For most of us, I'm guessing it was a film camera.
Mine was a Canonet G-III QL17. Bought it in the mid-1970s, before I moved to Australia. I couldn't afford a Nikkormat (like the one my best friend owned), but at least this was a real 35mm camera!
I carried this little camera around Australia for a couple of years and took many photos (some good, some not so much). After awhile, I found myself longing for a Nikon or Canon SLR, or perhaps, someday, a Leica or Hasselblad. In the meantime however, at least I had the little Canonet.
This was the camera which first introduced me to to the mysteries of apertures, shutter speeds, ASA, depth of field etc. I lost it on the trip back to the States, which provided me with an excuse to buy the SLR I had dreamed of owning (well, it was a Pentax, but that's another story).
35 years later, I walked into the local shop today, took my customary quick glance in the display case containing used and mostly unloved cameras and spotted a little Canonet. Very nice condition. $50. Sold!
I will send it in for a good CLA and run a few rolls of film thru it....just for the memories.
What was your first camera? Do you still have it?