The process I go through to buy something is stupid. My girlfriend will tell you, I can sit at a computer all day and search and search and search.....and search until I read every review and look at test shots and sample footage from all ends of the earth. Buying my first DSLR was no different. I will break down the process and in the end, you'll see how I got the Nikon D5300 as my first DSLR and some images I took and edited in LightRoom.
Step 1: GOOGLE
I don't know how many times I can say this. Google the product. DP review, FroKnowsPhoto, Kai, Lok, Phillip Bloom, these guys do excellent reviews.
Step 2: READ the REVIEW
That is what they make the reviews for! Don't just skip to the end where they weigh the Pros and Cons of the camera system you are looking to buy. Fro does a lot of "Real World Reviews" and the videos to accompany them are awesome. The guy even has a podcast which although doesn't really review gear, they announce things, they give away stuff, and use a lot of the gear they test out so I have found that they publish some awesome content and trustworthy reviews.
Step 3: Commit
Once you finally commit....FINALLY COMMIT, just pull the trigger and buy it. The more you wait the worse it will get. Amazon and BandH are usually the best places as far as price is concerned but there are tons of places to get camera gear.
Step 4:(maybe unnecessary but after step 2) YouTube It
It seems as though everyone now-a-days with a camera makes a video of their gear. I have yet to do one. There are tons of great content reviews on YouTube and not all are sponsored by "X" manufacturer. Reviews that tend to say the same thing from different YouTubers I would say go with. Don't type in "reasons not to get ______" because then you're going to get just that. Go with the "________ review"so it is very general and just jump down that rabbit hole.
Finally, you have bought your gear and it's time to shoot. Go out. Shoot everything. Don't be afraid to ask people to take their picture if you see someone interesting on the street. But talk to them, make conversation, I am taking your picture because you seemed like an interesting human. What is your story? I think that is something that I have always asked. What is your story? You will never know how many interesting people you walk by on a daily basis.
The first time I really came out of my shell was about a month after I got the hang of my camera. I played with the settings, I found what I liked, I went and bought a 50mm F1.8 to get that sexy bokeh that everyone loves so much. One thing I absolutely love is Long Exposure photography. It takes patience and you gotta frame it and edit it well. This was well before I knew what bracketing exposures was soooooooo since then, things have gotten better.