I finally broke down and bought what Jason calls my "professional" camera. I've been longing over a digital SLR camera and after lots of input from others (thank you Tara!) and lots of research, I finally bought the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi from Wolf Camera.
I highly suggest that if you don't know much about these type of cameras to go to a place where that is what the specialize in, instead of the Big Box retailers that pay some kid minimum wage to sit behind a counter and repeat a script. I got a lot of help from my local Wolf Camera store AND with my purchase, I got 18 FREE photography courses (yeah!) which I'm VERY excited about.
Anyhow, my camera has approximately 10 megapixels which is almost double what an average point-and-shoot camera has. What this means, in my terms, that when I take a picture with my new camera, it is much more crisp, clean and detailed, especially when I blow up the image, than the grainy, pixelated look I get with my point-and-shoot. I love my new Canon camera (sigh)!
Here's a picture I took the first day I got my camera of my beloved Red Bud tree in my backyard. I love this tree and since it was sprouting out the most beautiful, purplish-pink buds, I had to make it one of my first pictures. I like the picture, it captures what I wanted.
And here's the picture when I did some photo-editing. I cleaned up the digital noise (graininess), sharpened it a bit, saturated the color and then messed with the hue to get this out-there combination of caribbean blue and magenta. This image speaks to me, in fact, I'm blowing this picture up to be about a 4'x4' image to go on my yellow-green walls in my office. I'll post a picture of it once it's done.
Anyhow, I can't wait to share photos that I've taken. And in case you were in the dark...I love my camera!