The community here is pretty good - I certainly wouldn't hesitate to share my shipping address with anyone who has posted a few times.
As I look at it, it really is no different then giving your shipping address to a store, or a magazine, or a credit card company, or your local, friendly taxation authority.
If you see something you are interested in, communicate with the seller using either PM or email (check their APUG profile). Work out any terms that are acceptable to both of you, and proceed.
The risks involved are the same as any long distance transaction. If you are buying from someone who has been here for a while, that can give you some comfort. I've bought and sold here, and have had excellent experiences (sales as far away as UK and Australia!).
You may never have purchased long distance from an individual. If so, your concerns are understandable, but you need to know that many people transact business regularly that way, with generally good results.
And as for Craigslist, I have had excellent results (sales and purchases). Of course, it really helps to know what you are buying or selling and what the value is. In addition, due to the fact that things like moderate value used film cameras aren't exactly the most popular items, there is less likelihood of buying something that turns out to be stolen or purchased using a stolen credit card.
In your case, as you don't really know what to check for, it might be hard for you to evaluate the condition of something on Craigslist. But you could always post a link to the ad here and ask for specific advice.
And as for "brokerage" charges - $50+ isn't unusual from UPS or Fedex. If it goes via USPS and Canada Post, there is usually no "brokerage, but sometimes it is $10 (+ GST).