The cost of digital cameras, photo printers and digital photo frames have all reduced significantly over the past eighteen months or so. Of course, the costs were already very low to begin with.
Consider the iconic Polaroid as an example. The Polaroid camera was first launched in 1948 and it had a price tag which was equivalent to over $800 at today's rates. However, you can pick up a perfectly good digital camera, which would be fine for birthdays, weddings, family events etc., for around about $50 today.
Certainly, you can pay a lot more if you want to but, for the majority of people there's no real necessity to do this.
Apart from the cost of the equipment itself, the add-on costs associated with photography as a hobby are also very much lower. In the first place, there are no rolls of film to buy - and if you decide to display your photos on either a digital photo frame or a computer then there's no processing cost either.
Digital photography is, generally speaking, very much more convenient than traditional photography. There are no rolls of film to fumble about with and - every now and again - jam in your camera so that an entire reel gets wasted. There's no need to send reels of film away to the processing lab when you want them developed - so you don't have to sit around waiting to see whether your prints came out good or not.
Apart from the cost savings and the increased convenience, the fact that you're not using rolls of film, paper to print out photos and chemicals to process your photos is also good for the environment.
However, the most important benefit of digital photography has nothing to do with red eye reduction, face recognition, anti-shake technology, the number of pixels in your image or the power of either your optical or digital zoom. The thing that will really help you improve your photographic skill and enjoy your hobby is the simple fact that you don't have to worry about whether or not a photo will turn out good.
If it's good and you like you keep it. If it's not good, or you just don't like the look of it, then just hit the delete button and it'll be gone forever. Digital photography gives you the licence to experiment a little, to try new things and see what works and what doesn't. So experiment a little and have fun.
Fuji FinePix Digital Camera
Amazon Price: $548.19 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 31, 2016)