I have already said that having the proper equipment is a must for every photographer who wishes to start off into the world of photography and, quite expectedly, the most important piece of equipment is the camera. It is absolutely essential that you get the perfect camera for your needs as it can make all the difference between a set of photos that will make you learn new things about yourself and the world and a set of photos of objects in poorly lit rooms that many people will mistake for art but that have nothing to do with art.
The most important thing to decide on is what you want your camera to do for you. If you are looking for professional equipment, then you need to address at least a few books and sources where you will be explained in depth all about various cameras, lenses and everything else that a professional needs. However, I am imagining that you are someone who wants to have a camera that will be enough for them as a hobbyist and that will not fail them in what they are looking for.
This is when you need to start reading up on various trade magazines and websites where you get professionals talking about various cameras. I could tell you all about my favorites as I also use a couple of hobby-grade cameras for some of my work, but I do not wish to. You need to check out various sources and to try and make a cross-section of various reviews. Of course, you will not be going for the cheapest models as you will end up with a camera that does nothing. However, it is also important to remember that some cameras are overpriced and that they do not justify the price tag in any way. It is important to steer clear of such cameras.
You also need to decide whether you want to go with a digital camera or an old fashioned one that is using film. There are many people who will tell you that you should always go for an old-fashioned one, but these people do not know what they are talking about. You may think that digital cameras will never have the sharpness and the feel of old cameras, but this is nonsense. It is not about the camera. It is about you and how you use it. And trust me, digital cameras produce photos of such quality that old cameras could only dream of.
Of course, you also have to get the “feel” for the camera. This is why you should always ask the salesperson to let you give it a go and play with it in the store at least. You should see how it feels in your hands, how well it fits with you and what the world looks like when you document it with that particular camera.