Real meaning, not a point and shoot. It was the Nikon D40. I bought it 19th February 2011 for £201 including the kit lens 18-55mm. I remember trying to decide between it and the D50. I was also eyeing the D90, but that was out of my price range. I don't remember the exact trade offs but decided the D40 was right for me.
I'd previously had some Sony digital something or other point and shoot, and before that it was a film point and shoot. I remember having a APS film camera which seemed great as you just put the whole cartridge in but in reality didn't really help much and I'm sure developing was more expensive.
My wife's uncle took a lot of photos and had a D90 and a D50, so I'd try them out and listen to him about them. He'd send me no end of reviews and blogs etc. to read about them. I did what I like doing best, which is to research things to death and then find old stuff to sell to buy it. I dug out my Magic the Gathering cards and sets and sold those on eBay, which paid for the camera. Like many old games like that, if I'd kept them until recently, they would've been worth 10-50x more. Oh well, I had a lot of fun with the camera and a lot of photos to remember those times by instead.
I bought the 35mm f/1.8 which had rave reviews from a computer store forum. The guy selling it was very particular and even called my house phone to talk about the lens. My wife answered the phone and obviously found out I was buying a lens, which I hadn't told her about. I sold the D40 with the kit lens as the 35mm was absolutely my favourite and I never saw the point of short length zooms. I still don't - not for me anyway.
It's funny looking at the specs for this camera. 6 MP, 3 focus areas, ISO 1600 (3200 in high mode). All the photos from it look just fine, and I have some great favourites from it. I remember when moving to the D7000, with its 39 area focus system, just wanting the single centre point focus like I was used to with the D40.
I took it everywhere and it was the first camera I had where I took photos all the time at everything. I can see by the amount of photos on the computer from that point onwards. I did buy the 55-200mm zoom lens. That was fun to use, and so lightweight. We lived near the coast and I even got a few puffins with it. I really wanted the 18-200mm, but it was way too heavy for the D40. I couldn't really justify buying it so that was fine but when I borrowed one, it didn't sit nicely on the D40 at all. Much better on the D7000 when I did eventually buy one.
Thinking about it brings back a lot of nostalgic feelings. The house we used to live in, that period of our lives, what everyone else was doing, our only responsibilities were the cat. It's funny looking at random shots I did of inside the house or car, showing details I've long forgotten, and photos I've not looked at in over 10 years. These are the ones you'd print out or put in an album or even look up on Apple Photos etc. It's funny seeing shirts that I still have, or others that have gone which used to be my favourite. Wait, wasn't this about a camera 😅
It is very easy to chase the latest development in tech. Cameras are so much more these days, but it's always about the moment not the camera.
I found these pictures when randomly looking back through old photos of about 10 years ago. These are the photos I used to sell the camera when I upgraded to the D7000.