Originally Posted by SalisburySteak
awesome. my sister has a broken g5 that maybe I could convince her to let me use. lol
Is there any significant difference between the xs and the xsi?
The XSi has a larger screen, slightly larger viewfinder (although both are still pentamirror), slightly faster burst rate (+.5 FPS, which is barely noticeable anyways), higher resolution sensor (12MP vs 10MP), two more AF points, spot metering, and a larger buffer.
Both cameras have the same IQ and same noise performance. Personally, if you're willing to buy used, you should check out KEH and POTN. You usually see XSi kits with 18-55mm IS lenses go for ~$400 on there. It's one of those things you don't really appreciate until you get into photography, but those two extra AF points + spot metering really matter to me.
However, the XS is still a damn good camera, and especially given your budget, I have a hard time passing up one for $319 via CLP. It's a very great DSLR, and in the end it really is up to the photographer when it comes to how great images are.