It's a hobby I was very much involved in some 20 years ago, and have been starting and stopping ever since. In 2000 I set up a modest darkroom in the bathroom, got my old cameras up to scratch, starting buying those bits and pieces.... These days of course it's all digital.
In 2000, I bought and refurbished an old Olympus Trip 35 compact camera. Here's the story about it that I wrote for the International Tripographic Society.
I also bought my first digital camera in Nov 2000 - a Samsung DigiMax 800k. It's a quite a cheap one for my first adventure into the digital realm. Image size is 1024 x 768. Contrast is good, colour rendering gets a bit funny sometimes, and the compression is a bit severe at times - especially on faces. Considering I hate darkroom work, a digital camera is a nice change. Also, the joy of just "deleting" bad shots is nice. Check out this page for some of my starting photos (you'll notice I still like black and white)
In July 2002 I bought my second digital camera - an Olympus C2 Zoom. It's a 2 Megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom. So far I've only "played" with it and will put up some more detailed comments soon. The maximum resolution is 1600 x 1200 with two modes - SHQ and HQ. The SHQ mode gives 1.2MB files and the HQ mode gives 450kB files - but the difference in quality between the two is quite minor. I also bought a 128MB Smartmedia card which gives me 266 HQ shots.
In 2005 I "acquired" a Canon 3Mpixel camera from my son. It was a couple of years old, but the 10x zoom was incredible.
Of course these days, most of my pictures are taken with my phone (Samsung Galaxy S3).