Ok, so you want to start photographing. There are several options, ranging from camera phones to compact cameras, cropping and full frame DSLR / mirrorless cameras.
I would recommend you buy some material (1) not too expensive, but (2) enough to interest you in photography. This reduces the options a bit.
For example, I bought in 2009 or 2010 a Canon compact camera with image stabilization, 3x zoom and optical viewfinder (3x zoom separated in the viewfinder). He was producing shitty pictures unless he photographed in direct sunlight and I found him uninteresting, so I was never really interested in photography after buying this camera.
In 2012 or 2013, I found that a Canon 12x zoom camera with image stabilization was sold at a very good price. It did not have an optical viewfinder, but the zoom range was larger. It produced crappy pictures unless you shoot in direct sunlight and without a viewfinder, the LCD was totally useless in the sun, so you can not use it anywhere: sunlight => bad LCD screen, no of sunlight => opening too small. I have never really been interested in photography after buying this camera.
I have also owned several camera phones. I was never really interested in photography because of my camera phone.
In January of February 2019, things began to roll. I bought a Canon 2000D with a stabilized lens zoom lens with 18-55mm image. Now, for the first time in my history, the ergonomics, the quality of the viewfinder, the quality of the image, etc., were so interesting that I really got into photography. I quickly bought a 55-250 mm telezoom, a cheap tripod and a wide-angle zoom of 10-18 mm.
So, you probably think that I like my tripod equipment 2000D + 10-18mm + 18-55mm + 55-250mm + cheap? Well no. I do not use any equipment of this type today because I was so interested in photography that I quickly got out of my gear. My current kit is the EOS RP + 17-40L + 24-105L + 100-400L + 40 / 2.8 + 50 / 1.8 + 85 / 1.8 + Tripod Manfrotto + two speedlites + some light modifiers.
There is a hot spot in the equipment. This is not the $ 4,000 kit from Hueco, because buying this kit before you're interested in photography is not sensible, as Hueco had already noted by suggesting instead to find a mentor. (But you probably will not find a mentor easily.)
This is also not the viewfinder of Alan Marcus. When I was doing point-and-shoot, I never really used it, because of poor ergonomics, poor image quality, shutter lag time, zoom so bad that a SLR Digital without a mirror with a premium and a post-processing cropping is sharper, and a lot of other disadvantages.
Let's see how the DSLR / Mirrorless mirror + standard zoom (eg 18-55mm) + telezoom (eg 55-250mm) culture sensor addresses the situations you may encounter:
- Street photography: well lit, a standard zoom is correct. This is not so big that it would immediately scare all the people on the street (although people will probably recognize it as a camera above the ordinary). In case of low light or when you want to isolate the subject with a shallow depth of field, the report is not good. I would say that you can do street photography with a standard zoom.
- Landscape photography: The wide-angle end of a standard zoom can be used for this purpose. It is not wide enough for all purposes, and it is not good in low light, but may be otherwise acceptable. Add a cheap tripod and you are ready to learn landscape photography.
- Bird photography: a telezoom crop can be used to do this. I've taken many acceptable bird pictures with a cropping telezoom. The quality of the image is not very good, but it is acceptable enough for you to start. You will soon find that the burst rate and / or image quality of cameras and crop objectives will one day be limited.
- Flower photography: a standard zoom with crop is probably about 25 cm away from focus. This is good enough for flower photography, and at such close distances you will get a shallow depth of field.
How much money do you need then? I would say that $ 1000 will help you get started. All the equipment you can buy with the $ 1000 will become obsolete in one of two ways:
- You are really interested in photography and the growth of your equipment. You prefer better full frame equipment.
- You are not really in the photograph and the equipment will become unused so