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Camera help please

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#1 Oogly boogly

Posted 19 March 2018 - 12:02 AM

I would normally just research this myself, but the last few weeks have flown by and I find myself with only 4 days to research, find the best price, and then purchase a camera for my son for his 15th birthday.  I'll list my questions & requirements (hopes), and hope that a few of you will be kind enough to try to help me.

~ Son wants a camera that can take photos of everything from an ant, right through to planes in the sky (he's not asking for much, right? LOL)

~ I've tried to research, but it's been a long time since I picked up a proper camera (like almost 20yrs :( ), I have no idea where to start.  DSLR? bridge camera?  I read something about mirrorless cameras, whatever that means?  Do I get something new, or is there a reliable place to buy second hand/reconditioned cameras?

~ Budget is quite tight, so the cheaper the better.  I'm happy to look at a used camera, but I hesitate when looking on gumtree, etc, because I know how easy it is to damage a camera, and that issues can be hard to spot.  

Hmmmm, I guess I don't have too many questions, I just need some help, recommendations, advice, that sort of thing.
Budget is low, under $500 if possible.

Thank you  :)

#2 overlytired

Posted 19 March 2018 - 02:33 AM

Here's a good article that illustrates the difference between DSLR and mirrorless: https://www.dpreview...rrorless-camera

The bridge cameras don't have interchangeable lenses, so you need to decide on those features (focal length & aperture) that are important to you at the time of purchase, because then you're locked in. From what I could see when considering them a few years ago, they could certainly fit the bill in regards to allowing for macro and long zoom.

The DPReviews site is usually quite helpful, here's the link to the best consumer long zoom compact  and best enthusiast long zoom cameras

Based on your son's desire to see planes in the sky, check out this video shot on a Nikon P900. It's slightly over your budget though at $700.

#3 Oogly boogly

Posted 19 March 2018 - 12:07 PM

Thank you!  II have a read of those links when i get home this afternoon.

Other opinions, advice, etc, still very much wanted and welcomed please, if anoyone else sees this.

#4 crazy87

Posted 19 March 2018 - 12:29 PM

About 5 yrs ago we bought a Nikon J1 for exactly this purpose, a compact SLR. It was around  $500 New. I'm not sure what the new models are worth but we've been super happy with it.

#5 Sentient Puddle

Posted 19 March 2018 - 01:23 PM

You could probably get a dslr with a lens new if you want something bottom of the range from parallel importers such as eglobal for under $500 - shipping would bring it up to your budget.  Second hand you would get much more bang for your buck - but unless you knew what you were actually looking for it would be difficult task to buy second hand for such an item.


#6 limakilo

Posted 19 March 2018 - 10:17 PM

Does he want to actually do anything with it, like photography at school and he needs a DSLR? Or can it be anything because it's a fun hobby?

#7 Oogly boogly

Posted 19 March 2018 - 11:07 PM

View PostSentient Puddle, on 19 March 2018 - 01:23 PM, said:

Second hand you would get much more bang for your buck - but unless you knew what you were actually looking for it would be difficult task to buy second hand for such an item.

This is my dilema LOL  DS wants a 'proper' camera, he is thinking of doing photography as one of his school subjects next year (could be interesting considering he is colour blind LOL).  He doesn't specifically NEED a certain type of camera at this point though, it's just for hobby use at this point, unfortunately makes things difficult by wanting to take photos of super tiny close things, and things that are far far away.

I'm not sure I would want to buy something for him now, then have to buy something else next year for school.

I'm happy to buy second hand, but last time I picked up anything more than a point & shoot camera was when I was about 20yrs old (that's almost 20yrs ago now!) so I have no idea what I'm looking at anymore.

#8 AdelTwins

Posted 19 March 2018 - 11:25 PM

I'd suggest starting with either Canon or Nikon. Buy one of the entry level DSLRs. For Xmas you can buy him another lens, etc.

When he's ready he can upgrade the camera body or buy new lenses to suit. The great part is that once you invest in quality lenses, then you keep them forever.

#9 overlytired

Posted 20 March 2018 - 06:27 AM

You could get a decent older DSLR, although the issue you'd be hard-pressed to find a quality, decently-priced zoom lens that meets his requirements and fits your budget (incl the camera body).

#10 Oogly boogly

Posted 22 March 2018 - 08:45 PM

Thanks to you guys talking me out of the superzoom type camera, my newly 15yr old son is now the proud owner of a shiney new DSLR camera.  I found the Canon 1300D on sale at the Good Guys for just under $400.  DS is super happy and has been snapping away all afternoon LOL

But I have another dilema I thought you may be able to help me with.  The person at the shop who sold me the camera also sold me a bag for it, however he said the bag would easily fit the camera with lens attached, as well as a couple of spare lenses...DS tried to fit the camera and the lens it came with into the bag and the two items barely fit if they are separated, and don't fit at all if they are still connected.
Obviously I will be returning that bag, but they didn't really have many other options in store.

So, my question is, is there anywhere you have purchased a really great, roomy, not too expensive, bag for your camera and accessories?  Are bags from ebay/wish/ali express ok?
I'm not too worried if there are empty spaces at this point as DS is already talking about what sort of lens he wants next LOL  The only thing he mentioned is that he would prefer a sling/shoulder style bag, he says he doesn't like the thought of a backpack as it would be too easy for someone to open without him noticing when he is in busy places.

Thanks again for your help :D

#11 Nasty Poobah

Posted 22 March 2018 - 09:15 PM

Are you in Melbourne? The Crumpler shop at DFO Essendon has had some great camera bags. I've had Crumpler stuff and it's pretty bullet proof

#12 Oogly boogly

Posted 22 March 2018 - 09:26 PM

View PostNasty Poobah, on 22 March 2018 - 09:15 PM, said:

Are you in Melbourne? The Crumpler shop at DFO Essendon has had some great camera bags. I've had Crumpler stuff and it's pretty bullet proof

No, I'm in Brisbane.

Thank you though, I will google that shop, maybe they have a store at DFO or Harbourtown up here.

Edited by caesie'n'linc, 22 March 2018 - 09:26 PM.

#13 Nasty Poobah

Posted 22 March 2018 - 10:13 PM

Here you go!


It's worth seeing what one-off stuff they've got, although I suspect Melbourne might get the majority of that.

#14 Oogly boogly

Posted 22 March 2018 - 11:24 PM

View PostNasty Poobah, on 22 March 2018 - 10:13 PM, said:

Here you go!


It's worth seeing what one-off stuff they've got, although I suspect Melbourne might get the majority of that.

hahaha!!! DS will be pleased if I say I want to go there!  He is always bugging me to take him to the airport to watch planes, and now also to test out his new camera LOL

Thanks so much :)

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