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Thread: Camera choice for a 12 year old.

  1. #1

    Default Camera choice for a 12 year old.

    Hi everyone.

    My son has just turned 12 and is interested in making videos. He's been busying himself with a mobile phone (shooting and editing) and makes 'promo vids' of most places we visit.

    He's been saving his money and we're looking to get him a camera that will serve a few purposes:

    - something that does photos as well as videos (DSLR I presume)
    - records sound, expandable for external mic in future
    - fairly easy to use, but with enough features to future proof it as he gets older and more experienced. Think GCSE/A Level grade.
    - use as a face cam for when he's making YouTube vids (he already has a capture card for recording gameplay)
    - stop motion would be handy, but not essential

    He made friends with the guy taking the vids for a festival we went to recently who recommended Cannon cameras. I don't know a great deal on the subject but I do remember a friend telling me that Cannon Eos cameras were great for the money, but this was some time ago.

    We'll be looking for something second hand and around the 150 mark. He's managed to save about 120 so far.

    Also, is there a free/student version of editing software he could be using? Would something like Devinci be too complicated and just scare him off.

    He's a really good lad, really enjoys it and seems willing to put the work in, so I'm more than happy supporting him to take this to the next level. Some of his shots are really good (the dude at the festival seemed genuinely impressed with some of them) so I'm trying to encourage him to keep it up. Knowing him, I don't think something like a skill share course would be too beneficial at the minute, I think he just needs to take his camera out and shoot and edit as much as possible.

    Any help, advice, offers of a camera that's in the back of the cupboard would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks all.
    Last edited by Hank Scorpio; 09-10-2021 at 09:55 AM.

  2. #2


    That's a great plan. Future proof is unfortunately not something that's easily done these days, especially not on a budget but nothing is impossible and I think there's a few options especially when you are willing to go second hand. I would stay away from any DSLR at this point though. I kind of would like to say to just keep using a phone but perhaps upgrade that one to something with a more high end camera like a Huawei P30 (Or P20) Pro (Huawei has partnered with Leica for their camera stuff and they are amongst the top when it comes to cameras in phones... and they're fairly reasonably prised as well.) If he wants a bit more control there's third party camera apps that supply that but generally speaking a phone can do any of the requested things.

    OK back to cameras. I'm not too well experienced with the Canon line-up. For SONY the obvious candidate would be one of the Sony RX100 series. Probably a second hand Sony RX100 III or with a bit of luck the IV. These cameras are specifically aimed at vloggers and again should have all the options you need. By the way. Stop motion can in most cases be achieved by a remote shutter along the way. Canon probably has their own model that caters this segment. Another camera to search for is a second hand Panasonic Lumix DMC G70 (Sometimes branded as the G7 but I think that's not the case over here)

    Free software... honestly I should just let him have a go at resolve. Sure it has a boatload of features to complicate things but he has a lifetime to figure those out and simple basic editing shouldn't bee too hard to figure out I bet. If not you can always try something else but in the end if you have to start from scratch anyway I'd just start with something like davinci resolve because all editors take some getting used to to learn the basics.
    The cats are watching us...

  3. #3


    Thanks Grapes

    I'm actually typing this on a P20 Pro

    That's some top advice and pointed us in a direction we weren't currently at.

    We've got a lot of reading up to do, so I'll let you know what he decides to go for.

  4. #4


    Great to hear it. Honestly I do a lot of great shooting on the P20 Pro. It's not the camera I'm taking to my clients when I need to do a film gig but when I'm on the go and I see an opportunity to shoot some stock footage it so far hasn't let me down yet.
    The cats are watching us...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    Great advice from Grapes (as usual) with which I agree. Mirrorless cameras are pretty much taking over from DSLRs - especially for video - for cameras with changeable lenses, but that really is something for the future (you're not looking at just the cost of the camera, but lenses as well and once you buy into a certain manufacturer's eco system, it can be costly to change as you'd likely have to cahnage all the lenses as well etc etc.)

    A 12 year old won't have any problems working in Resolve. The basics is not very complex and youngsters are far more adept at picking up new things than oldies like me. My only concern might be whether you have a powerful enough computer. You could wade through the recommended specs etc, but I'd be inclined just to download and see if it works. An alternative freebie is HitFilm Express which may require a bit less grunt. It's really a compositing tool (video effects) but it is also a perfectlys servicable editor.

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