This will be much shorter than the previous post. "Which camera brand should I buy and which is the best?" I shoot Nikon but that does not indicate I believe Nikon is the only brand to buy. In the past I shot with Sony, Canon, & Minolta.
- I would stick with Canon or Nikon but that does not mean Olympus, Pentax, or Sony doesn't make great cameras. Why would I stick with Canon or Nikon? The majority of dSLR's sold are either Nikon or Canon. There is a tremendous amount of resources and information surrounding both manufacturers. Hence, my reason to stick with the major two. But my next point might change your mind.
- Buy a brand your friends are using. Why? So you can swap stories, tips, gear, etc. I switched to Nikon two years ago because a buddy had Nikon and it has been very easy to discuss tips and swap lenses when needed.
- Keep in mind that when you buy a camera body you are buying into the manufacturer's system. When you purchase a new lens the mount must match the camera manufacturer. If you buy a lens for a Nikon camera, it works on the Nikon and you cannot swap it with a friend that has a Canon. My Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is a Nikon mount lens. It does not mount on a Sony or Olympus dSLR.
- Finally, for today's post. Buy a camera body that suits your shooting need. If you plan on shooting in low light and you have the money then consider the Nikon d300, d700, or d3. However, you are now getting into much more money and in the case of the d700 or d3 you will be spending thousands and not $500 for the body. The Nikon d700 sells for over $2500 for only the body.
Have fun and enjoy capturing the beauty of life!