Skip to comments.Seeking camera advice (vanity)
Posted on 01/21/2012 10:07:27 AM PST by FourPeas
I've done a bit of looking for a camera for my 12yo son, with little success. Hopefully some more knowledgeable FReepers can give me some good advice.
I want a camera that he can use to actually learn about photography, not just use to take pictures. I'd like a camera that has the capabilities to manually set shutter speed and aperture, not just one with a lot of snazzy automatic features. Actually, I'm afraid all those features will just get in the way. At the same time, I'm not looking to spend more than a couple hundred dollars.
I have no problems with a used camera from a reputable dealer, in fact that's where I've been doing most of my looking.
I waiver on whether to stick with a digital or revert back to a film camera. The immediate ability to review a photo on the digital is nice, but I've not come close to finding a good digital option.
Photography's been an on-and-off hobby for me for 35+ years. I have several old film cameras, and I may end up using one of them, but all would require me to very closely supervise him so wouldn't allow him to just have fun when he just wanted to take snapshots. My old digitals are too complex and maneuvering through the menus would be more confusing than the old-fashioned rotating dials.
Which brings me to the final complexity. This kid is my daredevil. Any camera will need to be pretty rugged to be really useful to him.
So, is there something out there that fits my needs? Maybe a better plan is a two camera strategy: one snapshot fun-only box, and one more educational manual box? Any ideas?
Thanks, I’ll take a look at it.
Great tagline, btw.
Take a look at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28K or equivalent. It has the look, feel (and functions) of a 35mm body with digital output. Used price: under $200.00
Interesting idea. I’d not thought about that angle. Thanks.
You might also want to consider some basic art classes, preferably drawing or beginning painting, if his school offers art. He will learn about composition, light, shadow, perspective, color.
If his school doesn’t offer drawing classes, see if there’s anything available in your community.
Thanks, I will take a look at the Panasonic.
First question to answer is how responsible is this 12 year old daredevil kid? That can be a starting point for the type of camera you select.
Is he the one that wants to learn the manual aspects or is it you who want him to learn those aspects? Is this for a class or fun for him? Sort those kinds of questions out first.
Then I would start at the lowest cost you can find for a camera and go digital..You can check with a good camera shop and maybe find a second hand camera...but beware there are lenses etc that can be had and changing lenses is something that must be done carefully. Personally I shoot with Nikons ( I have several and professional level cameras) but my cousin a professional, shoots with Canon and both are very good. I would not get the most expensive one at the outset. Our daughter got her son a Nikon D80 a few years ago for her son and he did not take care of it, ended up using hers and he broke that one too..
Good tip on the light meter. Somewhere I have an old one that I used as a kid. It’s probably time to dig into a few old boxes and see if it still works. That might even be something to show him while I’m still in research mode.
You read my mind. We’re homeschoolers and photography, including the tie-ins to art and physics, are part of what we’re studying this spring/summer. I think I’ve found a good class at a local camera store, although I may have to talk them into holding it for just my kids or drive an our to another one of their locations, but that’s another story...
Great site for all kinds of info from a very experienced guy who’s good at cutting through the fog.
I bought both my kids Kodak digitals. My daughter went on a trip and took over 400 pics along with a number of videos. Getting a kid a film camera is buying them into a dying technology and they like the ability to do video which they post on You tube to impress their peers. Us old geezers might well prefer film but the future is digital. The things to look for are the time it actually takes the camera to take a picture and by all means go for the rechargeable from USB rather than disposable batteries. If you absolutely must have an old style camera check out yard sales I sold my Nikon with several lenses speed winder and case for $35 for the nostalgia factor and buy them a digital too but do not go overboard the idea is to get them to carry and use it and if it is too high dollar the temptation is to leave it home where it will be safe.
Thanks. I’ll take a look.
I’m glad you’re homeschooling! That’s awesome!!
A class at a camera store will help- and maybe you can talk them into holding a class JUST for kids? Not only your kids, but other kids, too? Also, if you have an art store nearby, maybe they have something, too.
Thanks for the link.
Adorama Cameras --> point and click
I second Ken Rockwell as a resource.
I started in photography sixty years ago.
After a while, he will figure out what he likes to shoot (landscape, portraits, street life, urban landscape, photojournal, sports nature, etc.) although it's best to be well-rounded. After he understands the manual function of a camera, you could consider getting him point-and-click but he might be unsatisfied by that.
There are a number of photography sites that feature great art. In the initial stages, you may want to show him these sites to see what's possible and maybe take him to an art gallery that features photography so he can see the breadth of what's out there. Here are a few online photographers I like:
Nowadays, you can't be a good photographer without learning Photoshop. Photoshop Elements is an inexpensive piece of software, comapred to the whole Adobe suite of creativity. Lots of places to learn how to use it, in addition to classes at community colleges or certified trainers. Good luck and have fun!
Grab one of your old digitals.... scroll through the menu... set the beebers to stune... you will be all set
This is the route to go - G9 -
here is a good place for info -http://www.dpreview.com/
Ebay or Craigs list Canon G series. Else - a cheaper older digital Rebel. I’d rather have a G series - unless my plan was to start building lens collection - then Rebel.
If you can get a G9 for $150 - full speed ahead. if not - G7. But - if you can go to $200 - G9 is a better camera.
In fact - one of the sweeter little old cameras I have is a G3.
Study the series a bit - in my opinion - up to G7 is a bit weak because you can only go iso 400.
BUT - they have that sweet F2.0 lens.
I would go G9 - because there is so much you can do nowadays with high iso (G9 goes to 3200) - that it is worth giving up a bit on that F2.0 ( F2.8 for G9).
The only camera to ever have - the Canon 5D. (Unless you can afford 5D-II).
A free download from iTunes to
an iPhone, iPad or Ipod touch => Light meter.
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