I often have people ask me the question "Which camera should I buy?" That can be a tricky question to answer and I usually do answer it with a few more questions. Some of these include: What is your budget? What kind of photography do you shoot mostly? Do you want/need interchangeable lenses? Is size and weight of the camera important? Do you need or want good video capability? A couple of other considerations are: how big are your hands and what brand camera do your friends shoot? (That last is important if you want to be able to borrow additional lenses or accessories.)
It used to be the case (back in the days of film) that the lenses were more important than the camera itself, as far as image quality was concerned. And, unfortunately, I still hear some "experts" tell people that today. In reality the camera is now at least as important. The sensor (which records the image) is now the "film" and the processors ( the built in computers in the camera) are very important in final image quality. So both the camera body and the lens that is attached are of equal importance.
So you can see that the simple question is not so simple. I do, however, often recommend the new Canon Rebel cameras for a beginner DSLR (digital single lens reflex) and the canon G16 (or whatever the latest version is) for a nice point and shoot type camera with lots of features, and it can shoot in raw file format. I just happen to be a lot more familiar with canon cameras than other brands, although to really recommend a camera I would need more information on what you plan to do with your photography. I will write more about different camera types and file formats later.