Camera for 13 year old

jenniferljl's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2010 - 6:55am

Greetings! My son is interest in creating videos, casting his friends. I use a Canon 7D, but sound and manual exposure and controls are way too complicated for him. Understandably, he wants to grab and go. Also, there's the "boys will be boys" aspect. So I'm looking for something not too complicated. This is his reward for getting straight-A's this year at school, but I am on a budget. I looking for something under $700. Thanks!

D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm or the ipad is even better..
my eight yr old shoots with a flip.

Joseph Dellwo's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 05/20/2011 - 6:35pm

If he wants to just 'grab and go,' don't spend a ton of cash. Get an affordable AVCHD camcorder in the $300-$400 range and spend the rest on accessories. Get him a camera bag, tripod, a few 16gb cards, extra battery, maybe an affordable external mic. And when it comes time to edit, think about a a portable hard drive he can plug in to whatever he's going to edit on.

This is a pretty good camera for the money:

Daniel Hart's picture
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 04/14/2009 - 5:34pm

No offense to Don, but I don't think an iPod or a GoPro is the way to go. The camera on the iPod, (or even the iPad) is a secondary feature to everything else. So you won't get nearly as good quality as a true camera. The GoPro is definitely good for the "boys will be boys" aspect, since it's all but indestructible. However, it's really designed for getting unique shots. Not a great point and shoot cam. The camera Joseph recommended (or something similar) seems to be the best way to go for what your son wants to do.


"What the joke needs, the joke gets."

birdcat's picture
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions for cameras so I'll leave that to others. I would just ask you to not sell your son short. There's no reason he can't learn how to use any camera, complex or not, at that age..

I have been taking still photographs since the age of six and at 20 years old had one of my shots on the front pages of newspapers across the country, including the NY Post and Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Let him rise to the occasion and I'll bet he'll impress you.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions

D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

@ Daniel... if it's grab and go footage, the ipod/ipad is actually better than you realize BECAUSE of all the other features... shoot edite and share with one device he'll always carry with him is actually not a bad investment if he gets bored of video in three weeks, he's still gonna use the ipod.... go-pro, well...everybody should have one of those I don't care what level you're shooting at....

Moab Man's picture
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 11/02/2010 - 3:35am

I would hunt down an HD Flip Video. You can find them for next to nothing. Keeps it completely simple, but most of all it gives him time to do two things. First, show he can take care of it.Second, he can give input on what he would like to have in a camera once he proven being responsible and edited some stuff. That way if he finds it's not all the fun he thought your not out a big investment. And as far as software, let him cut his teeth on the free stuff for Macs or PC's tp get started.

That's the way I did it with my daughter, and in the end, she didn't find video editing and much fun as she thought once she learned how much work daddy puts into it.

The Flip HD I saw a month ago was in Moab, Utah for $60. Not that the location helps, but you can still find them in stores on the shelf.

D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

yeah i'm shooting a lot of 3d stuff on two flip's I picked up from Staples. Anything in thier clearance bins goes for half off the yellow sticker so I got mine for $23.00 each for flip ultra hd's and mount them on a bracket for left and right eye perspective... so yeah... never rule out bargian cams... they're for everybody...

brunerww's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 06/09/2011 - 6:40am
Plus Member

jennifer - Congratulations on your straight A student! He sounds like a responsible guy. At 13, I would get him a Canon T2i for $559and a 50mm f1.8 lens for $113. That way, as he becomes even more responsible, he can share lenses with you without having to share cameras.

Yes, it's more complicated than a flip cam or even a consumer video cam, but he will learn a lot, produce great HD video images out of the box, and have a quality still camera to boot.

Good luck with your decision,


Hybrid Camera Revolution

H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator


I sometimes work with kids his age for video camps. I find giving a simple point-and-shoot digital camera with video capability more than suitable. The lower end ones aren't expensive reasonably durable and often have enough controls on them in case he actually develops an interest in shooting beyond the 'grab and go' stage.

Point-n-Shoot Cameras bhphotovideo

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc.