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03-07-2016, 10:16 AM   #1
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The gift of photography

Hello guys, I'd like your opinion and suggestions. I'm not a newbie, but the person I'm going to gift a camera is. It's my mum. I first thought of a K-50 and a 18-55+50-200mm WR, but I'm afraid she might be intimidated. She likes nature so I want her to have a WR system.. not compulsory though.

Would you rather go that route, or maybe with a micro4/3 like a PEN E-PL6? Both options would be ~$400 and althoug I know the K is superior, I also want her to actually use it, and a smaller camera would be more friendly I think.. what say you, any experiences similar or suggestions? I'm open to anything =]

03-07-2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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Just food for thought:
What is her photographic experience?
Would she be OK with a DSLR and lenses or better with a Point & Shoot? Sony RX100? Superzoom? Ricoh GR?
Does she have a computer and processing software or will she be shooting jpg?
Does she have a computer and a way of saving and finding/sorting her pictures? Or will she just leave them on the card like my dad?
How much time & effort is she willing to put into learning dslr photography?

We considered the same question for my mother in law. Ended up getting her a high end P&S. Takes very, very nice pictures. Small learning curve. She carries it in her purse and really uses it. Been to Europe several times and her shots (viewed on computer, plus the 4x6 prints from Walmart) are quite good. Bottom line, had we got her a DSLR, she would have thanked us, used it once or twice and put it on the shelf. DSLRs are not for everyone.
03-07-2016, 10:32 AM   #3
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I think you've really got to ask her what she wants to do with her photography. Most older folks that are new to photography would prefer something small and light, but of course, that's a generalization that may not pertain to your Madre. The K-50 can be set up as auto everything too, but unless she's joining a local photo club or bird watching club, it's probably more camera than she'd prefer.

Have you considered the Pentax Q-S1? It has a lot more "style" and comes in white, black, red, and champagne gold!
03-07-2016, 10:34 AM   #4
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My mom loved the KS1 I got her and almost kept my 18-135. Perhaps a K50 and 18-135 would be good?

03-07-2016, 10:43 AM   #5
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All good questions. Sometimes a bridge camera with a good superzoom built-in does the job for people. If Mum is an old camera buff from the film days, though, she may well enjoy a DSLR. The K50 with 18-135 could be something like a bridge on its own, and provide room to grow.
03-07-2016, 11:11 AM   #6
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You did not tell if your mom has interest in photography, and what camera she has now.
03-07-2016, 11:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Just food for thought:
What is her photographic experience?
Would she be OK with a DSLR and lenses or better with a Point & Shoot? Sony RX100? Superzoom? Ricoh GR?
Does she have a computer and processing software or will she be shooting jpg?
Does she have a computer and a way of saving and finding/sorting her pictures? Or will she just leave them on the card like my dad?
How much time & effort is she willing to put into learning dslr photography?

We considered the same question for my mother in law. Ended up getting her a high end P&S. Takes very, very nice pictures. Small learning curve. She carries it in her purse and really uses it. Been to Europe several times and her shots (viewed on computer, plus the 4x6 prints from Walmart) are quite good. Bottom line, had we got her a DSLR, she would have thanked us, used it once or twice and put it on the shelf. DSLRs are not for everyone.
Hi jatrax,
Her photographic experience is little. She used to have a film compact camera many years ago, now she uses her phone and that's it. I thought of going for a premium compact but then I though, "what if she likes it and wants more flexibility?". I have an Olympus XZ-2 that I shoot with every day and love to bits, but I can't mount a 300mm lens for butterflies. The macro is formidable but I gotta be reeeeeeeally close. I considered a Fuji XQ2 or X30.

The Sony is disqualified due to cost, and superzooms due to IQ. Which yes, that's me yapping about it, not her but I can't help it. I've been asked over a dozen times "hey, I got this semi-pro camera, but it's blurry/slow/whatever" and it turns out to be a superzoom. I now know all brands menus, that's the good side xD But seriously, I'm not getting her into that. The GR has a fixed lens so no good.

She has a small laptop and would be shooting JPEGs, but I think she'll be happy to learn how to use her camera once she sees what she can do with it. At first she'll be in full auto, no doubt hehe.


QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I think you've really got to ask her what she wants to do with her photography. Most older folks that are new to photography would prefer something small and light, but of course, that's a generalization that may not pertain to your Madre. The K-50 can be set up as auto everything too, but unless she's joining a local photo club or bird watching club, it's probably more camera than she'd prefer.

Have you considered the Pentax Q-S1? It has a lot more "style" and comes in white, black, red, and champagne gold!
Hi Alex,
Well, she has no idea I'm getting her a camera, so I can't ask. But I know she'll use it for family reunions and social gatherings, and most importantly, to capture nature. Haha yes, full auto is how she'll use it at first and JPEGs, but I do think that in time she'll want to learn more. She's actually working with the local zoo in a project for observing and preservation of the monarch butterfly. This is why I want to surprise her with a camera.
I agree with the lighter setup, which makes me think of micro4/3. The Panasonic GM1 would be a good option too, but there's no weather sealing [vs the K-50]. I considered the Q and then though of the GM1. The Q is one of my favourites, but I'm afraid that it will get discontinued [and thus, the lenses].



QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
My mom loved the KS1 I got her and almost kept my 18-135. Perhaps a K50 and 18-135 would be good?
And you had to be called just that, eh? That's a good choice too, but a tad more expensive than what I was considering.. if I could afford it [$300 body + ~$450 lens], I guess this would be the best option. Single lens and a WR system, but really out of my budget.



QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
All good questions. Sometimes a bridge camera with a good superzoom built-in does the job for people. If Mum is an old camera buff from the film days, though, she may well enjoy a DSLR. The K50 with 18-135 could be something like a bridge on its own, and provide room to grow.
Hi TERROR,
Like I was telling to the VoiceofReason, the 18-135 is out of my budget. And a superzoom is a no-no for me, if it was a compact, then it would be a premium compact, not a superzoom. I do think she'll enjoy a good camera, even a dSLR =]

---------- Post added 03-07-16 at 12:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
You did not tell if your mom has interest in photography, and what camera she has now.
Oh, well, she does not have much interest yet, I just know she will. She shoots with her phone only, but if I surprise her with a camera, I know she'll want to use it and learn how to use it properly after some time once she gets used to it =]
03-07-2016, 11:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
but I think she'll be happy to learn how to use her camera once she sees what she can do with it. At first she'll be in full auto, no doubt hehe.
QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
full auto is how she'll use it at first and JPEGs, but I do think that in time she'll want to learn more.
QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
Oh, well, she does not have much interest yet, I just know she will.
Just be careful not to color your choice with what YOU want rather than what she wants.

QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
The Sony is disqualified due to cost, and superzooms due to IQ.
Why? Sony RX100II is around $400 see here: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-DSC-RX100-Sensor-Digital-Camera/dp/B00889ST2G/ref...sony+dsc-rx100 Amazing little camera.
I would argue about the super-zoom quality as well but if you don't like super-zooms that's fine.

03-07-2016, 11:42 AM   #9
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If you want to add zoom lens in set up, I doubt that very small camera will be a good idea for it. You need balanced set up, with good ergonomics. I don't have K-50, but ones I bought it and played with it. It is well balanced camera with zoom.
I also own lighter Canon Sl1, but for stability with long zoom up to 300mm I would prefer K-50. Again, everyone is different.
03-07-2016, 11:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
Hi jatrax,
Her photographic experience is little. She used to have a film compact camera many years ago, now she uses her phone and that's it. I thought of going for a premium compact but then I though, "what if she likes it and wants more flexibility?". I have an Olympus XZ-2 that I shoot with every day and love to bits, but I can't mount a 300mm lens for butterflies. The macro is formidable but I gotta be reeeeeeeally close. I considered a Fuji XQ2 or X30.

The Sony is disqualified due to cost, and superzooms due to IQ. Which yes, that's me yapping about it, not her but I can't help it. I've been asked over a dozen times "hey, I got this semi-pro camera, but it's blurry/slow/whatever" and it turns out to be a superzoom. I now know all brands menus, that's the good side xD But seriously, I'm not getting her into that. The GR has a fixed lens so no good.

She has a small laptop and would be shooting JPEGs, but I think she'll be happy to learn how to use her camera once she sees what she can do with it. At first she'll be in full auto, no doubt hehe.




Hi Alex,
Well, she has no idea I'm getting her a camera, so I can't ask. But I know she'll use it for family reunions and social gatherings, and most importantly, to capture nature. Haha yes, full auto is how she'll use it at first and JPEGs, but I do think that in time she'll want to learn more. She's actually working with the local zoo in a project for observing and preservation of the monarch butterfly. This is why I want to surprise her with a camera.
I agree with the lighter setup, which makes me think of micro4/3. The Panasonic GM1 would be a good option too, but there's no weather sealing [vs the K-50]. I considered the Q and then though of the GM1. The Q is one of my favourites, but I'm afraid that it will get discontinued [and thus, the lenses].





And you had to be called just that, eh? That's a good choice too, but a tad more expensive than what I was considering.. if I could afford it [$300 body + ~$450 lens], I guess this would be the best option. Single lens and a WR system, but really out of my budget.





Hi TERROR,
Like I was telling to the VoiceofReason, the 18-135 is out of my budget. And a superzoom is a no-no for me, if it was a compact, then it would be a premium compact, not a superzoom. I do think she'll enjoy a good camera, even a dSLR =]

---------- Post added 03-07-16 at 12:22 PM ----------



Oh, well, she does not have much interest yet, I just know she will. She shoots with her phone only, but if I surprise her with a camera, I know she'll want to use it and learn how to use it properly after some time once she gets used to it =]
Go with the 18-55 and 50-200 kit then. She will love it. It really doesn't take much training to have them swapping lenses. I also let my mom use my DA*60-250 some, but she found that too heavy, though she didn't mind swapping.

She ended up getting a Sigma 18-250 HSM for general use and has taken a few thousand pictures since I gave it to her for Christmas.
03-07-2016, 12:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Just be careful not to color your choice with what YOU want rather than what she wants.

Why? Sony RX100II is around $400 see here: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-DSC-RX100-Sensor-Digital-Camera/dp/B00889ST2G/ref...sony+dsc-rx100 Amazing little camera.
I would argue about the super-zoom quality as well but if you don't like super-zooms that's fine.
You're totally right, and this is why I'm asking here instead of just buying something I'd want for myself. I already know my path and I'm slowly but surely building my own system. I am using what I know about photography and about my mother to find something suitable =]
Hey, I had not seen the RX100 MkII, doofus me only looked at the MkIV and instantly dismissed it. I'll have it in the list now, thanks!

I've tried Fuji, Nikon, Canon and Pentax superzooms and.. I mean they're okay, but just that, and it's not like they are very cheap, so I'd rather see something else.


QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
If you want to add zoom lens in set up, I doubt that very small camera will be a good idea for it. You need balanced set up, with good ergonomics. I don't have K-50, but ones I bought it and played with it. It is well balanced camera with zoom.
I also own lighter Canon Sl1, but for stability with long zoom up to 300mm I would prefer K-50. Again, everyone is different.
Aaah the small Canon.. I have a T3i that I still use from time to time, is the SL1 as good/better? I've only held it once at a store. What I would argue on a K-50 is the WR only, but for all other purposes, the SL1 would also make a good choice.



QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Go with the 18-55 and 50-200 kit then. She will love it. It really doesn't take much training to have them swapping lenses. I also let my mom use my DA*60-250 some, but she found that too heavy, though she didn't mind swapping.

She ended up getting a Sigma 18-250 HSM for general use and has taken a few thousand pictures since I gave it to her for Christmas.
Yeah, swapping lenses could be bothersome for her at first, especially larger ones. If I don't go the WR way, maybe a Tamron/Sigma superzoom could work. I'll check prices. Thanks!
03-07-2016, 12:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
I had not seen the RX100 MkII, doofus me only looked at the MkIV and instantly dismissed it. I'll have it in the list now, thanks!
I have the RX 100 mkIII and my wife has the mkI. We both usually use our dslrs but those little pocket cameras are very nice. I was concerned about image quality particularly for agency work but they have taken about 200 images from the RX100 with no complaints. There is not the leeway in processing you get from the k-3, but if exposure is correct the results are top notch. Very nice jpegs and they shoot RAW as well.

Another thought would be a Q. I know there are rumors it might go away, (not IMHO) but even if it does you are still good for 5 years.

I think the most important thing is to get her something she will actually USE. Image quality and just about everything else should be secondary. You could get her a 645z but if she won't carry it then whats the use?

You might let her handle your gear and she how she does. Maybe ask her to take some shots of you or something. Watch and see if she feels comfortable, ask her to change lenses. If she is OK with that then fine, if she freaks then maybe a smaller camera is better.
03-07-2016, 01:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by FoTom Quote
Aaah the small Canon.. I have a T3i that I still use from time to time, is the SL1 as good/better? I've only held it once at a store. What I would argue on a K-50 is the WR only, but for all other purposes, the SL1 would also make a good choice.
You're asking probably the wrong person.
I entered into DSLR on my own, and back then I had no idea that Pentax even exists. Upgrading from small p&s cameras I was looking for something small and comfortable. I wanted small mirrorless Canon, but the model I wanted did not have flip screen, and I wanted that. (don't ask why, I was really clueless about what I want)

Then I spotted SL1 at the store, played with that and instantly fell in love with its size and weight with kit lens and especially with pancake lens, BUT I had no idea about tele zooms yet.
So, I bough it with kit and pancake. It is really nice camera, but then I added zoom 55-250 and it became not so light and somehow not well balanced to me.

I discovered Pentax and bought used K200D. And then I realized that size& weight matters, but only if you know what you need.
Then I got more lenses for Pentax and K5iis, and my Canon became a secondary camera.

Don't understand me wrong, I still believe that SL1 is very good choice, especially for kids. But I prefer Pentax. So, you are asking the wrong person.

P.S. what I like about both system is the menu navigation, easy to get into.
SL1 is not significantly smaller than K-50, but lighter, and it feels in comparison. However, after Pentax cameras I don't like "cheap" feel of Canon (not talking about FFs here).

Last edited by micromacro; 03-07-2016 at 01:26 PM.
03-07-2016, 02:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote

You might let her handle your gear and she how she does. Maybe ask her to take some shots of you or something. Watch and see if she feels comfortable, ask her to change lenses. If she is OK with that then fine, if she freaks then maybe a smaller camera is better.
This!



Why?
I am an older female and a few of my friends have been given DSLRs or micro 4/3 as they have commented on or admired either my or someone else's photos, or the relative has simply thought it a good idea that they have a new interest. The camera has then been pretty much unused as the recipient either has little interest and/or prefers an iPhone or p & s and/or has been totally intimidated by the DSLR.

And what you end up with is guilt on one side for not using such a lovely gift, and disappointment on the other that their lovely, thoughtfully purchased, expensive gift isn't used and appreciated more.



If she's not terribly interested, then those little clip-on lenses (under $100) for the iPhone really do get some amazing pics...and if you can help her upgrade to a phone with a 12mp camera then so much the better! (heresy to say on a photo forum, I'm guessing).
03-07-2016, 02:25 PM   #15
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+1 for the Sony RX100. As indicated above, get one of the earlier versions. I have the iii, got that version for the EVF, love it. It goes everywhere, great IQ, shoots RAW if desired, very useful zoom range, fantastic low light Zeiss 1.8. Your price range would allow for the M1, every bit as great, minus a couple of bells and whistles.

BTW, if your mom decides she really wants to move into DSLR later, she can still keep this for pocket use.

And someone else in the family can get her this case. High quality, fits like a glove, good protection:

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-LCJRXF-Premium-Jacket-Black/dp/B00KOUIC0Q/ref=pd_...7VB9RCM5JH183W
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