Best camera for ~$500. Primarily for pictures, video not as important.

I just want as great picture quality as I can get. I'm willing to purchase second hand too. A friend suggested I try to get a second hand panasonic gf-1. I've seen sample pictures and they look fantastic but I also know the camera is from 2009 so I thought there might be newer cameras that are better and possibly cheaper. What would you guys suggest? I don't really know much about cameras and don't have as much time to commit to photography so I'm not sure if DSLR is the way to go, micro four thirds might be better if I just want beautiful images. But I'm still open to anything you guys might think is great.