2017 Camera Buying Guide
There are three main types of cameras in the consumer category: Point and Shoot; DSLR and Mirrorless.
Point and shoot cameras are the least expensive*, smallest and lightest option (aside from cameraphones). They're not expandable (you can't change your lenses) and they are limited in the scope of what they can do. They absolutely have a purpose and can be quite useful, but if you're looking to improve your photography, they're really not the best way to spend your money.
So, that leaves us with the next two categories: DSLR (digital single lens reflex) and Mirrorless Cameras. Here are my recommendations for both.
Note that I've placed the cameras from left to right in this order: entry-level; enthuiast;