Used p7700 for a beginner?

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clengman
clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
Used p7700 for a beginner?
1

Hello,

I'm shopping for a camera to give to my niece as a Christmas/Early birthday present. She'll be 12 in January and has shown an interest in photography. Another relative got her a Fuji instant camera a couple years ago and she uses it a lot, but she asked for a digital camera this year. I'm looking to spend in the neighborhood $100-150. My first inclination was something like a Sony RX100 or Panny LX-7. Something with good glass, good sensor for the price, utilitarian standard zoom range, and ability to control exposure manually.

I talked to my sister, though, and she says that my niece is definitely interested in taking photos of animals and wildlife. (Along with everything else. Pics of friends, buildings, landscapes, etc. etc.) I'm afraid 100mm-ish equivalent focal length on the telephoto end won't really cut it for that use. So now I'm leaning towards something like a Coolpix P7700. I think that seems to strike a good balance between low light capability and zoom range at this price point.

Just wondering if anyone has any other suggestions for an inexpensive but good-quality, used camera that will be fun for her to use, will at least be passable for some telephoto as well as close up, and will allow her to learn about the technical aspect of photography?

I appreciate any suggestions.

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Nikon Coolpix P7700 Sony RX100
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André BARELIER
André BARELIER Forum Pro • Posts: 10,343
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?
1

While the P7700 is an excellent camera, I'm afraid it's not good for wildlife, for 2 reasons:

1/ it lacks a viewfinder, which is very useful (mandatory, for me) when you use long focal lengths

2/ AF is slow. Very accurate, and perfect for landscapes, but too slow for wildlife, where you need a good responsiveness.

That being said, image quality is great.

For wildlife, IMO, nothing beats the P900/950/1000. You could see if you find a used P900 at good price.

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André

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clengman
OP clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?

Thank you for the suggestion. That's worth checking out. It looks like the p530 is more in the price range I'm looking at.

I was really trying to stay away from superzooms because I imagine the smaller sensor and slower lens aren't so good for image quality in less than ideal light. I was really looking for a middle ground. But you're right, slow autofocus can be frustrating.

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p900learner
p900learner Senior Member • Posts: 1,289
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?
1

Your criteria: up to $175, camera the young person can learn things and grow into, and a varied range of interests from nature/wildlife to landscape, friends, etc.

If possible to stretch that budget a bit I'd recommend a classic that continues to sell well as a used camera - the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS - introduced in 2012 - sports a 50X zoom, view finder, smallish/light weight, certainly not a pocket camera. Yes it has a small sensor, but its known for nice image quality, good image stabilization, controls are nicely placed. Its a dandy.

Personally, I wouldn't sell small sensor cameras too short - all about learning to use this or any camera.

Probably one of Canon's best selling point and shoot cameras of all time.

Still today when I'm on birding or nature walks with small group of people its fairly common to see the SX50. I can't recall reading any reviews or forum users complaining about the SX50.  I've seen many complain about the upgraded SX-60 model. In fact one of the best birders in my state uses an SX-50.

Shop carefully on ebay and I think you can find a nice one at a decent price. I see one now for $175.

This 2017 review may give you good idea compared to its SX-40 predecessor - https://sleeklens.com/canon-sx50-hs-review/

I've often though I should get one of these - just an all time classic. Not a camera collector so have let it go.

Be safe  - Ev

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Anders_K Contributing Member • Posts: 892
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?
1

Sony WX350 (girlishly tiny and 20x zoom)

my grand niece loves it

Scotty B
Scotty B Senior Member • Posts: 1,790
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?
1

First, I agree with the P7800 over the 7700 because of the EVF - and the slow AF can be frustrating in both of those cameras.

and I'd also note you're smart to stay away from the super zooms...a young lady out with her friends wants something small and easy to swing up and snap a shot. While that can obviously be done with a cellphone, giving her the capability of a small, light camera will help introducer her into the other types of photography she wants to do.

all the best in giving the young lady her first real taste of photography. May she enjoy whatever camera you choose.

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scott b.
http://www.countryshots.com
'Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like..' ~Eudora Welty

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clengman
OP clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?

The SX50 looks like a good option! Thanks!

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clengman
OP clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?

That is definitely a cute little camera.

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clengman
OP clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,976
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?

So, I just couldn't shake the idea that despite their drawbacks, the P7700 and Canon G15 were the cameras in my price range that were closest to an introduction to a DSLR or MILC camera. I bid on a G15 yesterday and didn't get it, then found a P7700 for $136 Buy It Now and couldn't pass it up.

From talking with her mom I think she will appreciate having a "serious" camera. I was briefly considering one of the early m43 cameras and a kit lens, but I think this is a better option until she knows how far she wants to go with the hobby. I'm looking forward to helping her learn the craft.

If I'm mistaken and she really does want a camera with a really long telephoto, or if she finds it too complicated, or frustrating to use, I'll sell it for her and help her find something more to her liking.

Thanks for the great ideas. I'll keep this thread saved in case I need to start shopping again.

 clengman's gear list:clengman's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 +6 more
p900learner
p900learner Senior Member • Posts: 1,289
Re: Used p7700 for a beginner?

clengman wrote:

The SX50 looks like a good option! Thanks!

clengman, fwiw I noticed this a.m. a prolific poster at the Nature DPR forum uses an SX-50.

If you have questions he might be the guy to ask. Today's post photo taken 2015, 2017, and 2018 of giraffes at wildlife park.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64589636

Stay safe. Ev

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