Hi all...just introduced myself in the intro section and wanted to get a few questions in. I currently have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel...bought in 2003...one of the firsts, I believe? Only 6.3 mp. Before that I used the Canon EOS 35mm, so it was a smooth transition of hardware. *Lenses....I currently am using a Quantaray 17-200mm 1:3.5 - 6.3. I purchased it a year ago at a great price, I had always wanted a wide angle, and this seemed to have it all...wide-zoom, although at the time I was clueless about fast/slow lenses, seems to me now that I've read up a bit, this isn't the fastest lens in the world. I do have trouble getting a crisp image (although I did discover this is due in part to camera shake), so this weekend I studied this forum and have been playing more with my aperture, ISO, steadiness...has made a difference. HOWEVER, it left me with these questions... -Are Quantarays good lenses? I got it because of a good price, and had a few with my Canon 35mm that gave me no problem. -Is a prime lens or shorter range lens going to give me a sharper image? I.E, is 50mm on a 50mm prime sharper than 50mm on a 18-200mm, or it doesn't matter? -Any recommendations with filters? I had a standard UV filter, but bought a polarizing filter(is that really necessary now with post processing?) for a trip to Zion NP....worked great. Used the same polarizing filter at Yosemite last week and my photos were so-so. Would a lens hood be better for photos and lens protection? -Camera Shake...I discovered that this may be a lot of my sharpness issues I had at Yosemite. However, I have been thinking of upgrading my camera to the EOS Rebel T1i (15mp) or the Canon 50D. My big con with the 50D is that it is HEAVIER...this may lead to more camera shake I think. OR...can I also be having problems with the Quantaray lens? I am not sure if it has the "image stabilization" that the Canon lenses have. I have some big decisions to make...I have a trip planned to Israel in Feb. 2010 (7 months away...yikes!!) and I want to brush up as much as I can for that once in a lifetime trip, AND have the equipment I need. Soooo...with about $1000 to spend...should I go with... Canon Rebel T1i OR 50D Faster lenses, or Canon, more brand name, lenses? Also looking at getting the Speedlite flash...I HATE the little flash on the camera, and try to avoid using it at all costs, which messes up sharpness and white balance on my indoor photographs. Oh, and I really enjoy organizing my photos on iPhoto, but the editing abilities seem so so. It'll probably do for now but thinking about Lightroom. Aperture seems like more of the same with organization for heavy amounts (not needed) and CS4 just seems like too much money for my needs at this point. Any advice or suggestions really appreciated!!! So looking forward to learning so much more on here!!