This is building on an idea from this discussion about equipment recommendations. The idea is that we'd have a "soft landing" post which "I am new; what camera should I buy?" questions could be marked as duplicates of.
The idea is that while many equipment recommendation questions are great for the site, new user camera recommendations tend to be particularly problematic (see the link above for reasoning). The proposal is to make a community wiki post which would provide helpful general information and pointers to other Photo-SE questions that cover the topic.
We've got What are considerations when choosing a DSLR brand?, How much do lens lineups vary across DSLR platforms?, Are there disadvantages to a prosumer camera for a beginner, aside from cost?, and some other great questions with great answers, but new users aren't finding these. And the good ones are all one step narrower in specificity, so the new questions can't fairly be marked as duplicates of one of them.
Closing everyone's vague question as off-topic or "not a real question" seems harsh and unfriendly. Might this be the better solution? Here's what I'm proposing:
I am new to photography: what should I buy, and what do I need to learn?
I am new to photography. I have taken pictures before, of course, but nothing serious. Now I want to get more serious. I'm not turning professional or anything, but I want a good camera. What should I buy?
Do I need a dSLR or a compact camera? What about those new mirrorless cameras?
What brand should I pick?
What about zoom? How do I know what lenses to get?
What resources are there for learning about my new camera once I get it?
How do I learn about the basics of photography?
Where do I get more help?
This is a community wiki question intended as a welcoming spot for new users. Each answer should cover one topic, either one of the above or some other fundamental concept. And each answer should be a pointer to another specific question (or set of questions) on this site, not new information.
What do you think?