You're probably right. I have had so many friends fail to make a competitive or comparable choice for stupid reasons over the years. Money is almost sensible, spending the same amount of money on dumb shit and gimmicks instead of a half decent used camera wasn't. But I'm an old head who has watched the trends come and go, know what I want, and stopped giving a fuck about the rest pretty early into the digital era. We, my cohort of "professionals" of varying degrees over 40, have owned or rented just about everything and seem to favor darkroom art prints or some kind of compact mirrorless about the size of the film cameras we grew up with. Anything you can see and autofocus most of the time in bad light usually goes over well. That's probably your bare minimum right there. The big bodies and lenses were half show, half tax write off.
If you're ever out on the trails or doing some sightseeing, the old farts with new fujis and olympuses are pros who got out of the declining industry and sold their work gear. The rest are amateurs and sports photographers outside their element. To the point, whatever rickety old shits with bad backs are using is usually more than adequate and not terribly expensive. Light and discrete is what gets the best photos.