Do you have a good understanding of photography?
I hear the 18-135 is a good lens, it will certainly cover all of your proposed shooting situations other than surfing..
I say pick up a canon 50 f1.8 (nifty fifty) also.. Best bang for the buck!!
I still have a good understanding of photography from some college classes I took 10 years ago, but I've bought a couple of Brian Peterson's books and I've been doing a ton of research. I love photography in general and want to learn to shoot properly using Aperture, ISO, etc (shoot in manual and not auto). I think it can be a waste to have such a nice camera that can produce amazing shots and just keep it in Auto.
I think for surfing I'll definitely need to be in the 200-400 focal length range
The only issue is that the lens Canon is offering with the 60D is not the STM, would I be better off buying the body separately?
If your going to get the 18-135 get the 18-135 STM better by far
That's what I've been reading. They offer the T5i and 70D with the STM lenses but those cameras are not part of the loyalty program yet
As was mentioned above, when you buy the 60D with the 18-135 kit lens, it is not the newer STM version of this lens. From all accounts, the new 18-135 STM is on par with the very fine 15-85 (my walk around/landscape lens) and it does give you more on the telephoto lens but a bit less on the wide angle side.
Bottom line? I would spend the extra money to get the STM lens. You won't regret it.
It's sounding like my best bet might be to buy the body then, and the nifty fifty and then pick up the STM separately. It would be awesome if they offered it with the STM lens because the loyalty price is fantastic!
Thanks for everyone's advice!