Buying a used Nikon D90 and used lenses will give you a very capable camera to start with. Combine this with a standard lens or with a zoom lens. Lenses with large aperture equal to f/2.8 or larger are suitable for low light and shallow DOF. Canon, Olympus and other have similar equipment.
Zoom lenses have a complicated internal focusing mechanism to obtain the variable zoom lengths; zoom lenses with a wide-ranging zoom area, generally have a lower optical quality than a zoom lens with a short zoom length. 18-200mm vs 24-70mm. Long lenses may need to be used with a small aperture to obtain good quality. Compare Nikon AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8 G IF-ED at above 1500US $ to the AF-S DX 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G VR at 700US$ at www.nikonusa.com. The 17-55 f/2.8 is a heavy high-performance lens at premium price suitable for low light conditions, the 16-85 f/3.5-5.6 G is a consumer lens probably adequate for the new DSLR user. I have never considered buying one of these ,I prefer to use a lighter prime lens like 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.8 plus 12-24mm AF-S DX f/4 for wide angel scenes. These have been my preferred equipment for my previous Nikon D70 and D200.
About VR: Vibration Reduction extends usable range in low light condition. It is possible to have sharp images in low light condition with stationary objects. A short shutter delay in VR mode might be taken into consideration. VR does not have any effect on moving objects.
About filters: I prefer to have a high quality filter installed to protect my lenses from scratches and dust. Multi-coating helps reduce most surface reflections. B+W filters about MRC.: https://schneiderkreuznach.com/en/photo-optics I have not been able to detect any reduction in quality with filter on.
Nikon Best and Worst Lenses:
Rendering the print: Technical Paper, By Karl Lang