Hey guys, I've been struggling with my equipment and have decided that I should start looking for a new camera. I currently have a 4MP Konica Minolta DiMage Z2 w/ 10x optical zoom. I've posted a bunch of "pre-screens" on here, but keep getting the same response: Bad quality. I've talked to several professionals about my technique and settings, and they've all said that my subject matter, framing, shutter speeds and other settings are spot on. All that's left in the link is the camera. I love the thing, but I want to move to the next level.
Now, I know that the only way to go is with an SLR camera. Keep in mind that I am a college student and also a novice, so I don't exactly need a Cannon EOS 5D (although it would be nice). I was looking at the Cannon Digital Rebel XT (8.0MP) and the XTi. They're both around $700-900 and I could get them with a nice zoom lens for about $1k (they come with a 18-55mm already). I would like to keep the total purchases under or around $1,000.
What else should I look at (I'm not stuck on Cannon, but that's all my dad uses), and what should I look for when buying one? Would it be wise to look for a used camera? Also, what zoom lens should I get with what specs? I would need something that I don't have to lug around and that is easy to switch out.
Thanks in advance and I look forward to your reply.