Nikon D5200 or Sony NEX-6 to get my teens (and myself) started in photography

Started Jan 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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hedgehog22
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Nikon D5200 or Sony NEX-6 to get my teens (and myself) started in photography
Jan 19, 2013

I want to get my kids started in photography. I'm planning to enroll them in basic photography classes and see where it leads for them. I might enroll first (if time permits) so I can relate and maybe help out a bit in their photography "journey". I've been wanting to do it myself because whenever I look at our travel photos (shot with point and shoot cameras) I feel like we are missing a lot in the chance to take really good pictures and make beautiful mementos of our travels.

I told them I'm planning to buy a DSLR but would only do so if at least one of them (15y/o, 13y/o and 11 y/o) take photography classes. They are very interested and even argued who would enroll first on their summer break (Apr-May). The main goal is to get the kids started which I hope can turn into a serious hobby for them. If not, we can at least have a decent entry level gear to use for our travels and family events.

My budget is around $2,000. I want to start with an entry level kit at $1,000 range and spend the rest on accessories (batteries, memory cards, cases, etc) and possibly additional lens(es).

I don't know much about photography so I came here for advise. I've been researching on this lately and so far my top choices are the Nikon D5200, Sony NEX-6 or Canon EOS-650D. I know older models (e.g. Nikon D5100) can be had for less $$ and would also do the job just as well. I have to admit I'm a bit of gadget freak so I prefer to start with newer models instead of old ones.

I'm a little partial to Nikons because there seems to be more books and training materials available for them. Compact cameras like the Sony NEX-6 is also interesting because it maybe a better fit for my kids' hands, and its size and weight will not turn them off.

If you were a teen (or if you have one) starting to learn serious photography now, what camera would you start with? Are my camera choices above good for that purpose - and will it keep your interest levelĀ (i.e. my kids') so as to progress to advance levels? Other than the body and kit lens, what other basic tools should a budding photographer have (i.e. prime lens)?

Note that the Finance Manager (i.e. my wife) approved $2,000 for gadget expenses so I want to make the most of it. Also, if the kids stop at basic photography classes and their interest fizzles out, I want to have a gear set that will help improve our family/travel photos and videos (at least with the new basic skills they've learned).

Sorry for the very long post...but I look forward to your inputs.

Nikon D5100 Nikon D5200 Sony Alpha NEX-6
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