexpensive zoom. This makes the new version the first all new optical design because the original kit lens was an adaptation of Canon's 22-55mm APS kit lens for the IX Lite APS film camera. Finally, various lens testers have verified that this lens has much improved contrast, resolution and distortion results than the original.
The other reason is the inclusion of IS (for Internal Stabilization)with this lens. IS was first introduced in Canon's 70-300 zoom telephoto, and has since slowly expanded into other lenses. This is the "economy" version as compared to what you would get if you bought an L series Canon, but economy or not, it greatly improves the low light capabilities of any Canon Digital Rebel or APS sensor camera. However, make sure your batteries are good, which shouldn't be a problem if you have a newer Rebel or D20 to 50 series camera. However, if you are still using Canon BP-511 battery, best to up grade to the higher capacity BP-511a, because IS does require more power from the camera.
Other items, well, I'd like USM as well as IS - Canon has a USM version of the old model. Also, I'd like a fixed front element to make using a polarizing filter much easier, with a tulip style lens hood. Since a polarizer is about the only filter worth owning, why not make all Canon lenses with non-turning front elements.
So much for the grips, however, I'm looking forward to the pictures I'll get with it. For less than a Canon 35 f2 prime, it's a heck of a buy. So get one and enjoy.