Hello everyone. I apologize if this is a bit long winded but I think you'll understand where I'm coming from if you know my background.
Just a little introduction about myself. I started becoming more serious about photography about 3-4 years ago when I got a compact digital camera. I particularly enjoyed photographing nature, and was quite proud with how I progressed. Then my dad gave me a second hand film SLR, and started enjoying photography even more.
However, I'd say that although I have the artistic eye and knows how to take a good photo, I lack the technical knowledge. In other words, I take whatever I think is good, without making much technical effort (fiddling with the camera settings to get different results). I see something good, I snap away be it using my digicam, film SLR or even mobile cam. As you can see in my deviantArt page: http://ashknight.deviantart.com/gallery
Problem is, I have been losing my passion lately. I would want to develop as a photographer more but the lack of equipment stops me. As much as I love my film SLR (the only SLR cam I have), the constant trip to the photo center downtown to get my film rolls scanned (I am clueless with regards to darkrooms ) and the amount of money it takes is already taking a toll on me. Also, since I could not view the pictures right away, I feel lazy to actually take time to experiment with my SLR.
So I decided that it would be best to get a dSLR in order to rekindle my passion for photography. And that's where the dilemma comes in:
1) Should I keep my Film SLR or sell it? (I have a Canon EOS 650D) and has a 50mm 1:2.25 lens as well as a Canon 18-80mm Ultrasonic 1:3.5-5.6 lens.
*** A friend suggested that I just keep it since I won't be getting much from the cam anyway. How about the lens? Unless I get a Canon camera, then I will just be wasting the 18-80mm lens, don't you think?
2) I know that Canon is not better than Nikon and vice versa. But for all of you who may have used both, why should I go for a Canon or why should I go for a Nikon?
3) I have a limited budget, most likely $1,500 max. What dSLR models would you recommend?
I mainly take landscape and nature shots but once I have my dSLR, I would like to start experimenting with human subject and probably everything else.
I would really appreciate your replies! Your guidance would mean a lot. Thank you! Any additional tips and advice that's not related to my question will still be appreciated!