What I have just laying around collecting dust is a Canon EOS Elan 7 SLR body.
WARNING: LIFE STORY FORTHCOMING!
I actually ran a small business around it. My dogs competed in dog sporting events, so I'd bring my camera along and shot action photography. I didn't go to school for photography, my husband just bought the camera for me for my birthday in 2001 and said, "Go forth and make people nuts!" I went forth and brought in $300 - $500 a weekend.
I'd go to the events, photograph the dogs on Saturday, take the film to one-hour developers that evening, then sell them on Sunday for $3.00 to $5.00 each. If people wanted enlargements, I'd have them done and mail them - they ran $15.00 to $30.00 each. For almost two years I enjoyed this easy source of additional income. People would pay anything for great pictures of their dogs in action.
Then, digital hit the scene. People were buying these $5,000 6-megapixel (not much by today's standards obviously) cameras, bringing a laptop and a printer, and selling the photos right then and there. Within a month, I became obsolete and really pissed off.
In my opinion, digital had taken the art away from photography. It had stolen the soul. In 35mm, you had to keep so many elements in mind: F-stop, apature, light, film speed, composition, etc. etc. etc...because once you shot that picture, it was locked onto that piece of film forever. No going back. Sure, you could edit an image, but the original was forever burned into the negative. That was part of the magic and the challenge of 33mm.
With digital, if it was a bad picture, you could delete it and take another, on top of all the raping of the image that could be done with Photoshop.
So heavy consideration was conducted. What Can I Do That Technology Can't Steal?
I picked up a paintbrush and tried that out.
Of course, this is something that techology can do. Computer-generated art is quite popular and easy to do, but I really enjoy painting the original way...using most of the same chemicals and tools that the Masters used. Anymore, it's uncommon and people appreciate the authenticity in this fast-food society. Real brushstrokes, real texture, the real McCoy.
The camera I have today, I purchased on a whim back in 2006. It's a Canon EOS Rebel XTi 10 megapixel. Fits the same lenses and camera bag and everything the Elan 7 did, but I just use it for my own enjoyment rather than for making any sort of income.
Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit. -Seneca