Some people ask me which camera they should buy, they want some suggestions to help them buy a good camera. So I thought about writing down my views & suggestions about the points to consider when buying a camera. But before I start on it, allow me to mention that I am no "expert", photography is my hobby since my childhood, I love it and that's it.
I assume that most of you already have your first digital camera in the form of a mobile phone camera and you have already taken a lot of pictures with it, share them with your friends & family and in social networks. Now you want another camera. The first factor which you should consider is what is your aim, what is your goal or intention to do with your camera. Different people will have different aims, goals and intentions.
If your aim is simply to gain more control than it is in mobile camera, then you may choose a point-and-shoot auto camera. If you want more, you may opt for a bridge camera which is a bridge between point-and-shoot and dSLR. It is somewhat a semi-dSLR, with most features & controls of a dSLR with no option of changing between lenses. If you want firm control over what you're doing, then dSLR is the ultimate option for you.
A point-and-shoot auto camera has lots of basic features to help out the mediocre photography enthusiasts. Depending upon the price, some of these have some decently long enough zoom range as well.
In the bridge cameras, Nikon, Canon, Sony and FujiFulm have introduced their super zoom cameras, like 50x or 60x zoom. And these have most features of a dSLR.
Opting for a dSLR can be a costly affair. Because, you'll only get a basic kit lens like 18-55mm zoom along with the camera body. But very soon, after a few months of use, you may feel the need of another two lenses, one on the wider focal length and another on the further telephoto range. Here starts the game of costs.
And, why only costs, if you aren't sure of how to take superb care of your dSLR then you should never buy it. Dust, moisture & fungi attacks must be taken care of to maintain your costly gear. Also, changing between lenses while shooting outdoors can be a big headache for some people. Then, there are other accessories/attachments to add to the cost. Lenses, filters, tripods/monopods etc. all of them are quite costly.
So, to buy a camera, first fix your budget, then be clear about your aim or intention and then only you can arrive at a correct decision about which camera to settle for.
You may also get into a confusion like: Nikon or Canon! Once you set up your mind, before buying you should go to flickr.com and search sample images by typing the brand and model name of the camera. Observe the sample images carefully, satisfy yourself first. If you're happy then go for it!
Be careful about "experts" reviewing cameras and other accessories in their blogs. Most of them are paid by the camera and accessories manufacturers to do so. Many of the rest make a big earning indirectly from that kind of blogging. You'll find them in youtube.com as well. In short, these experts have the splendid ability to put you into a big confusion. Only YOU can decide what's best for you.