Ive been lurking these forums and other sites for the past month trying to get a grip on the wealth of information that comes with delving into digital slr photography. First and for most I would like to thank the community for the wealth of information provided to me thus far. A little background info I am in my mid 20s, a painter/graphics designer/student, I work mostly with local bands doing album art, be it paint, digital or a combination of the two, and occasionally assist on cleaning up, and adding the flare or look the band wants in their images mostly photo shoot stuff or from live shows done with point and shoots from their friends. I would like to be more involved in the photography aspect of this giving me more creative control of the image to reach desired outcomes. My problem is the amount of information I have gathered at this point has got me more flustered than I was a month ago. Tons of respect to all of you, I never imagined there was so much to this. On to the part you hear several times a week and hope I really dont get flamed over but I am looking for advice on a basic setup to start. I will mostly be shooting in clubs, bars and outside venues at night, and portrait type stuff. Ive been pretty focused on the four following cameras and am looking at a starting budget of around $1500 to $2000. Canon EOS T2i Canon EOS 7D Nikon D90 Nikon D300s The obvious bonus to starting with the lower entry level cameras the T2i and the D90 is it would allow me to purchase a few extra lenses, as well as being easier to operate for a beginner, while the 7D and D300s would set me back a bit before I would be able to expand my set. I do find myself very attracted to the D300s but am cautious as from what I have read there is no AUTO mode which may make my learning curve a bit steeper. It would seem it might be easier to start with one of the others and slowly work my way into manual settings. I also find the added built quality to the 7D and D300s very appealing as I may find myself in concert type situations, and outside shooting I live in a very rainy part of the country. Are the D300s and the 7D possibly to advance a starting point for someone who knows very little about photography? It is late and I am very tired, Im sure Ive left a lot of things out =( so I hope this makes as much sense as possible if there is any other information you need that would better help you to guide me just let me know, and thank you for taking the time to read and contribute.