Several buyers have shown an interest in the equipment that I use, so here's a potted history and a few tips.
35 mm :
Zorki 4K - Russian Lica Copy - Totally manual and a good way to learn the basics of photography.
Several Compacts followed, including an Olympus XA (One of my first sales on EBAY)
Olympus OM20, OM30 OM2 (Traded in for the Minolta SLR - Pre EBAY days, so got very little!)
Minolta 5000i (Sold on EBAY to a lady who had dropped hers!)
Minolta 7000i (Sold to a Student in Scotland for £ 80 with two lenses - who was very happy with it)
Fuji 1400 Compact (Focus packed up and Jessops kindly gave me a full refund that I put towards the Casio)
Casio QV 4000 (First serious Digital Camera - Also £ 100 off due to an error on Jessops Web site!)
Canon G5 (Insurance paid for it when I dropped the Casio!)
Canon G6 (Sold G5 on EBAY and Bought G6 from EBUYER - Open Box, so cheap)
Canon G5 (G6 got slightly Damp and started playing up - So I sent it back for a refund and bought a mint G5 off a friend)
Canon G6 (I wanted the speed and extra pixels again despite the G5 appearing to be a much more robust camera - Bought off MyDV shortly before they were closed down! - Sold later on EBAY and now being used by a lady in Scotland somewhere)
Sony R1 - No longer produced as Sony have taken over the Minolta / Konica SLR - It produces excellent 10.3 Megapixel pictures the equal of most SLR's with the Lens worth the cost alone. Also totally quiet and has a live display. Could be a bit quicker, could have a bigger zoom (not counting the clumsy add-on lens option), and could have more buffer space - But nothings perfect, and it doesn't frighten the Horses and it makes a great candid camera.
As you can see I've been wheeling and dealing my way up through several models of camera to get where I am today.
I'm in no hurry to replace the Sony as it does most things, and I don't want to lose the silent operation, live flip-out and tilt display and very quick response (when pre-focused that is).
An SLR with a long lens would be a useful addition for sports and animals, but it couldn't replace the Sony - And an R2 update looks increasingly unlikely !
The common thread that started with the QV4000 is the ability to fit a Square Cokin Filter and to have full manual control. The QV4000, G5 and G6 all have adapters for add-on lenses that can also take a Cokin adapter.
Many people think that digital photographers don't need filters - But there are a few exceptions...
ND - Neutral Density - When you want a slow shutter-speed effect and the ISO is as low as it can go and the Aperture is stopped right down, you can add an ND filter to lengthen the exposure.
Graduated Grey - When the Sky is bright and the Land is dark you can use one of these filters to balance the light. Merging multiple shots just doesn't work as well (believe me I've tried!) and the dynamic range of the digital sensor won't be able to handle it otherwise.
Polarizing - Cuts through reflections on Water and Shiny Surfaces - Impossible to do in the digital darkroom.
If you just want to dip a toe into the digital water then keep an eye out on EBAY for a G5 or G6 camera. Add a lens adapter and a Cokin 'A' or 'P' filter set. ('P' if you're thinking of getting a bigger camera later on)
Canon now have a 10-Meg G7, but it's my personal opinion that they've lost the plot on this one and aren’t really being serious. No flip-out LCD, No RAW Mode and a Noisy 10-Meg Sensor ! - it's a real shame as the 'G' range up to now had a long and proud history.
I hope that you have found this useful, please get back to me if you have any questions.