I use a Nikon D5000 camera body with the kit lens 18-55mm and a 55-200mm lens.
The D5000 is a relatively inexpensive camera but very capable even though it falls into the beginners category. It has bracketing, which is a must for creating quick and easy multi exposure shots for HDR photos. Having a full frame camera would be nice but I find them just way too big and heavy to lug around. The D5000 is light and small enough to carry around easily.
Some info on the Nikon D5000…
The D5000 is a 12.3 megapixel DX format DSLR Nikon F-mount camera, announced by Nikon on 14 April 2009, and rumored to have been discontinued in November 2010. Although it is listed as discontinued on the Nikon Japan website, it is still available in other regions as of April 2011. The D5000 has many features in common with the D90. It features a 2.7-inch 230,000-dot resolution tilt-and-swivel LCD monitor (D90 is 3.0-inch (76 mm), 920,000 pixel, without swivel or tilt), live view, ISO 200–3200 (100–6400 with Boost), 3D tracking Multi-CAM1000 11-point AF system, active D-Lighting system and automatic correction of lateral chromatic aberration.
It was the second Nikon DSLR camera to feature movie mode after the feature was introduced by the D90, though this capability has now been extended to other models as well, such as the D300S and the D3S. Some newer models are even capable of 1080p 24 frame/s video, such as the Nikon D3100, Nikon D5100 and the Nikon D7000. As with the D90, each uninterrupted movie shot at 720p is limited to 5 minutes duration and 20 minutes for all other resolutions (the D7000 can do 20 min movies). One-button Live View mode features subject tracking and face detection autofocus modes.
For creating and processing HDR images I use Photomatix and then Photoshop. Currently the Photoshop plugins im using are the Topaz Labs bundle (mainly Topaz adjust) and Nik Software Colour Efex Pro. For noise reduction I use Topaz noise.