Wow, it's amazing how the "electronic age" has made some hobbies a LOT cheaper to indulge. For example, I bought my first SLR camera kit in the early 80s. Although the cost of the Pentax MX SLR and lenses was quite high, the real expense of this hobby was film and developing, not the mention negative slides, slide mounts, photo albumns etc. Although I enjoyed taking photos on holiday (after all, ten years after an overseas trip, the only thing you really have to show for spending thousands is a collection of photos and/or video) it was a bit too expensive to "practice" photography and experiment.
This has totally changed since digital cameras came out, and, especially now I have a digital Pentax *ist DL SLR (it may not be the best digital SLR, but it can be used with my existing collection of lenses and my telescope adaptor), I can take LOTS of photos, and it costs me practically nothing. In fact, being able to email pics to my relatives means that I'm saving money compared to having to get duplicate prints to mail.
It's also nice to be able to grab the digital SLR and take some quick pics and immediately see what they look like. For example, a frilly lizard has taken up residence in our yard, and is quite photogenic: