Looking for a camera recommendation

Just looking for something nice for a beginner, nothing too fancy, something that the wife & I can take high quality pics or our son & of course our doodle. Not looking to spend a fortune would like to keep it around $500 or less. Really I guess first I need to know if I should do a DSLR or what I've read is called a Bridge Compact Digital Camera?

So I guess my first question is with my budget is a DSLR even an option? And if it is, is it something that is going to have a very steep learning curve compared to a BCDC? I wouldn't mind getting some kind of a starter pack and adding additional lenses etc. as we find we need them/can afford them. I'm not a huge fan of lugging a camera bag around, but it almost seems like with the size of the BCDC's you're going to have to do that either way if you want to take good quality photos.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. 

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  • I started with the Canon T3i and love it. I upgraded to the Canon 6D (full frame), but still love my T3i.  I hate reading manuals, etc., and found the Canon T3i to be an easy camera to learn. I know Canon has a whole line of the Rebel series and I would highly recommend them. 

  • Oh, Richard, you are definitely in a different league than me. I love your work and your beautiful photos, especially when you travel. Your information regarding photography is something to follow for anyone (beginner or advanced photographer). The hippos and zebras are wonderful. Apparently your SIL is as accomplished as you are with photography.
  • I have been very satisfied with my Sony Point and Shoot camera. I get great digital photos and can use them for making decals for ceramics and also to make giclees from the photos. It was about $300 (on sale) several years ago and I have never had a problem with it. Suggest you get an extra battery and then remember to keep it charged like you do with a cell phone. It shoots at high resolution and most of the photos on my page are from this camera.
  • My son in law as a Canon SX50-HS Bridge Camera and has done some nice work with it. He used it on an African safari...

    It is a decent camera and can be had used at quite a decent price.


    I would equip it with the tiny Canon 270EX (used from $40-$70)) flash and a very inexpensive flash diffuser ( https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-Soft-Flash-Diffuser-Cap-Softbox-... ) nd you would have a nice outfit that should be able to do most of what you want to do...

    Another great accessory would be a lightweight monopod,  I shot this with  the SX50 HS using 1/20 second at f/5.6

    canon sx50 hs | eBay
    Find great deals on eBay for canon sx50 hs. Shop with confidence.
    • I bought that camera several years ago when I had severe arthritis in my hands and was unable hold my dslr. (All is better now.)

      When I first got the camera I was able to get some half way decent images.  Since then I  haven't gotten anything I have been happy with and no longer use it despite its lightness and super zoom.  And, I  absolutely hate the electronic view finder.

    • Wow!

  • Well I just wanted to stop by to thank everyone again. I finally went ahead & made the purchase, I actually went ahead & got the 5600 I found a good deal on a certified refurbished with the 18-55 lens and a 70-300 (the non VR version which so far hasn't been an issue) and I am very happy with my purchase. I've had the camera for a week today so I figured I'd share a few of my early pics.

    Again all your help has been amazing, it made a very complicated decision much easier, so thanks again. So here come the pictures. I will add that these are the 2 megapixel versions that snapbridge (which I love btw) sends to my phone so I'd assume the files loaded off the memory card may be better. The little boy in the pictures is my son, the little girl is my niece.


    • Congratulations. Your subjects are adorable!These are very nice photos. Enjoy your new hobby!

    • Congratulations, and continue to enjoy taking photos of your kids and doodle!

    • You are off to a great start, congratulations. Adorable kids. We have some tips and lessons in the group index on the main group page, as well as monthly lessons and assignments too. Do as much or as little as you like.

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