MOST of my major photographic purchases are secondhand. Even my first digital SLR the Nikon D100 was bought used and possibly abused for £175, with four batteries and a grip. Later I found it was well used when magnets which control the aperture setting stopped working. Luckily it was fixed for free.
So it was pure pleasure to watch my 15-year-old step-daughter unwrap her first camera on Christmas morning. A silver bodied and lensed Nikon D40. I made the decision to buy as I woke on the 23rd. How much better it looks than a silver Canon Eos with a black lens.
Compared to a vastly inferior pocket compact, which many seemed to be buying their children, it represents good value. She was a bit surprised to get it, but not as amazed as her 19-year-old brother. He seems to have forgotten the Sony digital camcorder received at the same age.
Sophie was able to snap great pictures straight out of the box and has so far proved to be a rather ruthless editor. Taking plenty then happily trimming back to save her best.
Like the dad who buys a Scalectrix (spell) there is that element of a new boy's toy but as I already have the D100, it's not quite the same. Although I might test out its monochrome filters and 1/500th flash sync. Last time I used 1/500th in anger on an SLR it resulted in a prize-winning swimming image from an F90.