Basic Photography Equipment
Having good basic photography equipment is essential.
But always remember, "You get what you pay for."
It is okay to look for a good bargain, but stick to the brand names: Canon, Fuji, and Olympus. There are more good names but these are my preference.
The Proper Camera
First and foremost, the most important piece of photography equipment is a good camera. I know that point and shoot cameras are convenient, but they are usually not very versatile. In order to have complete control over exposure, a SLR (single lens reflex) camera is a must. These cameras give control over aperture settings (f-stops), shutter speed, and film or image sensor speed. These three settings control the exposure of the shot.
Once you are comfortable with the basic auto settings of the SLR, you should practice the manual control over these settings. This may cause some frustration at first, but thanks to digital cameras and cheap memory, many pictures can be taken for that perfect one. Once you get to this point, do not worry, like everything else it gets easier with practice.
Basic Camera Lenses
SLR camera bodies usually come with a normal (standard) lens. This lens gives a perspective close to that of the human eye. Most come with some zoom capabilities. It is good for everyday shooting when the photographer can get close to the subject.
A wide angle lens is commonly used in landscapes because of its ability to keep everything in focus while expanding the perspective.
Again, stick with the name brands that you know or at least get some opinions from photographers that you trust. There are many low-end lenses out there that may be cheaper is price, but they are also often cheaper in quality.