First upgrade


Link Posted 01/04/2013 - 23:42
I am hoping to gather some advice and possibly a recommendation for a new camera purchase. A year ago give or take a few days I bought my eldest son his first camera, a Pentax WG-1. At the time my selection criteria was driven largely by proof as in water, shock, cold, dust and crush. There was also an issue of cost, I wanted to minimise my expense because to be honest I had no idea whether he would show any interest. Im glad to say its rarely out of his hands, so much so that I've watched with amazement at the speed with which he navigates the menu system, though this should be no surprise to anyone with a child thatís been educated by nintendo.

So now with his one year anniversary looming I'm looking at an upgrade. This is where my dilemma begins, I want to make a purchase that will help improve his photography, not just provide 'cleaner' photos. I've always believed that getting the right foundation regardless of activity is the only way to improve. Giving this some thought I've compiled the following list, things that I think will aid his understanding. It would be great to get your views on this, suggestions, corrections and recommendations.

Camera with a viewfinder, I've watched him frame with the LCD, I'm not convinced that an LCD is a good way to learn as its too easy to get distracted when composing.
A/S/M modes with support for exp comp.
Camera with B&W filters, primarily to aid seeing a scene in grayscale.
Support for frame lines, for e.g. Rule of thirds to help with composition.
Support for turning the LCD off, to help avoid chimping.

He's turning 10, going on 30, small hands would exclude mini dslr or bridge camera, really still looking at point and shoot size. Guys understanding that this is a pentax forum and not wanting to offend any advocates, I'm not religious about brand in relation to recommendations.

It would be great to hear about other 'features' that you would look for as training aids to someone starting out.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


Link Posted 02/04/2013 - 00:03
You've defined quite a few parameters, although you may have to rethink the viewfinder, but to be honest you are IMHO asking the wrong people.

Why not discuss it with your son and find out what his thoughts are and what he would like from a new camera. As he's already doing so well he may surprise you with his thoughts and he might have definite requirements of his own.

Incidentally, I've seen plenty of 10-year-olds using DSLRs quite happily, so no need to eliminate any camera type upfront.

Hope that helps and you find yourselves sharing a discussion and coming to a mutual solution!
Best regards, John


Link Posted 02/04/2013 - 01:20
Yes, have a discussion with him and see what he thinks. He may be perfectly happy with what he has already or seen something that he fancies.
I can understand that jumping to a full blown DSLR may be a step too far for a 10 year old (it would be quite a responsibility to look after it.)
Getting something bigger makes it more inconvenient to have it with you - small can be convenient.

There is a halfway step to a DSLR that is somewhat cheaper. These are 'bridge' cameras. Pentax do one called the X-5 and it looks just a DSLR only it has an electronic viewfinder (both eyelevel and rear screen) and is comparatively reasonably priced. An advantage for your son would be the lens is fixed, yet has a 26X zoom which is quite a large range, so you wouldn't need to seek out new lenses which can be quite expensive.

However your son might just prefer the robustness of that WG-1 and not want to change. Suggestion: treat yourself to a DSLR, eg a K-30 or K-5 and pass it on when the time seems right! You can always let him borrow it but knowing it's yours should treat it with respect. Having hundreds of pounds round your neck is certainly a bit of a responsibility and it is so easy to put it down and have it stolen from behind your back while not looking or even just forget to pick it up!

John K
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 02/04/2013 - 01:26


Link Posted 02/04/2013 - 09:53
You could also look at one of the compact systems from Panasonic - they are a couple of generations (in technology terms!) old now, so if you're not adverse to second hand, it would be possible to pick up one of the ones with built in EVF for a reasonable amount of money. He will then have access to SLR features and an improvement in image quality with the possibility of future upgrade paths. It's not Pentax, but the viewfinder aspect means that, without considering a DSLR, you're worth looking elsewhere here.


Link Posted 02/04/2013 - 09:59
Small hands - thougth clearly people and kids come in different sizes, as a small woman my hands are very similar size to my 10 year old goddaughters and I use a k-x fine.

If it's an assumption you have made I'd suggest taking him to a shop and just confirming what size / sort of cameras he can hold and control.

If you have done that fine sorry to have wasted your time.
Sharon's: K-x, FA35/2, DA 18-250.Glen's: K10D, DA100 Macro, 55-300, Paragon 500, Silk Pro700 Tripod


Link Posted 02/04/2013 - 17:34
Thanks guys appreciate the feedback.

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