If your child has recently started showing an interest in photography and you are thinking about buying them their first camera, there are a few things you need to consider. As a parent you probably know that a kid’s interests can change tomorrow, next week or even next year but the good news is that you can still support their new hobby without breaking the bank. Here are our top 6 tips for choosing a camera for your budding photographer.
Choose a camera that will enable your child to learn the basics quite quickly. Make sure that the controls and buttons are manageable and that the size of the camera is suited to the size of their hands. The menus should also be logical, easy to read and have intuitive icons that are easy to understand.
Children love to experiment and tend to learn faster when they can do so. An entry-level DSLR camera will allow them to adjust exposure settings such as ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Interchangeable lenses are also a great learning tool but definitely not essential as a beginner.
When deciding on a camera for your child, take a look at the screen. It should be large, bright and have great color reproduction. It should also be easy to use both indoors and outdoors as there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to see your images clearly on the screen due to bright sunlight.
Ensure that the sensor resolution is good enough and meets your specific requirements, especially if you want to print larger size images. In most cases a 10-14 mega pixel camera is a sufficient for an entry level photographer.
As a first time photographer, your child will want to keep practicing so it’s important that you are able to extend the camera’s memory using a SD/SDHC memory card.
Next come the accessories. Your child will want to download their images from the camera onto a computer for editing so a USB cable will be an essential accessory.
Bonus Tip: If you aren’t sure that a brand new camera is the best route to go as your child pursues their interest in photography you can also look at buying a secondhand camera instead. Ask around because many photographers may be willing to sell an older model camera. Be sure to find out about all the camera’s features and any extras that it might come with before making the purchase to ensure that it meets your specific requirements.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed with choices, but remember that photography is all about the moment and it should be fun! It's all about practice and the pros always say that your first 10,000 photos are your worst so the sooner your child starts to snap that shutter the faster their skills will grow. If you want a little extra guidance I am always happy to look at used gear or to check out new finds. Happy capturing!