I would not get a Nikon that only autofocuses AF-s lenses. I would much rather have a used body that works on any autofocus lens. The money you save on the body will be many times paid over when you have to buy the more expensive versions of each lens.
Other than that, Canon and Nikon are the leaders and you can't go wrong with either.
I don't know about the Nikons you mentioned, but I do have the Nikon D200 and I love the thing. As it looks, though, the main difference with the D300 is that your LCD screen is bigger.
I did the pictures for a friends wedding about a month ago and the pictures turned out great. The pre-sets and the different functions literally at your fingertips can be overwhelming, but practice makes it a lot easier. Fuck the manual though, find an online tutorial thats easier to read and practice.
The issue I've had is with supplemental batteries. If you don't get a Nikon batter and get some sort of off brand the thing won't charge. Normal battery life of the battery it comes with is pretty good though.
So, I'm not vouching for the D60 or the D3000, but the D200 for the money makes me look like a pimp behind the lens.
Thanks! my brother have a Nikon d90 with a very good Sigma lense, so i have some experience with the nikon, and i'm leaning towards the Nikon D3000. I've heard they are more robust build (for when my wife is going to use it) and it takes more "potent" pics than Canon.
[quote]ephrem wrote: ..what will you be using the camera for?[/quote
Mostly for vacationpics and sportsevents (for private use). I had a compact camera before an Canon ixus 860is and i got so tired of the boring lifeless looking pictures it took, compared to my friends and family who had a DSLR.
..in that case you'd want a camera with fast autofocus and plenty frames per second. That means you press the shutter and take, for instance, 6 pictures a second. You won't miss action on the field that way. Good luck!
I still strongly recommend an autofocus capable body, such as the D70, D80, D200, D300, D700, or D1/2/3 series. Some excellent lenses you won't be able to buy, or will have to pay for the AF-s version are the 50/1.8, 80-200/2.8 (USD$900 more for the AF-s), 17-35/2.8 (USD$700 more). Used? Most used lenses are NOT AF-s, so the majority of the used lens market will be useless for you.
..no, Canon lenses and Nikon lenses aren't compatible without an adaptor. As i understand it, full frame lenses do fit on crop sensor camera's but not the other way round. FF lenses are expensive though, so for you that won't be an option. Third party manufacturers make lensen for either brand, are cheaper and offer similar quality, so check that out...
If your brother has a D90 you can swap lens together so I would stay Nikon and the D90 is better then the D3000. the D3000 is nothing more then an upgrade of the D60 and does not that all the bells and whistles that the 90 has. I will also tell you to go to a camera store and ask to see them and see how they fit in your hands when I was looking to get mine that's what I was told to do and it helped me find the best fit which for me was sony in the price range that I was willing to spend.
That is also one of my main reasons to buy a Nikon. In Denmark the D90 is pretty expensive compared to D60 or the upgraded version D3000, and i think its just out of my pricerange. But a good idea to get the feel of it. I liked the way my brothers D90 fits me.