Advertisement You don't have to go all in at the start. It's like most hobbies you don't need the best of everything to get good photos. If you are planning on getting into the photography as a hobby then I'd recommend at least starting out with a DSLR. This will give you a base to grow from. I started out with a Canon Digital Rebel xti when I switched over to digital. I bought the camera body and an off brand lens for the type of photos I wanted to take. Over the years I have added lenses to my kit when I needed them. I've long since traded the camera body for a much nicer 5D that uses the same lenses. Most of my light kits have come from cragslist as it seems there are always someone getting rid of them for cheap. Same for tripods and other things. Of course, I've got really good photos with my phone and with point & shoots. So it just depends on how much your into photography and if it's worth the extra cash.