How to make a photographer cringe:
“You take amazing photos. You must have a great camera.”
First lesson: It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer. A photographer can make photos from an iPhone look professional. The camera matters much less than the selection of controls on the camera, the angle, the composition, and the lighting. This is a good thing, because it doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on camera equipment to take great photos of your kids! Of course, you certainly can spend a fortune if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary. Choosing the best camera to capture the moments of your kids needs to be something that you’ll actually carry and you need to know how to use it.
Tips for choosing the right camera
1. Mobility: if you’re going to carry a DSLR, make sure you have a good camera bag that can double as a diaper bag, or you’ll end up leaving your fancy camera at home. If you don’t want to carry around a DSLR but still want professional photos, opt for a smaller camera like the Fuji x100s that takes fantastic photos but is lighter and less bulky.
2. Experience: if you have absolutely no background in photography, learning will be essential to ensure you’ll get the most out of your camera. If you aren’t interested in learning to take pictures in manual mode, there are plenty of mirrorless and point & shoot cameras on the market that take amazing photos that aren’t as heavy and bulky as a DSLR.
3. Quality: Check out the quality of the photos before you purchase. Flickr is an EXCELLENT resource when researching cameras because you can search by the camera and see pictures people have taken with the camera.
4. Control: How easy are the controls of the camera? If you are looking to have a camera that has plenty of manual controls, you’re going to want a camera that has easy functionality. If you are looking for a camera that takes great photos in Auto mode, this won’t be a factor.
5. Investment: How much money you’re willing to spend is obviously a major factor! Setting your budget will help you narrow down your choices.
5 of the Best Cameras for Moms
1. Your iPhone
Download | PicTapGo App
If you don’t want another camera or you just want to carry your phone, you can still capture great photos using your smart phone with the right apps.
PicTapGo editing app is easy to use and will vastly improve the color, contract, clarity & sharpness of your iPhone photos. Easy and quick to use, you can transform your drab photos into vibrant, ready-for-print (or Instagram!) photos in about 30 seconds.
Shop | Amazon
For the photographer that wants a great, easy to use camera. Bonus: it has Wifi connectivity so you can share your photos straight from the camera.
Shop | Amazon
For the photographer that prefers automatic, this little point & shoot is excellent in low light and takes amazing photos.
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For the mom photographer that wants to change lenses, this is a great entry-level camera that takes spectacular photos. Read more below on a crop v. full frame DSLR camera.
Shop | Amazon
For the photographer that wants a compact, advanced, high performing camera with manual controls to carry around daily.
Personal review on the Fuji x100s: This camera has completely replaced by DSLR and I take it with me every place I go. Professional photographers love this camera and use it for street photography and travel. It’s home is my handbag and is my camera of choice for every situation: every day camera, my special occasion camera, my travel camera, and my product photos. It’s traveled with me to work, to the playground, to Disney World, to Napa Valley, and to local restaurants. It’s cool, retro style is fun to use, and the manual controls are much easier to use than a standard DSLR because they are part of the camera, and not a complicated set of buttons and toggles and wheels. It’s old-school and is reminiscent of my 35 MM film camera from high school. The ONLY time I use my DSLR these days is for interior photography shoots that require a wider angle lens. Obviously, I highly recommend this camera, but you need to have some knowledge of photography to be able to use it effectively – there is no auto mode (but you can still set the aperture, shutter speed, ISO to auto.)
A note on Crop Sensor v Full Frame DSLR Cameras
One of the things you’ll notice when you start researching DSLRs is the vast number of options and different price ranges. The top-of-the-line, professional cameras are several thousand dollars. Does that mean you should consider one? Are they actually better cameras?
Sure, the cameras that are the very best have features that photographers that know what they are doing can fully take advantage of and are worth the price. I’ve seen terrible photography taken with the highest end Nikon on the market and I’ve seen professional-quality photos taken with entry-level cameras. For a mom that wants great photos of her children, these cameras make no sense. Invest in an entry-level camera and a great lens, and you’ll be happiest.
The biggest difference between a crop sensor and a full frame is the focal length. Adding a 50mm lens to a full frame camera, for instance, will get you a focal length of 50mm. Adding a 50mm to a crop sensor camera is about 75mm focal length. The crop zooms the lenses. A reason to purchase a crop sensor camera, in my opinion, is for the incredible line-up of lenses that are great quality but not as expensive as the lenses for full frame cameras.