If you’re asking this question without any additional qualifiers (such as, “Which camera should I buy for portrait/landscape/sports photography?”) I’ll recommend the Sony a5100 kit ($700). It’s a great all-around camera that’s easy to carry.
If you’d like to spend less, or you might want to invest in more serious lenses in the future, buy a Nikon D3100 kit or a Canon T3/1100D kit and don’t worry any more about camera gear unless you start to struggle with your equipment’s limitations. It should cost you around $400 new or $300 used. I know neither kit is the latest model, but they’re great cameras at an amazing price. I’ve used them both, and they make amazing photos.
If you want to use the camera to take video, too, you might consider an upgrade to a Canon T3i/T4i/T5i or a Nikon D5100/D5200/D5300 (whichever is available). Those models are a bit more expensive, but they add an articulating screen, which makes video much easier to record.
If you have an unlimited budget, buy a Nikon D810 ($3,300), a Sigma 24-105 f/4 ($900), a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 ($2,400), and 200 copies of my book.
These are quick recommendations that work well for most beginners, but there are hundreds of cameras on the market, and if you have specific needs (such as sports or wildlife photography, or if you’re a more serious photographer), a different camera might be a better choice. Continue reading!