Camera choice for young beginner

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JimPD, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. JimPD

    JimPD TPF Noob!

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    I am looking to buy a digital SLR for my 13 y.o. daughter who is becoming interested in photography and already quite proficient with photoshop etc with her old digital snapper.

    Looking for best combination of features / settings / adjustments while retaining ease of use. Also good quality while not being too expensive. Facility for changing lenses, adding external flashes, fitting filters would be good.
    What best fits the bill? Any strongly recommended models for this situation?
     
  2. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    An entry level body would be perfect. They are not expensive and provide good image quality. Take a look at the Canon Rebels, and the Nikon D40 or D80. There are also cameras from Olympus, Pentax, and Sony. Depending on what your daughter likes to shoot the most, you can then narrow down your lens choice. A lot of the cameras also come with kit lenses.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    D80 for a 13 year old? I hardly consider a D80 "entry level" in any manner.

    I would even question a dSLR for a 13 year old. A nice P&S with some manual control is more than enough to introduce them to photography and let them decide if this is for them long term. A D40 or D80 would make an excellent 16th birthday gift, though... if they've stuck with it since age 13 (or whatever the equivalent is at that time) and shown a continued interest in photography. I am not saying that this is the case with this child, but the vast majority of kids today stick with something for a few weeks, mayby a couple of months, then put it away in the closet to forget, only to be replaced by the next $500-$1000 technological infatuation.
     
  4. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    very true Jerry, that would be my bad saying D80. I said that because the OP said an SLR, so I thought of that body. But the fact that kids, including myself, stay with something for a bit, then leave. A high-end P&S would suffice.
     
  5. AlejandroHernandez

    AlejandroHernandez TPF Noob!

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    Well, I'm only 15 years old and I have a Canon 350D with an inexpensive monolight kit. The image quality is great, specially under sunlight. It costed just $445 (body only) at B&H and the CF card + the lens was like $100.

    I'm really interested in photography, but i'm more into filmmaking, so photography it's like a hobbie but i'm planning to make money with it in any way. Don't buy her a P&S, the quality will never be as great as a DSLR. Almost everyone have a digital camera these days. Let her start with the best.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Two recommendations that I can give from personal experience:

    1) Canon G5 used - $150-200 USD
    - Good size to feel comfortable.. SLR like. Small enough for young sized hands.
    - Light weight.
    - Lots of SLR like features...
    - Enough sensor for decent PS work and sizable prints
    - Hot shoe with full TTL compatibility with Canon Flashes if she does move into flash photography
    - Both P&S modes (landscape, portrait.. etc), as well as TV, AV, Manual
    - Zoom
    - Good optics
    - Optical viewfinder which lends itself to shooting and bracing the camera as you would an SLR. Other P&S do not have an optical viewfinder.
    - RAW capable which lends itself for more advanced options in PS.
    - If you want something cheaper... the G3 is a good 4mp version
    - Willing to spend more.. the G6 is even nicer.

    2) Pentax *ist D, DS, or DL used - $300-450 (with kit lens)
    - More than enough to follow your daughter's growing interest with years of service.
    - Small compact lightweight body
    - If your daughter's interest grows into more specific needs, there is a wonderful selection of older manual focus K-mount lenses that can be purchased with little cash. Fully backwards compatble with these old K-mounts.
    - It is a full featured SLR.. enough said.

    There will always be an argument to get the best.. but at this point it is not necessary (might even be worth it). You can always graduate to something better at a later date. Its nice to foster a child's interest in something BUT realize that their interest are ever changing. It is not necessary to start with the best.. sometimes it is actually counter productive!! (sometimes.. something is so nice that it becomes a distraction)

    Quick snapshot of my son with the G5 with 420EX bounce flash:

    [​IMG]


    When I got to be of age to start understanding value in terms of $$$.... my father always tried to place value into perspective by translating purchases in terms of days or hours of work. Its very easy for someone to say.. only $450 .... Granted for some, that is a weeks worth of wages. A "weeks worth of time" is a lot easier to grasp than 450 of those green things in daddy's wallet. As a teen, I was saving up for my first car.. worked my butt off just to realize I could not afford but only junk. After weeks and weeks of fustration looking through car classifieds, Dad doubled my earnings simply because he saw how hard I worked. Now that was a lesson learned!!
     
  7. DHammer

    DHammer TPF Noob!

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    Personally I would go with the Canon Rebels. My daughter is 13 and taking photography as an elective in High School, its a film course and she was originally disappointed it wasn't digital. But now that she is deep into it she loves it. So to learn a SLR (digital or film) early in life will be a huge advantage later. And with the 40d and other new camera's recently released, you can pick up nice used dslr very inexpensively, hell I just filled in a hole or two in my film gear for next to nothing everyone is upgrading. So if you look into some camera store or ebay I bet you can find a digital rebel at a nice pice.
     
  8. Keagle

    Keagle TPF Noob!

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    I'm 14 and I got my 350D for my birthday, however I paid half. I love it, and it's great fun. I used to love taking pictures with the old P&S, and now it's just fantastic.
     
  9. luis_relampago

    luis_relampago TPF Noob!

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    A DSLR for a 13 year old it's great, times are changing and kids this days are more attracted to technology and learning a DSLR system at that age will be nothing out of the ordinary, my son is only 6 years old and he knows how to manually focus and shoot my cameras and he loves photography he wants a digital P&S for Christmas and I will definitely buy it for him and I will keep encourage him to photography.
     
  10. ZIN

    ZIN TPF Noob!

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  11. Docfeelgood

    Docfeelgood TPF Noob!

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    Im 14 and went for a panasonic f2z ,something like that anyway, its like a bridge camera so you cant change the lens, but its good for stating and my images come out good enough.
     
  12. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    my son is 6 and has a cheap p/s from ebay. he thinks its great and so do i as when im shooting hes happy too.

    i would say it all depends on your budget. say whay you want to pay and buy the best you can with that.
     

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