An anonymous reader writes "I've managed to go my entire adult life without owning an actual camera. I've owned photosensors that were shoehorned into various other gadgets, but I've gotten to the point where the images produced by my smartphone aren't cutting it. My question: what camera would you recommend for getting into basic photography? I don't mean that in the sense of photography as a hobby or a profession, but simply as a method for taking images — of friends, family, and projects — that actually look good. That's a subjective question, I know, but I suspect many of you have a strong grasp of price versus performance. For example, when I'm picking a new video card, it's easy to figure out which cards are the best deals for a given price point — then I just have to pick a price I'm comfortable with. I figure a decent camera will run me a few hundred dollars, which is fine. But I don't have the expertise to know at what point spending more money isn't going to do me, as a camera newbie, any good. Any thoughts?"
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