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Really need some help

A Dad

ok. Please bare with me. I have joined this forum even though I am not a photography buff. I do though have a daughter that is. The past two yrs I have looked at more photo's she has taken with an i- phone, and one of those "Credit card sized camera's.
Needless to say even with that equipment I have seen some serious improvement, and actually been amazed at what can be done with those type of camera's.
At a recent family wedding I watched her kick up a conversation with the photographer. Did not hear what was being talked about, but alot of pointing and looking was being done over the camera being held
The reason I have joined this forum is that i know nothing but have decided to do something for my daughter and invest in what is obvious to me not a passing fancy but something she is very serious about.
This is where I need help from people such as yourself who know what you are talking about.
I have looked around for what I will call "Professional grade Entry level camera's" which I have concluded to be DSLR Camera's .
When ever I look over the information for different ones I have found, I understand nothing.
Can anyone give me some suggestions. and perhaps tell me if the Nikon d3300 is a good one. I ask about this one only cause it seems to come up a lot in different search's and articles I have read.
My budget is $800 dollars which seems ample considering the cost of some of the camera's I have looked at, but again lack of understanding I do not know if there will be other costs or stuff that will be required to purchase for the camera.

I know I have asked a lot of questions, and probably not easy ones to answer but any advice /information that I can get here would be greatly appreciated. I just figure if I am gonna do this getting it right would be a good thing to achieve.

If it will help she does not seem to have a preference in what she photographs. People,Action,Nature. I have seen examples of all of it. Frequently

Roger S

Crazy Canuck
Hello and welcome to the forum. To answer one of your questions, the D3300 is a decent camera for an entry level at your price range.


Always on
Premium Member
Yes the D3300 makes for a nice first DSLR. But, is that what your daughter wants? Going from an i-Phone to a DSLR is a huge step. Mirrorless cameras are smaller and compact cameras smaller yet. Right now she is enjoying herself learning composition and framing with what she has. If she is interested in learning the basics of exposure then she will need a camera where the photographer controls shutter speed, aperture, and ISO and this can be done with a variety of cameras without going to the big DSLR.

Your budget is fine, its your taking the lead that I have concerns about. I recommend having an excellent father-daughter discussion about what she would like to do and have her fully involved in determining where her photography goes. If she is handed a big DSLR (relative to the i-Phone) and doesn't take to it, you may be terminating her growing interest in photography.

I recommend looking at any small camera that allows full control of the exposure settings, shoots JPEG but is capable of shooting raw.


Forum Photobomber
Agree with the comments above from Mike, great advice. As a starting point (as said), anything that will allow full control will be just fine. A bigger more expensive camera does not produce better images, it's the person behind the camera. It's also important that your daughter is comfortable with what she will be using, so I would suggest as Mike says, a decent talk with your daughter to establish what the best starting point would be and then perhaps a visit to a camera shop to have a play with a few options.


Always on
I would explore several option:
the D3300 is a good starting point, but I think it you can budget a little more you may find the Panasonic lumix line equaly viable especially something like the gh5. Of the micro 4/3s line the lumix lenses are some of the best and for reasonable prices, size and weight. with the dslr route Canon also has some excellent deals and great gear.


Always on
Welcome to the forum, and totally agree with Mike. I had a similar situation years ago and realised fairly quickly that my daughter should be totally involved with any decisions.

A Dad

well first I would like to thank you all for the advice given a couple years ago.
Short version is I did not buy her the DSLR her hobby has continues and this spring she did finally end up with one under her own choosing.

I believe your advice was spot on. So thanks
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Always on
Premium Member
Glad to hear what happened, thank you. Be sure to suggest that she visit our forum.