Estaban's old film camera broke, and now he's looking to move to digital. $500 is his budget. Leo says that's a great budget. Leo likes the Sony RX100 point and shoot. It's compact and has a zoom. It also has a large 1" sensor, which will give him far better photos. It lets in more light as well, so it's better in low light.
For DSLRs, the Canon EOS Rebels are great.
A great micro 4/3s camera is the Sony NEX 5.