Taking some photo classes right now for fun. I'm kind of getting into it and figure it might not be a bad idea to pick up an entry-level DLSR to play with. I absolutely LOVE my Panasonic DCM point and shoot with the leica lense. Takes better pics than digi-cams twice its price. Can't express how utterly happy I am with this as a point and shoot.
I'm currently looking at 3 options.
1) Canon EOS Rebel XS (formerly XTi. Basically exactly the same)
- Seems to be a solid camera from everything I can tell. I also hear the Rebel series is one of the best beginner cameras out there.
2) Nikon D3000
- Specs are nearly identical to the Rebel XS. My cousin recent picked one up and I played with it for a good hour or so last weekend. Pretty user friendly, but I wasn't crazy about all the buttons you have to navigate through just to change the white balancing. It was odd. The camera is known for being simple, but I found it overly and unnecessarily complicating to manually adjust features. Feels great though and price is awesome.
3) Panasonic DCM G10
- I guess this is pretty new. CNET does not even have a review for it yet. However, my point and shoot is a Panasonic DCM and as expressed above, I love it. If this DSLR operates like my point and shoot but on a DSLR level, I would be ecstatic. It also has 2 megapixels more than the other two options, has a larger screen (by .5") and a better quality video recorder. It also comes with a Leica-Vario lense, which is supposed to be really good.
Naturally this sounds like the best bet, but I guess Panasonic does not have tons of experience with DSLR's whereas the other two lead the pack. I'm kinda wary about this.
All cameras are around $500.
I'm leaning towards the Panasonic because of how happy I've been with my point and shoot, but the lack of reviews and info on it do not sit well.
Any input/help/experience would be appreciated. Thanks.