Hi all,

I currently have an old Sony Cybershot DSC-T7 camera which is great for taking snap and taking to social functions as it is slim and easy to use. However, I am looking to buy my first DSLR as I am going on a trek at the end of the year to the Himalayas to the base camp of Everest, and would love to take some great photos of my experience. I used to own an old SLR and enjoyed using it and would like to pick up the hobby again more seriously.

I am considering getting the Cannon EOS 500D bundle with an 18-200mm IS lens. What are peoples thoughts on this. Should I consider the 550D instead or an equivalent spec from another manufacturer?

In addition to the camera, I was thinking i might invest in some filters for the trip, as I know I will be at high altitude with (hopefully) a strong sun. I was considering a polarizing filter, a UV filter to protect the Lens generally and a ND filter. What do you think? This will be my first foray into filters. Should I get a Graduated ND Filter?

Also, in the future I am looking to invest in a 50mm Lens as I would like to experiment with shallow depths of field as I like the effect. SHould I go for Cannons own EF 50mm f/1.8 II, or should I pay a bit more and go for a premium lens from sigma for instance.

I look forward to your comments and advice.

Thanks in advance.