Photography, like so many things in life, has a whole lot of BS stuck to to it. The reality is it's all about you and the thing you wrap in light and snatch from your time line - what you see, feel, think, identify with, its all about the creative not the camera. All cameras are equal in the creative process - nothing more than a photon-holding paintbrush. They all offer something a little different, yet their purpose is the same, to enable creativity.
So you want to buy a camera? Firstly, get the one that feels great in your hand, if you cannot relate to it you will not create with it.
DON’T buy a brand, buy a camera that you enjoy that brings you pleasure, one you can have a relationship with. It needs to be something that enables you and does what you want. It has to have what you need to have that 'dance with light'. Get a camera that you want to pick up and use, something that lights your fire not puts it out (because it has too many or too little megapixels, is big and heavy, looks ugly or is overly complicated to use). Never buy a camera or lens without first spending time with it. Heck, human relationships are founded on hanging out and getting close…so getting to know and choosing your creative tools is no different.
If you want to burn a lot of money spend it on lenses (even my iPod has an extra clip-on lens or three). Cameras come and go, lenses you will keep and shift from camera to camera. If you use or buy mirrorless cameras you can even use different brand lenses on cameras not intended for them by making use of adapters.
If you really want to spend money wisely, hang out at the library or buy books, lots of books, not on photography, but books by photographers on what they have done and learn to read what they have written with light. Learn to read photographs.
Where you start your photographic journey will not be where you end up, don't try and be great to begin with, just work on growing . Become visually greedy, look like you never have looked before. Photograph things to see what they look like, explore light at all times of the day and night. There are NO rules just journeys, get caught up in seeing, be captivated by light then subject.
Photo software is not your camera so don't be seduced by it, don't let it be your camera. Its SOUL purpose is to complete your seeing…and your camera's SOUL purpose is to capture what you see. The problem with photography is that it's become 'all about the gear'. Get over it. It ain't. It's all about you. You are the unique thing here for this moment in time, so bring what you see, who you are...and don't be generic (you know, lacking imagination or individuality, being predictable and unoriginal). Generic - make it a phase if you must, not an end.
Camera gear comes and goes, it just keeps getting better (that's technology for you). The real trick, like technology, is to keep getting better and above all, have fun. When your differences, your 'unique', embeds itself in your imagery, then it's called style and it's all yours!