Hello everyone, my first post here so thank you for having me and here goes. Like many people, I've relied on my smartphone for photos ever since they became a viable option quit a few years ago now. In recent months I've started to tire of missing opportunities because of slow start up times or poor focus in low light conditions etc, especially since the birth of our second child less than a month ago and I've been starting to think that its time to take photography a bit more seriously to preserve memories in a less hap hazard and amateur way. I'm no stranger to SLR's and I've owned them since 1999 when I had a Minolta Dynax (can't remember the model now) but my camera usage with SLR's was always aimed almost exclusively at my hobby of ship photography from the days when I used to live in England (I've been in Canada since 2009). In about 2006/07 I finally retired the Minolta and upgraded to its digital re-incarnation, namely the Sony Alpha A100 and I still own this camera now, though in recent years its had precious little use as my general photography skills outside of maritime subjects are entirely un-honed and non-existent to be blatantly honest and I fall in to the ranks of people who feel that they take more pleasing shots with a smartphone or point and shoot (I had a cracking little Fujifilm compact for many years) and found it disappointing to lug the A100 about along with the little old Fujifilm and in the vast majority of cases be much more satisfied with the end product of the Fuji, unless of course a zoom was required. Ofcourse, I'm ready to accept that much, if not all of the reason I'm not satisfied with my A100 photos is my own lack of knowledge and skill at using the manual settings of the camera and to that end I've been spending much of my parental leave at home obsessing with the A100, reading all I can, watching endless videos and it would be true to say that my photography is improving but I'm having to spend a huge amount of time and effort just to get one or two very good shots with it, when the click of a finger on a smart phone excels the other 95% of the time, at least aesthetically, if not technically. Now, I'm going to persevere with the A100 for as long as it takes as I know that's what I have to do to get the photos that I want. The reason I'm wanting to carry on with a "proper" camera is that my main motivation for doing so is capturing my children, which as most of us know, never stay still for more than a second and inside shots are often in low light so I do need something capable of the job. I'm wondering whether opinion on here will be to keep the A100 and acquire better lenses for it, or if I'd really benefit from an upgrade to a different camera given that the A100 must be completely obsolete by today's standards. I'm inclined to think a fresh start with a newer camera will be the way forward but I do understand that its not a magic wand to suddenly taking better photos and that will only come with practice and skill, no matter the camera. I'm not particularly invested lens wise in my A100, as I only have the 18-70 kit lens it came with and also an older Minolta zoom lens that is 70(or there abouts)-300mm that I've owned since buying the original Minolta Dynax back in 99 and it was second hand then. I'm just as open to going mirrorless as a replacement DSLR and while getting decent shots of my kids has been the motivation to getting back in to photography again, I'm hoping to open up to new things and make something of a hobby out of it in the long term, which is why I'm leaning to a interchangable lens system rather than a decent point and shoot or bridge. I'd like in time to get a small collection of lenses for different subjects or at least have the option of doing so. I've spent the last two weeks checking a lot of reviews and browsing all the usual sites with regards a new camera and I'd be lying if I claimed not to be completely overwhelmed by the choice available, even just within a single brand so narrowing down my choice hasn't been easy. The most helpful item of information will be budget I'm sure. I don't have one set in stone as such but if we said in the area of $1000 Canadian/$800 US / £600 GBP as a rough guide for a body+lens or indeed suggestions if you think I should just invest in new glass for the old Sony instead, though I wouldn't want to invest quite so much. I'm not against used in principal if its from a reputable source, otherwise new would give me more peace of mind, especially if buying online with no face to face contact with the seller etc. The only other thing I can really add is that while I'm certainly a beginner, I'd probably like something slightly above the absolute base line model and more to the point, I'd like a much of the controls and settings of the camera to be manually available on the turn dials on the body of the camera, rather than having to mess about going in and out of options menus. So to sum up. Currently have an old Sony A100 DSLR. If I choose to upgrade to another camera, decent low light capabilities and fast auto focus are my most important considerations to start with. The A100 often fails to get crisp shots of my toddler when she's running about. How much of that is the camera, and how much are my short comings as a photographer, I don't know. Budget is about $1000 Canadian, perhaps with a couple of hundred dollars leeway for the right machine. Many thanks for taking the time to read this if you've got this far. I could have probably condensed it somewhat but I wanted to give as much information as possible.