Hey dude long time!!
I got divorced, it was bitter and I lost almost everything including all my bikes. Now life is great and I am getting into my swing of things again. Getting all kinda goodies I've been putting off for a while.
No I am not stuck on nikon.
I won't get into the Nikon/Canon debate, that's like Ford vs Chevy. You might try holding one of each in your hand (at the price range you're looking at
- $2300 Canon is nothing like a $1000 Canon). When I first got into photography, grabbing each and going over the menu systems quickly told me which to buy.
Image quality, they both are amazing if you put the money into the lenses.
As for what lenses, you need to decide what kind of budget your willing to spend on your first lens, and what kind of shooting you're doing.
Lenses are like golf clubs (or if you'd like to use weapons for your analogy), in skilled hands almost anything will work, but you really need to pick the right tool for the job
IMHO, anyone who's looking to go beyond just Point and Shoot skill on AUTO, should buy themselves a 50mm f/1.4
(That's like the SV650 of lenses). Build your knowledge and chops with that lens, then figure out from there if you want to go wider for outdoor photography, faster for indoor/event photography, or longer for reach out and touch someone distance. Keep in mind, the 50mm f/1.4 is a pro-level lens you will keep with you forever. The manual focus one I used was from the mid 60's and I only sold it because I wanted the speed of an auto focus.
If you don't really feel like *learning* to use the camera, and you're planing on using the camera as more of a high end point and shoot, then get yourself one lens that has a lot of range, like the Nikon 18-200
or it's 3rd party equivalents
Keep in mind, the difference between one of these super zooms that do everything, and a pro level lens are typically twofold. #1 they don't let in as much light as a pro level lens, so you need LOTS of light to get your shots (think of a scope with wide objective vs one with a smaller objective). And #2, as you know, when you try to get one piece of gear to do *everything*, it gives up *something*.
The pro level equivalent, sort of the 50mm mentioned above meets the super zoom below, would be something like the Nikon 24-70
. That would be the one lens that could do 80% of what you need, and at a pro-quality level. The other 20% would be specialized stuff like a Pro-level Super Zoom for track days, or a Macro lens for Super-close-ups of bugs or whatever.
Sorry, that's a lot of info to throw at you at once. And I'm sure any one of the Canon guys could put together a lens basics just as well. So I'd say go get your hands on the models you're looking at getting, and work from there. You never know, you just might like the Canon.
EDIT to Add: I don't know anything about doing video on a D-SLR. All my cameras are straight up still shots only. Canon could kick all sorts of ass on video and I wouldn't be the wiser (added after reading the post above)