Hi all, I've been lurking here for a while and am now needing help. I am looking to buy my first dSLR and I'm having a hard time narrowing it down. I used the feature search at dpreview.com but there are several features that aren't listed, nor is the price, so it seems useless for me who doesn't have a starting point. I have a degree in TV broadcast so I have a fundamental knowledge of photography and some experience with my Konica Minolta SLR (At work, don't know the model, but it's a WalMart variety that I got in '98). I love photography and have been doing ok with my P&S Powershot a560, but would really like to take the next step and start taking photos that are worthy of prints to put on my walls. I also have been doing quite a bit of reading here, particularly the tutorial thread, so I think I understand the important features and terminology. I also have an old Pentax from the 70's that my mom gave me (they bought it new), which I've never used. I would if I didn't have to bother with getting the film developed.... I like having a manual aperture ring like a video camera has. I plan on mostly shooting outdoor scenes, local wildlife (birds, dogs, not exotic), outdoor macro, lightning, (i love skies, sunsets, etc...) old buildings. My budget... I'd like to keep my body and first lens under $1k and I don't mind buying used off craigslist. I'm in Houston so our craigslist is pretty busy, lots to choose from. I have a few questions. Is having HDR technology useful if I'm shooting RAW? I'm leaning toward in-body IS to keep lens costs and weight down... is this correct reasoning? Do all dSLR's have remotes available? I like to use a tripod and would like to have the option of having a remote shutter release so as to not create any camera movement. Is this really practical or should I not worry about it? Do camera's have a feature where you can hold the shutter open as long as you want (for lightning)? Or is this not the correct procedure? How important is environment sealing and dust control? I don't plan on going through any dust storms, but might be out in a drizzle... I looked around a lot expecting to find lots of similar "What should I buy" threads but found only a few so I'm wondering if I'm posting this in the right place. Does anyone have any suggestions to help narrow down my search? Cost: $1k including lens. Can shoot large enough for larger prints... 11x14 perhaps? Sorry for the long post, I hope it wasn't too much. For your time, I'll throw in a pic I took with my Minolta several years ago that you can CC if you want. Be gentle.