Since your girl is:
1. Showing interest in photography
2. Having a keen eye and probably hidden potentials
3. Presumably in P5 next year (with projects, friends' outings, school events etc coming in)
If I were you, I would get her a Lumix FZ18 prosumer, basing on the facts that it offers:
1. OIS. She needs clear pictures for all her requirements, be it indoors or even momentarily camera shake with her giggly girly groupies (I've got a 9-year old girl, I know). This would help boost and maybe keep her interest in this hobby. No matter what, stabiliser is and will be the in-thing in future cameras.
2. Grid lines. She can learn the basics of composition without imagining (children needs clear indicators).
3. Manual options. She can either rely on auto-pilot or manual overide. This gives her a choice according to events or requirements.
4. Zoom capability. From normal to 23X (5 and below megapix) allows her to learn a thing or two about zooming. (Keeping children constantly amazed means keeping their interests).
5. Weight. At less than 500g, it's light and handy to keep her from tiring out unnecessarily. It prevents potential neck and back problems too.
6. Type. Being a prosumer, it gives her a more purposeful stance (not only for her, but for teachers who may be doing talent-spotting, which we adults call it arrowing)... but of course, this is subjective.
7. Fixed Lens. No dust or foreign materials in the sensor to worry about.
8. Cost. This camera is comparatively cheaper, so if touch wood anything happens, you won't feel you've lost a piece of meat.
9. It's new. Being one of the latest in the market may lend some interest rather than knowingly getting "hand-me-downs" or cut-cost-entry-models.
Off hand, these are some of the advantages I think you can give to your girl. Of course, some may disagree, but that's just my two cents worth.
PS: I don't work for Lumix. Cheers!
from guitars, cars to dslr...
For me, if i have a daughter, I will give her the Canon A570IS.
1) Not too expensive (Less than $350)
2) Manual Control
3) IS- minimize the effect of handshake.
4) Not too bulky, in fact I find that it's suitable for small hand with a DSLR dimension.
5) Can use LCD/VF to frame
6) When she lost it or damage it (Touchwood), it is not as heart-breaking as losing a Prosumer or DSLR.
Let's get rolling :)
My Youngest 4 year old son with his Lumix FZ50.
Thanks again. I was with my girl at City link last night and the Sony guy showed her a T2 and even took a picture under the X'mas tree. No flash but picture was quite clear except for some light reflextion casted on the face. Personally I prefer a Canon brand, just a preference.....What u guys think about Canon G9 and Sony T2 (other than the $200 diff), which will be better help to grow her interest?
Sony sucks for PnS...i got a Sony PnS and it didnt perform up to par and was very dependent on it's flash..
IMHO, 10 years old should be old enough to handle a small DSLR
in fact i am hoping to win a D40x for my 7 years old daughter
she prefers to play with my D80 instead of a P&S and the results are much better too.
Just make sure that the strap is around her neck (just in case)
My five yo twins is using my old casio exilim z40. dropped it once. can see the dent but camera still work.
I replied to your PM which I hope you received (it didn't seem like it on one of my web browsers)?
Any way, I think this link will be useful and I will certainly be tapping into it for my classes:
try the powershot S5IS , i am sure it is good enough, i survived very long with the S2IS for very long and till now i still call it a very good camera for a Prosumer.
Decent starter kit would be Fuji S5700. Feature packed, small enuff to carry around. check out the pix in Fuji thread