I'm not a photographer. I make things, mainly out of wool, sometimes out of fabric.
I was taking pictures of my beautiful things, and my pictures were, well, ugly. So I decided it was time to splash out. I read some reviews. But what I found was that people are terribly subjective. People love their cameras, and everybody has their favourite feature. I did find this guide really helped me to work out what I wanted, but I was still stumped. I knew what I wanted my pictures to look like, but I didn't know what features I needed to get there.
So I did something old fashioned in a very modern way. I logged onto Ravelry, that wonderful community of yarn lovers, and I found 13 people who took beautiful beautiful photos of themselves, their loved ones, their projects and their yarn, and I asked for help. I just asked them what sort of camera they used. I got much more. Every single complete stranger I emailed got back to me (most within 24 hours!), was happy to help, told me what make of camera they used, some gave links to the specs, others listed comparable cameras. Nearly everone had a few top tips on taking photos. It was great.
So I'm still not a camera expert, but I had the confidence to buy a camera, of course it helped that all the people I contacted (barring one) used either a Canon or a Nikon, or both! So my advice on buying a camera would be, find some photos you really like, and ask the person or people who took them for advice!
In the end by the way I opted for a Canon G12 and I'm very very happy with it. I haven't worked out all the bits and bobs and gadgets yet. But here's a photo I took: