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Old Apr 15, 2010, 11:31 AM   #1
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Default DSLR for High School Kid

Hello folks, my oldest daughter has a been enjoying taking photography and has become the local picture girl for her friends and neighborhood. She is currently using a P&S cannon that I gave her and a Canon Powershot S2 IS which we both agree is a funky camera.

She has had the opportunity to play with DSLR's and is hooked. She is going into high school next year and has already signed up for a photography elective class. She has proven herself to be a very good student in Jr HS and makes me a very proud parent. She has earned it.

But my dilemma is what kind of camera do you Pros recommend for a Newbie kid. I do not want to break the bank, but do know that it will be put to good use in the long haul.

I have been looking at the Sams Club, Amazon for both single or bundles. Not sure if she will need one of those with an auto focus motor or not. Been researching Canon, Nikon and just barely reading about other cameras.

Thank you guys.
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 11:54 AM   #2
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I would check with the teacher at the school where she will be studying photography. Do they have a preference? If most people are going to be using Nikon then don't get a Canon etc. Also what lens options will be needed, there are limitations with some on the entry level bodies, and for classes these are the sort of lenses that might be needed as they are very bright fixed focal length.

When it comes to the camera as a tool for learning all of the entry/mid dSLRs allow full manual control and give good results. Be aware that you are starting to buy into a system so it is going to build. Make sure that it has the ability to build in the right direction. Obviously Canon and Nikon on the big guns and are what 99% of pro shooters work with so they are the safe bet, especially long term, however there are also nice options from Sony and Pentax too, both of which have a good selection of older glass (Pentax especially).

I started on Konica Minolta (Sony uses their lens mount system now) but switched to Canon when getting more serious due to lens options etc. Making a switch isn't cheap so if you can avoid that then all the better.

OK, so I've not really answered anything apart from to say that any camera will do the trick, having good glass is really going to affect the quality of the photos, and the squishy organic part behind the camera is going to have a huge affect too.

If you have any other info then please put that into the mix as it might help.
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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All the entry level dSLRs should work well for someone just starting out. What distinguishes one from the other are some relatively minor features and capabilities. But on a limited budget, I'd suggest the Pentax K-x. It's got image stabilization in the camera body, so even 20+ year old Pentax lenses, available on the used market, will be stabilized (something that Canon and Nikon can't say), it can record video (something that Sony can't say), it has many of the 'touchy-feely' features that are common on P&S digicams, plus some high-end features that some of it's competitors don't have, and it's available in some cool colors.
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 1:55 PM   #4
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Mark that is a good Idea to find out what there requirements are. As for details? I am very green, but with my background I can research and learn very quickly. But at this point it's a first stepping stone and I usually like to purchase items for the long haul until I know I am ready for the next step. I teach my kids the same. Purchase smart and purchase once.

TC, I will look into Pentax.
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