I've been playing around with my camera, for which I just bought a remote control and EyeFi SD card. First of all, the camera... I'm not much of a photographer - I like the idea of it (and have lots of accomplished photographers in my family), and I like technology, and I understand what F-stops do, but I'm terrible at actually taking pictures. As a result, I was advised to get a compact camera, and not a DSLR because although lots of DSLRs have got full-auto modes, they can be too fiddly to take snaps with. Some compact cameras have manual modes, but do a lot to help you take ordinary pictures. All this made sense to me, so I bought a Nikon Coolpix P7100. I really like it - the few out-and-about snaps I've taken are easy to do, and come out much better than I'd manage with our snap-happy camera (or indeed with the various phones I've owned). If you're after a decent camera and don't want hassle, this seems like a good one (and not too expensive these days either).
I've been pushing my knowledge, my camera and my dining room table a bit though. I bought a "lighting tent", which came with a couple of cheapo lights and a very crappy tripod. It took a bit of getting used to, but I was getting quite good results with my Nokia N900 phone. I'd definitely reached the limits of that, so bought the Nikon and have been learning ever since.
Doing close-up work really needs a tripod, and if you need a tripod, you need a remote control (shutter cable, for the old-skool). I bought a "shoot" branded one for my Nikon, which cost about two quid, and does what you need - it makes the camera take a picture without actually having to touch the camera.
The EyeFi SD card was a bit of rampant consumerism on my part - although it actually makes life a hell of a lot easier. It's basically a normal SD memory card, except it's got wifi built into it(!). You just snap away, your camera saves things to the SD card which in turn magically sends them to your computer. That means you can take a picture and then examine it on the computer - all without touching the camera. Very handy indeed.
I'm quite pleased with the results of all this (the picture above is straight off the camera - no photoshopping or colour adjustment at all), although it takes me ages to get anything done. Practice needed, I think ;-)