I am a long time, avid admirer of photography who has put off taking it up as a hobby as long as he could. I now am looking to pick it up after I have already had 3 deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa(great opportunities lost). Regardless I don't want to wait another year, I really enjoy shooting sports, my daughter, city scene and mother nature. Really just love a good shot. So my birthday is in August and after getting my wife some Chanel sunglasses and a beautiful locket I have pushed my budget to 500-600$ and with a little pressure maybe a tad more. I know a little about the entry level camera's and thought I needed to push for the Canon Rebel T1i but it may be a bit too much. With all those considerations maybe some of you have some advice that can help me, this weekend I am going to see which meet the comforts of my hands as well.. I believe the two most "affordable" entry level cams are Canon XS and Nikon D40 Thoughts? Thanks.