Long-time enthusiast - fairly new DSLR hobbyist. Choices, choices!
Hey fellow Verge-ins. I've been a photography enthusiast for most of my life, though I haven't had a lot of experience with the professional side of equipment. I'm in the market for a dSLR now. I've used my mother's Nikon D5100 a few times, and I like it. I used to use my father's old Ricoh 35mm dSLR when I was a teenager but it's been at least a decade since I've used it (still have it actually, but the shutter sticks all the time and I never got around to doing something about it, despite it being a fairly easy, albeit temporary fix).
I have a renewed interest in photography as of late, and have always wanted a better than point-and-shoot camera anyway. I currently have a little Sony Cyber-shot that's about a year old. It offers more custom setting options than other point-and-shoots I've owned in the past, and it's pictures don't look bad, but it want more. I have it narrowed down to either the D5100 or the D3200 from Nikon, but I'm flexible, and willing to look at more. I'm trying to keep around that price range. I've found both, just the body and 18mm-55mm lens both for between $450-$500 more or less. I can go a little over that. A bundle would be nice but I'm not trying to spend $700-$800 just yet and I can pick up lenses and other gear as I go. Though if anybody knows any other bundle deals fitting my price range, sweet. So far I'm leaning most towards D5100, so anybody with feedback on these, two or similar level camera, I look forward to hearing from you.
TL;dr : I am looking for a good entry-level dSLR camera that takes great photos, but offers enough custom/manual settings options to really explore, learn and get creative, and one that I will still be able to get good use out of as I grow in my skills. Leaning to Nikon D5100. Considered D3200. Looking for that price range, but am a bit flexible and open to suggestions of other cameras besides these two. Thanks!