Advice needed if possible please on a starter digital camera?


Well-Known Member
Hi guys,
Sorry if I shouldn't be asking questions but i thought it would be the best place to start!

We're thinking of getting my lad (11 in Feb) a digital camera for Xmas as he's starting to show a real interest in photography. Any idea of a good starter and what lenses I should be thinking of? He's getting into his wildlife a little, is a real motorhead and loves cars, and has asked this week if he can go to the woods with me and try to photograph some sunsets to give you an idea of what he wants to photograph.

I'm not fussed if I get something 2nd hand if it means getting better quality but it will need to be reasonably priced as I need to get his twin brother something of a similar value. Prob up to £250 ish if possible I guess if that's even possible?!

Any thoughts please?


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Eric the Red

Well-Known Member
I don't know that you need to go separate lens in the first instance. You certainly need to be able to go macro for close up - and preferably ability to play with ISO - but at 11, he should just enjoy point and shoot, perhaps with the ability to play with aperture priority. I'd start with a reasonable all in one with a good optical zoom lens from one of the better manufacturers (Nikon, Canon etc.) and I doubt you'll go far wrong.

Look at places like IJTdirect( for refurbished - you shouldn't need to spend as much as that. This would be all he would ever need for a long time: Nikon B500 16MP 40 x Zoom Bridge Camera - IJT Direct

If you do want to go old school, then a Nikon D70 or something would do well. If the lenses are good, they may well be transferable should he want to upgrade body later - but I'd see how he goes with an AIO first.


Well-Known Member
If you want to get him a robust and decent DSLR look at second hand canon eos models.
You should be able to get him a 400D or similar and a couple of lenses for your budget.
The standard lense is ok. Being an 18-55mm for landscapes etc and if he wants to do macro/wildlife a sigma 70-300mm should keep him happy.


Distinguished Member
£300 would probably get you a decent second hand lower end Nikon or Canon with a smaller lens.
Ideal for sunsets and scenery but not much good for wildlife.


Site Staff
Mark, if it were me then I would be looking at a bridge camera, bit more than a point and shoot but not quite a DSLR. They have a permanently attached lens a substantial zoom range and the ability to use manual as well as automatic controls. A decent learning aid, Panasonic are well known for their range of such cameras, something like this, Used Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ80 Digital Camera - Black



Well-Known Member
The best camera for the job is the one that you happen to have with you when you want to take a is why most of my photos these days are taken with my iPhone...

Having lugged my old Spotmatic and Nikon D300 up Goat Fell on a few occasions, my brother in law's Panasonic Lumix 40 times zoom lightweight bridge camera looked very attractive!

I think it is almost impossible for you to second guess what will be the best for your son especially if you are not a photographer his interest in photography or in the images? i.e. the nuts and bolts of the process or in the end results? A family friend professional photographer was more interested in the end result and had relatively simple cameras to achieve them...he was able to concentrate on what he was seeing through the viewfinder rather than adjusting to get the optimum image. Some of his best images were blurry and under/overexposed but rescued in the darkroom, the same principle applies even in the digital age.

One thing though is should involve him in the decision making process...don't do what my father did and bought me what he thought was a good camera as a surprise...I was never grateful for it. All my little friends had the popular Halina and I wanted to have the same...mine did have a lever advance and a slightly better lens but it wasn't the one I had wanted! It still rankles 55 years later!

This misguided emphasis on the surprise element of giving also backfired on the wife of a colleague recently...she bought him a Nikon DSLR as big surprise, and again it was not the one he would have chosen for himself...he wanted one like mine!


p.s. Like a rifle, binoculars or any other it comes to an individual's hand is important with cameras. Another reason you should allow your son to make the choice and not just rely on specifications and helpful recommendations.
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Well-Known Member
Check out camera jungle website, they're part of Jessops you can get most of the cameras mentioned above at good prices
Bought my daughter an Eos 400 and 18-55 lens for just under £150. if you google for their promotional codes and still available you'll get another 10%