xarqi wrote in post #11319756
Stay with what you have until it is the limiting factor, not you.
This is the best advice.
Especially if you plan to take classes - the very least important element of being a good photographer is the camera body you use. The very most important element is knowledge.
You cannot buy any piece of hardware that will give you as much value as taking classes or enrolling in a real college photography course.
For many, that may be impossible due to the schedules - people have jobs they have to go to and can't go to school for a hobby. But for those situations, there are actually better alternatives - like paying to get into a workshop with a top notch professional who knows how to teach. People who teach photography for a living in a classroom are generally teachers who know about photography, but are not highly paid and published photographers. People who do one or two day workshops are often some of the top photographers in the country...and they get paid according to their talent.
A workshop with a great photographer can be more expensive than the equipment - a good workshop (at least those I'm familiar with) will generally run around $500-$600 a day. Many, perhaps most, are two day workshops and may involve travel and hotel accommodations so it's easy to spend as much as $1200-$1500 for "lessons". But what you learn will serve you well for the rest of your life. A new body will likely feel as if it's outdated in a couple of years (if that long). The XSi is a great example. Less than a year and a half ago, the XSi was the top of the line Canon Rebel. In less than 18 months it's been surpassed by the T1i and then the T2i. Do you think that progress will stop now with the T2i (for example) - or for that matter ANY camera will stay at the leading edge of camera technology for any significant amount of time?
This is a big problem with today's digital cameras....everyone wants to chase the technology - a great time for camera companies, but not a great time for photographers (especially non-pros who believe that equipment will somehow make them more skillful and talented - pros know better and some of the best I know use cameras that haven't been made in years). People bought and kept film SLRs for decades..now people think in terms of months.
A truly accomplished photographer can and always will get better results with an XTi than a "wannabe" even with years of learning by trial and error can get with the most expensive equipment.
I've said this same thing in countless posts - people get obsessed with "image quality"....it's really pretty much a non factor except for "pixel peepers" - (it blows my mind when I read that people buy 1 series cameras and never even print - just look at their images on computer screens with 72 dots per inch).
What defines a professional from a hobbyist is a professional gets paid. People never pay for "image quality", they only pay for "quality images".
As for using video..I don't know your personal situation - but other than people with small children, I doubt that the novelty of having video lasts long. I have a camera with (non HD) video. I don't think I have ever saved a single moment of video. Recording a child's first steps is great = but completely boring to anyone but the child's parents.
Trying to make a "movie" - something that can hold interest is virtually impossible. I worked in the motion picture and TV industries all my adult life.
There's a reason that great photographers can work alone and become known as creative artists with a minimum of support (unnamed and uncredited assistants)... but the credits at the end of every theatrical film list the hundreds of people it takes to collaborate to produce a movie (and the credits are never 100% complete).
It is not an art-form that can be accomplished by individuals just because they have a piece of equipment that can capture motion and sound. (and you can buy an HD video camera for less than $100 these days -with smooth zooms, better ergonomics for "filming", etc.).
Best of luck,