I've always been interested in photography. My interest has spiked because my friend is becoming a Photographer and she's real good... One day when she's famous I wouldn't mind being her assistant! The ability to point a little device at something fleeting and capture it is impressive. It opens up so many different ways to look at things. I've only dabbled with my inexpensive ($80) Kodak point & shoot and some photo-editing software. But I received a nice camera case (that's worth more than my current camera) which I aspire to fill with a super nice DSLR... that's another reason I'm inspired to learn more. This is where I will Document what I learn so you can learn it too. :)
So what is a DSLR? It's an acronym for Digital Single Lens Reflex. It's not really one of those names that are self-explanatory. So basically the things that make a DSLR different from your typical point and shoot is that when you look through the view finder or screen, you are seeing exactly what the lens sees. You can change the lens on a digital SLR, which gives you so many options. They have large image sensors that give them the ability to produce high-quality photos. They have little to no lag time, so they're great for action shots that might otherwise end up blurry with a point and shoot. The versatility of DSLRs give you so many options, you probably won't feel limited by anything but your budget.
Are you sold on getting a DSLR? I am. However, what you gain in versatility, you lose in finances. :(
So what do you need when you get a DSLR? Many times, DSLRs are just "bodies". You can't go to work naked... and neither can your DSLR...
The main articles of clothing your DSLR needs are a lens and a memory card. Many DSLRs have built in flashes, but if yours doesn't and your planning on doing some photography in low light, you may want to invest in a nice flash too. Once you have your camera dressed, you can accessorize it with things like tripods, extra batteries/larger battery packs, filters, and remotes. To protect you investment, your DSLR needs a home, like a camera case. Oh yeah, if you're planning on doing stuff with your pictures once you take them, you will also need a computer and a printer. So yeah, that's a lot of stuff, and it adds up. I may have even missed some things because I'm just learning! .
In this paragraph, I'm going the emphasize the importance of the lens. Lenses can really make or break your camera's ability to get the type of shots you want. They are big contributors to how your DSLR captures color, contrast, and clarity. And oh yeah, they're expensive. There are many different styles of photography... Macro, Wildlife, Fashion, Portraiture, Landscapes, Architecture, Indoor, Outdoor, Wedding, Photojournalism, etc etc etc. You'll want to get a lens that matches the type of pictures you want to capture. If you want to do multiple types of photography, you'll probably need multiple lenses.