Originally Posted by phozenstone
Sorry if this has been beaten to death...but I'm about to pull the trigger on my first DSLR and was wondering what you guys recommend? My budget is $500-700 only and these two cameras seem to be the best ones within my budget. I'm able to get the Canon T3i with 18-55MM lens for about $650 (eBay grey market) or the Nikon D5100 with 18-55MM lens for $580 (Sears). For all the camera guru's out there, which would you recommend for a beginner (I'm mainly going to use it indoors to take pictures of my baby). I'll also be looking to get a cheap 55-200MM lens to take with me on vacation - I've found a Nikon 2156 lens for the D5100 for about $85 used on CL - good deal?
I went with the T3i and love it. Do yourself a massive favor and don't buy the camera with the kit lens. Get the body only for $579 (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-T3i-Proc...ords=canon+t3i
) and then if you're trying to stay under $700, get the 50mm F/1.8 for another $105 (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-1-8...canon+50mm+1.8
). The downside is you won't have any zoom capability or Image Stabilization, but it will help you learn a lot faster and actually teach you more about photography, IMO. And the bokeh will make for great baby pictures.
That will be an infinitely better set up than the kit gear. When you can afford it then buy the 17-55mm F/2.8 EF-S IS lens. It's pricey, but one of the best lenses you can buy for the crop bodies. I have the 55-200mm F/4.5 for the Canon and it's a pretty good lens, but I love my 17-55. It pretty much never comes off the camera.
If you want, check out my Flickr (link in my signature) and go all the way to the beginning of my photo stream where the Vegas pictures are posted. That was when I first got the Camera with the kit lens and had no idea what I was really doing. As you go through the album you can actually see the quality of my shots getting better as I learned what I was doing and got better quality lenses. I don't even touch the kit 18-55mm any more and I would actually sell it, but I'd get so little for it I don't even know if it's worth the hassle. I'll probably just hold on to it until I sell the whole camera for an upgrade and include it with the camera.