Are you ready for something more serious? I have been doing photography on and off for many years now and started with the Canon 10D, to the 30D to the 60D.
Of course there is a newer model 60Da, but if you notice that I don’t upgrade every model, maybe every other model or two. I am very satisfied. When I got the 60D I felt complete. 18 megapixel camera I can do wall size prints if I wanted, along with the video clippings, and the quality of the image are just outstanding. I never buy a DSLR with the lens or a kit, I buy body only. Then choose the lens that I want. I am a portrait photographer and in love with the Canon 28-135 Image Stabilizer (IS) lens, it fits all my needs. Yes, these babies are not cheap but so worth the money you won’t ever want to go back. As I love my G-11 it is tough not to bring my DSLR with me for its amazing speed and quality. If you can’t quite afford the 60D and still want great quality and speed, the Canon Rebel T4i
Can be the right camera for you too, to grow with learn to love and still have exceptional quality. The price comparison is so small since the newer models are out, once you are over the heap, it is worth that extra savings for a better camera. I have owned Sigma and Tamron lenses in the past when I had my 10D and my film SLR cameras; they are a copy of Canon’s products. They are very do-able and less money, with wider aperture, or more focal length with good quality. Sometimes the features are better for the money but as I said, I am a die-hard fan of Canon and I believe sticking with the same product they are sure to go hand in hand. The off brand lenses also are bigger (wider) and heavier to carry around. It would be the bomb to have a great focal length at 2.8 for the price of this nice Sigma 18-200 (shown above) But of course these companies can’t give to much or they wouldn’t be able to sell the variety that they do!
I also use the Canon 550ex flash. This flash will do just about anything I will need, it will tilt, rotate and more. It is a main unit or slave. I LOVE this flash!
You really don’t need one of these but it sure makes nice soft portraits to tone the flash down but I have a Gary Fong light sphere. A light diffuser for portraits that softens the light, less harsh shadows or blown out faces. I have used index cards for the same effect or even tissue, the light diffuser is handy to have by by no means nessessary.
Don’t forget your memory cards and extra batteries to go with your gear. One thing about memory cards, for these cameras that have video you will need SDHC, the higher the class it is the faster it will read and write, I don’t like spending a lot on memory cards but I don’t want the bottom of the barrel. Amazon has the best deal I have ever found for memory cards class 4 will be the lowest but the Extreme 16 GB is the perfect card to make room for larger files such as raw images or video. 16 GB may be a bit much if you don’t do either, but SanDisk or Transcend are great brands and reliable cards. DVD’s to back up your images. As I always have two back up methods, that I will discuss soon.