- Camera for 14yr old. DSLR, Bridge or Compact System
As the title really what do I get my soon to be 14yr old daughter?
She has taken an interest in photography using her iPhone. She has taken some quite good pictures using her phone and my DSLR so as she seems to have everything we thought a camera might be a good present.
My thoughts –
DSLR – Big but ultimate flexibility.
Bridge – Big but not flexible. No upgrade path.
Compact system – I know nothing about these but seem a good idea.
Any advice welcome please. Budget wise under £300. Also what is available that might withstand the odd knock or two?Posted 1 year agogeetee1972Member
If you want to encourage her creativity and try to foster a genuine interest in photography, then I would be trying to get her to shoot as a photographer and not as a tourist, i.e. through the view finder rather than via the back screen (I’m not saying that the back screen isn’t a valid approach to composing but it’s good to learn the basics first).
I would also be aware that she won’t yet know what her ‘thing’ is, i.e. what kind of photographer she will want to be, so something flexible, i.e. with an interchangable lens is probably a good idea.
You also want something simple and enjoyable to use as well as robust and second hand. At this price point and the brief I don’t think it makes sense to buy new.
It’s hard not to see an APS-C Nikanon as the obvious choice; I don’t know the models well enough to make a specific recommendation but they are robust, flexible, dependable and cheap.
If you really wanted to be left field about it (and cool), go for a cheap body and then combine it with a really good but old manual focus lens. Manual focus will ‘retro cool’ and appealing but it will also teach her basic skills and make her think more about what and how she wants to shoot.
A mirrorless does have other benefits (I have only shot mirrorless digital the last few years myself) but they do suffer with being less robust; every time you change the lens you expose the sensor to dust and contaminants. With a DSLR, the mirror at least acts as a basic shield. Mirrorless need a good deal more care in their handling and they will be more expensive.
That said, and I will contradict myself on several points here, a very interesting option for someone so young but showing genuine interest in the medium, would be a first generation Fuji X100. It’s very basic in that it has a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent crop) lens and a hybrid electronic and optical viewfinder. It will be less flexible but it will be a joy to use and shoot with and it will encourage her to really think more about what she wants to shoot. It will be limited though given that you can’t change the lens.
If your daughter was saying she really liked just photographing what and who was immediately around her, sort of ‘street photography’, people, friends, street scenes etc, then the Fuji would be an exciting camera to have and use.
If she doesn’t know, then I’d stick to the DSLR route and go with a cool but high quality old manual lens.Posted 1 year agocoolhandlukeSubscriber
Get her a Canon g9x. It’ll get used, it’s got aperture adjustment on the lens body like an old school camera, it’s small enough for a trouser pocket
Imo, a DSLR will sit in the bag as it’s too big to bother.
* unless shes going to do photography, different matter.Posted 1 year agoRusty SpannerSubscriber
A camera is a box with a hole in.
Anything that encourages her to focus (sorry) on the basics.
So a cheap DSLR with easily usable manual controls for everything.
It’s the easiest way to establish the relationships between aperture, shutter speed, ISO and how they affect the image.
Not rocket science, and she’ll know more about photography than 99% of people after a week or two.Posted 1 year agodropoffSubscriber
Older Dslr would be my choice. I only know Canon so here goes. Try to stick to the xxd range although not weatherproof they have a better degree of sealing than the lower ranges. Also they have magnesium (not plastic) chassis which makes them more rigid and more able to take the knocks. Anything from 20d onwards would do the job, avoid the 50d as it had sensor issues.Posted 1 year agocpSubscriber
I only know Canon so here goes. Try to stick to the xxd range although not weatherproof they have a better degree of sealing than the lower ranges. Also they have magnesium (not plastic) chassis which makes them more rigid and more able to take the knocks. Anything from 20d onwards would do the job, avoid the 50d as it had sensor issues.
Whereas I’d avoid them as they weigh quite a bit and have larger hand grips (50d owner) and would be the last thing a 14 year old probably wants to lug around.
I would talk to your daughter about what she might want – and actually physically go and try some. All CSC, DSLr etc… allow for basic operation to understand the effect of aperture, shutter speed etc… Many compacts allow the same. I would get yourself and your daughter to a shop and try a few, though I’d lean towards CSC or small DSLr as the sensor size allows for more creative use of depth of focus etc…
The best camera is the one you have with you… if you own something you don’t like holding or is heavy/cumbersome, you are unlikely to have it with you.
Where are you located? Perhaps the forum hive mind can recommend some local shops.Posted 1 year ago
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