I posted this in the photography cult but I'm not sure how many people actually visit it so I'm posting it here too.
I've always been into photo and for a few years now I've had an olympus stylus camera that I've taken literally thousands of pictures on. I want to upgrade to a dslr for better photos and for more control over what I want the camera to do in terms of lighting, focusing and other such things. I also took a photo class last year using film cameras so I'm somewhat familiar with the way the focus and f stop work on cameras that are more than just turn on/ click button.
I would use it for skiing(sequences, landscapes, action), hopefully If I get a dslr I'll bring it out more because I usually don't feel like bringing out the camera while skiing. For surfing shots too (waves/ the ocean, not necessarily close ups w/ a telephoto lens type shots.) I also like to shoot landscapes and scenery and nature a lot. Even with all those things I still want to be able to have a versatile camera for whatever I happen to want a shot of.
I've been researching quite a lot for this and I've been liking the Canon systems. the digital rebel xti looks intriguing to me, or maybe the 30D. at this point I'm leaning towards the rebel because it's smaller, has a bigger screen, and it's more megapixels among other things. (although most would argue the megapixels aren't the biggest thing so it doesn't matter much between 8 and 10) I hear the 30D's quality is very similar to the rebel.
I want to spend sub 1000 on the camera and lense, at least for now. I need to put a lot more research into lenses, I'm still unsure if it would be wise to invest in IT lenses or not. I do know I want zoom. I also know most slrs don't have live view which is what I'm used to on my point and shoot with no viewfinder. I also would like autfocus and manual focus, if possible on the same lenses. I like the idea of being able to move the lense manually to focus and allowing it to do it for me the rest of the time.
Sorry for the long post, I tried to divide it up into sections for easier reading and I also didn't want to come in here only saying I want a dslr because it's such a broad question and from researching around threads (on ns and tgr) most of the time those threads just end up with post more info on what you want. That being said I'll post more info on what I want if need be. Thanks for reading/helping.