Back in the film camera days, I used a Konica Autoreflex TC that I received from my mother. It was not really a gift, as it did not work. At least not until I put new batteries in it. It was duly supplemented with a used T3 before the 1.25V mercury batteries were banned and Konica moved into the point-and-shoot market. I tried a couple of Nikon cameras (F2 and FE), but never really liked them.
My first digital camera was a clunky HP Photosmart 612 that took 4 AA batteries and stored on a Compact Flash card. After using this for a few years with little enthusiasm, I bought a Pentax Optio W30 which was small enough to take just about anywhere and water resistant to allow shooting in New Hampshire’s frequent rain and snow, and also when kayaking or at the beach. I was much more enthusiastic with this little gem, but still wanted a camera with more direct control.
More recently, I bought an Olympus E-P1 (once the price dropped immediately after the E-P2 hit the market). This camera has been a pure joy, with its ability to use my collection of old Konica lenses (since supplemented by numerous finds off eBay) and the ability to see the effects of changes in exposure compensation, depth of field, or white balance right on the view screen. It is also camera that encourages tinkering, and has inspired a number of contraptions that may end up detailed on these pages.