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  1. #1

    Default Best Starter DSLR Camera - cheap/2ndhand?

    Newbie Alert!!

    Hi you all,

    I would really appreciate some advice. My 14yr old daughter is showing a real flare for photography, she is planning on taking A level art and is thinking of including A level Photography, hence I need to buy her a decent camera, JOY! ;-)

    Iv'e looked at some DSLR's but I don't really know what to look for, and they are so expensive!! I really don't want to spend too much money as I don't even know if she will keep it up, you know what kids are like?

    So please could you advise me on some good, starter, probably 2ndhand options, under 150 if poss.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    NW England


    i would look at something like a canon 550d or 600d i wouldn't go entry level as it would soon be out grown

  3. #3


    I think you might struggle to get a used good DSLR for around 150, try looking at the Nikon D5000. This is an old model (in camera terms) but will give high quality shots...Graham

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Ceredigion, south of Aberystwyth


    Quote Originally Posted by graham_c View Post
    I think you might struggle to get a used good DSLR for around 150, try looking at the Nikon D5000. This is an old model (in camera terms) but will give high quality shots...Graham
    I sold an immaculate D5000 that had seen very little use for 200 back in January, complete with the two kit zoom lenses and all in original boxes. Frankly it was too big and heavy for my 23 year old daughter. Replaced it with a G6 from Panasonic with one lens that covered a 10x zoom. Smaller, lighter and more convenient and far more versatile and capable. Net cost to change for me on a very special deal on the G6 was 175.

    Problem is, you've got to be in it to win it. In other words this was not my first purchase and I knew what I wanted and what is a good deal and what isn't.

    150 is really not much money today. I reckon most things have doubled in price over the last ten years apart from consumer electronics. Knowing girls there will be two issues that will be important to her. That she can carry it around in a medium size handbag. That it is stylish and has some street-cred. If either are missing she will likely not carry it and if she doesn't carry it, she will not use it enough to learn how to use it if you see what I mean.

    On that basis and on the basis that a well looked after quality camera will have some resale value, at least when it is reasonably young and can be sold if she just doesn't take to photography, I suggest an advanced compact. No faff with changing lenses. Plenty of manual and creative control. Reasonable to good low light performance. Stylish and fun. Budget has to rise to realistic level though.

    Used Fujifilm X10 on Amazon for 170. Plenty used for around 200. New around 250. New X20 around 350. They don't get better than that for an enthusiast's camera. Spare battery is a must but plenty of choice at less that 10 each.

    Advanced travel-zoom without the wow-factor of the Fuji but a bargain currently at Argos. The Panasonic TZ35 at 130. Not one for low light parties though but otherwise a very capable camera indeed. Not really one to use manually and to learn from, although there is plenty to learn if she wants to. Have a search for Graham Houghton on Youtube for his series on getting the best from this and similar cameras. Its an eye-opener. He lectures photography at a college and if she goes through a select number of his videos she will not only find inspiration but will likely easily pass an A level in photography without having a single school lesson.

    Sony DSC-HX50 on Amazon currently for 199. A superb compact for the price with all the right functions to grow into.

    There are other interesting cameras available that would suit her, but it boils down to money. I would not dive into an SLR yet for the reasons mentioned. A DSLR is just not practical for her in my opinion. It's not about the size, it's about what you do with it.
    Last edited by Huw Williams; 18-04-14 at 06:43 PM.


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