In 1964 it was the Yashica D twin lens reflex. As a young trainee, I would have preferred the Rolleiflex T f2.8 that my boss used but my budget didn't come close. I learned the trade with that Yashica and put hundreds of rolls through it. It never let me down. The lens was slightly sharper than the Rollei too. Much to my boss's surprise . Then as now. The lens mattered more than anything else.
Many cameras followed including Linoff, Leica and Pentax. None really grabbed me until in 1973 I bought a Nikonos to try underwater photography. Dead simple, manual everything, great viewfinder and the best wind on lever ever designed. I found as a general, go anywhere, rugged picture taker, it was perfect and we were inseparable for years.
2013 and I just bought my fifth digital camera. It may just be my third true love! I wasn't expecting much of the Nikon V1 but it was so cheap, hardly more than the price of the two lenses that came with it and I wanted to try the EVIL idea without spending a fortune. Apart from the price, the other brands still seem too big. Not the bodies, the lenses. I wanted a grab and go, travel alterative, to my full frame outfit that is just not portable enough. (no character either). For the last few weeks I have been walking around with the V1 and 30-110 around my neck and the 10-30 in my pocket. I've made prints as big as my 3880 can manage and I'm very happy. The size and weight are just right. Speed an accuracy is very impressive. There are a few warts of course, most characters have them. I took Michaels advice and put a piece of gaffer tape over the 'mode' dial. It works well. The settings I have settled on, after a bit of trial and error, are as follows; Centre weighted AE, auto ISO A3200 and exposure mode on manual. This gives me full control of shutter speed and aperture and the camera takes care of exposure via ISO. Of course I have to guess what ISO the camera is choosing but I can do that well enough after all these years. I am not worried about high ISO noise with this camera anyway. Its fine. I can tell you, after selling photos in the local gallery for years, if a patron likes an image, a bit of noise doesn't matter. Only photographers notice it anyway. Normal people only see the art and noise has to be pointed out. Then they peer closely and say "Oh yes, I see." Audiophiles don't listen to music, only gramophones. Photographers need to watch out for a similar trap.