I am a fan of Canon SLR cameras. I like their controls and the fact they can use virtually any manufacturer’s lenses including Nikon. Some people like Nikon’s controls better and feel more comfortable with them. The two companies compete so heavily there are practically head-to-head matches in all equipment. I’ll focus on Canon where I have more experience and will only reference Nikon equivalents occasionally.
My recommendation for anyone interested in buying a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera for the first time is to go with the Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D) body for around $560. If you are interested in Nikon, the equivalent camera body is the D3000. The camera body is basically a small computer and will become obsolete roughly as fast. Spend your money on timeless lens technology, not rapidly evolving electronic technology.
Nate: This article is adapted from a couple blog posts and an article on photography Steve wrote a while back. Here are some tips on developing your Photographer's Eye along with simple things you can do to take better photographs. Remember, it's not the camera that takes great photos, it's the person behind the lens!
When you meet him in person, Steve Evans is a little like Clark Kent or Peter Parker. Intelligent. Mild-mannered. Unassuming. A reporter. You probably wouldn't notice him in a crowd. But, spend any amount of time with him and the facade quickly unravels.
Steve is a cultural researcher, communications specialist, and world-class photographer. He has posted over 2,500 photos to Flickr, each one better than the last. He travels extensively and (as of April, 2018) is currently based out of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa.