My top recommendations for cameras for Teens, Mums and Dads

With Christmas fast approaching I am often asked which cameras I would recommend buying for teenagers, mums and dads who have an interest in photography. I thought it would be useful for me to list all of my recommendations plus give you some background on how I got to this shortlist. I will also aim to answer some of the most frequent questions I am asked including ;

 

Should I buy a camera with interchangeable lenses?

 

This is one of the major questions you want to answer before you consider making a purchase. Compact cameras have a fixed lens (lens can’t be taken off and changed) and are the perfect camera for teens and families on the go BUT if you or they plan to take photography more seriously then I would look for a camera with interchangeable lenses.   Therefore I have included both options within the post so you can compare and decide what will best for your family.

 

What were my criteria when developing my recommended camera list?

 

1. Price 

I have tried to include a camera for all budget ranges and also some suggestion of where you could purchase these cameras second hand. I do not suggest buying cameras from eBay instead make sure you used a reputable company. This way if there are any issues you can return it. My top 2 companies for used cameras are MBP Photographic and Wex. 

Also, please make sure you SHOP AROUND as prices can vary depending on where your purchase from. There are a number of grey import companies around who bring the cameras in from overseas but they are still authentic  (they are just made by Canon or Sony in another country). If you buy from one of these companies just check the returns policy and warranty in case there is an issue.  All you need is the model number to search the internet for the best deal.

I have searched myself and have included the best prices I have found online at the bottom of this post – please note all prices in this post are correct as of 07/11/18 but of course are open to change.

2. Size

This is especially important for me when I am on holiday (especially when we are backpacking!). I want to fit my camera into a bag or even my pocket. For teenagers, in particular, this is a consideration being unlikely to want to carry a camera bag (so not cool 😉)

3. Technical Specification

I have looked in detail at the megapixels (image quality and how big you can blow the images up) plus the cameras ISO capability (which is its ability to see in the dark). Generally the higher the megapixel and ISO the better.

4. Additional features

Finally, I looked at the cameras additional features and how easy they are to use. Wifi is pretty much a must nowadays as it allows the user to send the images straight to their phone to share on social media. I also looked for cameras with flip out screens for selfies and intelligence features like facial tracking etc.

My top cameras with interchangeable lenses

 

I use both Canon and Sony cameras and would recommend these brands because of the reasonably priced lenses of the Canon cameras and the low light capability of the Sony cameras.

All of these cameras tend to come with a standard kit lens included when (usually an 18-55mm lens) which covers a good range of focal length to get started). Once you (or your teenager) is more used to using the camera I would consider adding a lens with a lower aperture (the 50 1.8mm being a great starter lens) and I have written a full blog post about these lenses here. 

 

My 3 suggested cameras with interchangeable lenses are:

 

  • Sony a6000. This is the camera I take backpacking as its light, easy to use and is very compact.
  • Canon 750d. A camera which is now discontinued but which means it can be bought for a very reasonable price.
  • Canon 2000d. A lightweight DSLR which is new to the market but not quite a good as the quality of the 750d.

Sony a6000

Price new: approx £345

Interchangeable lenses:  Yes

Megapixels: 24

Wifi: Yes

ISO capability: 100 – 25600 (expands to 51200)

Flip out screen: 3-inch lift up

Size: 120 x 67 x 45 mm

Weight: 344g

Intelligence:  Face Detection Focusing

Canon 750d

Price used: £350 (body only)

Interchangeable lenses:  Yes

Megapixels: 24

Wifi: Yes

ISO capability: ISO 100 – 12800( expands to 25600)

Flip out screen: No

Size: 132 x 101 x 78 mm

Weight: 555g

Intelligence:  Face Detection Focusing

Canon EOS 2000d

Price new: £350 (body only)

Interchangeable lenses:  Yes

Megapixels: 24

Wifi: Yes

ISO capability: ISO 6400 (expandable to 12800)

Flip out screen: No

Size: 129mm wide, 101.3mm high and 77.6mm deep,

Weight: 475g

Intelligence:  Face Detection Focusing

  • Lighter than the Canon 750d but with less low light capability

Here are some examples of images taken on my Sony a6000 from Vietnam this Summer. As we backpacked I chose not to take my full professional kit and instead invested in this smaller Sony camera.

The majority of these images were shot in Auto or AV mode and the camera is incredibly simple to use. Is also does a great job shooting video and the autofocus is impressive when moving from one subject to another.

The built-in wifi also meant I could send the images straight to the Sony App on my phone and share them straight to Facebook and Instagram.

My top compact cameras

 

I spent a lot of time researching which compact camera I would recommend as its important to find the right balance between price and image quality. As a reminder, the lenses on these cameras cannot be changed.

My 2 suggested compact cameras are:

 

  • Sony DSC-WX500 – Good low light capability for the price

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70 – Best budget buy

Sony DSC-WX500

Price new: £229

Interchangeable lenses:  No

Megapixels: 18.2

Wifi: Yes

ISO capability: ISO 80-12800

Flip out screen: Yes

Size: 101.6 x 58.1 x 35.5 mm

Weight: 209g

Intelligence:  Face Detection Focusing & in camera panorama

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70

Price new: £209

Interchangeable lenses:  No

Megapixels: 12

Wifi: Yes

ISO capability: ISO 100-6400

Flip out screen: No

Size: 110.7 x 64.6 x 34.4 mm

Weight: 243g

 

Best prices as of 7th November 2018

These are the best prices I have currently found online and you can use this as a good start point for your research. Please note prices are subject to change so please ensure you shop around.

I hope you have found this blog post useful and if you have any questions feel free to ask below. This list is by no means exhaustive but is based on my experience with Sony and Canon. If you look at another brand for me the key specifications for comparison would be the megapixels and ISO capability – in both cases the higher it can go the better.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog

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