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Advice on choosing camera

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by Babycakes, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Babycakes

    Babycakes Member

    Hi All. My 14 year old son is interested in photography and wants a camera for Xmas. Any recommendations on a good starter camera? I know nothing about photography!!! Babycakes
     
  2. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Budget? What are his other intrests?

    Personaly I would go for an enterylevel SLR from the big manufacturers but that might be much more than you were thinking about
     
  3. Babycakes

    Babycakes Member

    Hmm not sure on price limit cos I want to get him something decent that will last him a while. No point in buying something that may need updated in a few months because it doesn't do everything he wants. Then again I don't want to spend a fortune!!
     
  4. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Although I am a Canon man my self I can't help noticing the deals that are out there on the D3200 with the 18-55 VR lens. It must be said that it is amazing value at many stores as they have put the price down in favour of the new D3300. Even more amazing as the D3300 is not much of an upgrade really... Don't get me wrong the 3300 is very good just not that much better than the D3200 IMHO.
     
  5. Babycakes

    Babycakes Member

    Can you post a link to an entry level SLR camera you would recommend. I have no idea what an entry level camera is !
     
  6. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

  7. Babycakes

    Babycakes Member

    Hey thanks very much. Just wondering, what is the difference between a DSLR and a SLR?
     
  8. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Ups, sorry. Well the Digital sensor is, a DSLR is a SLR with a sensor in it rather than film like the originals. And yes you want a DSLR ;)
     
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The D appeared to denote Digital at a time when SLRs were film. Now it makes no difference as I don't think it is possible to buy a film one anymore. SLR means the camera has a moveable mirror inside which allows viewing through the lens then flips away when the picture is taken. Now that cameras have electronic sensors and electronic viewfinders you don't strictly need one. CSC are compact system cameras that do away with the optical viewfinder altogether. Sony make SLT which has a semi-transparent mirror that stays fixed during the exposure.

    Depending on what you want to photograph most people like to have a "proper" viewfinder and to hold the camera to the eye. It is easy to hold a bigger camera steady to the eye than if held like a compact at armslength where it can wobble all about. DSLRs have the edge here but electronic viewfinders are catching up fast.

    Bridge cameras are all-in-one cameras that look a bit like DSLRs. They have a non-removable zoom which has a usually huge range by DSLR camera standards.

    To your earlier question an entry-model is the bottom of the manufacturer range. These are low(ish) priced and basic featured cameras that let people get started. They take the same lenses as the more dear models and usually are sold as a package with a heavily discounted lens.
     
  10. Babycakes

    Babycakes Member

    Ok thanks pete. What do you recommend for my son?
     
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I haven't a clue!

    Depends on not just how his interest lies but what he gets up to. If he is mountain-biking all over the place then anything that needs swaddling in bubblewrap deep in a rucksack won't get used. If he is heading toward 6'4" then a teeny little thing will be unusable etc. For people buying first cameras for themselves we usually suggest it is best to get to a shop and hold a few models to see which seems most natural to hold. This doesn't work for a surprise gift but if he is 14 and has asked for a camera I dare say he has a pretty good idea already !


    Of the types, and in my view, DSLRs are the most flexible (flexibility comes at the cost of more lenses) and by far the best for action. Compacts are the most portable. Many people with DSLRs will own a compact to have in their pocket. Bridges are good all-rounders. CSCs are improving and able to match DSLRs for image quality but for me are more a replacement for compact cameras. I think originally their concept in the market was to move consumers up from compacts to DSLRs through a middle ground but they became quite good on the way.
     
  12. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Asking enthusiasts questions like this may get you a good result but is more likely to get you something expensive and inappropriate.

    Have you found out what your son's really thinking of doing? He may just want something that will fit in his pocket and go everywhere he does, to photograph his friends and experiences. In that case, he'll be looking for what is called a "tough camera": http://www.ephotozine.com/article/top-10-best-waterproof-tough-cameras-2014-17302

    These are ideal for general use and I wish they'd been available when I was a teenager.

    If you think he's really interested in photography for its own sake (many people are) then here's a couple of pages about suitable starter dSLRs...
    http://www.techradar.com/news/photo...eras/best-dslr-for-beginners-6-tested-1058256
    http://www.cnet.com/uk/topics/cameras/best-digital-cameras/dslr-for-beginners/

    There are various other types of camera but these two are probably the types you'd find he's thinking about.
     
  13. nCognito

    nCognito Well-Known Member

    I have discussed photography with my neighbour's 16 year old son, who is in his school's camera club, and his priorities, in order of importance would be:

    1, A nice wide camera strap with a manufacturers name printed on it, Nikon is best then Canon, nothing else will do.

    2, A big camera with lots of buttons, DSLR would be the thing.

    3, A big lens, again DSLR.

    These three things are must haves in order to impress the girls in the club and get taken seriously. On that basis, I would go with the advice you have been given previously and get a Nikon 3200, review here http://www.techradar.com/reviews/ca...gital-slrs-hybrids/nikon-d3200-1076574/review , you can pick one up with the standard lens for about £310 from WEX or Currys if you want to go and see it first.

    I think most kids would take most of their photo's on their phones, a separate camera is as much about being taken seriously as it is about photography.. :)

    The advantage of the DSLR is that if it sticks as a hobby, he can grow into it and it won't restrict him or require you to buy another camera later. If it doesn't you can always use it yourself or put it on fleabay and get back almost all your money.
     
  14. Babycakes

    Babycakes Member

    Hey thanks everyone. Sons quite arty, wants to join photography club. He uses his phone to take pics of sunsets, flowers in close up, woodland scenes etc but needs something more appropriate so all the advice you've given will help me choose. :)
     
  15. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    If the D3200 is in budget and likely to be the sort of camera needed then perhaps you may like to have a look at this site.
    http://www.nikondigitutor.com/eng/d3200/index.html

    Also don't forget that you will need an SD card and also a suitable rain proof camera bag.
     
  16. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    Then he is a blinkered fool as photography is about using the most suitable tools to suit oneself not showing of labels. The revealing of a Calvin Klein logo on your underpants mentality isn't going to make a great photographer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  17. nCognito

    nCognito Well-Known Member

    No he is 16, brands matter. Besides don't you know 16 year olds know everything?
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  18. nCognito

    nCognito Well-Known Member

    I'm not entirely convinced his motivations include becoming a great photographer but at least he is learning something and having a go.
     
  19. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    My son is 14 and he knows everything. I suppose he will know more than everything in a couple of years time. He does know that Nikon and Canon are not the only cameras though because he has been raised very well.
     
  20. nCognito

    nCognito Well-Known Member

    Then I can only suggest you pop down to my local school and explain that to the camera club, I'm sure they will be delighted to have you, they are always looking for guest speakers. (I did 45 minutes on photographing the Milky Way).
     

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