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My daughters 9th birthday is coming up. Orginally she said she wanted a TV for her bedroom but has since said she would prefer a camera. A camera seems a better idea than a TV, and I would like to encourage her. She likes to use my Canon EOS40D but it is really too heavy for her, and definitely not something she can carry around (and it isn't good for my nerves!). But she wants more than a compact, she wants to be able to change focus, depth of field etc. She reads (or looks at) my photography magazines and certainly the pictures she takes suggest that she has a good eye for it.
The problem is what camera to get? What would be best for a 9 year old? At that age I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount and then find she loses interest after 6 months. I was wondering about a bridge camera, something like a Canon Powershot, but would love to know what cameras children have tried and got on with. Any suggestions or suitable experience from any parents out there.
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have a look at pentax optio [the one you can change the covers on] might be a good starting place or try fujifilm /cybershot websites
I would recommend one of the early pentax slrs which are extremely light with an 18-55 lens and small too , the k100 , k110 or k200 can be picked up for less than 100 sometimes on ebay and are great starters ... its also smaller and lighter than the 40d and its price tag should be less of a worry should you need to replace the lens ( 30 quid ) ..
I use a Canon S3IS - it has everything I need from Super Macro (at 0cm!) to Infinity. It has manual, P, Av, Tv, sports mode and lots of other different scenes. You can turn off sound or have a dog barking as you click the shutter (yes, thank you Rachel!). I have a view finder and a screen I can swivel out 180 and turn over 180. It uses AA rechargeable batteries (I've bought the special 'Stay Charged' ones, they do as it says on the packet - they last months before they need recharging (both in and out of the camera)).
But I would recommend you take your daughter to a photography shop and let her try/hold a few different cameras.
I would also recommend you open her own portfolio on EPZ! All new members are very welcome (and we have a Junior Competition in a few weeks time!)
When my daughter was that age, she bugged me for a camera. We ended up buying her a Kodak Easy Share. It was cheap, very easy to use and sat on it's own dock to transfer images and charge up the battery. The biggest problem I found was trying to tell my daughter that it wasn't a 'toy' like her other things and she had to take good care of it. Nowadays I would be looking at one of the shockproof/ water resistant cameras. I would say, pick your maximum spend and stick to it, search 'children's camera' and see what you like (there are quite a few out there, but do look rather childish for a 9 year old), then search all camera's under your maximum spend price.
Already talking to her about having her own account here, and about entering Junior Competitions.
We have gone to a camera shop to have a hold. But the days of the good camera shop are gone. Trying to get advice is like getting blood from a stone. They don't really have much idea and you get the feeling that they have just been targetted on certain models without knowing why.
The Powershot S3 IS doesn't seem to be available new, but the SX130 looks interesting.
Quote: The Powershot S3 IS doesn't seem to be available new
That doesn't really surprise me, I've had it since 2006 - five whole years is a long time in modern technology!
It does look a good camera, but it doesn't seem to have a view finder. Sometimes,especially in bright light, the only way I can see the image is to take it through the viewfinder.
I shall look forward to welcoming her to the Junior Gallery!
Quote: I shall look forward to welcoming her to the Junior Gallery!
So will I
is a used Canon 300 or 350D above budget? I have hung onto my 300 for my sons to learn on my 3 year old currently uses his moms TZ8 quite well for his age and has had a play with the 300 and shows potential.
Fuji S1730 12MP Bridge cameras are going for £99.99 in Argos at the moment.
I've got its predecessor, the S5700 which was responsible for nearly all of the shots in my pf. if you'd like to see what it's capable of.
My daughter's mastered it and she was ten in January.
Obviously it's not a DSLR but it does a pretty fine job once you know its limitations.
A digital body would have lower running costs than film.
If you get a basic body from a couple of generations ago, such as a Nikon D200 (or the Canon or Pentax equivalent), it'll be small, reasonably light and cheap. The Nikon kit lenses such as the 18-55 are a lot better than their price-tag and very light - ideal for beginners. You could do a lot worse than giving them a 50mm prime.
When the kids have learned to use the basic kit, they'll be in a better position to choose their own working tools. This is basically what we did when She-who-must-be-obeyed joined the family firm. She was fine-art trained but not a photographer and by using the company kit - Hasselblad and top-end Nikon - for a while, she firmed up her preferences. This saved us a lot of money because she bought once - no "upgrading" or changing marque.
I would seriously look at the second hand market. There are still lots of early DSLRs about (Canon 300D or Nikon D70) which would let her try it out without you spending the earth. Couple it with a 50mm prime and you have a very capable piece of kit which will see her well for a few years. On the other hand, if it is just a passing fad then you can flog it on without losing too much money (assuming it is still in one piece!).
Why not a Pentax digital ist, it's one of the smallest bodies, and the basic kit lenses are cheap and highly rated. A 9 year old would have trouble holding a regular sized DSLR body. Even the Pentax K-x, which would be even better, and out scores everything in its class.
My 8 year old grandson can happily use a D200 with an 18-55 kit lens. He and his 12 year old sister find that a D3 series body with a pro lens is just too big to even hold, let alone comfortably use.
Older digital bodies come cheap and you can even get most of your money back when you sell it. A few weeks back, my D200 came boxed with 2700 actuations for a very modest sum.
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