This is going to a highly personal selection and I expect most people to disagree with me.
If I was starting in photography budget not being a concern what would I buy. Well I am going to limit this initially to the two areas that most interest me, street photography and studio portraiture.
Street photography if fixed lens compact then you have a large choice. The little DX crop Ricoh, Fuji X100, full frame Sony RX1 and the full frame Leica Q would be the cameras I would look at.
If I was after a camera with a little more flexibility, then I would go for Olympus Pen or Leica CL, both very flexible interchangeable len cameras, both being smaller crop factors so giving greater depth of field making zone focus easier.
So what would it be? I think for the flexibility I would pick the Leica CL a little DX crop format camera.
So what about studio work? Well I’ll address that in a few days.