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Old Aug 11, 2011, 6:58 AM   #1
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Default Best beginner's camera.....help!!

Hi all at Steve's DIGICAMS. I am looking to buy a camera for my daughter who is 13 and wanting to get into photography. I don't think I want to spend the money required for DSLR's and lenses etc and it would all maybe be a bit too much in terms of learning curve and weight etc.

I was wondering if a bridge camera would be the way to go in the beginning and had been looking at the Fujifilm HS10 or HS20 which I can get for around 250 - 300.

Just looking for some advice as I know nothing about cameras other than the basic point and shoot jobs.
Just to let you know she is very artistic and mature for her age so she is more than a capable beginner, probably better than I would be.

Any advice would be great........
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Old Aug 11, 2011, 7:43 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by gordy1965 View Post
Hi all at Steve's DIGICAMS. I am looking to buy a camera for my daughter who is 13 and wanting to get into photography. I don't think I want to spend the money required for DSLR's and lenses etc and it would all maybe be a bit too much in terms of learning curve and weight etc.

I was wondering if a bridge camera would be the way to go in the beginning and had been looking at the Fujifilm HS10 or HS20 which I can get for around 250 - 300.
Welcome to the forum.

A bridge camera might be a good place to start. For someone interested
in learning, make sure it has good options for manual control. Check the
reviews on this site for details.

My own experience with teenagers has shown that they have a
tendency to lose or break expensive toys. You can probably tell
if your daughter is in the high risk category by looking at her
loss/breakage rate for mobile phones, portable music players,
laptops etc...

There are a few options available. The Fujifilm HSx0 models you
mentioned and some similar models from Panasonic are highly
rated.

Your budget (300 UK) comes close to the price of some of
the more advanced compact cameras with a larger image
sensor than the superzooms you were considering.
The Canon S95, Panasonic LX5 and Olympus XZ-1
are all worthy of consideration. These cameras offer
better image quality, especially in low light. The cost
is a big reduction in zoom ratio.

Another option is interchangeable lens cameras. Most of these
are outside your budget, but I notice the Olympus E-PL1 is
selling at 299.99 from Argos at the moment. These offer better
image quality than either of the previous two options. The standard
lens has a 3x zoom ratio covering a useful wide angle to short
telephoto range. If this doesn't satisfy her needs, you can buy
her another lens for Christmas.
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Old Aug 11, 2011, 4:23 PM   #3
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G'day Gordy

The above advise is excellent - I would add the proviso tho ... not an interchangeable-lens camera at this stage - let her learn on something else at this stage

The Fuji HS10 or 20 that you mention are excellent cameras, good specs etc so I would start looking seriously at them ... my pref as a beginner camera would be the HS10
Also - you could have a chat to her school photog teacher & get some feedback from that source as well

Regards, Phil
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Old Aug 13, 2011, 10:25 AM   #4
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I disagree completely.

Get the cheapest DSLR you can find. I think P&S and "bridge" cameras are completely useless for learning photography.

You can get a new one for < 300, and less than that if you look around for deals. A used DSLR can be had for around 200 with a basic lens. P&S or bridge cameras can produce excellent images, but they don't teach you about anything technical. Somebody who is studying photography needs to learn that stuff.

Digital is better than film for this because it allows you to take thousands and thousands of "learning" images without any extra cost.

Check out Argos for <300 digital SLRs, all of which will suit your daughter just fine.
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Last edited by peripatetic; Aug 13, 2011 at 10:28 AM.
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Old Aug 13, 2011, 2:42 PM   #5
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Do you know anyone with a dSLR that they are looking to sell?

I just let one of my dSLRs go with 18-55mm lens and a 50mm f2.0 for a song to a fellow co-worker.

He, his wife and son had shown some interest in learning more about photography.

I know I could have gotten more if I sold the stuff separately, but I was happy to let it go to a happy home that was interested in getting into photography.

If you know someone, and they see the interest of your daughter, maybe they have the perfect camera for her.

Do I think you need a dSLR to learn photography? IMHO, probably not. But if you can get one cheap, I think it's probably a step in the right direction.

Take care, Glen
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