about buying a "good" camera...it doesn't have to be expensive

It's an old chestnut among photographers that your "best" camera is the one you have with you, and nowadays most everyone has a pretty good camera in their phone.  But sometimes the photography bug will bite a bit harder and you may want to get something that can give you a bit more flexibility in where and how you take your pictures.  I'm here to tell you the good news is that you can take professional-quality pictures with a dSLR brand-new from several different manufacturers for under $600.  In the case of Nikon cameras, which is the main brand I use, the least expensive dSLR they make happens to have the same sensor as considerably more expensive professional-level ones they made just a few years ago.  Not only are the inexpensive ones inexpensive, they are compact, very light in weight, and their lenses are very good.  And, if you are not adverse to buying used, you can move up to the intermediate level of dSLRs for the same money.  It's amazing how many perfectly good, hardly-used dSLRs there are for sale on the used market. The intermediate-level cameras really only have one advantage over the entry-level ones however:  More buttons, which makes it easier for an experienced photographer to use, but no better pictures!