Above is an image of my venerable Canon AE-1 Program Film Camera. It is the camera my wife gave me for our 1st Wedding Anniversary. The camera is 26 years old and it still works, if one can find film for it. Also, it still takes good pictures if one can get the film processed. But technology has passed this camera by and it sits in retirement.
I am asked always "What kind of camera should I buy?" There a two types depending on how far you want to take your photography. Point & Shoot Cameras and DSLR Cameras. Point & Shoot cameras are easy to use and there are hundreds of models to choose from. The trouble with Point & Shoot cameras is industry leaders say that Smart Phone Cameras will soon make them obsolete, like my camera above. In my opinion if you get a smart phone with a good camera in it, you are way ahead of the game. In spite of all the hype about Megapixels, all one needs is 4 megapixels to make an 8 X 10 image, which is the max size most home printers can print and with the camera in your smart phone email and the internet are just one click away.
DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Cameras which use interchangeable lenses cost more money, but gives you more control and options in photography. However, the DSLR cameras are not cheap and run anywhere from $600 to $6000. Then you have to buy the lenses to go with them. The trouble with DSLR cameras is you pay all this money for one and after about 3 to 5 years it should be replaced with the latest and greatest new technological camera. In my opinion I would not buy the cheapest one because sooner or later you are going to want to expand your photography and I would not not to buy the most expensive one either because after a newer model comes out the camera loses its value. In the DSLR market lenses are really central to photography. A good lens can make an inexpensive camera better and there is no reason to buy a good camera, if you are not going to put a good lens on it. But you will find the good lenses are just as expensive if not more so than the cameras. However, a good lens will hold its value far longer than any camera. So, which camera should one buy depends on how far you want to take your photography and what you can afford. Photography can be an expensive hobby!!!