OK, but a photographer does need some kind of a camera, and this is the time of year when purchases are often made. Here then is a broad-brush guide to 35mm cameras.
At the bottom rung of price and performance are some surprisingly versatile fixed-focus models, convenient and inexpensive, which are just aimed and the shutter snapped. The results are predictably satisfactory if the simple operating instructions are followed. Rarely, however, will the photographer using one of these simple models get a truly memorable image. Despite its technological prowess, the camera is limiting, no matter what those glitzy TV commercials say.
The next step up in sophistication and performance is the adjustable camera, which affords the user control over both shutter speed and lens opening. Once a photographer learns the effects that can be achieved with various combinations of these settings, he or she will advance to a higher plateau of photography than is possible to attain with a fixed-focus, fixed- lens camera.
The less-expensive adjustable cameras have permanently affixed lenses. The more expensive ones - more "serious" cameras, if you will - allow the photographer to change lenses. They may also have other features such as a higher maximum speed (a 2000th/second setting, for example) and such things as built-in winders.
Camera bodies vary in durability and usually the tougher they are the higher the price. It is possible to buy lightweight cameras that will do everything heavyweight cameras will, but the sturdier ones will hold up under hard use.
A good basic camera that a beginner can grow up with is one that accepts other lenses, has a built-in light meter and shutter speeds ranging from at least a full second to 1/500th of a second.
When purchasing a camera, find a dealer who will take some time with you and give you the opportunity to handle several cameras that have the features, and price, that interest you. After you've zeroed in on what is best for you, compare the advice and the price with another dealer.