Got some professional pics done of my little girl and the dogs and got to thinking, "why am I paying someone for this?" I mean they came out great but it didn't look like something I couldn't learn myself. As it happened my wife's cousin got ahold of an Olympus E-PL1 4/3 style camera. Saw some of this pics this teenager was taking with it and decided I should get a nicer camera too. Turns out that that Olympus is literally the perfect starter camera and you can get them used for next to nothing if you look.
Picked one up for myself for $139 shipped and its amazing.
Also got a nifty case, class 10 card and a few spare batteries off Amazon for $40.
Just got it so it only set to auto right now but there is a LOT you can do with it from manual shutter speeds, exposure, full manual focus/exposure/shutter/everything, you can edit pics right on the phone, there are all sorts of effects you can do... I think I may have found yet ANOTHER expensive hobby I probably should not be spending money on lol.
Quick pic with it of the kid on the swingset and our Wolfhound puppy
Just like with cars, there is a WEALTH of knowledge online with articles, forums etc... and I've already learned a lot. Ppl on the camera forum I joined are really knowledgeable and helpful.