This is a never ending question with no singular answer. My two best friends (photographers as well) and I are constantly ribbing each other about our photographic choices. I am Nikon person all the way, and they are both Canon. We have never ending sessions of mocking each other with glorious tales of one brand over another, but in all reality a camera is only as good as the person behind it. You can shoot with all the bells and whistles and not achieve anything just as much as you can shoot with an inexpensive SLR and create art. What I will say though is that having an SLR is the only way to go. Using a telephone or a point and shoot, while great for times when you cannot bring a camera, is just not photography in its truest form.
I know, I know. Here is where I am going to get people arguing with me about the merits of telephone pictures. I am not saying they do not have their place, but if you want to create something lasting and special a phone is just not going to cut it. Now, what camera should you get? As I noted above, all brands have good cameras at all price ranges so there is no need to get into a tizzy. I also noted that I am a Nikon person, and the reason is because I have done a great deal of my work on Nikon over the last 30 years. My first SLR camera was an Olympus OMG back in 1983 when I was going off to college in London, and it was a gift from my brother. That served me well until I moved back to London in 1992, when I bought my first Nikon. Sometime in the early 2000s I went kicking and screaming into digital, and stayed with the brand I was familiar with. Over the years I have acquired all of the lenses I need, and upgrading cameras is something that you do periodically. So there you have it. I have all of the lenses for Nikon so I stay Nikon.
Okay, now you know my rationale, but I do love Nikon cameras. I am sure I would love Canon or Sony or whatever else I chose to use had I started with those. My current model is the latest and greatest D500, and although I have been driving this magnificent beast for exactly a year today, I have not even begun to stretch it to its capabilities. Let me just throw in a pet peeve here so please indulge me.... I hate when companies include video in the camera! There, I said it, and I am not ashamed. I have no intention of using that feature so I really don't want to pay for it. I am a believer that they should be separated out. Videographers tend to not use the still functions, and the higher nd cameras are not something people tend to buy to take on the family vacation........and I am off my soapbox.
Again, no matter what camera you are using there are two things that are the most important. 1. The person behind the camera and their eye, and 2. lenses. You wouldn't buy a Ferrari and slap on old tires and wheels with hubcaps would you?! So buy good lenses, and they don't have to cost a fortune. Personally I am a huge fan of both the Sigma Art series and the Tamron SP series. I do have beautiful Nikkor lenses as well, but my workhorse lenses are top of the range Sigma and Tamron as well as my one Tokina wide angle lens. More on that in a minute.
So, this particular camera is going to set you back about $2000.00 body only, but you can buy less expensive models if you are just a hobbyist. Notice I stated "body only" because that is what I suggest you always buy. Steer clear of the sets directly from the manufacturer as they are most likely including cheap versions of their basic lenses. Again, if you are a hobbyist this might be okay for you, but even if you are serious about your hobby stick with body only and buy your lenses separately. That way you can buy exactly what you want for the money you are willing to spend.
I have quite a few other "fun lenses" and another Nikkor 80-400 VR, but my main gear is as follows:
1. Sigma Art 24-105 (This is my workhorse constant companion)
2. Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16 wide angle
3. Tamron SP 150-600 (for safaris and birds)
4. Tamron SP 90mm Macro