I just bought my first camera that wasn't under $50. A Canon Powershot sx40 hs. I've never really been into photography, then I started seeing some of these photos and have been interested. This is a digital with a fixed lens, but a pretty decent zoom to it and it does have some features you're mentioning like aperture and macro. I haven't even scratched the surface yet. I'm wondering can this camera act similar to a slr? I mainly got it instead of the slr because it also shoots 1080p video as well.
Im right there with you bro. I never gave a second thought to a nice camera till after seeing shots from Nick and the like. I hate them for doing this to me LOL!