11-14-2017 09:41 AM
11-14-2017 10:37 AM
11-14-2017 10:52 AM
It's useful to remember that cameras go obsolete faster than lenses do. So you put less money at risk by buying good lenses early. The first lens any DSLR user needs is a mid-range "walking around" lens. In your case, if it fits your budget, the obvious choice is the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. (I wouldn't recommend that lens for most 12-year-olds, but what you've told us suggests that it may be justified in your daughter's case.) Another obvious choice is the EF-S 60mm macro; it's got good image quality and isn't particularly expensive. Telephoto is a somewhat more difficult problem. The usual birding lenses are big, heavy, and expensive. Probably what you want to do there is buy a cheaper lens with a fairly long zoom range, let her wear it out, and see where things go. By that time you'll know better whether she's ready for serious equipment.
Incidentally, there's nothing that says your daughter can't join this forum and ask us questions directly. I don't think the forum attracts many 12-year-olds; but we're usually pretty civil to newbies, and she doesn't even have to tell us who she is. It's like that old New Yorker cartoon, where a dog sitting at a computer terminal says to another dog standing on the floor nearby, "On the Internet nobody knows you're a dog!"
11-14-2017 10:54 AM
The iPhone can take *excellent* photogrpahs:
I'm not sure of the implications of putting excellent in quotes. But on its own your statement is a bit too sweeping for me, and I beleive needs some context. Many cell phones certainly can take good photo within their limitations, which are for me:
1. Their super-small sensors will not blow up as well as bigger ones, something true for any sensor, but the ones in mobiles are VERY small, so I would say great for digital display but I would not print large format prints with them.
2. they will not render close-up super telephoto shots, even with extra optics. I was standing taking photos of the herons I shot with my super telephoto kit when a lady came up and asked what I was shooting at. I pointed to a tree about 100m away which contained about half a dozen nests. She whipped out her cell phone and took a shot, commenting she didn't know why I would feel I needed such an austentatious bunch of gear. I asked her to show me her shot, she had the tree in full, and the nests were dots among the branches, I showed her my shots - point made...
11-14-2017 11:19 AM - edited 11-14-2017 11:47 AM
I didn't post the close-up shots I intended - that post was getting a big large!
This is a close-up taken with the SX60HS. It was just a casual, hand-held image taken on the fly.
As I mentioned this unit has a focal range of 21-1365mm, that's HUGE. At the tele end it beats most big expensive lenses, at the wide angle end it does a great job too. For close-up work one tends to see dedicated macro lenses in the range 60-100mm. Yes they have better optics but they cost a lot.
There is a point I would like to make...
We have not spoken to your daughter directly, nor have we seen any of her photos to guage her current state or issues, but based on what you have said she is looking for a good learning tool that will not limit her to a small focal range. I completely agree with the comments that she should consider joining this forum. I would also recommend her joining
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/ It has excellent educational resources, and the forum is a very positive one - no trolling is permitted. There is a wealth of highly talented and experienced contributors that take photos submitted and give constructive critiques if requested.
The SX60HS camera is an amazing general purpose camera that does a wide range of things well. Not as brilliantly as an investment in much more expensive gear, but at this stage in her career I believe I have demonstrated it is capable of taking the range of images she is seeking, and within your budget. It has the ability to be controlled from fully auto, through semi-automatic (aperture and shutter priority modes) through to fully manual control. She can render images that she can really learn from.
For a reviews and other images taken by this unit go to a website called dpreview.com and do a search for canon powershot sx60hs to get reviews (both technical and by other users) and other images taken by this unit.
The challenge for her will be to realize that this unit has the potential, the rest is up to her to learn to master this and it will reward her with great images and enhanced skills. Really she needs to get good education and coaching - and I have mentioned some sources of those for her. Gear alone will not give her the learning experience she needs.
11-14-2017 11:26 PM
11-15-2017 01:46 AM
I agree with everything's big you wrote and I appreciate all your knowledge and experience.
I asked her to please join the forum, but she's not ready. She has a bit of shyness,and a great deal of beating herself up if she doesn't get perfect shots. She also has some anxiety issues not to go into detail, but she's working on coping with her fear of changing and playing with the settings. So whether or not she'll join the forum is to be determined. The least she needs to do is read all the posts we have exchanged.
She 100% needs to take a course or go online for some learning. If she doesn't do at least one of those things. I may hold off on making the purchase. She needs to learn from others, she needs to experiment a little with all the settings on her present camera before I can purchase her another camera. I explained that to her and I could see her wheels turning. So maybe after some thinking. She'll be more willing to play with all her settings at least.
She has these fears because she accidentally turned on a setting when she first got the camera and it made everything she did out of focus and then she turned on some setting that put little squares all over her screen and she couldn't figure out how to get it to stop doing that, because she panicked. I'll work on her confidence level by doing some learning myself to assure her the settings can be corrected if a simple turn of a button is made. I have been watching several you tube videos about her present camera the Canon rebel sx530 and that little camera has a lot of great settings for being such an inexpensive camera. It takes some beautiful pictures. As soon as I'm allowed to post her photos I'll do so. Right now I'm too new to the Canon forum and they don't allow that option yet.
Are you sure you're not allowed to post pictures? I thought anyone with "Contributor" status could do that. How you do it isn't particularly intuitive, but that's a different issue.
Tell your daughter it's way too soon to worry abut the quality of her pictures. I've been to two or three exhibits of Ansel Adams's work, and one of them showed some of the pictures he took on his Brownie when he was around your daughter's age. They were pretty awful: muddy and out of focus, with composition that was mediocre at best. But in his professional career he was a compulsive perfectionist who produced some of the finest landscapes ever shot. If your daughter has the interest and tenacity, she'll succeed. Point out to her that now that you've told us that she isn't ready to join the forum, she can join anytime and we'll never know, unless and until she ever decides to tell us.
11-15-2017 04:18 AM
You raise a good point about your daughter not being fully competent, and confident, with her current camera. A new one is not going to change that.
Perhaps a better investment at this time would be in a professional grade tripod. The shot that diverhank posted of the statue on the tower was quite impressive, but that long of a focal length requires either a tripod, or a very experienced hand.
I have several friends who are photo enthusiasts. Having someone to bounce ideas off of, is a great learning experience. We have discovered that we each have had a favorite place to visit to take shots, as a learning experience. For all us, it has been outdoors, and fairly close to home.
I mention this because I used to visit my spot, with the camera on a tripod, and just take shots with different settings, without ever moving the camera, so that I can go back later and compare the net results and effects of the changes. I still go back to that spot whenever I have a new lens or camera body.
Consider buying a professional grade tripod, which has an interchangeable head. They always made from metal or carbon fiber, never plastic. They do not sell them at the Big Blue Bos stores, either. My favorite brand is Benro, because they make good tripods and give a high quality case to store and carry the tripod. With most brands, you are lucky to get a vinyl bag.