Starting out with a mid range zoom kit lens is a good way to go. you can make a more informed purchase for another lens to replace or complement your existing lens down the road. an inexpensive second lens is to get something like the canon 50mm f1.8 for $80. this gives you much faster lens (larger aperture) than the kit lenses which is greater for shallow depth of field or low light...
If I wanted to go the rout of getting the "Kit Lens" (18 - 55mm & 70 - 300mm) and later I had in mind an "All in one" lens like the Sigma or Tamron 18 - 200 or 250) what would you say?.
I guess I really like the idea of an "All in one" lens with wide zoom abilities..
Up side, both the 18 - 55 and 70 - 300 kit lens come out to around $100 each and I look at them as "disposable".
After my first year or so, then I start looking for better lenses...
At f/3.5-6.3, and taking into account the narrower FOV exposed to smaller sensors, it's not truly a do-everything lens (not stabilized, neither ultrawide, not long enough to be an ultimate birding lens, too slow aperture to be great at low-light action), but for an ultrazoom it ain't bad..
The lack of image stabilization might perhaps give pause if you're considering a non-stabilized body, shooting low light, and rule out using a tripod, monopod or other support. If you are using a tripod, well, a decent tripod + mirror lock-up + cable release or remote + stable surface on which to put the tripod makes IS/VR et al much less relevant...
The kit lenses that you get with an Olympus DSLR are, IMO, more than a cut above other brands. This was taken with the E-330 and 14-45mm kit lens:.
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My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.
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It is a decision that only you can make. When I bought my Canon XT, I opted to get the 50mm f/1.8 (which costs about $70) to use as a learner lens and to zoom with my feet. That lens served it's intended purpose, and in about 6 months I was ready to buy some better glass (17-40 f/4L and 70-200 f/4L). I still use my "thrifty 50" for indoor and low-light photographs, and I have no kit lenses to decide how to get rid of..
The other manufacturers provide better kit lenses than Canon does..
I am particularly impressed by my Olympus Zuiko kit lenses (Though in the interest of full disclosure, I DID buy the 14 - 54 mm Zuiko! but I was ready, I think)..
Pentax also has a reputation for putting better kit lenses on their cameras..
My advice, even if you buy a Canon, is go with the kits even if you intend to buy better lenses 6 months to a year down the road. If you are just starting out in serious photography, those kit lenses will get you started inexpensively. And once you get better lenses, those kits are great for lousy weather and times when you need a back-upSTOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.
Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..