Ready to Upgrade Your Camera??
Over the past few months I've had clients and friends ask me for advice on purchasing a new camera. One friend who recently had a baby stated "I'm tired of recording my life on my iphone!" Yes the iphone camera is great, but when you have a squirmy baby, toddler on the move or low light situations, the iphone just doesn't cut it. The first thing to decide is if you want a point and shoot or DSLR camera or the new hybrid point and shoot cameras that offer interchangeable lenses. This article from Digital Photography School outlines all the pros and cons of point & shoot's vs. DSLR's. Before writing this post I checked on pricing of what I'm calling hybrid cameras and they are actually pretty expensive, some even more expensive than DSLR's. You will definitely get better image quality with a DSLR so it just makes sense to go in that direction if the price of a hybrid is the same or more.
Besides the obvious factors of price & image quality, important factors to consider when selecting a camera are shutter speed, how fast the camera can focus and lens focal length and aperture. You want something with a fast shutter speed and focusing ability so you can capture your soccer star on the field or your child chasing bubbles.
Again if you're going to photograph children playing sports you'll want a zoom lens of at least 105mm so they don't look like mini figurines in the pictures. Shallow depth of field, controlled by lens aperture, is what gives pictures that beautiful blurry background while the foreground is in focus. If you want to achieve this effect, the lowest lens aperture number needs to be no higher than 2.5. Lens aperture varies from lens to lens and most kit lenses that come with DSLR's have a low aperture of 3.5.
You may want to try to negotiate another lens with lower aperture at the time of purchase. It all depends on what types of pictures you want to take.
Which camera do I recommend for a mom looking to upgrade her camera? The Nikon D3100. It's just $426.95 at B&H and is a great quality DSLR. There are newer models of that camera, the D3200 and just announced D3300 but from what I've read they don't offer any major advantages over the Nikon D3100. It's great for photographing kids because with the right lens you can zoom in on the action and the focus is fast enough to track the action.
Please comment or contact me if you have any additional questions. I'm happy to help!