I get asked a lot about what kind of camera I use, so I thought I would give you all a little camera and photography lesson. Really little, then I'll direct you to some people who know way more.
When I started getting serious about photography in college, my uncle - the super photographer - bought me a Nikon N90s.
I love that man. And I loved that camera! I still have it in fact. Nikons in general are all really great. You can't go wrong with a Nikon, but they tend to be a little more expensive than Canons.
Now I shoot with a Canon Rebel Xsi.
I love this camera. Seriously, I consider it one of the best investments I have made in the last year. When we were buying, Randal asked a guy at Best Buy what the drawbacks were to having a Canon over a Nikon and the guy told him white balance. For example:
Well, Randal didn't know what that meant and didn't really care. White balance is where the white point is set. An accurate white balance gets your colors truer to life. But it is something that can easily be adjusted and fixed in photo editing software.
You get more features for your dollar with a Canon. And Canons are really great cameras. Pretty much, if you're a serious photographer, you're either a Canon photographer or a Nikon photographer. Personally, I think I prefer Nikon, but I really love my Canon. So, perhaps it's a draw for me.
Through reading what others say about the way expensive cameras versus the less expensive ones (all SLRs)... For a more expensive camera, you get a faster camera. It will shoot faster, focus faster, etc. But, you can buy extra battery packs for that kind of a thing too. If you want to spend some money though, spend it on a great lens or more than one! Or a speed light - that's good investment too.
As for my point and shoot, I use a Sony Cybershot.
It's an ok camera, but Sony's customer service is awesome! And I use the video option a lot.
The greatest tool in my aresenal is Photoshop though.
If you want to get serious about making great photos, you should invest in photo editing software. I am told there are lot of good free programs out there, and I've tried Picnik on flickr - it's pretty good, but truthfully Photoshop is the very best out there - no contest. (*knock, knock* Hear that Adobe? I'm advertising for you, if you feel like sending me a couple of copies to keep or giveaway, I wouldn't turn you down! The same goes for you guys at Canon, Nikon, & Sony!!!)
Let me show you want I mean with Photoshop though:
Check out my blogroll tab up at the top, I have a whole bunch of Photography blogs that I follow and get great tips and ideas from. Another really great resource is The Pioneer Woman. She has a whole Photography section and lot's of free actions.
As for a real video camera, we use a Panasonic PV-GS-400. Randal is the one who researched and knows why that one is so awesome.
Remember this though, just because you buy an awesome camera and awesome software doesn't automatically make you an awesome photographer! Practice, practice, practice (and framing, subject, etc.) are the things that will make you an awesome photographer.