Calling all photographers... HELP!

Over the past weekend, my curiously strong 1-yr-old broke our only camera! Crisis, right? I know! In the back of my mind, I've been pining for a nice digital SLR that will serve all of my photography needs and I guess there's no time like the present. The only problem is.. I have no idea where to begin looking. I don't know much about photography and cameras so I'm desperately in need of some sage advice from all you talented photographers. I need something for all purpose use, but something that I can grow into since I'm interested in learning more about photography in the future.

Here are my basic wants in a digital SLR:
User-friendly automatic functions
Perfect for photographing nice macro shots of my jewelry
Perfect for taking everyday family photos
Good enough for portraits
Something that I can grow into (has more than just the auto features)
Compact/lightweight enough for daily wanderings
Nothing super duper expensive (maybe $600-$700 max)

If you have any recommendations for or against any camera/brand in particular, I'd love to hear it. Any info is good info so please hold up any arrows you might have in any direction. Thank you!


J. Leigh Designz said...

HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE Canon Rebel!!!! I have been saving for 2 years for it and I am almost there!!! LOL! I have done so much research on that camera I should be paid by Canon LOL. The Nikon D40 is similar but I am a canon girl.always.forever. LOL

J. Leigh Designz said...

oh and if it makes you feel any better. My 2 year old then 1 year old threw away my camera and we didn't figure out what he was telling us until AFTER trash day!

J. Leigh Designz said...


GetReadySetGO said...

i shoot with a CANON REBEL XTI and i love love LOVE it.
i also would recommend that you buy it online at CALUMETPHOTO
in fact- i just paused in this post to research and here is the camera i think you should buy- it's even cheaper than you thought and you will love it FOREVER.

Leila Marvel said...

Nikon D-80, love it love it. Got it as a work christmas gift one year. Best ever.

eNVe said...

Thank you for all your suggestions so far! If you have time, would you care to share why you love these cameras you have?

Jennifer - If I was Canon, I would pay you. :) I know how much work goes into researching a product thoroughly! I can't believe your son threw your camera in the trash! I need to keep an eye on mine then.. he's just starting to learn to put his trash in the trash cans.. gotta make sure nothing else gets in there!

Rachel - THANK YOU for that link! I can't believe how much cheaper it is! What's the catch with calumetphoto? anything?

Leila - I've also heard good things about the Nikon and will look into that as well. Thank you!

ArtMind said...

We got a Sony DSLR-A-100 and are very satisfied however we need to buy a macro lens soon as it's quite hard to shoot macro's with it I think. But then, perhaps I haven't found how to do it yet! LOL :)

lillyella, uniquely you said...

go with the canon digital rebel xsi or xti - good price, good features - all you will need - you will be happy with it! I can recommend one step up if you are looking for something more.
Ive always loved and shot nikon but am going canon now. Im currently deciding between the 40D or 50D for myself soon.
good luck!

Anna Dykema said...

i also recommend the canon rebel xti. i LOVE mine. and i use my macro setting A LOT. here's what this camera can do with just the stock lens:


good luck to you!

Sarah (fray) said...

Going with everyone else and recommending the Canon Rebel XTI. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! Makes an amateur like me feel like a pro :)

eNVe said...

Thank you SO MUCH, everyone. Your input is extremely helpful. My head is spinning reading about all the features and trying to compare everything... I hate this part of buying. :P But it helps that there seems to be an overwhelming majority (so far) who prefer the canon rebel. I'll keep you updated...