Canon EOS 40D
Holy crap. I just bought a Canon EOS 40D today. Kind of freaked me out to spend that kind of money but it will definitely be a great investment. I basically researched DSLR cameras for about 3 months and here's what I concluded so if ya'll are in the market, you don't have to do the research. You just have to take my word for it.
I first had to have some idea of how much I wanted to spend (just like in The New York Time's "The Hunt" I ended up spending way more than originally intended) more than $600. I looked into buying a used camera which probably would have been okay, but a few people told me you can't really look into the mechanics of a used digital to see if it was in perfect working condition.
Next, the big Canon vs. Nikon debate. I tossed and turned over this, drove the guys at B&H nuts and one guy at Adorama obnoxiously told me to flip a coin. Most said it's all about how each camera feels. Great.. the Nikon and Canon booths were across the store from each other and I couldn't compare them side by side. And from what I remember, they felt pretty much the same. The Nikon guy convinced me Nikon lenses are historically known to be better, but I met more people passionate about Canons. Seemed everywhere I looked, people were rocking the Canons. And B&H closes at 7 during the week which meant I'd haul ass all the way over to 33rd and 9th Avenue only to walk out completely confused and undecided.
Eureka- last week I decided on the Canon. Okay, so I narrowed it down to 3 cameras- the "amateur" Rebel Xti, Canon EOS 30D and Canon EOS 40D. Both the Rebel and 30D were obviously more in my price range but the Rebel's manual features were not completely intuitive, the body not as durable and it was still considered an amateur camera. On the plus side, it's known for being a fantastic camera and came out this year, meaning it's equipped with the latest technology such as automatic sensor cleaning. The 30D has bee touted as a fantastic camera, considered "pro-amateur," and better than the Rebel despite being 2 years old and not having the sensor cleaning. And.. as you can imagine, the 40D has it all. That and my dad believing in it as an investment. No pressure.. So by next week, there will be a serious upgrade in my photos. Hopefully my skillz will be up to par.
At the checkout counter, I of course attempted to charm the sales guy with tales of my search in the hopes of some secret discount. No luck with the discount but he did confirm I made the right decision- that the Nikon camera on par with the 40D would be 90D which doesn't even exist yet (they're only up to 80D)! And final, most important tip-- be sure to have your camera shipped somewhere out of state if convenient. You don't have to pay sales tax and with such an obviously big purchase, that means saving some serious dough.