“Beginner” vs “expert” is a false dichotomy [link]

There is no camera for “beginners”. It doesn’t make any sense to recommend a camera based on skill level at all. Instead, getting into photography should go something like this:

Self-discovery [link]

Identify the area / subject matter you’re interested in, and just start taking pictures! It doesn’t matter if you only have a smartphone that only does auto. The important thing is to start taking pictures. Start gaining experience and get that sense of when something is photo-worthy, and how you want it to look. Start learning about framing and focus and other stuff like that.

Theory [link]

Once you’ve got those basics understood, it’s time to learn about how photography works. Get a camera with manual mode. Teach yourself about aperture, shutter speed, and sensitivity, then teach yourself how each of those settings affects the output of your camera. Internalize the effects that each parameter will have on the picture – how will it affect brightness? noise? blur? etc. Start learning to tune your camera’s settings for each scene.

Development [link]

Find a camera that can take RAW photos. Learn how to develop those photos. Familiarize yourself with all the factors that go into outputting a finalized image – exposure levels, color balance, sharpening and denoising filters, and so on. Pick a software and learn it.

Optional: Going pro / specializing [link]

By this point you should have a thorough understanding of the types of pictures you want to take, how to actually take those pictures with your camera of choice, and how to develop the raw output into a pleasing image. This is the point where you can start looking into specialized equipment and gear that suits the niche you’re most interested in – landscape? architecture? street? still-life? portrait? event? If you have enough money or you can start making money from photography, then you can start looking at picking out gear that will help you take the photos you want. Pick out a good body (sensor size? ISO? resolution? autofocus?) then pick out some lenses (focal length? aperture?) and you should be able to take all the photos you want.