My Camera is Too Small

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by listers_nz, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    My daughter (15) asked me the other day if I was going to buy her a new camera because she is going to do photography next year (it is one of the high school art options). She presently has a Panasonic G3 with 14-42mm II and 45-150mm lenses, and when I asked what was wrong with that (as you do), I was told she didn't like it because it wasn't big enough! Which I did find somewhat amusing.

    As far as I can tell, there is no camera specified for the course. I'm not even sure if one is actually required, but if she is interested in the subject then she will obviously want a camera. And I'm told the photography teacher has a "Lumix", so hopefully there is no DSLR bias :)

    I was actually thinking of an upgrade for her anyway at some stage, but now I'm not sure whether I should go with:

    1. A used G6 or G7 body, i.e. a bigger version of what she has (and perhaps eventually a larger lens instead of the 14-42mm, the 12-60mm or 14-140mm perhaps)

    2. An APS-C DSLR body and lenses (probably Canon based on availability used)

    The Canon option is more readily available here and cheaper, but I'm not entirely convinced it is necessarily the best option. I've got plenty of time so I'm not in any rush to do anything, unless some amazing deal comes along. I have been told that she doesn't want a rangefinder body (she didn't like my GX7) and that Olympus OM-D bodies are ugly! :hide: (sorry about that)

    Anyway, I'd be interested in comments.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    At risk of sounding mean, I think you just need to put your foot down. There is nothing wrong with the camera she currently has. Matter of fact, it is probably a more capable package then what I started my business or with.

    It really just did me the wrong way that "too small" and "ugly" are acceptance/rejection criteria. If it were me, my response would be, if she is paying for it with her own money, she can buy whatever she wants. If it's on my dime, then she'll get a capable kit, which it already looks like she has access.

    The tone I get from your description is that is not about the position of the gear and less about the work that will be produced from it, which is a bad place to start from.

    Just my 2 cents...And I'll bow out now.
    • Agree Agree x 9
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    As the dad of an almost 15yo, I wonder if the real issue is that she worried about what her classmates are going to say about her camera. May be time for a father-daughter chat to understand what is really bothering her. I would certainly not upgrade my daughter's kit for the reason your's is giving. Since you were thinking of giving her an upgraded kit, maybe make that the outcome rather than the entry of her photography course?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 1
  4. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Good points, and I suspect there is a certain amount of "I'd like a new one just because it is new" (she is unlikely to be getting new anyway) and "my friend has a xxxx" (which doesn't generally work on me). Having said that, this particular G3 is a bit beat up (was when I bought it), so a replacement is probably on the cards at some stage, but whether it is before, during, or after the course, is still to be determined.

    I guess what I was really asking was, having never really owned or used a DSLR, is an entry level model really a good option, or would it actually be a step backwards?
  5. genesimmons

    genesimmons Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2017
    i own both dslr and mirrorless set ups, i can only speak for myself but i do like my canon stuff, i have a 70d and its a great camera, has wifi and articulating screen and has the top lcd which i do like, the lcd makes it seem like a professional camera, in my mind its a much more solid feeling camera than the rebel line up, those feel cheap in your hands, efs lenses can be had very very cheap, the nifty 50mm f1.8 is a great lens for dirt cheap, even the kit 55-250 is a decent lens, i learned on a dslr and i like some things about them but after getting my em1.2 the canon is up for sale, if u were close by i would give u a deal haha, i have the 70d and 6 lenses to make quite a package and her school mates would be pretty envious haha
  6. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Having come from a Nikon DSLR to m43, I don't think that you/she would gain anything by moving to an entry level DSLR for general photography needs. You probably already know what the shortcomings of the G3 are, and can evaluate if she will run up against any of them during her course. Maybe chat with the teacher to understand if there will be a lot of action/low light work involved? But other than that I would think that she has a nice kit which she will appreciate even more after a few class photowalks.
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    If you buy her an APS-C DSLR, then she will be limited to the lenses that come with the body (or that her friends may own). This could be a good or a bad thing depending on how much you want to share your equipment with her. Other than that, I do not think there will be a big difference in terms of her learning whether she is using one sensor format or the other. She is just learning the basics at this point.

    Good luck,

  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Get her a nice portrait prime like the Oly 45/1.8 or Panny equivalent. That will have a bigger impact than a slightly newer body.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 4
  9. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Check out G5 too. Nicer grip than G3.
    I would find it hard to move to an optical viewfinder especially a small one found on an entry level DSLR after using a nice big EVF like the one in G3.
  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    maybe sit down with her and go through some of the image threads here, see what kind of pictures she like, and then point out they were all taken with "not big enough" cameras
    Alternatively rent/borrow a big.. really big Nikon/Canon and short zoom lens for the weekend and see if 'big' is whats she really wants :)

    Photography is a set of skills.. cameras are just the tools that make it possible

    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  11. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    I'm reminded of a radio ad where the high school student wants a new Apple laptop because her friend had one and it was so other reason.
    This honestly sounds like a "real cameras are big and black and have a flippy mirror" moment.
    Everyone else has great advice. Sorry I fall into the group that would just say unless the course specifies something suck it up and be happy oh and learning on a slightly older camera will be good as you learn how to work around any of its limits
  12. Moula

    Moula Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2016
    If small for hand, than maybe EOS 5D Mk I with 50 STM? If fits to hand, talk to her. ;-)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Thanks, that was a theme I was picking up elsewhere.

    Not sure about that, I think that there is only one friend with a "real camera" and most of her friends think that a camera is part of your phone.

    I did have to laugh when she asked if she could have one without a flippy out screen because she didn't really like that. My response was don't flip it out then.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  14. I can only think that it must be peer pressure, have other classmates brought their cameras into school? I would discourage a switch to a different format if you are already invested in mu43. A cheap G5 or G6 may be the option but maybe go through some photos of the cameras to see if they are what she's after.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    • Like Like x 3
  15. RickinAust

    RickinAust Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 9, 2013
    Agree with the "have a talk" and try to find out exactly the issue. Otherwise buy her a second hand GM1 :shakehead:
    • Funny Funny x 2
  16. Julia

    Julia Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    Dresden, Germany
    I started out with an analog SLR (Canon EOS 300 something, with two kit lenses – it was ages ago) when I was in High School which I purchased myself after saving up over a summer during which I worked. It got me hooked on photography, and years later I upgraded to a DSLR (Canon 350D), and some better lenses. It was fun, and it allowed me to take more and better pictures (going digital allowed me to understand exposure, focal length, dof, etc much easier).

    And then I basically stopped taking photos. My last "real" photoshoot with my DSLR setup was in 2009. I visited relatives in Russia and lugged around my heavy, heavy backpack for days on end and I just about had it. I threw it in a corner when I returned and only came back to photography 4 years later when I "downgraded" to m43. I started with a G3 which brought the joys of photography back to me. This kit was so small and light, it never bothered me to have it on me. I have been taking pictures continuously since then and would never, ever go back to DSLR.

    So, if you consider upgrading your daughter to a DSLR kit, rent a setup for her (or borrow it from a friend) complete with lenses she might use and have her carry that on a photo outing, something she would also do with her current setup. I personally would never put up with the weight and size anymore, but I can understand that a "real DSLR" might look appealing at first.

    When it comes to comfort and size of a camera body, I can sympathize, though. I currently have an EM5 and I had to add a third-party grip to use it comfortably with the 12-40. Currently, I am strongly leaning towards upgrading to an EM1 simply because of better ergonomics. So maybe try to determine if your daughter wants a bigger camera for "coolness" or if she really does struggle with the ergonomics of the body she currently has.

    At any rate, I think it's awesome that her school offers a photography course. Wish that was something the curriculum here in Germany would do :)
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    I think comfort/ergonomics is actually the issue, rather than anything with the actual camera itself, or its brand. She would like something with a bigger grip. Hard to argue with that really, as that really is a personal thing.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Get her a new medium format camera. It should be big enough. :biggrin:

    Kidding aside, IMO there's really no valid reason to "upgrade" to an APS-C camera. There's plenty of (bigger) models to choose from within the m43s.
  19. lchien

    lchien Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 7, 2014
    I'm with Gryphon1911, this is not cheap or low quality equipment.
    It should be fine for a beginning photography class.
    It smacks of elitism, where she needs something to show off that's newer or fancier or more expensive.

    Unless you are used to spoiling that child, you should find out the real issue and set her right.

    When she starts making great photos, then its time to sit down and discuss what she really needs to further photography ends, not what her classmates or she thinks it ought to look like.
  20. Weebee

    Weebee Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 2, 2016
    Perhaps a grip to bulk it up some and make it look different will work.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.