I have a Nikon D3200 but hope to upgrade to the 610 soon. (A reigning low light camera, and FX instead of DX!) I absolutely love my camera though!
When comparing specs, Nikon and Canon are both wonderful brands and each offers some great things. The quality of both is very nice, and I don't favor one brand above the other but, since right now I have a Nikon and can interchange all of my lenses...I'll have to stick to that! (Also...Nikon has a nice feature that automatically takes out certain blemishes, so less editing required! I love that!)
Nikon's are also nice because you don't necessarily have to use the new lenses as for many years they have been making most of their SLR bodies compatible with the same lenses. For the majority of their SLR's, if you are comfortable having to shoot in a manual setting (no auto-focus) you can use their older lenses. The one I own now is a VERY nice zoom lens from the 1980's. It fits just fine on my camera and they cost a lot less than the newer lenses available (for example...I bought this lens for $25 at a garage sale!
). I haven't tried the older lens when taking horse pictures (always forget!) but, it is always nice for portraits, or random everyday pictures.
I don't have very many pictures from it on this computer...but here is just one example. It isn't the best picture I've taken, but it will do until I can get the others onto this computer...
We also own a Sony bridge camera. It doesn't have quite the same quality as a DSLR, but I would recommend it for someone who isn't quite wanting a professional camera, but wanting a step up from a point & shoot. It is also cheaper in the long run, as you don't have to buy another lens for it. It comes with a lens that will zoom more than you would believe. The detail is nice too.
Here is an example from that camera:
Everyone's pictures are lovely, and it's great to hear about which cameras are being used!