The students have been learning photography this year at Vine, and many have discovered that they have quite a passion for it! For those who have asked, here’s a list of recommendations as well as a few specific notes about the cameras I’d suggest if you’re hoping to buy your child one (links at the end):
My first recommendation is to arm your child with the camera model he or she has been learning with at school. This way, all of the buttons and settings will already be familiar. The cameras in our photography program are all the Canon D6 model, a high-quality entry-level DSLR.
Depending on your budget, there are a few different directions you can go:
A camera body & separate lens:
($265 + $45)
A Camera bundle & separate lens:
($499 + $45)
($45 or $125 depending on brand)
Why the extra lens?
This lens, a 50mm f/1.8, is an incredibly important piece of your child’s DSLR ensemble, so please don’t skip it! As your child already knows, this fixed lens, also known as a prime lens, has an aperture that opens up especially wide. This is crucial for getting photos with beautiful background blur as well as properly-exposed pictures in darker situations… like anytime before or after school in Chicagoland during the winter, lol!
There are two lens options: the Canon brand lens and the off-brand lens. The Canon lens is around $125; the Yongnuo (off-brand) lens is around $45. The Canon will be a bit higher-quality, but if price is an obstacle, definitly go with the Yongnuo because it’s just fine - it’s what your child has learned with!
A few important notes
If you end up splurging for the full bundle, there are a few pieces that I’d strongly suggest grabbing and throwing out right away! The macro and telephoto screw-on lens attachments are cheaply-made and often get stuck when screwed onto the real lenses, winning you a one-way ticket to the camera repair shop. Trust me… just pull them out of the kit and toss them.
If you go with the camera body and 50mm lens, be aware that you won’t be getting a camera with a “zoom” feature (something that many people associate with DSLRs). That’s ok! Your child understands why this lens is superior!
The value of the bundle is certainly the best option if you think you’ll be purchasing more lenses and equipment for your child as time goes on. The zoom lens alone retails for $199 and all those other things (especially the memory sticks, tripod, & camera bag) do add up. My advice? Stick that zoom lens in a closet and pull it out for your child’s birthday, because it’s not good for much when we’re stuck indoors in small spaces during the winter anyway. Sneaky sneaky… ;)
Why Canon? While I shoot Nikon, I find that Canons tend to be more user-friendly. Both brands are extremely high-quality, but the Canon brand also tends to be less-expensive across the board.
Below are links to each of the suggestions listed above:
Please don’t hesitate to email me! I’d love to help if you have other questions about the perfect camera for your child!