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01-04-2020, 01:56 PM   #1
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Bridge Camera for Kids

I've been toying with the idea of getting an older DSLR body for the oldest if it came cheap enough and had a lens I was interested in having for myself. But then in following some of the other threads on getting cameras for kids, I've seen bridge cameras mentioned.

I've no idea if either of my kids would really be interested in photography, but after looking at a couple of these cameras, they seem like a really good possibility in getting them interested.

They have a fixed lens and smaller sensor, but they can generally be used in at least auto, AV, and TV modes. They don't do RAW either, but the fixed lens has a pretty wide range.

They're definitely a step up from a simple P&S but not quite as complex as a DSLR. I'm seeing some used ones for fairly cheap.

Currently found a Fuji s1000fd and Fuji s1800 with 10/12MP sensors and ISO 1600/3200 (3200 @ 3MP only) so they have at least a little bit of low light capability. Also spotted a GE Power X500 for a bit more that has a 16MP sensor that can go to ISO 3200 as well. The equivalent focal ranges are around 28-300/450mm or so, depending on model. (I can't remember exactly off the top of my head.) All 3 have an EVF as well as the LCD screen. I don't remember the pricing, but I believe all were under $20. There's also many more 3.2MP Fuji models as well.

Seems like a pretty good camera for kids/teens. Seems fairly similar to the 35mm zoom P&S of my youth in an upgraded digital age.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions of other models?

01-04-2020, 05:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
Also spotted a GE Power X500 for a bit more that has a 16MP sensor that can go to ISO 3200 as well.
my first camera up from p&s....then got an Olympus e-510......the GE has manual control as well....so a nice inexpensive introduction...don't think mine was 'power' or 16mp just x500 but got me going at understanding and wanting better equipment
01-04-2020, 06:05 PM   #3
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Pentax X70 served that purpose for me. I bought it to use as a trainer for a couple of youngsters. It functions, and maybe just as important, looks like a real camera - don't underestimate the importance to kids of having something that looks like what dad uses. Later on I gave it to my shop partner, who hadn't used a camera since film days, and he is delighted with it.
01-04-2020, 09:44 PM   #4
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I'll have to keep an eye out for the X70, that looks like a pretty nice camera as well.

01-04-2020, 10:40 PM   #5
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The Pentax RZ18 I gave to my older son still works. It takes great pictures at low ISO.
To my younger son I gave a Sony P200 just to have one in the house again. It was my camera from 2004-2013. They're cheap because they are old but the 1/1.8" sensor plus the Zeiss lens can give some good results at low ISOs as well.
My middle son has a Canon elph but the lens stopped working. I should have paid attention to the reviews that say this is common. I might give him a Sony H55 in its place, which is my other suggestion.
For bridge cameras I hear good things about the Panasonic FZ200 but that is pricier... I'm not sure I'd buy one of the earlier bridge cameras...
01-05-2020, 12:28 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I recently found two old Fuji point-and-shoot cameras in a box and after charging the batteries they work fine. Buttons are small but they both have a fully metal body and I don’t mind if they get destroyed. Two-year old took a 14mp extreme close-up selfie yesterday which might come out on his wedding day.
01-05-2020, 02:08 AM   #7
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What about a Pentax X-5?? 16Mp, Evf, Tilting Screen, 26x Zoom, FHD Video - takes pretty good pictures too.
01-05-2020, 08:19 AM   #8
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The X-5 looks like a nice camera too, but the Pentax models seem to hold their value rather well...

01-06-2020, 09:18 AM   #9
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Had a brief talk with my oldest last night regarding cameras and if there was a particular reason to shoot film instead of getting a digital camera. Said they'd like to get both and the reason they wanted the film camera they picked up at Goodwill (which sadly doesn't seem to work) a while back was so they could have the negatives after the film was developed. At which point I had to relay the message that nowhere around actually develops the film anymore and it all gets sent off and they don't return the negatives. Granted, there are some places you can mail your film and they'll return it with the negatives, but that adds even more to the cost.

So, I think perhaps I'll make a birthday present out of a nice digital bridge camera as dropping straight into a DSLR might be a bit too much. Though, it'd be really nice if they could shoot RAW, but as far as I'm aware, bridge cameras seem to be JPEG only. I'll have to see what I can find for what price I suppose. Making it a birthday present will give me a couple more months to think about it and search and get more suggestions.
01-08-2020, 03:28 PM   #10
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It all depends on the budget...

How about an older DSLR? Or do they want something small? A K10D can be picked up for less than 100 dollars usually, or a smaller K-m/K-x/K-r would not be much more. These cameras, even though they're 10-12 megapixels, would still beat any bridge cameras in that range - even with cheap lenses like a Pentax 18-55 and a Sigma or Tamron 70-300 (assuming they want telephoto since you're talking about a bridge camera).

You would have too buy something like a Panasonic FZ1000 to get this kind of quality out of a bridge camera. Of course the FZ1000 would be light years ahead on video, but you didn't mention they'd want video...
01-08-2020, 07:01 PM   #11
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Didn't ask about video, but it's always a possibility. And as I said in my original post, I had thought about getting an older DSLR at first. I had looked at the *ist and K100/200D and K10/20D models as a possibility. But as the youngest has never used more than a cell phone and the oldest more than a P&S, I don't know if it might just be a bit to much to go straight into a DSLR when not sure if they'd want to do photography.

After hearing some people mention bridge cameras, I looked it up and it seems like a rather good compromise. Oldest was looking at getting a simple P&S, but this is a step up. Gives more control with AV and TV modes, more zoom range with the lens, and a larger sensor than a P&S as well. I can find some body only DSLRs for the price of a half decent bridge camera. Sadly, the Pentax bridge cameras are more than some of the older DSLRs.

I'm still not sure which way I'll end up going. Have a few months before birthdays arrive. Unless I spot an insane deal sooner, I'll probably get whatever the best deal I can find around mid-June. (Or maybe I'll spot a lens I want that comes with a body. It will probably either replace one of my lenses that I can pass down or I can pick up another lens for it.)
01-09-2020, 08:28 AM   #12
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Actually all the more affordable bridge cameras will have a small 1/2.3" sensor, same as the more affordable point and shoots.

It's the expensive ones that have the 1" sensor (and because of that, a smaller zoom range).
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