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starter DSLR

gmcunni

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14YO daugher is "interested" in photography. thinking of an inexpensive DSLR camera for Christmas, any recommendations? based on casual browsing $500 seems like the starting point, a bit much for what i'd call a "starter" camera.
 

riverc0il

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Not quite up to DSLR spec, but you could look at Micro Four Third cameras. Panasonic GF3 w/kit lens is on Amazon for $329. Prior year M43 cameras w/kit lens are available for less than $300. Isn't going to quite be at the same level as a DSLR but cheaper point of entry with similar functionality for much lower price. Really lowers your cost if she doesn't like it or goodness knows breaks it somehow. But your long term costs are higher if she really likes it and wants a DSLR down the road.
 

Abubob

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14YO daugher is "interested" in photography. thinking of an inexpensive DSLR camera for Christmas, any recommendations? based on casual browsing $500 seems like the starting point, a bit much for what i'd call a "starter" camera.

Just out of curiosity - why a dslr? There are a lot of "dslr like" models that might be less expensive. Like you say - she's "interested" and 14. Why not consider a hybrid?

Consider:

Hybrid camera advantages

  • Smaller, lighter and usually quieter than equivalent SLR
  • Ease of use with many compact camera features (such as face detection)
  • Better integrated video capture functionality
  • Electronic viewfinders usually larger than entry-level SLR optical viewfinders
  • Full shooting information and menus in the viewfinder
  • Smaller lenses
Hybrid camera disadvantages

  • Fewer models / brands to choose from
  • Limited lens choices
  • Slower - in some cases much slower - autofocus
  • Limited continuous ('burst') shooting capabilities
  • Electronic viewfinders cannot match the clarity of a good optical finder
  • Current models offer relatively poor low-light performance
 
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dmc

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Better and changeable lenses... Manual focusing.. Better depth of field..
 

riverc0il

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Just out of curiosity - why a dslr? There are a lot of "dslr like" models that might be less expensive.
Which is why I recommended micro four thirds. Massive step up from P&S and the have everything that DSLRs offer including, as dmc noted, changeable lenses, manual focus, good depth of field, etc. There isn't anything you can do with a DSLR that you can't do with M43 (or comparable) cameras and at much lower prices.

I see no reason for a non-pro or non-serious amateur to get a DSLR with cheaper M43 cameras available. They were created to fill the gap between the small sensor P&S market and DSLRs, a camera someone interested in dabling in photography but have higher quality and control than P&S without going full in for expensive DSLR equipment.
 

Geoff

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The lens issue is big with me...but that is because I had two good lenses from my Canon Rebel that fit right onto the T2i. I love that Canon has stuck with the same lens mount for so long.

Except that the "good" Canon lens mount is the EF, not the EF-S. If you get a real Canon digital camera body, you want EF lenses.

I'm micro 4:3 after my ex-wife decided she liked my EOS 5D and L lenses more than I did. There are far more lens options with a Canon EF lens mount than are available in micro 4:3.... particularly if you want an off brand special purpose lens. Micro 4:3 lenses are also pretty slow since they have a lot less glass in them. You're trading the portability of a camera body that doesn't have a mirror and optical viewfinder against the amount of glass you can put in front of it. It really matters in low light conditions, high speed action shots, or when you're trying to play depth of field games.
 

Nick

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Which is why I recommended micro four thirds. Massive step up from P&S and the have everything that DSLRs offer including, as dmc noted, changeable lenses, manual focus, good depth of field, etc. There isn't anything you can do with a DSLR that you can't do with M43 (or comparable) cameras and at much lower prices.

I see no reason for a non-pro or non-serious amateur to get a DSLR with cheaper M43 cameras available. They were created to fill the gap between the small sensor P&S market and DSLRs, a camera someone interested in dabling in photography but have higher quality and control than P&S without going full in for expensive DSLR equipment.

I dunno, I think there are quite a few advantages to going for APS-C vs. a Micro four- thirds, but again it depends on how serious she is.

I would probably go onto ebay and (assuming your daughter doesn't care about video) go for an older Rebel XTi or something. you can probably get one for under $300. And the pic quality will be close to what you can get with a T2i, etc.

Here's a good deal though today on black friday:

[h=1]Canon EOS Digital Rebel T3i 18MP SLR Camera w/ 18-55mm Lens + 55-250mm IS Lens + 75-300mm Lens + 16GB Lexar Class 10 SDHC Memory Card $649 + Free Shipping[/h]
Buy Now ►
I bought this item​

B&H Photo Video has Canon EOS Digital Rebel T3i 18MP SLR Camera w/ 18-55mm Lens + 55-250mm IS Lens + 75-300mm Lens + 16GB Lexar Class 10 SDHC Memory Card for $649 with free shipping. Thanks WhitePhantom
  1. Click here and add T3i w/ 18-55mm and 16GB Lexar Memory Card to cart
  2. Click here and add 55-250mm Lens to cart
  3. Click here and add 75-300mm Lens to cart
  4. Proceed to checkout
  5. Total should be $649 with free shipping
 

riverc0il

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I ain't saying a M43 camera is equivalent to DSLR. It is not quite at the same level. But gmcunni expressed two concerns that made me suggest it... that this a 14 year old expressing interest in something (she may or may not take to it) and that price point seems to be a concern.

That T2i deal Nick just posted is a really good deal for that camera with three lenses.
 

Geoff

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Here's the Nikon equivalent on B&H's Black Friday sale

[h=1]Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera With 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens[/h]
  • Includes Free:
  • Lexar 16GB SDHC Memory Card Professional Class 10 UHS-ITiffen 52mm UV Protector FilterNikon 9793 D-SLR Value Pack for Nikon D3000 D3100 D5000 D5100 DSLR Camera $94.15 Total Value






  • Price: $796.95
  • Instant Savings: -$250.00
  • You Pay: $546.95
 

gmcunni

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as to why dslr - probably because i don't know much about cameras to know different options. she wants to get into a photography class in high school next year and i'm thinking the manual settings options available on a DSLR will give her the chance to learn HOW a camera works and what she can do with it.

i didn't know of the "micro four thirds", an option between point and shoot and DSLR, worth looking at.

in the back of my mind the thought have having the DSLR around the house appeals to me too. so i can borrow it for random events when my P&S isn't producing quality results.

 

Abubob

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Better and changeable lenses... Manual focusing.. Better depth of field..

For someone who knows what to do with it.

Which is why I recommended micro four thirds. Massive step up from P&S and the have everything that DSLRs offer including, as dmc noted, changeable lenses, manual focus, good depth of field, etc. There isn't anything you can do with a DSLR that you can't do with M43 (or comparable) cameras and at much lower prices.

I see no reason for a non-pro or non-serious amateur to get a DSLR with cheaper M43 cameras available. They were created to fill the gap between the small sensor P&S market and DSLRs, a camera someone interested in dabling in photography but have higher quality and control than P&S without going full in for expensive DSLR equipment.

Yes - I agree - except that almost anything other than a phone camera would be a marked improvement.

as to why dslr - probably because i don't know much about cameras to know different options. she wants to get into a photography class in high school next year and i'm thinking the manual settings options available on a DSLR will give her the chance to learn HOW a camera works and what she can do with it.

i didn't know of the "micro four thirds", an option between point and shoot and DSLR, worth looking at.

in the back of my mind the thought have having the DSLR around the house appeals to me too. so i can borrow it for random events when my P&S isn't producing quality results.

There are so many digital cameras on the market I agree its a bit daunting to know what to get. This might be a place to start. http://www.dpreview.com/products/search/cameras It should help at the very least find the type of camera your daughter needs.
 

severine

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Check photography-on-the.net for research and used options. Got my Canon 20D prosumer DSLR for about $200 there. It's not the latest and greatest, but great to learn on. Add a 50mm f/1.8 for about $100 and you've got a good inexpensive combo. She'll want something like that if she's taking Photography in school. Can prob get a newer model for similar price, as that was several years ago now. That's also where I sourced my 7D used.
 
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