I am traveling to Singapore to participate in a 2 week engineering course, then plan to stay in the region for another 2 weeks after that, maybe hitting Indonesia, China, and Japan for a few days each, dont quite have it planned out that much yet. I have been shooting an advanced P&S for a few years, but it did not survive a rainy skiing trip. I know, probably not the best idea in the first place, but I figured why have the camera if I am not going to use it? So, I am in the market for a new camera, and since I am also interested in macro photography, I would like to progress to a solid dSLR system. I have been doing some research and have tried some in the stores. Based on the current lens lineup, I am leaning towards Canon for no other reason than their M-PE 65. However, I have also been lead to believe that the same results could be had with a regular macro 1:1 lens and an extension tube. Any experience with this lens and how it compares to a pieced together solution such as tubes? Note: I have no intention of purchasing this lens now as I cannot fit it into the budget with my travel and college expenses, just seemed like as good a reason as any to pick a company. Since I will often be using this camera on ski trips and while traveling, video would be nice so as to eliminate a device to carry, but I could probably live without it. On my old P&S I found that most of my pictures were taken on either end of the focal length range (25-130eqiv) or around 60-70equiv. While this does not make lens selection much easier, it is an important piece of information. As such, I am considering that I may want a full spectrum lens (18-200) and a higher quality prime (maybe 50 1.4?). However, I am concerned about the aperture of the 18-200 as most of my previous shooting was done around f2-3 not 3.5-5.6. However, I also could not really shoot above ISO 200 and it was a smaller sensor, so I may be able to achieve similar results with a higher ISO and the smaller aperture. Any thoughts? On this trip, I think I will be doing a lot of landscape and urban shooting, but I could be wrong. I deffintely do not want to have to carry more than 2 lenses in the SE Asian heat. Given that I ruined my last camera in the rain, weather sealing obviously would be near the top of my list, but from what I gather not only does it force you into the mid level bodies, but in order to receive the full benefit, you need to use one of the few weather sealed lenses, most of which are out of my budget. Does a weather sealed body buy me any protection if my lens is not? Some options I have been considering: Canon 50D or T2i for body Canon 18-200mm + Canon 50 1.4 Sigma 70-200 2.8, Canon 18-135 IS 16-32gb card I would like to keep the entire purchase under $2000. I am perfectly fine with buying used and I have a few months to scout out deals if need be. A macro lens will be my next purchase, probably Sigma 150mm 2.8 or 180 3.5. I am not planning on bringing a tripod on this trip. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.