sb sb

So are SLR's better than pocket cameras? Of course they are. However, to take advantage of them, you need to be prepared to buy lenses. Most lenses will set you back around $800 at a minimum. Are you prepared for that kind of investment?

On the other hand, pockets are perfect little jack-of-all-trades. They are light and not anywhere near as obvious as an SLR. You'll get better candid shots when people don't realise you are taking their photo. Most professional photographers carry a pocket camera for exactly that reason. The lenses in pockets are also really flexible - they handle pretty much any situation.

I know a lot of people will ignore this advice. After all, bigger and more complicated must be better, right?  Well, until you have to use it or carry it around, I suppose. Trust me, get to know your pocket camera and get ready to be surprised.

Okay then, if like most of us, you've decided it's time to make the shift to an SLR for true quality, then you need to do some planning.  You have to understand that once you buy into a brand, you'll be "hitched."  That happens mostly because of your investment in lenses.  Let me give an example, if I buy a Canon then I buy Canon lenses.  That means that if I want to change to that fantastic new Nikon that I've seen later, then I need to buy all new lenses.  In my experience, that's not a very cost-effective option.  Choose wisely in the first instance!

In terms of brands, I wouldn't pick anything that wasn't a Canon or a Nikon. They are the industry work horses.  Neither is actually really better - it is a matter of personal taste.  

Andy's tips:  
Learn to use your camera first.
Stick with the big brands.  They're tried and tested.