Thanks for all the great info and tips. I'm thinking of purchasing a 600D, but it'll be my first DSLR camera and I'll only have a couple of weeks to practice with it before going on holiday. I was wondering if I'll get OK images using the auto mode? Obviously I want to practice using the manual mode, but I don't assume I'll get all of that under control before my holiday. I think I'll take pictures in raw format so that I can edit them better afterwards.
But what's your opinion on the auto mode of the D600? My other option is a Canon SX60 hs, but I'm assuming even auto mode on the D600 will give me better image quality right?