Brief history - started out in the 70's with my first camera - Kodak box camera, before moving 'up' to a Kodak instamatic. My first 'real' camera was a Pentax K1000 given to me as a birthday present, which I still have. Built like a tank (built like a Canon?) and won't ever run out of batteries. I've been actively involved in photography since school days, where a group of us from the photographic society would record school events and develop and print them in the school darkroom (all mono) before putting them up for sale on the notice board. I realised the value of a good image back then, and have made a point to always (wherever and whenever possible) carry a camera with me. Although I've come a long way since the K1000 in terms of gear, I still believe that the most creative images are produced when the camera is in fully manual mode. When things are happening quickly (sports, news etc) the fully auto camera is a Godsend and will get you an acceptable image every time, but for the rest, for the more relaxed, creative images it's back to manual. After all, the lens determines the image quality, and image itself is determined by your own eye. The camera is just a box (often a very clever box) which holds film.