am I giving correct advice?

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sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6178
am I giving correct advice?

I have so many people ask me about my camera b/c you know that it's the camera that takes such great photos. Wink

I tell them if they are not looking into photography and don't plan on switching to manual, to not spend a whole bunch, and just get the lower end DSLR. Am I wrong? I feel as though one of those compared to my D90 on auto are about the same... I just had a friend ask me what she should get her 14 year old daughter, and I told her the lower end DSLR that are around $500 and I explained to her that if her daughter isn't wanting to learn photography, then to just get that one.

People really do think it's the camera. I mean yes, the camera on auto does take better photos than my P&S did, but I rarely use auto, so most of the photos they comment on are taken in manual.

What would you say? When I first got my camera, I was more excited in having a faster shutter speed with kids. Biggrin

La123's picture
Joined: 04/11/08
Posts: 815

Honestly, I would rather use a p&s for snapshots. My snapshots on my slr in auto can be horrible, and its a pita to cart around. It is SO irritating to hear 'your camera takes great pictures'... anyways, I don't know if your giving the wrong advice. Some people want that 'blurry background' so they get an slr, in which case, I wouldn't suggest buying a top of the line camera. I guess I wouldn't know unless I had a better camera, and tried if for snapshots... ok, I'm not helping at all... sorry for the ramble. Smile

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

my brother recently told me he wanted to buy my camera or one just like it. but i asked him if he was interested in getting into photography even just as a hobby and i don't know if he really wants to so I pointed him in the direction of a high end P&S because it's lighter and a bit smaller but yet has so many functions that he can play with. It really depends on you. I don't think you are giving good or bad advice but it's just advice Smile Maybe that girl will really want to get into photography later on then at least she'll have that option. You never know. But yes I know a lot of people buy dslrs thinking they'll take great professional looking photos the moment they start clickin. Smile I told one person once that I'd love my own photography business and she replied with a "well that's a good idea. not everyone has a camera like yours" .... that really bothered me Lol I don't really talk to that person anymore cuz I told her once that it was my work not the cameras yet she said a similar comment again awhile later. haha Smile

sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6178

I hadn't thought of a higher end P&S. You are right though, I would rather use my P&S for snaps too.

So, what's a good, higher-end P&S? Any suggestions? I have an Olympus Stylus 770 (I think) and it was around $350..... I like it b/c it's shockproof and waterproof. But, outdoors is where it works best.

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

I don't think there's good advice or bad advice. I think that it all depends on the person TAKING the photos. Only they know how much time and effort they're going to put into a camera.

If they just want a nice P&S, then I would suggest This Canon Powershot. (Should a known I'm a Canon, snob Wink ) If they are going to want to learn more about photography and the actual use of the camera, I would suggest an entry level DLSR. Sometimes I don't feel like 'being a photographer' and just take my P&S so I don't have the pressure on me. I think that Canon above would be a great camera for someone just wanting something better than the bottom of the line digital.

fudd8963's picture
Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 1630

I agree with the others, it all depends on what she wants to do. I still LOVE my P&S and use it pretty often. It's nice and small and fits in my pants pocket. So if I know I just want snapshots, and we are going somewhere that I don't want to risk my SLR getting damaged, then I take my P&S. Like Sunday we played outside in the snow for a good bit of time. It was nice to have my P&S in my pocket and snap quick pics of the girls. I did take a few with my SLR, but then I put it back inside because it's too bulky and I didn't want to drop it in the snow!

I don't know about her parent's, but I don't htink I would trust a 14 yo with an expensive camera. I know my parent's never would have spent that kind of money on a camera for me.

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2347

I was going to recommend a P&S like one of the ones in the Canon S series too. SX or S90, something like that. I just have the S5 but it has a lot of features for a P&S, and I would not worry about giving that to a 14-year-old so much as a DSLR -- even a low-end one.

I have a friend whose 13-year-old just bought herself a low-end DSLR with money she'd saved, and for a kid I definitely think that's the way to go. If they're really interested enough in photography to want to take that step, that'll become obvious -- as it did with this girl (and she's quite naturally talented with it!).

Reading all your comments about the stupid things people say, e.g. "Your camera takes such great pictures", I can appreciate how CRAZY that would drive all of you who are so good and have worked so hard to hone your skills. I've even had people say that to me, with my P&S, with a few of my better shots -- and even as a rank amateur it really bugged me. For sure a camera makes a big difference, but you still have to know how to use it, and it's such a huge insult to a photographer to suggest it's only the camera and not their skills that produced a certain quality of image.

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3409

for the new folks who have never seen this ... and for those of us who can't help but chuckle ruefully each time we see it ...

As for your original question ... there's no right/wrong way to direct people. There are a lot of good p&s cameras out there that won't break the bank. Many even have manual controls to help people get their feet wet and see if they are ready for a dSLR. In addition, entry level dSLRs have come way down in price, so that helps too.

I'd say handle it on a case-by-case basis. If someone is asking for a kid, I would probably direct them to one of the better p&s cameras. Here's an interesting comparison article on DP Review covering some p&s cameras with really fast lenses:

I have recommended each of these cameras at one time or another. If I know the person might have a tendency toward really getting into photography, I direct them to a dSLR usually (and tell them to get Bryan Peterson's book). Biggrin

Anyway ... I think you are on the right track. It's hard keeping your cool some times, but I tend to just grit my teeth and move on.


sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6178

Thanks Gigi. I will send her that link tonight! I appreciate all the advice you have given me ladies! Smile