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I had some limited experience of manual SLRs to some sucess, and decided it was time to move on to something a bit better, and after a bit Canon was the one I went for. Canon was my manufacturer of choice as the main opinion seemed to be that the bodies themselves are good, as are the lenses, with no weak link. Other manufacturers bodies, or lenses seemed to lose out somewhere. I was restricted by my budget somewhat, so chose a lower spec camera, and bought a Sigma 70-210 lens, and the whole outfit has served me very well over the last 9 months. A friend of mine borrowed my camera and within a week of givving it back had bought one himself, and is enjoying life through the viewfinder. It will do for now, as either of us are experts, or good amateurs, but we are learning - fast, and this is a great bit of kit to help us along those first few steps.