I posted this rant on a local forum almost a year ago exactly and just stumbled upon it. I believe it still and will always be true…
“I just want to throw this out there for those who don’t know… It doesn’t matter what brand camera you put in my hands, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony, whatever, I’m going to probably shoot the same photo. The technology that goes into these cameras now is amazing. Its very hard to distinguish one brand as a dominate leader in the DSLR world. I just happen to really like Nikon. From the controls, to the glass, all the way down to the way the camera feels in my hand, Nikon is the brand for me. I honestly could not care if you shoot a D3X or a 1DMKIV, at the end of the day it comes down to the photo. People scoff at my “old and outdated” D200 all the time but guess what? It gets the job done.
My advice to you, go out and shoot. You said something about owning a film SLR before. Welcome to the world of freedom. You can go click off an infinite number of photos and experiment all day now. I highly suggest getting a cheap 50mm. I think the Canon 50 f/1.8 (plastic?) runs about $100. It will be a great lens for most situations and it will force you to work with a fixed focal length. I believe doing so makes anyone a better photgrapher because you have to be creative with your shots at that length, especially in tight places.
Another suggestion is don’t be afraid to throw it into video mode. The T1i shoots great HD video and you can produce some awesome stuff with it.
Always remember, photography is all light. That is all you are doing, capturing light. Think of ways to utilize any light available to maintain or enhance an exposure.
Sorry for the rant but sometimes it just comes out. Just keep shooting (not in auto ).”