Updated: Feb 20, 2021
Choosing a camera can be the most fun but also difficult thing any photographer can do. It is just as hard for a beginner to choose a camera as it is for a professional; the only difference is that a professional knows how they will use it.
As a beginner, you need to find something well-rounded and relatively cheap because you will be taking a variety of pictures or video, and you do not want to pay more for what you don't need. Not every photographer needs a 1D X or D6, and the more expensive the camera the higher the learning curve usually.
My first camera was a Canon Rebel t4i and I honestly should've kept it longer because it had every feature I needed and was fully capable of professional work. There are plenty of smart photographers out there who shop for cheap or used cameras for on reason: they know what they need.
Professional photographers will buy that Canon 1D X Mark III or Nikon D6 because they know they will use every element of that camera and it will fit perfectly into their workflow. I use the first iteration of the Canon 1D X line for a handful of reasons: the megapixel count is probably more than I need, it has a built in portrait grip and I do professional portrait work, it has a long battery life, the speed for the action I sometimes shoot in sports or even just trying to get images of children or pets playing. Of course there are some features I wish it had, like a variable flip screen and wifi connectivity, but those are more convenient wants than actual needs for my work.
The cool thing about websites like DPReview or even B&H is that they allow you to search based on filters you can apply to narrow down what you want in a camera. Both websites are also just great places to do forum searches on equipment you're interested in or maybe inspiration for shoots.
Go to either of these sites and just float around toying with filters or do some rigorous searching on what you are looking for based on what kind of images you want to create. Now get out there and take some dope pictures while I'm stuck in class.