This is my first post here and the reason being I need some advice on getting my first DSLR.
I've always been using my faithful Canon Powershot but I realize I can no longer ignore the vast difference in pic quality between photos taken by a DSLR and a compact.
So far I've been looking at Canon EOS 500D, Nikon D5000 and Panasonic GF1. Basically I think it's more of a dilemma between the standard-sized Canon/Nikon versus the more compact Panasonic.
My question is, would the GF1 lose out in picture quality because of its size? (Whatever micro four thirds technology etc is Greek to me). I'm really attracted to the size of GF1, especially after having a hard time convincing myself to be prepared to lug along a DSLR for my travels.
The other concern is of course the brand. Afterall it's a Panasonic versus big brothers Canon and Nikon.
The other question is, why do people looking at buying a new camera rush to buy the latest model? I mean, is there really such a huge difference in say a Canon 450 and 500? (Besides stuff like the HD video feature, and generally difference in megapixels etc.). The reason I'm asking is because due to budget constraint (low S$1K), if the difference is not too great, I would consider getting an older model body but a better lens. A friend suggests getting a 17-200mm lens, which would be good for travelling. What do you guys think?