simo79 wrote:In respect to lenses it seems I can get a twin lens kit. I assume, at the risk of sounding incredibly stupid, that a 250mm or 300mm lense would be useful and better for the landscapes as opposed to the single lense?
Twin lens kits typically consist of a 18-55 lens plus a 55-200 lens. There are variations but that's the most common set.
The 18-55 is useful for wider angle shots and general shots including landscapes. Most landscape photographers would work in the 18-30 ttype range if that was the lens they had to use. You would generally use this lens for most indoor shots.
The 55-200 is a medium telephoto range ideal for portraits (55-100 range) and close ups of subjects that are more distant, animals at the zoo, kids sports, that sort of thing.
That's an incredibly basic explanation but I hope you get the general concept.
A twin lens kit is ideal for a new owner because it gives you reasonable coverage in the most popular range (effectively 18-200) and allows you to find your photographic feet. You may discover after a while that you take most of your shots at the wide angle end of the range and you can then upgrade to a better quality wide angle lens, similarly you may get right into the kids playing sport and discover you need more reach and a 70-300 type lens is what you need or that bird photos are your passion and the Sigma 500mm becomes something to lust after.
Photography is a journey and you are taking the first but by no means the last steps so be prepared for the roller coaster ride.
If you want to play with lenses at no cost Nikon have an on line lens simulator.
Click here to play and have fun
As far as the touch and feel is concerned most brands have a fairly generic feel. Try a couple of Canons and some Nikons (the D3000 and maybe a D90) and a Pentax or two and you will quickly get a feel for the brand you like. If you pick up two Canons and love them and two Nikons and hate them it's unlikely that you will be comfortable with any Nikon and it's equally likely that you will be fairly comfortable with any Canon.