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Camera for a beginner

RLL39
Contributor
Looking to buy a canon camera bundle for a beginner on a budget of $600. Interest in landscape/wildlife photography but since I'm just beginning that might change. So what's a good all around camera for a newbie?
53 REPLIES 53

There is a later lens in that model, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM unit, which is an improvement, but the one you quote is quite a good unit too (I owned one). The STM version has dropped the price on the one you mention.

 

I would recommend looking at sites like DPREVIEW.COM to see what lenses Canon has made and see some of the reviews.  Just avoid the tech trolls!

 

The following images were made with a 10 year old Canon 400D (10 Y.O. body) using a 15-85mm stitched together.  NOTE the resolution had been reduced to make posting easier, still I think it reinforces my point.

Untitled_Panorama1-6-1-1.jpg


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Hi, I have been reading over the posts for beginner camera. I’m looking to buy my 12 year old daughter a new camera. She has a canon rebel power shot sx530. I think it was a wonderful choice for her as a beginner. She has taken over 2000 photos of wildlife and she truly has a knack for this. I don’t have a big budget and she is not ready for anything complicated. She hasn’t even learned all the various uses of the simple sx530 rebel, but it has been a great camera for her. What she is getting frustrated with are long distance shots of hawks on tree tops as well as in the sky. She hates the idea of a clear subject blurred background, but that may be the way it is with her camera in order to get the best shot of subject. I was thinking about the T6 as a step up. It comes with a 55-300 lens. She does not have a tripod and would like to hold camera in her hands most times. I think she needs to learn in baby steps until she gets the hang of all the buttons and what they can do. She also gets upset taking close ups of bees/butterflies. She has to stand 5- 7 feet back to get the shot. I have no experience with cameras so I’m in need of help for her. I don’t want to spend more than $700 until she’s ready and old enough to take camera courses and learn more about cameras and photography, but I want her to continue on the journey of wildlife photography. She has proven her dedication and love for it. I’d love to see her take pictures she’s proud of and not want to throw the camera, because of her inexperience. Thank you

The T6 would be good, as well as an SL2. One thing she will really like is that the SLR's will have much more responsive shutters.

 

The 55-300 will be good for wildlife, but at some point you might want to add the "kit" 18-55 for wider-angle general purpose and the 60mm macro for those butterfly shots:

 

IMG_3411.jpg

One important question for her is what she wants to do with the photos she takes.  Is she going to show them on a web page, look at them on a monitor or print the images.  If she is going to print the images how big does she want those images to be?

 

The reason I ask is that output has a big impact on the kinds of gear one is going to use.  The requirements for output to screen or small prints do not necessarily require expensive gear.  If her needs are not IMMEDIATELY demanding - she is after all at the start of a learning curve, I would recommend getting a bridge camera.  A bridge camera has the same basic controls of a DSLR, but is a lot smaller and has a non interchangeable lens.  What it does have is a lens with an amazing range: from very wide angle to super telephotos.

 

I am going to use a term called equivalence here.  It is simply a means to compare lens performance from different type of camera on a standard scale.  The numbers written on a lens are relative to what that lens would see (called the Field of View - FoV) on a full-size sensor (a sensor the size of 35mm film), a Canon T6 has a smaller (crop) sensor, so a lens on such sensor has its FoV focal values multipled by the crop factor (in this case 1.6) to get its true FoV.

 

For example, the lens you were talking about on the T6 has what is called an equivalent range of 88 - 420mm (1.6x 55 to 1.6x 300), while a bridge camera such as the Canon SX60HS has an equivalent range of 21 - 1365mm!   That's means the lens can 'see" a much wider range!

 

A bridge camera is more compact and lighter, so it is easier to carry (as the saying goes the best camera is the one you actually carry).  It has a smaller sensor (think smaller negative if you like) so images cannot be blown up to as big a size as those from larger sensors on more expensive cameras.  That said, the images one can get from a bridge camera can be very good.  As below.

 

04 Heron SX60HS.jpg

The image above was taken with the Canon Powershot SX60HS bridge camera,

0C3A0148-1-2 LR.jpg

This image was taken with a Canon 7DMkII, with a 100-400 MKII L lens, and 1.4x MkIII extender

 

This is Professional level camera system that cost 10x the amount of the Canon Powershot SX60HS.  Can you see 10x the difference in these images?  On a screen or small print (8" x 10") I would doubt that too.

 

So I would submit that the bridge camera is perfectly capable of deliverying excellent results for a  very reasonable price - they are available for less than $500US.  If you were sticking to your budget you could then consider a tripod and a cable release to help your daughter with the types of images she wants.


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

"Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS Lens. Found a used one for $99. Is that a good price?"

 

"Looking to buy a canon camera bundle for a beginner on a budget of $600. Interest in landscape/wildlife photograph..."

 

Are you straying from what your original post stated?  If you are OK because that is a nice lens for beginners but it will not make a good lens for wildlife shooting. Of course it does depend on what wildlife you want to shoot.  Elephants or small birds.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

RLL39
Contributor
Thanks! Will definitely check it out


@RLL39 wrote:
Thanks! Will definitely check it out

I think the best place to purchase "used" Canon gear is at Canon's Online Store, in the Refurbished Department.

 

https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/cameras/refurbished-eos-digital-slr-cameras

 

They sell refurbished cameras and lenses.  The gear comes with one year warranties, too. 

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

"Better equipment does not make you a better photographer,..."

 

However, you don't see most pro's using cheap gear. Smiley Wink  Wonder why?

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

And most of those pros will have started at some point in their careers as newbies, much like our poster. He is definitely not a pro, so I am not sure of the relevence of your comment  to his situation.  He is at the very start of his journey and I think it is better that he not invest a lot of money (considering his limited budget) until he learns more about the art and the technology.

 

You can still get great results from less expensive or older equipment, considering his limited budget I am encouring him to get better lenses that he can afford than focus on body. When I picked Canon I did so on the basis of the excellent 70-200L2.8 MkII lens, which I still consider one of the top lenses in the world.  Once you start that, as I said, you buy into a system.

 

People are often touting the importance upgrading to the newest body and the next model up, and I am not immune from that myself.  But in the end they can all render great photos and to provide the best result for our poster, the greatest improvement a new photographer will make is by learning and improving his technique.  Doubtless one day he will outgrow his first purchase and when he does he will not take as big a hit as he would have if he had paid full price for a new unit.

 

Having just read your last post I agree that he is a bit vague on the kinds of photography he has in mind, but I think that is symptomatic of his situation.  I found that my interests for non-work photography became more specific as I figured out what I really liked, and that has adapted with time and my location.  With a limited budget to start off with, it's hard to find decent lenses that have a big reach.  I know some people who do bird photography and they swear by their bridge cameras with their super zooms.  But as I have said, the type of output has a major impact on the choice of that kind of camera.  If the output is for digital, say 1920x1080 he may get great results from a brige camera, but if he wants to produce prints above say, A3 (double legal?) size, then the resolution may not be that good.


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris


@ebiggs1 wrote:

"Better equipment does not make you a better photographer,..."

 

However, you don't see most pro's using cheap gear. Smiley Wink  Wonder why?


Better equipment will make any photographer better. How much better depends on how good you already are. The better you already are, the more difference better equipment makes.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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