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Old Aug 28, 2016, 9:10 AM   #1
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Default Please Recommend A Camera For 13 Year Old Girl

Hi, It's been a few years since I last posted here, I thought I would comeback since you were all so helpful last time around especially TCav if I remember correctly.

So here is my situation. Like the title says my daughter who is 13 has taken a keen interest in photography. Not just snap shots but in actual photos of things like birds, flowers, and nature scenes. She is asking for a camera for Christmas. I asked her why she wants a camera when everyone and their dog takes pictures with their I Phones these days and she says because she wants a more professional looking photo.

I have a small pile of equipment myself. I have a Nikon D60 from 2007 or 2008 and a Nikkor 18-105 lens and a Nikkor 70-300 lens. I also have a speed light SB-600 that my daughter has been playing around with.

My train of thought is to buy her a bridge camera something along the lines of a Panasonic FZ200. That way she does not have to carry extra lenses but she has manual control over the camera and the f2.8 across the entire zoom range is impressive and it has a hot shoe. The only concern is that it doesn't have a manual focus ring so I'm wondering if that will hurt her development or not.

The other option is to buy her a Nikon D3200,3300,3400 body and let her use our lenses and speed light so we could share equipment. My concern here is that even though I don't have expensive lenses I don't like the idea of her taking them out where they could potentially get damaged.

My third option is to get her into her own system. I found a Sony A3000 at our local store for $319 Canadian with a kit lens. If I remember correctly any Sony DSLR can use old Minolta lenses which means she can amass a collection of lenses at a reduced price.

She is not into taking sport/action photography but is very much into still photography of animals (birds at a feeder, dogs, cat) and nature. Would love something that is good at low light if possible and something that will help her learn the basics of photography but something she won't outgrow in a years time. I have $500 Canadian to spend. If it was your daughter/son which way would you go?

Thanks

Steve

Last edited by Steve71; Aug 28, 2016 at 9:59 AM.
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Old Aug 28, 2016, 12:31 PM   #2
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My third option is to get her into her own system. I found a Sony A3000 at our local store for $319 Canadian with a kit lens. If I remember correctly any Sony DSLR can use old Minolta lenses which means she can amass a collection of lenses at a reduced price.
First, this isn't necessarily so. Sony's current SLT series of cameras uses the same A-Mount lens mount as Minolta, so all the old A-Mount lenses will work, and they'll be stabilized. Unfortunately, Sony developed a new E-Mount lens mount for their mirrorless products like the A3000. The A-Mount lenses can be adapted to the E-Mount bodies, but the adapter costs $350 (US), but AF will be slow and they won't be stabilized.

I like the other two options you have, though, but I think that your options are limited by your budget.

Initially, I started looking for a Nikon P&S that could at least use your speedlite, but the cheapest seems to be the NIKON DL24-85 at $800 (CA).

Nikon's D3200, D3300, and D5200 would all be good choices in your price range, and she could use your lenses and speedlite.

But I think the best choice for her would be a bridge camera like the Panasonic you suggested, and the FZ200 would be hard to beat. But you might want to instill some brand loyalty in her, and the Nikon B500 has a higher resolution image sensor and a longer zoom, plus it's cheaper.
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Old Aug 28, 2016, 4:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice TCav. My concern with the Nikon B500 is that it doesn't have a view finder. I realize that an electronic view finder is not as good as a optical view finder but I know she does prefer using a view finder to an LCD screen to compose her shot. We have an old Panasonic LZ-7 she has tried out.

Here is the cameras I have found in my price range with a view finder.
Panasonic DMC-FZ70 $299
Sony DSCH 400 $349
Panasonic DMC-FZ200 $399

If it were between these 3 which would you get and why?

Thanks

PS Don't worry about brand loyalty. I have over 100000 actuations on my Nikon D60 when she gives up the ghost I'll move up to the 7000 series so I can have the screw drive. When she's older say around 16 or say I will be more trusting and she will be allowed to use my gear without asking.
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Old Aug 28, 2016, 6:47 PM   #4
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... she will be allowed to use my gear without asking.(emphasis mine. -TC)
My wife doesn't touch my camera bag without asking.
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Old Aug 28, 2016, 7:07 PM   #5
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Tough call. The FZ200 has a Leica f/2.8 lens but only a 12MP sensor, while the H400 has a 20MP sensor and the lens has a longer zoom, but it's not fast, nor is the camera's burst speed.

I think I'd go with the Panasonic. The larger aperture will let her explore DoF, should she be interested, and the smaller image size might encourage her to experiment more.

Don't forget the SD Card.
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Old Aug 28, 2016, 9:42 PM   #6
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Thanks TCav. As always your answers are a huge help. Thanks for taking the time to answer.
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Old Aug 29, 2016, 8:12 AM   #7
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My pleasure.
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Old Dec 30, 2016, 9:41 AM   #8
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First, this isn't necessarily so. Sony's current SLT series of cameras uses the same A-Mount lens mount as Minolta, so all the old A-Mount lenses will work, and they'll be stabilized. Unfortunately, Sony developed a new E-Mount lens mount for their mirrorless products like the A3000. The A-Mount lenses can be adapted to the E-Mount bodies, but the adapter costs $350 (US), but AF will be slow and they won't be stabilized.

I like the other two options you have, though, but I think that your options are limited by your budget.

Initially, I started looking for a Nikon P&S that could at least use your speedlite, but the cheapest seems to be the NIKON DL24-85 at $800 (CA).

Nikon's D3200, D3300, and D5200 would all be good choices in your price range, and she could use your lenses and speedlite.

But I think the best choice for her would be a bridge camera like the Panasonic you suggested, and the FZ200 would be hard to beat. But you might want to instill some brand loyalty in her, and the Nikon B500 has a higher resolution image sensor and a longer zoom, plus it's cheaper.
Thank you for information! It's really helpful! I am a newbie and your answer was really useful for me.
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