Cheap cameras aren't necessarily bad cameras.
In the ate '90s I played with several Pentax SLRs which had appeared on the retail market a few years before and were soon to be found in great numbers in charity shops around Australia.
For the most part, these worked well, tho the zoom lenses gave slightly soft images, in a pleasing way. Light wrapped around subjects, that sort of thing. Nothing I would want to print or scan now, but.
In around 2005 Nikon dumped a load of F65s (aka N65) SLRs on the retail market inAustralia and I bought a new one, for around A$250 as I recall, with a 28-80 G zoom. A battery winder grip came my way for A$20 and I grabbed it. Also a second F65 body on Ebay, a few years later.
It has been ages since I've used an F65 but my partner makes do with a Nikon D90 with the older Nikon Series E lenses and an F65 as a film backup. The kit is very useful as the lenses are interchangeable. Alas, the F65 winder grip doesn't work on the D90 but one can't have everything.
There are many bargains out there if one wants to take the time to find them. As for using them, I've always believed that Henri Cartier-Bresson would have easily done most if not all of his brilliant photography, with a Kodak Box Brownie if the Leica hadn't been invented.