I am looking into finally getting a slr camera..any suggestions on what to get. I mainly take photos of nature and wildlife. I signed up for a professional photography class and need to really think about a new camera. Right now I have a canon power shot sx30 is, which is a great camera. thanks for any info you can give me..
Snce you're already part of the Canon family, let me suggest a camera that is considered a "Bridge" camera. This is a camera and Nikon and others sell cameras like this, that has an APS-C size sensor, which may not make any sense to you yet. It's a step below the full size sensors in the cameras costing $4-7,000 each for just the body. The camera I am suggesting is the Rebel-t4. This camera and it's older versions, T3 are great cameras and should fulfill your needs for years to come. The next investment will be lenses.
Read about this camera, which sells at Costco and Sam's, for under $900. If your budget can go beyond the limit I just mentioned, then let me know or email me and I can help with the next level of camera.
A warning: if in the long run, you wish to rise to the TOP level of photography, including very high quality images, beware of buying lenses that are not full frame lenses. These are often called "digital" lenses, and sometimes the impression is given that they are "better" than other lenses. Such lenses will NOT work if you upgrade to a full frame top of the line camera. You'll probably wish you had paid more for full frame lenses. Be very careful about this. Partial frame "digital" lenses are cheaper. but if you upgrade to a bigger/better camera with a bigger/better sensor, your lens investment will be wasted.
Better to start off with one full sensor multipurpose zoom, in my opinion, and add special lenses (full frame!) as you can afford them. Lenses FAR outlive most bodies, particularly in the digital age, where sensor quality in particular keeps improving. For example, you will probably buy a camera in about the 12 to 16 megapixel range. But Nikon offers a couple of cameras that are somewhere near 40mp. (model 600, and some variants.) Canon has dropped well behind, for about a year, with no announced comparable sensor.
But many people like canon lenses better.
Be very thoughtful about your decision. The lenses you buy will commit you to that line of camera, generally for at least 10 to 20 years! If I were starting out with DSLRs right now, I might choose Nikon as the more affordable lenses with the more capable sensor/body. However, it's a seesaw "race", and you can expect the major contenders to take the leads alternately. Unfortunately (from my point of view) nikon recently has held the lead a little too long in the realm of camera body technology.
Your current budget is a little immaterial. Just be aware that you might benefit if you pay a little more for a full frame lens, even if you scrimp on the body a bit. A body tends to get seriously better in bang for the buck in 3 to 5 years. The lenses last longer, if well taken care of, and upgrading a better lens with a better body is almost never a problem in the same line (nikon or canon, particularly)
Amy brings up a good point. If you have a 100 mm lens and it's a normal lens, not one designed for an APS-C sensor, when you look through it, it will give you the results of a 160mm lens, a 400mm lens will become a 640mm lens, which will help with wildlife and nature shots.
There is a 1.6 factor that results in using normal lenses on a APS-C lens and of course, at the other end, it "taketh away", meaning a 24mm wide angle lens will become a 38mm lens and not very wide at all.
So, if you choose an APS-C camera, I would suggest a few normal lenses for the wildlife and a lens designed for an APS-C sensor for your wide angle images, something like a 12-16mm lens.
I can't speak to the technical aspects like Rich and the others, but I have a Canon rebel T2i, which I love. My suggestion is to buy a good body, then invest in a decent lens. I have the "kit lens" - that is the lens that came with the body, and once I bought a pricier macro lens, I can really see the difference. There is really a visible difference in quality from the kit lens and the pricier separate lens.
One thing the T2i does that annoys me a little, it overexposes on automatic. I always use program mode, and adjust the exposure as needed, otherwise my skies and lighter portions are burned out.
All the above is great advice, and so many people don't seek advice before making such an investment. Often people end up with something inadequate when they try to up things a notch or two.
I would like to add one thing in addition to what the others have said. that is decidde what camera manufacturer offers a complete system on which you can build as you earn!
That wouldd be Canon or Nikon. Either makes great lenses and provide excellent choices to the consumer.
Drink in what has been offered by those willing to share their experience as they can save you many heartaches and dollars!
One thing about glass - Try to hold off on buying a lens until you can afford f/2.8 Fixed Aperture rather than being too quick to pruchase a Shift Aperture of F/4-5.6.
I think it's better if you do NOT buy a partial sensor lens, in the long run. I just suggest that you buy an extreme wide angle lens instead of a normal wide angle lens. A 14mm lens, or a zoom that goes in that range is probably what you will want for a wide angle lens.
If you buy any APS-C lens, it will not be completely usable if you upgrade to a full frame sensor (and you probably will, in the long run.) any shots taken with the APS-C sensor lens on a full frame sensor camera will tend to be seriously vignetted.
One pet peeve: It's not entirely true that a 100mm lens acts like a 160 mm lens with a partial lens sensor. Yes, that is the angle of view equivalent you get, but the pixels you get with a smaller sensor are exactly the same as the ones you get with a larger sensor, but cropped. So it's not giving you a longer lens, it's giving you a cropped view with correspondingly fewer pixels that simulates a longer lens. You don't get a closer view. IE, a bird shot on a 400 mm lens with will have the same number of pixels (and resolution) at the same distance if you shoot him with a full frame sensor camera or a partial frame sensor.
Not quite Gregory. I agree with most of your logic BUT if you have the same MP camera then you will in fact have a cropped image simulating the longer lens but you will have a higher pixel count at the same crop.
What I mean is this, say you have a 16MP full frame sensor and a 16MP crop sensor and you use a 100mm macro. You can in fact crop the full frame sensor to give you the same image but it will be fewer pixels because of the crop. And since I used the macro in my example, you will actually get better that a 1:1 macro using the 100f2.8USM macro if you shoot on a crop sensor. (Again, it is cropped, but has more pixels if they started out the same.)
Now, is it better to have fewer but larger pixels? That is a different arguement and for that matter, if you are using a 5D MKIII vs a crop 7D then your final resolution in pixel count is muchcloser as the full sensor started out with more.
Greg, since Christine's budget is around $1000, a full frame is pretty much ruled out. I started out with APS-C and had no issues selling my EF-S lenses when I upgraded. The wide angle you recommended wouldn't be too beneficial for nature/wildlife unless shooting landscapes. A good macro and zoom would be more usable, imho...
Of course it is ruled out, FOR NOW. A budget conscious person should work hard to make choices that minimize long term costs as well. When I bought my first DSLR camera, I bought only one lens, a 100mm macro lens for photographing hummingbirds. It was good for other macro work, and for distant landscapes, and I knew I could eventually get software to stitch together composites, so from the beginning I shot series of panoramic sequences to simulate a wider angle lens. It was years before I could easily stitch those together, but it did happen. Actually, before that happened, I bought a 24-70mm zoom, which is a good general purpose lens on a partial sensor camera or a full sensor camera. I never bought a "digital" aps-c lens because i knew it would cost me extra for a replacement full sensor lens in the long run. In the short run, on this budget, most people would choose 1 aps-c body and 1 lens. I'm serious that she will save money in the long run if she forks over a little extra money for a full sensor lens, rather than an aps-c lens. You always take a financial hit when selling used lens. A better alternative would be to start off with a good used full frame lens, to save the money.
I'm thinking a new rebel with a used lens would get her a full frame lens on that budget. Or a 50mm lens only, for example. Or a used or a 3rd party zoom. If she's on a tight budget, perhaps the best thing is to buy a used camera body and a used lens. I have a Canon D60 (2003 model, 5 megapixels), and a Canon 10D also 5 megapixels. I would sell her for a very good price. Adorama sells a 10D used for about $100, so I'd offer mine for $70, or my D60 for $50. I would throw in a very blurry 300mm lens, useless to me, for free. When you get a good lens, it could be used as a boat anchor, a paperweight, or to throw at an yowling alley cat at night, in lieu of a boot. Adorama sells a refurbished full frame 24-70mm lens for $885. http://www.adorama.com/CA24105AFUR.html I'll point out that I took what may remain my best hummingbird photo with the 5mp D60, though recent photos are significantly higher resolution. But the 5mp of my D60 hummingbird photo will print reasonably well at 16x20 even though its a bit less than a 1/2 frame crop.
Of course, most decent canon lenses run $1000 or more, but there are used lenses, and quality 2nd party lenses.
I'm not saying this to try to sell my body. I have been planning to give them to my 5 yr old grandson in a year or two. He's been using his mother's PnS quite a bit. His his hands are small, so I might have to wait longer, so I don't care much if I sell one of my old bodies now. I've been planning to keep them to use when I'm canoeing. But there's still the lens to worry about, so I'll probably use my good camera anyway in such situations, and just waterproof carefully. In practical terms, I'll probably give away my bodies to some starving artist who's broke and need to photograph their art. (A 50mm lens can be very cheap!)
When I first started shooting, in 1970, I shot a nikormat rangefinder 35mm film camera with a nikon 50mm f1.4 lens. I got extremely good using that one lens about 5 years.
Here's a perfectly decent rebel, with a not so decent lens for only $500. I'm thinking that she ought to be able to upgrade this package to a full sensor lens instead and save money, in the long run. http://www.adorama.com/ICAT3K.html
Greg makes good points regarding the consideration for useed lenses. You can get top quality used images from BHPhotovideo.com by selecting their Used Equipment section.
One note I would like to add is that I buy only lenses that can be used on FX bodies. They work well on my DX system, but If I ever get rich, and if I upgrade to the Nikon D 600 (New) FX body, my lenses will work there also. Of course an FX sensor is superior to Dx, but you must realize that many of us are working on a limited budget.
the key here is to purchase what you can afford and work within the camera's limits.
Thanks for backing me up, harry. I'll strengthen my argument by pointing out that at any one time, except maybe when just starting out with just one lens, your glass will usually be worth more than your bodies. Buying lenses you will have to upgrade later just doesn't make sense, from that consideration, in my opinion. Yeah, Bhphotovideo.com and adorama.com are the two companies whose reputation I trust. I trust them enough that I would consider buying a used lens or body from them, if that's what I needed. But I would probably check out local sellers on craig's list or newspaper, and perhaps wolf camera and their affiliates, since they're going out of business right now. In the age of digital, bring a laptop when buying used equipment and shoot test photos. Anybody who doesn't want you to do this is essentially telling you that they can't be trusted. Look at the test image on the spot. Be sure to take your own appropriate memory card and reader, too, so you have a card.
Yupp, I prefer to buy glass that will also work on a full frame sensor body as I will eventually go back to one. I do make one exception though and that is I will get the 10-22 if I get the crop sensor because you just canít come close to that with glass that will fit a 5D. Yes, the 14mm is somewhat close but you are talking about a $2200 lens; even used they are outrageous and it still only gets you 22mm equivalent.
(Edit, if I had $2200 I would be buying a 5DMkII and a 17-40L in the first place.)
Christine's total budget is $1000 and she is up grading from a P&S camera. With that budget, she can get a new Rebel T4 EOS 650 and in a kit, 2 lenses and still have money left over for a much needed tripod!
Or she can buy a used body and an expensive FX lens and go over budget.
Christine can have a nice camera outfit, some good lenses, not the best, but more than adequate and at some point sell her kit and upgrade to a full frame sensor and glass, around $5000-$10,000. But this is a good place to start and a good system to learn from.
And I haven't used a 50mm lens for 20 years or more, no reason to. Today's zoom lenses are just too good,
Other than an extraordinary circumstance and the lack of inventory and that's the last lens in your bag, then I agree. A 50mm is indeed better than "no lens". But what we are trying to do is suggest a camera purchase, which will include the body and 1 or 2 lenses AND a tripod, which I can't emphasize enough for anyone just starting to use a DSLR and keep the budget at $1000.
I can't imagine you putting together a list of must have lenses and a 50mm would be one of those 3-4 lenses, am I wrong?
That's all I'm saying, UNLESS you already have a 50mm, then it shouldn't be on your list, until you've shot enough images and you realize, that, that is the way most of your images are captured, in the 50mm-ish perpective.
I was a commercial photographer for almost 30 years and I never used a 50mm lens. My first lens that I bought was indeed a 50mm, 1.4 Konica lens, because then, that was the thought, start with a 50 and see what else you can afford or need. I bought that lens in the 70's and it was a very sharp lens, for it's time. But today, kit lenses are better than most lenses of that era. Off brand lens manufacturers today are making better lens than the Nikon and Canon lenses of those days, just better stuff.
I have the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and consider it a must have. At $129, it outperforms any zoom lens, even the 24-70mm 2.8 at $1800. You may not use it in every situation, but in the situations where it is appropriate, it kicks butt! (Medium distance landscapes and multiple image panoramas, for instance) If you want a pro-quality lens on a beginner budget, this is the lens.
Interesting discussion, which appears to have gone toward talking more about lenses above the currently stated budget of Christine. Full frame and super telephotos and primes are out of her budget at this time.
Christine: For a budget of $1000.00 you will want to look for a camera that fits your needs at this time. Do you want a camera that creates both stills and video, or just stills? If you want a camera that only shoots stills those can be purchased used. I agree that the money is better spent on glass (lenses). To capture landscape and nature you may want to look at a 24-70 mm. Wildlife will require a larger lens (70-200 or 300mm and larger). Given your budget right now you may be able to buy a used 70-200 Canon f4 lens for around $500.00, or a 70-300 4/5.6 mm for around $450.00 (new). The best advice I can give you is either wait and have more money to buy the camera and two lenses, or buy the APS-C and one lens now. The tripod and other accesories can be bought over several months.
I agree with you and have said here many times, a prime lens will outperform a zoom lens. Just that if the budget is $1000 and that usually means a body and 1-2 lenses, then as a start, I wouldn't suggest spending money on a 50mm. I would rather get a sturdy tripod and a kit and still be under the budget.
I disagree with you on the tripod. Here is a person, new to the DSLR system and she will be surprised how "heavy" the camera is, along with the lens and will not be producing good images with camera shake thrown into the equation.
Good Job! I'd shop around a bit and may get better prices at Sam's/Costco. I've just read the reviews about the new Rebel/T4/EOS 650 and it sounds pretty good. I'll look up the Nikon, which I think I saw at my Sam's.
This is similar to the kit I started with almost 4yrs ago. Although the D5100 didn't exist then, mine was the D60 (same price range). And I didn't know about Dolica tripods then either, so I bought a piece of crap for roughly the same price. Anyway, four years and two camera bodies later, I'm still using the 50mm prime.............
FWIW, I like the 7D but not for twice the price as the 50D. I HATE the 60D as the construction is not as good as the 50D and more importantly I would brake that flippy LCD thing in a week. Thought about going back to a used original 5D but I HATED not having a self cleaning sensor and the hours I spent removing dust spots in most and the ISO is better in the 50D. The rebels don't have the spiny wheel on the back I have come to love so they are out and newer 5Ds are out of my price range.
I said I would, but our lenses are incompatible. (I'm Nikon, you're Canon...) What's the sense in marrying someone if you can't borrow their lenses? LOL
And, I agree with you, your kit is better, but that's only because I know what I know now. You wouldn't have been able to convince me to buy used four years ago. I wanted new. And 330 for glass will only get you one lens. And I assumed the OP wanted more range than you can get with one lens. But, if it were me, I'd probably settle for the 18-55 kit lens and save for a better tele, like the 70-300. Good glass will set you back more than $1000, and that's the total budget for the whole kit........
You should check out the Vivitar/Promaster/Cosina (it was sold under various brand names) 100mm macro. Plastic construction, weird autofocus motor, but the optical quality will blow you away. And you can find them on eBay for under $100.
I'll kick back in and say that if you go used, or settle for just a 50 for a while, you can get tripod, flash, and body, and a cable release. You can stitch together wider angles, add the good/cheap short tele/macro that loree suggested. I really like the way this thread went, and how it got there! There are some excellent suggestions here. The cable release is important for highest quality photos, to reduce vibration in your exposures.
Douglas: That's $569 lens that's obsolete when she buys a full fame sensor. Sure, she can sell the lens, but it's not in high demand, and I'm sure sale is slow and resale value is low. It's a good range of zoom. Buying it used would make it cheaper, and she would take less of a hit on resale. And maybe make room for a flash or a cheap alternate lens, like a 50mm prime. Better yet, buy a used or quality 3rd party full frame lens that won't have to be upgraded later, and costs about the same.
Another thing I've been told by pros--any zoom that goes more than 3X from the widest to the longest will suffer in quality. (e.g. if 18 is wide, then 54 would be optimal quality for long, or if 55 is the wide end, then more than 165 long would start to degrade) It sounds nice to have all that range in one lens, but optically, it's just not possible to do it and maintain reasonable quality. I have tried the Nikon 18-105mm lens and must say it is the absolute worst quality lens I've ever used.
You all have me second guessing my last camera upgrade.. I went from a Nikon D-40 to a Nikon D-90.. So, are you saying I can use a full frame lens on my D-90? What is the reason? Just to have the full frame should I upgrade to a full frame body? OR, are the photos nicer with a full frame lens on a regular body as I have?
If your plan is to shoot with intent (preplanned, deliberate, general subject known in advance, I would suggest that initially you consider an inexpensive 50mm, and a short to medium telephoto, making sure that one of your first tow lens is a macro. You can stitch 50mm photos together to make wide angle for landscapes in many situations. Prime lenses are sharper. If you start out with a good inexpensive 50, a tripod and a flash, you can come in way under your budget, and be well on the way for buying a second lens. Shooting with only one lens was a good exercise for me. It got me away from equipment, and toward just looking/seeing.
If you want a walkaround, shoot almost anything, get a 24-70 zoom. Like loree said, if your zoom covers much more range than that, you'll probably have a soft lens that performs poorly at all distances.
Nothing wrong with the D90. Generally speaking, the larger the sensor the better the image quality. (Assuming the same generation of camera and assuming the same number of pixels.) But that doesn't mean the crop sensors aren't fine for most applications.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the D90 and DX v. FX glass for you will make NO difference in image quality assuming the lens quality is = in the first place. Now, what Gregory is saying is IF you upgrade to an FX sensor camera that your DX glass won't work. (Actually though, on Nikons it will but will give you a cropped image.) So, he is suggesting buying glass that will work on ALL the cameras in the lineup so you don't have to buy new glass when you upgrade.
Not all pixels are created equally. A 15mp camera that has an APS-C sized sensor will produce the same number of pixels, but they will be smaller than the 15mp produced by a full frame sensor. And that generally means the larger pixels will produce a much better image.
As far as the lenses, the APS-C sensor cameras, which I believe is what you camera is has a sensor smaller than a full size sensor. So another way to look at this, your full frame lens is designed to cover a full frame sensor, the size of a film negative or slide film. Your APS-C lens is designed to cover a smaller sensor. So the effect of using a full frame lens on your APS-C camera will be the lens will only have part of the image on the sensor and the top and sides of the image will be off the sensor, or wasted.
The good news is that your full frame lens will now appear to be longer, by a factor of 1.6! So a 200mm lens will now produce an image that looks like it was taken with a 320mm lens. And the same is true if you have a wide angle lens, a 24mm lens will look like a 38mm lens, not wide at all.
So to answer your other question about upgrading to a full frame sensor, sure if the budget is there, but it means selling all your APS-C lenses. Otherwise, just keep shooting with the 90, until you see something about the camera that seems to be limiting you and then move up.
I just bought it for using when I have to walk a long distance. Like you, I have a big tripod that weighs a lot and is difficult to carry long distances. The one above folds to 15" and weighs less than 3 lbs. I know it won't be as sturdy as my big Manfrotto, but I tend to leave the big one behind when hiking, so the small one is definitely better than no tripod at all!
Oh, and the ball head is removable, so if it turns out I don't like the one it came with, I can put my other one on it.
It is light and actually the only Monopod I like. The special boot is what makes the difference. A little pricy though - $149.00. With the right technique it works most of the time, but for waterfalls I would rather use the tripod.
Depending on what you have to sell, you might want to sell it on eBay instead. Most of these online companies will give you about 1/3 of the market value or a bit more on a trade. You can do better if you go through the effort on eBay.
If you've never sold on eBay, you can go to a listing of equipment like yours and the same condition and then look for "completed listings" on the left side and see what they actually sold for and then compare. I've sold LOTS of camera gear there, if you need help,
Although I have seen many wonderful prints from both Nikon and Cannon my personal preference is by far Nikon. It may have something to do with the fact its the first quality SLR I ever owned but now I have had many and have never been disapointed by their service or products. They have a wide range of SLR cameras in diferent price ranges and diferent levels of profession. From beginer to highly professional. I use a D7000, it is a little more than the middle of the road price wise and I think once I get used to it probably bottom to mid range professional. I am very pleased with the prints it captures and the ease of use thus far. Nikon carries a wide range of lenses also. The optics are very good and usually a bit cheeper than the equivelant Cannon lenses. I hope I have helped you in your quest. Have a wonderful time with the new camera and learning to use it. Dwayne
Great thread! I read through most of this last week, but will have to review again as there is a lot to absorb.
I am considering the Rebel T3i kit, but recently someone told me they thought that lenses that come in the kits are inferior and I wonder if that is true? I am wanting to get a new camera, but working with a very limited budget....most of which is in the form of a gift certificate to the Canon online store.
I looked at their "reconditioned" cameras because they say they are really new ones that were overstocks at various retailers. Currently there are not any reconditioned kits on the site and the camera bodies are quite expensive all alone when you compare to getting the T3i kit which comes with a 18-55 and a 55-250 lens, case, and a few other things I believe.
So...wondering about the lens/kit question and any suggestions as to which direction to go with say a $500 gift certificate and putting in a bit more cash.
Kit lenses are very good for what they are, because they are made in huge numbers so economies of scale make the production process cheap. At the middle of their zoom range and around an aperture of f8 they are just about as good as anything you could buy. With wide apertures and at the extremes of the zoom they show their weaknesses.
There is no doubt that a $100 EF-S 18-55mm kit lens is inferior to a $2,299 Canon 24-70 f2.8L II. The cheap lens has 90% to 95% of the image quality of the expensive one, it is the extra five or 10% that professionals are willing to pay an extra $2,000 for.
For starting out, the kit is very good value and the quality should keep you happy for a year or two (maybe with the odd disappointment). If you find later on that you need more than your kit lenses can provide then you can act accordingly. At least you will know which focal lengths and apertures suit you best, so you could use that to make an informed choice if you ever decide to splash out on really good glass.
To give you an idea of kit lens quality, I shot this eight years ago on a Canon 300D (the original digital rebel) with the 18-55 kit lens and I'm not ashamed of the quality
In general, a kit lens, good technique and good processing skills will provide better results than a $2,000 lens with average technique and poor processing skills. So it is a good idea to work on learning photoshop and how to set the camera for the best outcome rather than spending lots of cash on lenses to start with.
I do think the kit lens is good, provided you are familiar with the advanced camera settings. Auto settings may not give you the best results. It depends upon what you intend to photograph. Granted the "kit" lens will not compare with a $2,000.00 (70-200 mm 2.8) zoom lens. The majority of the images (exceptions are the black and white photos of Ellas's Supper club, Silent Movie Construction, and the color photo titled Patriotic Lincoln building---those images were shot with 35mm film camera) on my website here on FAA were made with a "kit" lens (18-55mm IS 3.5-5.6). I don't have photoshop software on my computer. The software I use is the Canon DPP provided with my camera at the time of purchase and recently upgraded to the latest version. The majority of my images were shot using the advanced or manual settings on the camera. I also use a tripod often for more sturdy control of the camera and the reduction of camera shake. If you intend to shoot sports or wildlife photography you will need to invest significantly more money in the expensive and better lenses (a zoom of 70-300 at 2.8 is around $1,600-$2, 200 and the fixed supertelephotos are much more $3,000+).
I agree with Douglas that Canon's DPP software is extremely useful in developing the basic photo - almost all my pictures go through it - but a program like Photoshop is really indispensable for adding that extra "pop" as well as for cleaning up any dust spots or altering stuff in the picture. I think all my Canon DSLRs have come with a Photoshop Elements disc included, which is a stripped-down version of the full program but is still very powerful.
BTW, there is no way I would consider an 18-200mm f3.5-f5.6 lens. The image quality over such a range cannot be good, maybe not at any focal length because the designers may well be trying to cling on to a passable image quality at the extremes by sacrificing quality in the middle range.
Another factor is that the aperture is smallest at the longest focal lengths, so at 200mm you will get f5.6 at best. That will be the softest aperture, yet with a long lens you need a fast shutter speed. At 100ASA in overcast daylight, if you stop down to f8 to try to improve the image quality of the lens, then your shutter speed will be about 1/60s - but at 200mm hand held you need at least 1/200s and really 1/400 to get a sharp shot. That means adjusting your ISO to about 1/620, by which time you could start suffering from "digital noise".
It's generally true in photography that lenses that seem to offer you lots of advantages for not much cash come with a trade-off in lost quality that more than cancels out the benefits. It's usually better to pay the same for a more modest set of features.
Moving up from a Point & Shoot to ANY dslr is a major improvement. You're going from a sensor, maybe the size of the nail on your pinky finger to a small postage stamp. That in itself will get you better images. And the the quality of the lenses gets kicked up to, big glass, better aperture ranges,etc.
I would suggest you get the "Kit" whether Nikon or Canon(I like Canon) and learn on that system and find out what, if anything, is lacking and then make a change. We, as Photographers, seem to always think in extremes, "well that lens will never get any sharp images of Big Foot, you need the 2000mm, f4 lens for that!" stuff like that. Jump in and have a good time!