I have to admit my problem: I can't say no to a new camera. I collect them, but not like you think. I don't have a long line of vintage cameras like you see neatly organized on the back of the case at the camera store - kind of a mini camera museum of photographing history. No, I collect working cameras.
The criteria for me to get a new camera is that it has to be unique - it will do something no other camera I already own does. Of course, a lot of photographers have that rule and they collect Nikons to go with their Canons. They collect mini-cameras for when the bigger body units are too cumbersome for the job at hand. And they may collect cameras that take a certain format photo.
I had two basic cameras for when I am out taking photos: my Canon 40D which is my workhorse, go-to camera. I know a lot of people who are really good photographers have upgraded/graduated to the 7D. I have friends who use the 7D and don't get me wrong - it is a beautiful camera. But for a DSLR, it almost does too many things for me. I didn't really start taking photos until I got my first digital camera, a Sony Mavica that used a floppy disk, if you can believe that!
I went from the Sony to a Kodak digital camera, which I liked. Then, I got a Fuji but these cameras didn't have good lenses. I wanted to be able to zoom in, change my exposure time or aperature or my focus. I got the Canon 40D in 2008 and I have loved it ever since. But I still have other cameras for different needs.
You probably have my next favorite camera, the iPhone. This camera takes good, fast close ups. The colors are amazing, and it is so quick and easy to use. I can get short videos if I really want to, so another reason I don't need the 7D. And with the iCloud, I can get at the photos on my laptop. I use the iPhone for photography and also to take a picture of my parking space number, my shopping list, or things I want to remember later.
I have an old Polaroid for doing image transfers that I love, but don't use too often. They started making the film for these again last year, so this is an area of experimentation for me. The newer and more photographically reliable "polaroid" like camera is the Fuji Instax, which I have. I wish the film format was slightly larger, but it is a fun camera to use to take artsy photos with. I first saw it when Zooey Deschanel used it in Yes Man (the movie). I immediately had to have one. I use it infrequently, but wouldn't trade it for the world.
My most recent camera acquisition is the Lytro light field camera. It has a very unique shape and size - it is about the size of a slide viewer. Square and approximately five inches long. The Lytro's main feature is that you can change the focus point after you take the photo. Lytro's sensor system and software allow you to zoom in and out and move the focus point around as a viewer. What I may like as the center of attention may be different that what you as a viewer would prefer to have in focus. You can read more about the Lytro here.
I would someday like to have a smaller format DSLR that takes really good photos, something like the Lumix/Panasonic. But a camera like that is just a hybrid of what I can get with my iPhone or my Canon 40D, so it would be yet one more thing to keep track of cords, chips, and the camera itself in my bag.
The Lytro is a nice, fresh, new toy that I will keep playing with. I don't like that it has only serial downloading of images to my hard drive, and if you take a batch of photos, say 20 or more, it seems to take forever for them to download to the Lytro software on my computer. I also heard that it won't work if you only have a PC. I'm a Mac girl so that isn't an issue for me, but really? That's a bit of a shortcoming, I think.
So there you have it. I've admitted my problem. I am (relatively) powerless to say no to a quirky new camera. And, I am thankful there haven't been too many advances in the technology lately.