Re: Decision Time: New Kit or Camera
I'd wait until you've properly out-grown your kit. Having said that, I've no idea how good a drummer you are. The advice about tom heads and tuning is spot on - it can make a world of difference. Maybe just get a better snare drum that you'll keep forever?
You tend to find that when you go to practise with bands or play gigs, you rarely use your own kit except for snare and cymbals.
My Premier XPK isn't the best kit in the world and is 15 years old (I've owned it since new), but I won't upgrade it until I think I need to, or until I think I deserve it. I do however have a Maple Signia Snare drum which I love, and Paiste Signature cymbals - but they go out gigging with me.
And just as a side note - having been in debt for over 10 years (though nearly out of it now), whatever you do, avoid it - debt is horrible, it chains you down. Always save up. Sorry don't mean to sound like I'm lecturing - it's just I've been there and wouldn't wish it on anybody.
I'm also into photography and have done a little professionally here and there. I'd go for a second hand camera (maybe a Canon or Nikon - they'll hold their value well). You might be able to pick up a Canon 5D and lens pretty cheap these days off of eBay. Gorgeous camera that - I've done back up photography at a wedding using it and they preferred my pics :-)
Good luck. PS - you're a very lucky person if your parents buy a car for you! Hope you get it.