Budget: $500-$700 A little flexible. Size: Does not matter. Megapixels: Would enjoy higher megapixel for editing purposes. Zoom: Standard preferred. Image Quality: 10 Manual modes: I would enjoy having manual modes to aid in my learning process. Camera usage: Short range pictures of insects, plants, and reptiles. Big prints of photos: No. Indoor or low light photos: I would think yes, majority of photos will be taken in wooded areas. Sports or action photos: Possibly, depends on the subject. Some may have wiggly bits. Preferred brands: Open to any high quality manufacturer. Models in mind: None. Special features: Image stabilization preferred as well as a Hotshoe (I think.). Weatherproofing is a must as I live in a humid area. I would like to get into photography as a hobby. The subjects I have in mind are insects, flowers, and reptiles, a lot of close up work. I do intend to use a tripod if I can for most shots, but that will of course not be possible for some situations. I would also like another lens for more general photos so a recommendation on that would be appreciated. Thank you for any advice and your time.