What age to give a kid a DSLR?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by benhasajeep, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I have a couple extra cameras. And my nephew has shown some signs he really enjoys photography. He currently has an inexpensive p&s digital. And he's actually shown a good eye for shots. But is being limited by the cheap camera.

    He is 12. I have 2 cameras I would be willing to give to him, but not quite sure if he will take care of them or not. I am leaning towards he would. But he's at that age where he's forgetful and leaves things around. Kinda scatter brained.

    The current plan is to LOAN him our Coolpix 8700. Has the grip, and the accessory lenses. Extra batteries, everything he needs. This will be a pretty big step up from what he has. We feel by saying were loaning it to him that he would take better care of it, if he thinks we will ask for it back??

    Also I am willing to give to him a Canon 20D and a couple inexpensive kit lenses, and a flash.

    Now the question is, should I mention to him the Canon 20D or just wait and see how he does with the 8700 first. Obviously if he looses or breaks the 8700 right away not going to give him the 20D. But I would feel bad if I basically told him to expect the 20D. But also thinking he may take it more serious if I do mention the 20D?? I don't mind giving him the cameras, and honnestly even though saying they are loaners. I will be giving them to him. But I would be very dissapointed if they were ruined.

    When I was a kid I would have killed for an opportunity like this. Can see a little of me in him. And kinda want to help him out. Just thought that some of you with kids might have some ideas on this. He does not live close to me so I can't do a mentor type thing.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Bravotwofive

    Bravotwofive TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't give my daughter a BMW until she could drive well.
    If he is learning photography, and the responsibility of equipment care there is nothing wrong with learning from the ground up.
     
  3. AtlPikMan

    AtlPikMan TPF Noob!

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    I say give him the Coolpix and see how he does. You can also mentor him in the proper ways to take care of his gear. If he does well reward him, if not wait til hes older.
     
  4. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps "loan" him the Coolpix and let him use the Canon when he is with you. Over time, you'll see how he takes care of the equipment.
     
  5. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately he lives 1,000 miles away, and only see him once a year if that. So, there would be very little observation of the use.
     
  6. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    Well, that's a different story then. Start slow, no promises and see how it goes. Some 12 year old can be very responsible with their treasured belongings.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This could raise a case of pride of ownership. Quite a lot of my friends have really hot cars, often the parents bought them. I would say nearly half have written them off, most have had a minor ding, or a run in with the cops. None who had to buy their own car have had so much as a parking fine.
    Similar thing with laptops. My parents bought my sister hers. She actually was careless enough with it to leave it at Frankfurt airport. It's just a case of having no value attached to the object.

    I'm not saying don't buy things for him. Just saying regardless of how old someone is, if you go out and just buy them a DSLR they will not appreciate it. I agree with the loaning of the coolpix, get them an interest in photography, and if it really kicks off, then offer to help them buy the camera, some reward system like getting perfect As, or something to attach value to the camera. Mind you if he gets interested enough the value may come just from his joy in the hobby.

    There's no right or wrong here.
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Yea, we have talked about it and decided not to mention the 20D. We are double checking with my brother in law to see what they think of it. It's really not a big deal to me, as the Coolpix and the 20D are being used less and less now. Might as well give them to someone who will use them. The coolpix doesn't have much value to it, couple hundred at the most. The 20D has a bit more value to it, but I think it would be better served to allow someone in the family to use it and learn with it than to try and get some money for it.

    I know what your getting at about pride of ownership. As my younger sister and brother are that way. No respect for others property. They treat what they own / bought good. But when it comes to others property, not so good.
     
  9. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    or just tell him im going to loan you the coolpix and if you take care of it and are still interested in photography next time i see you i will give you the cannon 20
     
  10. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    or, you could wait until he could tell you the difference between the two cameras and what the advantages are of the 20D over the Nikon Coolpix. Until he knows the differences I doubt the lack of a 20D will really affect him much.
     
  11. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    I say give him the coolpix and your email address and set him assignments so he can show you the results on your next visit...
    on your next visit take the 20D with you and give him it as a reward for going out and sticking to the challenges
    and maybe take him out for the day on a shoot doing what you two like best and give him some pointers and show him his way around the controls a little and tell him you want to see him using it and getting good with it and you will give him Lens' for it if he does well :)
     
  12. willma88

    willma88 TPF Noob!

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    Heres my two cents worth.

    When I was 12, I was in year 6. At that time, all I wanted to do was to become a astronomer. And there was this really expensive telescope I wanted to buy. It wasnt expensive as in thousands, I think it was around 300 dollars, but for a kid of 12, that was heaps! When it was my 13th B'day, my parents agreed to splitting the cost of the telescope to halves with me and give it to me as a present. I

    After I got the telescope, I no longer found astronomy attractive.. or the telescope for that matter. I lost interest.

    With me and photography, I only became interested when I was 15 (Last year), I took on a job and worked hard to get the money to buy my gear. It makes it feel a little more accomplished, and i guess gives me more determination to continue with it.

    I say, loan him the Coolpix, see if he still likes photography three months later and see if your nephew is still interested. Hopefully he wont be like me and astronomy! =)
     

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