If you're looking for a super sharp compact SLR and don't want to spend a ton of money but still want a very good camera, check out the Nikon D5100.
Our grandson, Ethan, is studying Graphic Design. For Christmas he asked his parents and grandparents (us) for a SLR camera. We suggested the Nikon D5100 with the AF 18-55 lens that comes with it, 16.2 megapixel with swivel LCD monitor, plus HD movies.
We all played with it over Christmas and was amazed at the photos we got. We loved for 4 frames per second continuous shooting. We also have two little grandsons (2 and 3) and it's so nice to capture the moment at the moment, not 5 seconds too late.