I take pictures. I take a lot of pictures. Way back, when I was in Grade 8, our band took a trip to San Francisco and I shot 10 rolls of 36 exp film; the trip was only 4 days long. Enough said?

So you might be able to imagine my excitement when cameras went digital! As part of our family planning, my husband and I bought our first DSLR (single-lens reflex) camera back in 2005. Having gone through several film and digital point and shoot (P&S) cameras, I truly appreciate the speed, response time, versatility and amazing results I can achieve with a DSLR.

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words.

Shot with a regular point and shoot camera:
Shot with a Point and Shoot
The subject is blurry as the focus was off. The image looks flat and the colours are not very dynamic. This photo also lacks depth and my eye is drawn to the background rather than to the subject.

Shot with an entry-level DSLR:
Shot with a DSLR
The subject is in focus, because I chose the focus point. There is depth to this photo thanks to the bokeh (blurred out background), which draws my attention to the subject.

Buying a DSLR was a great investment and I truly encourage all other parents to consider purchasing one as well. Capturing sweet photos of your little ones’ precious moments are worth every penny spent on a good camera. Back when we purchased our DSLR, it cost us a pretty penny. However, times have changed and the price of a good DSLR has dropped significantly. Furthermore, you can easily purchase a used camera body for the same price as a new P&S starting at around $300. So, why not?

Here are a few more reasons why I recommend you invest in a DSLR camera:

  • faster response time - to get the shot before the moment is gone.
  • no need for flash - unless you’re an off-camera flash guru, photos with direct flash don’t look flattering; not to mention that it’s not a good idea to flash your sweet baby’s sensitive eyes like you’re the paparazzi!
  • lenses - you have a variety of lenses to choose from that will better suit your needs.
  • better detail, colours and depth - simply put, you’ll have better pictures. Even bad shots taken with a DSLR usually look better than a decent shot from a regular camera.
  • fabulous bokeh - it’s that wonderful blurred background you get by shooting with a large aperture. It draws your eye to the main subject and hides the clutter, or in my case, my messy bed!
  • cool factor - ok, I’m kidding on this one, but how impressive is it when you flash that big black camera body in your kids’ faces? I use it as a ploy to get their attention!

Following is a short list of places to begin your search that may help you.

Review sites:

Where to look for used cameras:

Where to look for new cameras:

Where Canadians can look for new cameras:

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, however, it may help you get started in your search for the camera that fits you and your needs. If you are really against purchasing a DSLR for whatever reason, then you might want to look into a high-end point and shoot camera that has more manual functions like the Canon G9 or S-series for example.

I know that you will make the right decision for you and your family. I’m not surprised that DSLRs are selling like hotcakes these days and the amateur photography community is growing quickly. I was just reading an article on Crave about the increasing number of parents entering the DSLR market where 51% of DSLR users are women! Like me! So, what are you waiting for?

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.