I have a 13-year old granddaughter who loves capturing her cat, dogs and bunnies. She is very special, and a special needs young lady.

If anyone has suggestions between whether to buy Canon or Nikon I would appreciate it. Any other suggestions, lens (zoom) filters, etc. would be very appreciated as well. I notice that a lot of great captures are made on either brand.

Michael Louis

"whether to buy a Canon or Nikon" is like asking whether to buy a Toyota or Honda. Then whether to buy a point-and-shot Nikon or Canon with compact sensor, or whether to buy a Canon or Nikon Bridge Camera or whether to buy a Nikon or Canon DSLR with a half-frame or full frame sensor. Above all it's up to the photo enthusiast to do their due diligent research on their specific usage, importance of brand recognition (status), eye appeal, hand feel, and budget. Many a parent bought an expensive Bridge Camera or DSLR as a Christmas present for their son or daughter only to return it because all of the function features in the lengthy instruction manual were overwhelming.

When i was a teen it was either a Chevy or a Ford. Even though my Dad an older brother were strictly Ford my first car was a used 1965 2dr hardtop Pontiac Tempest Custom 326 V8 with automatic ... Sweet! Likewise, for whatever reasons some photo enthusiasts may purchase a: Sony, Lumix, Fuji or Kodak as best satisfying their photo interests and budget.

If interested in a Bridge Camera don't overlook the Lumix DMC-FZ300 ($399) with all of its Pro-features: Quality impressive handheld feel, Articulated viewing screen, Screw-in 52mm front filter, Wired cable shutter release, Wi-Fi, Fast auto-focus response, Record in RAW option, Camera function layout well thought-out, 5 Axis hybrid optical IS, Dust-proof, Splash-proof, Quality Leica lens opening of f2.8 possible from 25-600mm, 12 fps burst, Quality 4K video, Creative panorama shooting, Macro close-up to 1cm, Comfortable electronic viewfinder, Manual focus option, and other features found in more expensive DSLRs, AND, if that isn't enough an extended 3-yr warranty is available when purchased between 4/1/19 and 3/31/20 from an authorized retail Panasonic Imaging Dealer or an online store. But you say for a Bridge Camera it only has a 12 MP compact 1/2.3" CMOS sensor ... don't let that fool you as it is a first-rate Bridge Camera capable of capturing quality images. Images that would please even a young teenager or a seasoned adult. It looks and feels like a professional camera and in many respects functions like a professional camera, so for $399 it probably isn't necessary to spend $1000 or more for another Bridge Camera unless you plan on printing 11x14 and 16x20 prints for exhibition.

Thank you very much for your excellent ideas on how I can make a good decision on this camera purchase. I appreciate it and will use your decision logic.

Also, you made an excellent car choice with the Pontiac Tempest. I owned a 1963 convertible Pontiac Tempest Custom 326 V8 with automatic. What an absolutely fun car! I wish I still had it. I had a great time driving it around Madison in the 60's.


Good Morning Michael,

Even deciding which compact camera to buy can be mind boggling with all the electronic features. Even the 16MP Kodak PixPro FZ152( (on sale $99 Walmart) is a lot of camera with its 24mm wide angle and 15X optical zoom with automatic focusing and other features. That's why we see more and more folks using their smart iPhone for photos. I'd suggest trying out a compact (even that FZ152) to get an idea if a compact (Nikon, Canon or whatever) will satisfy your granddaughter. Whatever camera you try out you can return it within 14-15 days if you decide it isn't a good fit. A bridge camera under $500 is probably too much camera for your granddaughter. Even then with all the features on a Kodak $99 or a Nikon $250 CoolPix or Canon $250 PowerShot camera most amateurs just leave it on auto-focus instead of taking the time to read and learn all of the cameras functions in their lengthy online instruction manual. Even the Kodak FZ152 (FriendlyZoom) online instruction manual is 88 pages ...

I originally posted a response asking first about the focus of the photography as a direction in which growth can most easily be accommodated by choice of camera. The greatest cost in technology often is the cost of locking skill sets (maybe an oxymoron) to a dead end road. Once autopilot is assumed I don't see the advantage of the bridge/point and shoot cameras versus just investing in a better phone. Unless it is simply the idea of getting a child to put down the phone and focus simply on photography. I think if you look through even the small sample set of Capture Wisconsin you will see plenty of teenagers that have taken up an interchangeable lens camera and are growing through skill sets that foundational to more serious ambitions as they age.

Sales of the low end cameras have fallen off dramatically. Very dramatically. Phones are simply crushing that segment of the market into oblivion: Plenty of evidence and discussion or .

If simply lowest possible cost is the goal without developing a photographer's skill set of understanding (for example: ) then everything is made simple. But again the largest cost is the mindset and lack of development of understanding beyond the instant gratification of least investment in seeing vs just looking and snapping a photograph. I think the quote: a Camera is a tool for learning to see without a camera" (see . I think taking time to slow down and understanding how light, timing, depth of field etc affects the essential element of great (not just good photographs) photographs: Emotion.

I guess part of the reaction to this is the deterioration of much of life through detachment from it today. Making everything instant gratification hence little reflection on anything. Related , , .

People are looking to think deeper and be more reflective. An example of this is that locally, where I live, the city and county has asked me to develop photography workshops around that central idea. I run a non-profit, unrelated directly to photography, that has seen the damaging affects of everything is about how fast you can do things rather than the process of growth that happens by learning to pause, think, reflect and, in the end, grow. So it is a bit of philosophy wrapped up in seemingly simple decision of what technology to buy.

Thank you so much, Noel, for the interesting reply. If you have a link to any photography workshop you become involved with I would love to be able to link to your knowledge and skill sets.

What an amazing photo of Fish Lake! I assume this one is yours. This photo conveys a lot of emotion to me by virtue of the great times my Dad and I had together fishing the lake for sun fish and crappies.

I am disappointed to hear that Capture Wisconsin is shutting down. It has been a great connection for me to my home state. I was born and raised in Stevens Point. Do you know why they are shutting down? I was thinking that their photo sharing format would be wonderful for my new state of residence: Georgia.

Michael Louis