Sorry to bug you guys with yet another post about advice on what new camera to buy, but getting good advice on this is one of the main reasons that I joined A.net in the first place after a few years of peeping around the forums.
Anyways, I thought I might ask your opinions on a few specific features rather than just "which camera is better", as I know that there is rarely consensus on that. I'm looking for a basic DSLR, around $800 including lens, but up to $1000. I've been using an old Canon Powershot A70 for a few years and would like to get a bit more serious, as well as to be able to get better quality pictures. The camera that caught my attention is the Olympus E-510, as well as the Canon XTi/EOS 400D, but I'm open to almost any brand/model. What I was wondering is:
1) How important is the number of AF areas?
2) How useful is a 50mm F/1.8 prime? Does anyone know if this lens for $100 from Canon or Nikon is of good quality?
3) For those of you who use the 4/3 lens system, have you found it to have limitations compared to the Canon/Nikon systems?
4) Which is better, in-camera Image Stabilization or In-lens?
5) Is the automatic sensor dust-remover worth going for?
6) In terms of quality and speed, which is better -- CMOS sensors or CCD?
7) Also, is 'purple fringing' due to the lens or the body?
8) For those who have the E-510, what is your opinion on it? Worth getting?
9) I read somewhere that if I were to use a Full-frame lens on a 4/3 system (2x crop factor) the depth of field would be twice as much as if it were used on a full-frame system. ie. f/2 would become f/4. Is this true?
Lastly, is there any point in going for the kit lenses, or should I go for a better quality lens right away?
I think that that just about covers all that I can think of right now, I'm sure that I'll think of more to bug you with later.