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It's Here, It's Here, It's Here!!!

I've been waiting for the mailman like it's Christmas for the past week. 

And today (after 2 failed attempts by FedEx, sorry guys:) I finally got it! Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint.

My hubby spoiled me by splurging on this beauty <<cue angel choir>>

 A Canon Rebel T3, waaahoo, yeah baby! (do you also find it ironic that this pic is blurry?)  This was my "in your dreams Alyssa" camera. It takes pro quality pictures, and also takes high quality video, which may be obvious to some, but I didn't realize it was included on these big pro looking cameras. I feel like a kid getting glasses for the first time. I can finally see! haha, no more under-exposed-blurry-crappy pictures! On the other hand, I also feel like this when it comes to the technology I now hold in my hands,

I have almost no idea how to use this masterpiece. I found this cameras for dummies level tutorial from, which is a great start for me. It covers the basic settings and how they affect the picture. 

Now, I need your help! Do you know of any good online tutorials for beginners, especially for Rebel cameras? Any advice from your personal picture clicking experience? I'd be grateful for any links or intel you can give. :)
I conducted a comparison study on picture quality of the cameras I have. Most of the pics on this blog have come from my iPhone 4, which has 5 mega pixels.  

 iPhone w/o flash

 iPhone with flash

For "better" shots I have used my Casio Exilim camera with 8.1 mega pixels. 
 Casio w/o flash
Casio with flash

The Canon Rebel T3 has 12.2 mega pixels. I'm using this on "auto", portrait setting, with a 18-55mm lens.
Rebel without flash
Rebel with flash

I was blind but now I see. I can't wait to really get to know this camera and start taking more better shots. : ) Don't forget to hit me up with anything that can enlighten my present Newbie status. Thanks guys.

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