If you're like most Moms you too may be obsessed with capturing all your family's moments -- but with all the cameras and technical blogs out there, how do you choose which camera is right for you? Here are 5 tips to consider when making your selection as well as a few suggestions based off our 10+ years of personal shooting experiences. Fear not #Momtographers, we have you covered!
1. What purpose will your camera serve?
This may seem like a silly question, but it's actually a critical one. Obviously you will be using your camera to take pictures but is your goal to take snap shots at an amusement park, zoo or pool? Or are you hopping to be able to change lenses and maybe create more portrait style images with beautiful blurry background? (This effect is call bokeh. Read about creating it here).
2. Do you want to shoot in MANUAL MODE or Auto?
If you're reading this thinking "what the heck is manual mode" then no, this is probably not a feature that you're going to need right away (if at all) and that's totally okay! However, if you're looking to peruse photography as a hobby or are wanting to elevate your current quality of photography a DSLR with manual mode would be idea.
Speak English: Manual mode cameras allows you to control the big 3 of photography: ISO (how sensitive the camera is to light), Shutter Speed (how fast the shutter fires) and F-Stop aka Aperture (how deep your depth of field is). If you're not sure you want to invest time in these concepts within the next 2 years, it's probably best to save that extra $ and buy a point & shoot.
Which leads me to...
3. Do you have a budget?
With cameras, as with cars, wedding dresses and first homes do not, I repeat DO NOT go looking at more expensive cameras then you can afford. A big price tag does not mean it's the right fit for your family. Like with all products there is a wide range of brands as well as "goods, better, bests" to select from and why pay top dollar for features you may not use?
Here is a good guide for budget expectations:
$250 - $500 Quality, name brand point and shoot
$550 - $800 Entry Level, Manual Mode Capable / Lens Change Options & Specialty
$1000+ Full Frames / Pro Level / Specialty
4. Where should you make your purchase?
In general the big camera manufactures, like Canon and Nikon, set their prices so that retailers cannot try to undercut their competitor's pricing. That said, this also means that you can shop your camera based on QUALITY OF SERVICE which suddenly throttles smaller camera stores to the forefront of the conversation due to their wide selection of models and vast understanding of function (as opposed to the guy at a big box store).
Another perk of purchasing from a camera store like Roberts is they often have used gear you can purchase for a fraction of the cost! So why not consider gently used, higher quality gear that a pro either grew out of simply no longer needed? Now that's what I call a great value!
Check out the notes below, then work with your local camera store to find the best fit for you.
Good: If you're looking for something simple to use with no learning curve, a point and shoot is for you! Something like a Canon Powershot will likely serve your needs just fine.
Better: If you're interested in photography as a hobby, considering the purchase to document your children's childhoods or want the ability to change out lenses, you're going to want to check out something like a Canon Rebel or a Nikon D3300.
PRO TIP: If you plan to want something that can follow your kids into the pool, can keep up at the beach or survive a drop on the ski slops, I strongly recommend checking out a Nikon AW1! It's my family go-to when conditions are too unstable for my professional camera (ie, out boating) or I simply don't want to shelp a large camera around on top of the baby bag, snack cup, teddy bear and 50 million other things required for a day out of the house with a toddler. Think about it.
Best: If you're reading this article,you're not there yet babe - and that's okay! Have patience, Practice. You could be here in under a year (check out this awesome blog that can help!) Better leads to Best.. The best advice I ever received was to "only upgrade a camera when you understand exactly what the new one can do that your current one can not." Seems simple, but it really is the best advice Even for pros like me!
Happy Shooting! 📷
Real Life. Real Moments. Real Memories. | Lifestyle Photography That Fits The Family Budget. #HashTagMemories is an #Indy based #LifestyleStylePhotographer that specialize in working with families of all ages to capture the real life moments, personalities & relationships that make every family unique, while respecting the family's budget. www.HashTagMemories.com | https://www.facebook.com/HashTagMemoriesPhoto/