The one you buy . Lol. No but really the camera I got wasn't to expensive which was a FujiFilm FinePix S4250WM. I got this camera about a year ago.
Pretty much that is where I started my photography, if you don't count my Droid X I had. So I'm still learning about photography as I go along, doing research, and learning from people that have experience.
i've only just started taking photos, and i've got an iphone and a bridge camera from 2003,
the advice i got when starting was " you need a camera that will teach you the basics, a camera that you can lose drop and break without worrying about the camera until you know what you're doing. get a camera that has different shutter speeds exposure etc. but isn't hard to use. then when you know how to do it. get a better one."
the camera i use is a fujifilm s7000 and i think it's ok for a beginner.
For me I recommend a Samsung NX1000. It works like a dream. It has the basic stuff you would get with a entry level DSLR, but in the style of a point and shoot camera. And also is very light weight and not so expensive anymore.
What's your budget? If I were you, I would go for a Nikon F100 and Nikon F80, because I already own a film scanner. They are stellar performers, and sell dirt cheap now.
I agree that you shouldn't start with a film camera though, unless you own a darkroom or a good film scanner (more likely you won't). My suggestion is to start with any entry-level camera, if your budget permits a brand new camera. Choose the brand that your family, friends, or relatives own most gears. That will save you a lot of money, and enable you to play around with gears. I don't generally need all my fancy lenses, such as 70-200/2.8 or macro lens. If you can borrow only on special occasions, that would be very nice.
If your budget is really low, go for used DSLR. Browse through keh.com
The only problem with film is that you're paying for the film and you're paying for the developing. And, the equipment to do color, if you so choose, is quite expensive. If you have somebody doing it for you, you then have to go to a specialist if you want anything other than a straight print.
But, the bigger thing is that because you don't see the results instantly, you don't get that feedback loop while you can still do something about it. Which IMHO is vital for a new photographer to speed things up.
While you may have to pay for film and developing costs, the upfront expense for the camera system itself is significantly lower than it would be for a DSLR. The F100 *palmbook recommended and a decent lens can be had for as little as $200, whereas the digital equivalents to that system on the market today costs as much as $2000.
I also completely disagree with instantly seeing the result as being necessary for new photographers. Photo I courses in most colleges and high schools were completely analog until roughly six or seven years ago when DSLRs as a whole became more affordable. Hell, the art school I graduated from didn't make their Photo I course all digital until 2009.
Yes, and if you're shooting enough to warrant a system like that, you'll have made up the price difference over the course of a summer. It's been a while since I shot film, but even at 50 cents per frame, that's only 3600 frames or so till you break even on that. And the last times I was working with film, I seem to remember it being much more expensive for proper printing and developing.
Also, keep in mind, that if you aren't doing your own prints and developing, that it's pretty dishonest to suggest that the $200 is at all equivalent to the $2k version. Especially when you can get a perfectly good 5 or 6 year old dSLR that's more than adequate for only a couple hundred more than the film system.
As for instant viewing, it's absolutely necessary if you want to progress efficiently. By the time you get the negatives back from the lab, it's very easy to forget what the conditions were like when you took the shot. Sure, you can learn focus and composition like that. But, if something is obstructing the edge of the viewfinder, you can't just fix. And you don't get that histogram assessment to help train your eye to figure out when you're blowing highlights, loosing shadows and see if it even matters.
And you're certainly not going to have any meaningful level of control over the results, especially if you're not setting up your own lab.
All in all, I'm not really sure why I'm even arguing, it's quite clear that for the purposes of learning photography that digital is head and shoulders above analog in terms of efficiency and efficacy.
Don't get me wrong, I do like analog, there's nothing quite like a well exposed and composed slide, but it's not how I would recommend people learn photography. It used to be necessary, but now it's rather decadent without much to show for it.
I think the fundamental difference between both of our arguments is the context in which one would be learning. My argument for film is partially based on the supposition that the person who started this thread is learning in an academic setting (which probably isn't the case but is something I recommend doing), where access to processing printing labs is not an issue.
That said, I still disagree that digital is 100% necessary and that learning through film is decadent and unnecessary. While you may not have a histogram to gain information from, you do have the negative itself, and it's not hard to see if an image has been blown out if you have a loupe. Similarly, between digital compression (because how many beginners immediately shoot RAW), differences in color spaces, possible monitor calibration errors, and ICC printer profile inconsistences, there is just as much room for error outputting an digital file as there is a negative.
Regarding the cameras themselves, the point I'm trying to make with the price difference is that in terms of value for money you can get a much more sophisticated film system for a much smaller cost than you could for buying digitally. Also, you are supposing that a beginner shooting film will shoot at the same rate that a beginner shooting digital will, and that is simply not the case. 3600 exposures is a minimum of one hundred rolls of film, and from my firsthand experience it takes a beginner learning on film far longer to hit that point than a digital shooter does. Shooting film is a fundamentally different approach than digital, and is why the number of film actuations capable on a body matters a hell of a lot more with digital than it does with film. While you could buy an older DSLR, you will be dealing more with the limitations of the technology and the limitations of the output and, if you get serious about it, will be forced to upgrade later anyways. And should one decide that photography isn't for them, it is a hell of a lot easier to sell film equipment than it is an obsolete DSLR (which you can't even give away at this point).
What this really boils down to is that film and digital offer two very different approaches that are no less valid than the other. With digital, you have instantaneous feedback and the ability to shoot indiscriminantly; with film, you have a much lower initial cost and limitations that force you to work slower and take greater consideration to what you are doing. I can argue that my personal experience has shown me that learning on film is just as valid to learn on as digital and that it offers its own set of advantages, but it honestly depends on what learning style and financial outlay would be best for the person learning.