This was my first digital SLR camera. I had had a point and shoot camera that whetted my apetite for photography, so I did extensive research before deciding on this model.
I knew that my main goal was to take pictures of horses at home and at horse shows. That was the main reason I decided on Olympus -- despite claims to being superior, neither Canon nor Nikon had anywhere near the dust-reduction system that Olympus has developed! Every time you turn the camera on, a tiny vibration (not enough to feel) shakes dust away from the camera's internal parts. Finally -- no more dust spots in pictures! Now I know that if I get floating orbs on my pics, it's probably a supernatural experience! ;) This dust-reduction system has been a real live saver for me, as I shoot pictures in barns and arena frequently, so dust is a VERY common occurance!
This camera was SO easy to learn how to use. I read through the manual a little bit before jumping in and learning by doing. It has so many preset options (one for photographing sunsets, one for landscapes, one for portraits, one for candle light and the list goes on and on!). I was mostly interested in shooting on manual settings, which was really easy and unintimidating to learn how to use!
The display screen is nice and big and clear on this camera, so you can instantly see what kind of shot you got.
I received so, so many compliments on the pictures I took with this camera! The 8 megapixels were enough to make fantastic, professional-quality prints (even big prints, like 8x10's!).
The only thing I was not completely satisfied with was that pictures got grainy at the highest ISO (1600). This was just because I was trying to shoot action pictures in an indoor arena from the sidelines, so I didn't want to use flash. For everyday use, though, I don't think that this camera can be beat!
One thing that I loved about this camera is that it has SO many abilities -- you can get as technical as you want to get! BUT you don't HAVE to know anything technical in order to take GREAT pictures. You can have it fully manual or fully automatic, and anywhere inbetween! Because of this, it was a great tool for learning about digital SLR's. I would recommend this camera to anyone!