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11-27-2010, 07:10 PM   #1
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Recommendations for first DSLR for Son

I'm hoping that some fellow pentax owners have had the same situation...

So my son who is going to be 11 soon loves to come along when out shooting and is always wanting to try his hand at taking photos. He is a very responsible kid and loves learning all the in's and out's of everything technical.

With so many different previous models of Pentax Digital Cameras not sure what would be a good starting point?

I was thinking maybe the K100D?? I was thinking that if it had some semi-auto settings in addition to your standard AV, TV modes it would give him some choices.

I would love to know what others have considered or have already decided.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions and thoughts...

11-27-2010, 07:42 PM   #2
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I might be in a relatively similar position, and I am asking myself a similar question.

I am possibly considering a K-x with DA40mm as a small, yet good quality package for my 12-years old. He has used occasionally my K-7 and I know that the weight and size of the camera could be an obstacle. The small size and lesser weight of both the K-x and DA40mm make a more user-friendly SLR system than most.

Look forward to read the discussion that your thread will generate....
11-27-2010, 07:58 PM   #3
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I would recommend the the K-x. You might actually use it as well, which I doubt you would with the K100D.
11-28-2010, 12:23 AM   #4
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Nothing wrong with a K100D; be aware that it does not support SDM-only lenses.

I would consider either a 'standard' zoom or the new DA35/2.4 (resembles the good old 50mm on FF). I think that the zoom is the less frustrating lens for a kid but a prime is the better learning tool.

11-28-2010, 01:08 AM   #5
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The cheapest Pentax DSLR you can find?
Tell him it's a learning experience...

Actually a K-x with a DA 35mm f2.4 sounds like a good option to get him started. Although factoring in batteries and such, would a K-r DA 35mm kit be a lot more?
11-28-2010, 01:47 AM   #6
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This may sound ridiculous on this forum, but I bought my 14-year old a Canon Powershot G11. It has all of the controls to learn photography on, yet she can take it with her anywhere.

Now that her appetite is wetted and she is learning about Av,Tv,ISO and the effect of aperture and shutterspeed on an image, she is looking forward to apply that next year by taking over my K20D (so that I can get the K-5???)

By having a small, almost pocketable camera that alway goes with her anywhere she goes, she learns to use a camera under multiple different lighting conditions and shooting situations. The G11 will remain as a back-up for both of us in future on occacsions when a DSLR is too much.

I always said that I was afraid she might not be bothered to take a DSLR everywhere (even with the compact form factor of the K-X or K-R) - the 50-135mm migh crowd her style of shooting from the hip. She now says I was right (yeah, a first if I ever saw one!!) and she will want a DSLR for landscape and travel.

Once she has the K20D, we'll have a combined pool of lenses although again I will insist she start learning with the 18-55mm before drowning in too many lens choices.

Step by step, avoiding burn-out and gear-tiredness ... that has been my approach until now.
11-28-2010, 08:48 AM   #7
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I agree with Mikey.

Perhaps instead of a DSLR you should look into a DSLR Bridge. One similar to that of the G11 series from Canon. I know a lot of manufacturers have them. Fuji Sx00 series. Panasonic Lumix with the Leica lenses. I forget the series.

Those could provide good learning tools without the size and bulk of an DSLR. You have to think little kids would like to carry the thing everywhere they go and an DSLR will not allow that. Can you imagine riding a bike with the DSLR around your neck or in a pocket? Not comfortable. Then you'd have to place it in a camera bag. If it's in the bag it's not easily accessible to take pictures with in the spur of the moment.

If you want to be the interchangeable lens I'd look into an EVIL. Just have to wait for a Pentax one to come out.

To be honest, I find that everyone is getting DSLRs now a days just because it seems like the hip thing to do. Even though they have no idea how to use them or if they even need the capabilities. Not referring to you. Just a random rant.
11-28-2010, 09:33 AM   #8
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For a new DLSR maybe a k-x (a steal actually for < US$500 with the 18-55 kit lens), the k-r is also worth consideration as an improved version of the k-x (somewhat more expensive, of course), both have the P&S-like full auto mode. For a kid, maybe one of the better P&Ss for small size and weight like the Lumix dmc-sz7 (tz10) with Leica lens and P, Sv, Av and M modes in addition to full auto and scene modes (see e.g DMCZS7R Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7R 12.1 Megapixel Digital Camera with 12x Optical Zoom, 3.0 inch LCD, AVCHD Lite Movie, Manual Controls, Red).

11-28-2010, 11:28 AM   #9
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I'll agree also with the superzoom P&S. I got my daughter one in high school and she continued using it through college. I forget the model off the top of my head but it was a Fuji. It has a 5mp sensor (cutting edge in the day), zooms to 12X (close to 250mm equiv), macro mode, can be used in a full manual exposure mode, and also can shoot in RAW. A great starting point.
11-28-2010, 08:17 PM   #10
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I really appreciate all the suggestions from everyone. Some very good points made and I think maybe a P&S might be a good starting point. I know the Canon G series are very good and quite durable. I'm not really inclined to spend the amount to purchase a K-x or K-r just yet. I know that B&H sells quality used products having purchased for the office on many occasions in the past.

On another note doesn't Pentax make a point and shoot similar to the Canon G series?
Does anyone know anything about those?
11-28-2010, 08:28 PM   #11
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Id recommend you give him your K-7 when you get your K-5 :P
11-28-2010, 08:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
Id recommend you give him your K-7 when you get your K-5 :P

Don't I wish...it's on my Santa list but still a bit pricey yet. I'm hoping the price will come down a bit
11-28-2010, 09:44 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Nothing wrong with a K100D; be aware that it does not support SDM-only lenses.

I would consider either a 'standard' zoom or the new DA35/2.4 (resembles the good old 50mm on FF). I think that the zoom is the less frustrating lens for a kid but a prime is the better learning tool.
Yep, nothing really wrong with the K100D. It has pretty good low light performance thanks to having only 6MP. However, I find the shutter is just embarrassingly loud.
11-28-2010, 10:12 PM   #14
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A lot depends on what he wants to take pictures of, and whether he'd need a dslr for those subjects.

If he just wants to generally take pictures, and doesn't already have one, get him a small (not dslr-like superzoom) p&s with some manual settings. Even those of us with a dslr can have use for them when we just want to have a camera in our pocket and not haul along the dslr (and two or three lenses you'd need for the p&s 25-300mm equivalent.) He can learn a little about exposure (despite the admittedly limited range of settings), and a lot about composition, and general photo techniques. Plus you'd have maybe $150 total invested. When I was his age I learned a lot from my mid-range Instamatic, before moving on to an slr a couple of years later. Today you can do a lot more with a p&s, which has much more manual capability, than was possible with those Instamatics.

He'll probably discover some limitations of a p&s - like limited aperture adjustments, and small-sensor noise - but in a couple of years you'll be able to get him an even-more-capable dslr.

Incidentally I still use my k100, so obviously I think it would be adeguate for an 11yr old, but there are lots of times when a p&s would still be much more practical to carry.

Paul

Last edited by tibbitts; 11-28-2010 at 10:18 PM.
11-28-2010, 10:24 PM   #15
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Don't know how outdoorsy-active your kid is, but a large part of learning to see photographically is having a camera around all the time, so that one can start shooting whenever something catches the eye. So a rugged/waterproof P&S like the W90 might be a good idea; that one is also eminently pocketable. Much harder to control settings, of course, but learning what to put the box around and when to press the button is a lot more important IMHO than f-stops and ISOs. Think of the epic photographs taken with very basic equipment, e.g. Cartier-Bresson.
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