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08-30-2019, 12:56 PM   #1
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Camera for beginner - thoughts?

Hey folks, I have a thirteen years old girl in my neighborhood who wants to get into photography and her mum asked me for a camera recommendation. She has a budget of around 200-300Ä. My thought was to recommend getting a Canon 5D MK I that is still highly regarded for its pixie dust as we Pentaxians would call it plus a 50mm F1.8.

My thought behind this was that coming from a smartphone as her only camera I want her to have a camera that gives her that wow when looking at the pictures, that doesnít make learning photography more complicated by having to learn about crop factors and that will be a good basis to build upon. I want her to be excited about photography right from the start. Also starting with a prime is something I would not only recommend to her but to every beginner to make it simpler and more challenging at the same time. Simpler by taking one variable out of the whole process to make her concentrate on composition and exposure and more challenging because she has to think and move more to get a good picture which helps in the whole learning process.

A friend of mine had the objection that a 5D might be overkill especially considering the weight for a 13 years old girl. Which could make her leave the camera at home more often. Another option would then of course be an older APS-C Pentax with the 35mm F2.4

Whatís are your thoughts on this? I need some input and maybe hear about things I havenít considered yet.

08-30-2019, 01:04 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I would definitely go with used gear. APS-C should be fine. Canon has a bunch of cheap stuff, as does Nikon. 5D I and 50 f1.8 really seems a bit limiting.

Personally, I bought my daughter a K-S1 and kit lens for about 300 USD total. The K-S1 was new, but on clearance. But she very much preferred its size to the size of even something like the K3.
08-30-2019, 01:04 PM   #3
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I think the weight is important. She has to carry the beast around, so nothing more then 1 kg. I guess an aps-c camera from 2010 or later is more then enough to start with.
08-30-2019, 01:09 PM   #4
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I think an APS-C Pentax and a 50 1.8 would be a nice set for a beginner.
The 5D doesn't have dual-control wheels which (imo) makes learning manual photography much more intuitive.
The 5D doesn't have any video mode either which may seem archaic for a 13 yr old.
What benefit do you see in the 5D besides that it had 'pixie dust'?
Seems like a big, heavy, old camera that's missing basic features to me..

08-30-2019, 01:10 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I think a Canon 5D MK I is more of a curiosity for more advanced shooters to try out full frame digital at a less expensive price. Any APSC from about 2012 onward is my recommendation since it will CREAM the 5D, you can get some decent ones in that price range.
08-30-2019, 01:16 PM   #6
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I’d say something along what Rondec said. Kit lens might be sometimes underwhelming. Still it does get you started, and if it is used correctly, it can be quite good for what they are. Also those plastic fantastick 35 and 50 should be good/very good for what you get for that money.

One big thing is also that size factor. If it is too big, it might be let at home.
08-30-2019, 01:52 PM - 1 Like   #7
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If you were wanting something from the Pentax world, I'd think a Kx or Kr would be a nice place to start. They're fairly small and lightweight with a simplified user interface that will allow her to take decent pictures right out of the gate in 'green' mode and then as her interest grows, she can learn to take increasing control over the process with the various manual exposure controls. As for a lens, it would be hard to go wrong with an 18-55mm kit lens. It's fairly versatile and she can add to the kit as she decides what aspects of photography she's most interested in. The best part is those cameras can be found for a relative pittance.
08-30-2019, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Panasonic LUMIX DC-FZ80

Or something similar.

I started with the FZ70. From there I went to the Pentax K70 which I absolutely love. I knew almost nothing about photography and the FZ70 was so easy to use. Focus and zoom. I slowly started learning a little bit more and once I saw the possibilities, that's what got me to move to the next level.

Good luck.

08-30-2019, 01:57 PM   #9
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Hi
I think a discussion with the young lady is the first port of call, to see what she wamts/expects in a camera.
After that you have a clearer way of knowing how to help,which way to go.
If its a surprise gift from family then mum has to get more information to you


Dave.
08-30-2019, 01:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by E-man Quote
If you were wanting something from the Pentax world, I'd think a Kx or Kr would be a nice place to start. They're fairly small and lightweight with a simplified user interface that will allow her to take decent pictures right out of the gate in 'green' mode and then as her interest grows, she can learn to take increasing control over the process with the various manual exposure controls. As for a lens, it would be hard to go wrong with an 18-55mm kit lens. It's fairly versatile and she can add to the kit as she decides what aspects of photography she's most interested in. The best part is those cameras can be found for a relative pittance.
Considering the KR and K-5 are almost the same price used I see almost no point in going with the strictly inferior body. The k-5+kit lens or 50mm 1.8 is not heavy by any means.

But personally I learned on a point and shoot that had manual controls. Was easy to take everywhere. My first ILC was actually the K-01 which was great for the same reasons.
08-30-2019, 01:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alpheios Quote

My thought behind this was that coming from a smartphone as her only camera I want her to have a camera that gives her that wow when looking at the pictures, that doesnít make learning photography more complicated by having to learn about crop factors and that will be a good basis to build upon.
If APS-C is all you know and you are not swapping formats crop factor is irrelevant.

In this circumstance I would think size of the camera overshadows just about all else.
08-30-2019, 02:23 PM   #12
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If you want to look for a Pentax then I would suggest finding a K-50 or K-S1. Nice camera's that can do the trick and don't weight a ton. Or a K-01.....
08-30-2019, 02:24 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by alpheios Quote
Hey folks, I have a thirteen years old girl in my neighborhood who wants to get into photography and her mum asked me for a camera recommendation.
i don't know her and her wishlist, but my 13 year old niece would be better served with something like an olympus pen or a small form factor fuji.
wifi connection would be a nice to have. Ofcourse, my niece is not you neighbour.. ;-)
08-30-2019, 02:54 PM   #14
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I agree with those who worry about something too big/heavy.

A high-quality small camera (not necessarily ILC) should help her decide if she wants to get deeper into photography.

I have a Canon G15, which takes fantastic pictures, and can be used as point'n'shoot or you can go full manual. I think the zoom will make her happier, too. It's nice and light and easy to carry around.

Here's one in the UK in your price range: Canon PowerShot G15 12.1MP Digital Camera - Black 13803156805 | eBay

(not sure how you really search Ebay in Europe)
08-30-2019, 03:09 PM   #15
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in support of pentax would +1 the K-r & 18-55 kit

otherwise would say one of the many 'bridge' cameras....no lenses to swap out, significant zoom range with the ability to manually control and would prolly match phone captured images......would say several years ago a ge-500(something) (which is a bridge camera) was my first step forward from a tiny p&s digi then got a K-50 and so on....wouldn't recommend the ge now a days....does the GR line fall into that category?
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