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  1. #1

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    Nov 2010
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    Cameras for young children

    Hello APUGers. I am looking for a good 35mm camera to get for my two young children. I have some needs and some wants so I will just make a list and then ask for your help finding the best choice.

    First the needs.
    Cheep (I did say "young" children &#128521
    Small(ish)
    Easy to use
    And functional (obviously)

    Now the wants
    Good glass available
    A system that can grow with them
    Availability for camera leather replacement (red for him and pink for her)
    Black body
    Two identical setups

    The wants are definatly not necessary, and I plan I giving them to the children for Christmas so I am in no big hurry. Also something beat up and a little ugly is fine as that is likely to happen anyway with them being so young (6 and 8 if you were wondering)

    Any help with this is greatly apreceated

  2. #2

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    Went through same with my son At 8 years we started with a Chinon SLR. Light,small and simple, easy to find lens for.Picked one up for 5.00.He now understands how to operate a camera and is confident with a bigger Mamiya ZM.The biggest issue is ergonomics with small hands.Rest is quite easy really.Though pink leather may be hard on your eyes..:-)

  3. #3
    one90guy's Avatar
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    No sure what you consider cheap, but I just gave my grandson, age 7, a Yashica MG-1. It took a while to find a working one on the bay but I believe I payed about $35.00 which included shipping. Not a real light camera but he had no trouble with it. His first few rolls of film he missed focus some and he would not always set F stops correctly. But his only other film camera had been a P&S. Not sure if Ive ever seen pre cut coverings in pink. I'm sure you will find more help here, great bunch of folks much more knowledgeable than me. Good luck.
    “In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took,
    but how many moments took your breath away.”
    ― Shing Xiong

  4. #4
    one90guy's Avatar
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    Opps missed the system to grow with, any of the older slrs. All brands have some small slrs, I use a Nikon FG and a FM-10 which would fit what you are looking for. Lots of glass and some good non Nikon lens can be had for cheap. I have a coulpe of Vivitar lens which give me great results.
    “In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took,
    but how many moments took your breath away.”
    ― Shing Xiong

  5. #5
    ArtO's Avatar
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    Nikon EMs might be a good solution to your problem. They're readily available, small, light weight, and quite easy to use.

    Good luck with getting them started. You should all have fun with this project.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Art

  6. #6

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    How young is young? My son is 9, I got him his first camera when he was 3 or 4. Instead of a 35mm, I got him a Polaroid. It was the one that shot those little pictures that came out of the camera on a strip of paper. When he was a bit older, I got him one of the ones that takes 600 film.
    I think you can still get Polaroid 600 sized film, although it's not made by Polaroid. The thing that makes Polaroid so good for small children is the instant picture. I have yet to see a child who doesn't get excited the first time he watches the image come up from nothing as a Polaroid develops. At that age, they really don't have the paientience to shoot 35mm, and then wait for processing. Digital cameras give that instant feedback, but only on a screen. It's much more fun to have a print you can pass around.

    Just something you might want to consider.
    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;None but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley

  7. #7

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    Just to clear some things up. Cheep for me is under $100 for both cameras combined (with every thing needed to use them). But cheaper is good to.
    I would prefer all manual SLR's to teach them the basics of cameras and photography. A meter is not nesisary as I have a hand held one and could always get some for them down the road. I am not stuck on SLR's and if finding a fixed lens camera is easyer I am willing. Any ideas on where to look is also appreciated. I am currently looking at KEH and creagslist so other options are always good.

  8. #8

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    I have an Nikon FG and it's a solid little camera. It's relatively inexpensive on the bay, can use lot's of Nikon glass (as someone else mentioned) and will allow them to learn all the principles of photography.

  9. #9

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    I would start with something cheap and easy to use. A child's attention is very volatile and in six months they may have no interest in photography. Be careful not to appear that you are pushing them to take pictures.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10

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    My 12-year-old son's 1st 35mm SLR is a Pentax ZX-30 (aka MZ-30). Lots of good Pentax A glass (this one has to have the KA lenses, K and M lenses won't work ) and decent AF.

    An EX body from KEH set him back the princely sum of $12. The lens I picked for him was a Sigma 70-210 zoom, and I think it was $20 in BGN condition. BGN condition from KEH is very good IMHO.
    ME Super

    Shoot more film.
    There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.

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