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Old 11-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #16
havoc315
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Originally Posted by Patrick in Oregon View Post
I like the suggestion to start with a film SLR (I would also suggest manual focus). This may be because I'm currently using one.

I have a history of getting engrossed in a hobby for only a short time. I've "been into" photography on and off. Recently I had a major itch to buy a DSLR. Luckily I realized that I didn't have the skill set to fully utilize a DSLR's potential.

By starting with SLR you will do a few things
1) Avoid high price tag
2) Force your daughter to learn the basics of photography. You can learn the basics of photography on a DSLR, but that full-auto mode is staring you in the face, enticing you to be a little lazy. Whereas a full manual SLR gives you no choice.
3) It gauges her interest in photography. Doesn't sound like we know how much "into" photography she is. If she is willing to suffer through the nuances of film/manual, then she might have a serious hobby on her hands. If not, then point and shoot might be the best way to go.

My decision to shoot film was based on these 3 factors - primarily #3 given my history.
While I agree that a manual SLR is a great learning instrument, I don't think it's a great way to foster an interest in a teenager. I think it may actually discourage the interest.
As a pure learning instrument, a dSLR has some advantages over a SLR -- Being able to instantly review your image, and being able to take virtually unlimited images. If you want to test different compositions and different apertures, you can do it effortlessly -- without having to constantly stop to change the film.
Plus, with the expense of film and developing film -- The $$$ can quickly become more than a SLR. Between the film and developing, you will pay about $.25-.50 per picture (and you can't delete the bad shots). I routinely take 200-400 pictures in a day of shooting. So that would be $50-$200 PER DAY. Even if you limited yourself to 2 rolls of film per shooting day, you'd still be talking over $10 per day of shooting.
Not to mention, the dSLR gives the fast gratification of uploading the pictures, emailing them, etc. As opposed to taking the film to a 3rd party for development, then needing to convert the images into a digital format.

A manual SLR can certainly be a great learning instrument. But I wouldn't "force" a teenager to learn on a manual SLR.

As to what you can get in dSLR for about $200-$250 -- It's true that you can't get a good "certified" camera for that price range. But if you look carefully on ebay (emphasis on cautious review of seller and using ebay buyer protection), you can get a respectable dSLR camera and lens in that range.

For example, I've seen the Nikon D40 go in that price range, with kit lens.
If you can get a Nikon D40 with kit lens for about $250, or a new mid-range point and shoot like the Canon S100 for about $250....
With the D40, you will still get faster auto focus, better noise performance, higher image quality.
I certainly wouldn't go with any of the very early dSLRs (from 7-10 years ago)... but the ones from about 4-6 years ago, can still out-perform current mid-range P&S's.

Last edited by havoc315; 11-30-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
For example, I've seen the Nikon D40 go in that price range, with kit lens.
If you can get a Nikon D40 with kit lens for about $250, or a new mid-range point and shoot like the Canon S100 for about $250....
With the D40, you will still get faster auto focus, better noise performance, higher image quality.
If you can get it for that price, then yes I would agree with you. I did a google search for D40 and one of the results was ebay for $240. Convenience of instantly reviewing your work is a major perk.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick in Oregon View Post
I like the suggestion to start with a film SLR (I would also suggest manual focus). This may be because I'm currently using one.

I have a history of getting engrossed in a hobby for only a short time. I've "been into" photography on and off. Recently I had a major itch to buy a DSLR. Luckily I realized that I didn't have the skill set to fully utilize a DSLR's potential.

By starting with SLR you will do a few things
1) Avoid high price tag
2) Force your daughter to learn the basics of photography. You can learn the basics of photography on a DSLR, but that full-auto mode is staring you in the face, enticing you to be a little lazy. Whereas a full manual SLR gives you no choice.
3) It gauges her interest in photography. Doesn't sound like we know how much "into" photography she is. If she is willing to suffer through the nuances of film/manual, then she might have a serious hobby on her hands. If not, then point and shoot might be the best way to go.

My decision to shoot film was based on these 3 factors - primarily #3 given my history.
Film SLR's are still the first camera students use in some 4 year photo programs. But it's not because of the camera, it's more about the experience of working in a darkroom. You learn a lot about contrast and exposure when you work in a traditional darkroom.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:33 PM   #19
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I have two 15 yr olds.

Our situations are probably a little different because I've been teaching my kids photography for years and they have access to all my gear, which includes two dSLRs, a slew of lenses, a mirrorless system (actually my DS's), many other point and shoot cameras and even a couple of old but nice SLRs. Both of them enjoy the hobby and have won ribbons for their photos.

Lately, my DD has been more into photography than ever - but guess what, she just wants to use her iPhone/iPad. I actually asked her if she wanted a point and shoot of her own for Christmas (knowing in the past she's expressed an interest in getting a cool-colored one) and her response was that she didn't want to carry it. I can really understand that as I see what they and their friends carry and nobody really carries cameras anymore, they all use their phones! (Smart phones or not.)

I can't actually argue with DD about the iPhone pictures because she's getting some pretty good ones with it. And as is often said around here - the best camera for someone is the one they actually use!

So I guess my question would be, is it be a possibility to improve her phone camera? Then my other thought would be that if she REALLY wants to get more seriously into photography, that a dSLR might be preferable to a point and shoot.

I think this statment below says all you need to know - clearly she is one of us! Because of it I think she'll get more out of a dSLR, even an older one with a couple of decent lenses.

Quote:
last Sunday she spent a couple hours outside at our church with her phone taking some, IMO, really great pictures of different things (statues, some fallen leaves, etc.)
As a pp mentioned, there's something special about the feeling of (successfully) using an SLR type camera. Once you learn it, you really feel you've accomplished something and you can grow with it and pick up new equipment as you go, etc.

Story: I recently visited a tourist stop in Boston on the spur of the moment after a doctor's appointment. It was a rare day that I didn't have my own dSLR with me. Perhaps because my hands felt so empty, lol (sort of like a junkie without a fix), I noticed lots of young people walking around with dSLRs taking pictures, and I also saw lots of people taking snapshots with their phones, but I didn't notice any point and shoot cameras at all. Just a sort of interesting observation. I think teens, especially, are primarily sticking with their phones for pictures, unless they want to get into it more, in which case they're using dSLRs.

(DD agrees with all of the above! )
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:51 PM   #20
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http://charlotte.craigslist.org/pho/3421122570.html

Finding more on Craigslist than I thought I would. Above is one...so maybe my budget isn't as limiting as I thought.

Thank for you for the great advice!
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:29 PM   #21
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http://charlotte.craigslist.org/pho/3421122570.html

Finding more on Craigslist than I thought I would. Above is one...so maybe my budget isn't as limiting as I thought.

Thank for you for the great advice!
The Nikon D40 was just one example when I browsed eBay. I'd actually vote for the camera I just upgraded from, the Sony Alpha line. Specifically, the A100, A200, and A300 can each be found around your price range. They each have 10+ megapixels, which is really the point where you don't need any more. They also have in-camera image stabilization, meaning you can get some surprisingly good results with cheap used 20-year-old Minolta lenses. (A nice advantage if she wants to add lenses as her interest grows )
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:45 PM   #22
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So I guess my question would be, is it be a possibility to improve her phone camera? Then my other thought would be that if she REALLY wants to get more seriously into photography, that a dSLR might be preferable to a point and shoot.
I actually just got some iPhone lenses from Photojojo (it's a really cool camera novelty store and blog). Haven't had the chance to try them out yet, but I have a friend who got the lenses for her study abroad in Italy, and she has fantastic photos. She's a wonderful photographer anyway, but in addition to her DSLR, instead of carrying a P&S, she uses her iPhone with additional lenses.

You have a point with young people either using a DSLR or iPhone, but not many with P&Ss anymore. I got my sister a P&S for her high school graduation (she had asked for it), and I don't think she's used it since her graduation trip. I thought she would take it with her to football games, but of course, who needs a P&S when you are already carrying an iPhone? I think the younger generation also appreciates the quick sharing methods possible with the iPhone.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:57 PM   #23
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Here's an example of a photo taken with an iPhone 4s with a fisheye lens from Photojojo (credit to my friend Jordan).



If you're on Instagram and want more examples, you can search #photojojotelephoto, #photojojofisheye, #photojojomacro, or #photojojowideangle.

It might be too novelty for professional photographers, but I think this would be very enjoyable for a teenager and continue to spark her interest in photography.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:40 PM   #24
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It might be too novelty for professional photographers, but I think this would be very enjoyable for a teenager and continue to spark her interest in photography.
I know a few of art photographers who use the add on lenses with their smartphone. It's not what you'd use for commercial work, but you can certainly use it for professional art.
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