These are the Tools that I use, and can therefore discuss pros and cons. There are many ways to get things done, but not all paths lead to the same destination. There is so much equipment available that it would be impossible for me to try and physically compare all the options. The discussions in these pages are my opinions and probably differ from some other photographers. My opinions have grown out of my photography experience. You can see the results of much of that experience by reviewing my Galleries. I use the internet as a resource to examine and compare equipment reviews before I buy anything. That approach usually works pretty well. I have found that I should never buy before a real need presents itself because new and usually better versions of hardware and software are released contineously.
I currently use Canon cameras. Before the digital age, I used Canon, Nikon, Mamiya, Bronica and others. When digital arrived, cameras and pro lenses became more expensive, so it made sense for me to choose one system and stick with it. Once you have a significant collection of lenses dedicated to one manufacturer's system, it becomes prohibitively expensive to switch. I'm convinced that any of the major systems would have worked equally as well for me, but Canon was what I picked at the time and I've stuck with it. From time to time, one or another Camera System manufacturer will move ahead of the pack in terms of innovation or features, but eventually everyone else catches up. If I was starting out today, I would choose either Canon or Nikon for my system. Sony is quickly catching those two (only lacking in available lenses, but excelling in sensor development). For most serious work, I would choose a single lens reflex camera (SLR). A full frame sensor in the camera has advantages for large print images. A sensor resolution greater than 20 MegaPixels is also needed for large prints. A crop senor camera can excel in sports and action photography due to the potentially high frame rate and the extra telephoto reach of a crop sensor. Video capability is now built into most SLR cameras, but I am not currently shooting video and will not comment on video capability.
If you are a pro, you already know what you need. Others may need some help. My photography equipment discussions will be primarily for someone who wants to shoot images similar to the ones in my Galleries. I will also be focusing on Canon, or Canon compatible equipment because that is what I know best.
It sounds trite, but basically you get what you can afford or is in your budget for this hobby. I would balance what I spend on a camera body against what I spend (or intend to spend in time) on lenses. The camera body should be about 10% to 25% of your camera system costs. That may seem extreme, but in time you will see that it's not. If you are getting your first good digital camera, then one of the current cameras in the Canon Rebel line is what you need. The high end of what you should consider is one of the Canon 5D cameras. There are a number of excellent cameras between these lines that have their pluses and minuses. Do a lot of reading and comparisons before deciding. I've personally found that the 5D MkII and now the 5D MkIII do most of what I need, and more. If you shoot primarily sports and action you may gravitate toward the very capable Canon 7D Mk II. I would say that Canon's 1D line of cameras is strictly for working pros.
I've used Canon cameras for over 20 years and have only had one problem that required me to send the body in for repair. My cameras get hard use, but are not abused or dropped. There is a lively exchange of Camera equipment on ebay that is worth a look. If you are upgrading, you can usually get the best price for your older used equipment by selling on ebay. When trading up, you can often find what you are looking for on ebay too. Newer equipment does not fall in value very fast.