Though my wife tends to use her phone for taking photos, as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing like a proper camera for taking perfect shots of my kids that we’ll be able to treasure forever. The quality of the photo and range of settings available on a proper camera far supersede what your average smart phone can; so you can shoot images instantly and capture magical moments like this one of my daughter, holding a bubble. It lasted for only an instant but my Samsung phone would have missed it
So here’s what I think is currently the best digital camera to capture fantastic photos of your kids and at a price that won’t make your other half’s face look like they’re sucking a lemon when you tell them.
The ultimate reasonably priced camera kit for Dads and Moms:
Nikon D3200 24.4 MegaPixel Camera with 18 -55 mm lens and full Hi Def video
Yes, this entry level DSLR, that would have outperformed most professional cameras only a few years ago, boasts a whopping 24.4 mega pixel resolution. And [start nerdy bit] combined with the new DX format CMOS image sensor, you’d be hard pushed to find another camera in this price range that would guarantee hi-res images which will still look super-sharp when your flashing off your family pics on your new 50″ TV.
It’s an easy to use entry level DSLR with a wide range of features: such as true continuous 11 point autofocus; a bright 3-inch display that works well in direct sunlight; and easily navigable menus for those of us that usually need a Dummies’ Guide to Everything Technical. For example, if you change the aperture size, (that’s how big the hole is that let’s the light in) an illustration appears showing the blades extend and retract as you change the setting, as well showing you the effect you’re having on aperture as you zoom in and out. There’s even a mode which shows you how to achieve certain shots.
The camera also takes full high definition video, so if you are wanting to capture your kids doing all those embarrassing things that you’ll one day threaten to show to their friends if they don’t tidy their bedroom, this is the kit do do it – without having to carry round a separate video camera. The camera comes complete with an 18-55mm lens and other lenses are available if you want to buy them.
It also looks pretty awesome –
Besides the camera I also looked around at reasonably priced accessories and software. Take a look.
Complete Photography Accessory Pack
You don’t need to be flash with your accessory pack, you just need good quality essentials at a reasonable price. Here we’ve found one that contains: a full sized, lightweight tripod and a table tripod – both absolutely essential as I’ve come to realise over the last few years, when I look through the family albums and find that there’s no pictures of me. If you want a photo with the whole family in it and you don’t want to hand over your flash bit of kit to some stranger who looks like he’s going to leg it to the nearest pawn brokers, then a tripod is your best solution.
This kit also has a decent camera case, which although I never take out with me, I use to keep all the things i normally can’t find when I really need them – the charger, the spare memory card (this kit even has a memory card strorage wallet!) and the millions of cables that come with cameras but you never use.
There’s also a five piece camera cleaning kit, screen protectors for the LCD and a microfibre cloth – for cleaning your kids’ fingerprints off the lens.
Easily store your latest photos on this 16GB memory card
You’ll need a decent sized memory card to save all your fantastic images on so you can import them on to your computer for editing. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune on these as the prices have come down dramatically over the last few years. You may even have one knocking around the house somewhere. If you haven’t, have a look at the disk I’ve chosen. It retails at £9.99 UK and $15.95 US and at 16GB will store tons of high res photos and a decent amount of HD video – until you finally get round to putting them on your computer.
Photo editing software is an indispensable necessity for anyone wanting to make their family pics look like they’ve been taken by a pro. Remove that gravy stain on your chin, the spots on your teenager’s forehead, make yourself look thinner and the person at the side of you fatter, make the weird geezer in the background who you don’t know disappear altogether. Make the rainy day on holiday look like it was gloriously sunny, your eyes bluer, your teeth whiter, remove that mark from your kids’ old coat before you sell it on ebay! The possibilities are limitless.
But seriously, you need to be able to fix blemishes, change colour and saturation and adjust brightenss and contrast as well as being able to crop or resize your image. There are lots of other things you can do too – special and artistic effects and multiple layering, just to name a few.
The market leader in editing software is Adobe Photoshop which is used by professional photographers the world over. However, the complete package is expensive to the extent that you’ll get frostbite every time your partner looks at you if you ever bought it. It costs more than the camera and to be honest, many of its more technical features are not that relevant to someone wanting to take family photographs. Besides, it uses up so much of your computer’s resources you’d end up burning your thigh when the fan on your laptop overheats.
Thankfully, Adobe sell a lite version called Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 which won’t set fire to your wallet or your thigh but will still allow you to do all the things mentioned above, plus a whole lot more. And whilst the full version comes in at a whopping £600 (Amazon.co.uk) and $600 (Amazon.com) the best priced version of Phtotoshop Elements 11 we found was £32.99 (Amazon.co.uk) $62.40 (Amazon.com). Peanuts in comparison,
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All opinions in this review are our own, however, we may be compensated should you make a purchase through the links provided.