Best new or used $200-300 camera for budding tween photographer?

Started Nov 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 11,947
Re: Best new or used $200-300 camera for budding tween photographer?

aspiring wrote:

How would the IQ compare between say a Canon SX30 or even SX40 (they're on offer locally for $299) and a Canon G12?

It is a step up in image quality to the G12, but it's still on the smaller end of the spectrum.

Does the G12 offer opportunities for learning about manual controls that the bridge cameras don't?

Yes.  The G12 has all the manual controls of a DSLR.  The only issue is that with the relatively small sensor, changing the aperture won't really change the depth of field much.  So it makes it hard to learn about that.  In terms of exposure, it's got full manual control.   Some higher end "bridge" cameras also have manual control, but you will have to see on a case by case basis.

Or would we need to step up to a DSLR or ILC (if that's the right acronym for interchangeable lens camera?!) to achieve that?

Considering the prices of the ILC (jury is still out on the official acronym, but that works for me!), I would have a hard time recommending a G12.   A superzoom makes a little sense because that's the only way to get huge zoom on a budget.    But look at this size comparison of typical sensors:

The G12 uses the 1/1.7".  Typical compacts and superzooms use the 1/2.3".   But the ILC and DSLR cameras use the four thirds and APS-C sensors.  IN terms of area, we are talking a factor of 10 or more.   That really impacts the quality of the pictures, especially in less light, but also the ability to control depth of field.

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