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P&S or DSLR for taking photos of children?
I currently have a Canon S500 that's starting to die. I'm not an expert photographer so I really just want to be able to catch most of my 16 month old sons growing moments. I was thinking about upgrading to a Nikon D40 or another P&S that's faster than my S500. Any suggestion would be appreciated...

Comments (13)

I can't really recommend the right camera for you...that depends on so many factors, such as your shooting style, when and where you intend to use the camera, etc. However, I CAN recommend that if you are planning to photograph children, who tend to be very active, you should look for a camera that has minimal shutter lag, and then learn how to manage that..

Shutter lag, in case you are unfamiliar with the term, is the amount of time it takes the camera to respond and snap the picture after you depress the shutter button. Some cameras have minimal shutter lag, but others have a long lag. This could be the difference between getting the shot and missing it completely..

Please note that other factors, such as the use of the flash, and the metering will also play a role in the amount of time it takes a camera to respond.Cheers Then!Judyhttp://www.vividvisionsgallery.com..

Comment #1

And I might get flamed for this, but if I were in that position (my kids are all grown) knowing what I know now I wouldn't hesitate to get a DSLR, a couple of decent lenses and a good flash..

The Nikon D40 wouldn't be a bad place to start. Nikon's flash system is the best out there by many accounts..

DSLR's do require a greater investment in money and learning curve, but the results can be so much better than any P&S on the market. Period..

I wish I had this quality of pictures of my kids as they were growing up. (Neither are mine.).

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Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

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Comment #2

I agree...IF you learn to use the capability of the DSLR. IF your not going to put the effort into it then stick with a high quality Point and Shoot and understand that the shots will simply not be as good as they could be with a DSLR. However there is a saying that I often have to tell some folks..

"Better is the enemy of good enough"..

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Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #3

Get a DSLR like a Nikon D40 or Canon XTi or XSi... that is what i'm going to do. When my son was born I got a SD550 and last year got the SD850 IS. Don't get me wrong, I love both cameras but they have frustrated me as i've grown out of them and want more options. Like a nice flash, a good high ISO and good burst speed. Having to wait 2 seconds while your flash recycles then bathes the pic in light is frustrating.



I am getting my first DSLR this spring as my 2nd child is due in August. That way I can get some shots I missed with the 2nd baby and my son now is 3 and will be doing sports this summer and I can get actual action shots that aren't blurred..

That's my two cents...I'm just a P&S guy, please forgive me... i'm trying to learn. ..

Comment #4

Get a small inexpensive P&S so you will have it with you often. The camera you have will always take better photos then the one left at home/car etc..

Get a DSLR for more "planned" shots and outings or to cover the action when your son begins to run. If you get one fast aperture lens (f/2.8 or better) you will be able to get indoor candids. Later, when he's into organized sports you may want to get other lenses..

Erik..

Comment #5

For following kids around, get a P&S with a large and fast LCD instead of an SLR with a dark OVF...

Comment #6

It's really up to you....but I have my regrets as I had a P&S when my kids were younger and seeing the quality you can achieve with a dslr like the Canon xt or xti, I wished I had bought one earlier..

The pictures are fantastic with a dslr. Here's an example I took of my niece using a dslr..

Good luck!.

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Comment #7

True. You must be willing to invest the time and effort to learn photography. It's really not that hard if you approach it with the right attitude. Learn to understand the basic concepts of exposure rather than trying to remember a list of settings for this and that situation. There's no harm in asking what settings someone used in order to understand how they made a shot, but you HAVE to be able to make decisions for yourself at some point..

And if your drive is to take the best photos you can of your kids, then you probably will put forth the effort..

(That was directed at the OP.).

By the way... Nice photo!.

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Crikey! I just looked at your PBase gallery and we must have been standing close to each other at the renaissance fair! Well, a day apart, but in a lot of the same spots..

Yours:.

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Mine:.

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Another one...Yours:.

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Mine just after the same pairing (I think):.

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I am definately going back thios year. I had a blast..

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Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream..

Comment #8

DSLR's are definately the best way to get fast shots, but they are more expensive, much larger, more stuff to carry around and have a bigger learning curve to figure out how to use the camera..

Older P&S cameras were really bad in the 'shutter lag' department (ie.- time from when you press the shutter until when the photo is actually taken)..

Canon's P&S cameras have never been known to be very fast in this regard, and it seems that they are more interested in other features that to go after faster shutter lag..

Nikon too..

Right now, the fastest out there are probably the Fuji and Sony P&S cameras.almost instantly!.

However, using the camera you already have there are ways to speed this up..

First.turn off the 'red eye reduction' flash and put it on 'auto flash'.red eye reduction is the biggest cause of lag..

You might even turn off 'auto ISO' and set the ISO higher manually.this might help, too!.

Second.try prefocusing.in otherwords, aim the camera at the subject and press the shutter button halfway to let the camera auto focus and charge up the flash (if needed), and hold it halfway until you need to take the shot.then press the shutter all the way..

The camera will fire instantly..

The less the camera has to think about before it takes a picture, the faster it will shoot..

If none of that works..

Third.go to the store and play with Fuji and Sony P&S cameras, and some DSLR's.see if any of those will fill your needs better than what you already have!.

And, when looking at P&S cameras.skip the ones that use 'AA' batteries.P&S cameras that use lithium ion batteries tend to function faster, with exception of some of the superzooms that use four 'AA' batteries..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

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Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #9

As a former P&S guy, I'll be honest and say that a P&S can provide pretty good results if you know what you're doing with your camera, that is, if you've mastered it. A DSLR will give you the potential to do A LOT more with your camera, and it has the potential to blow your P&S photos away. The caveat with a DSLR, though, is that you still have to know what you're doing with it. Like the P&S, you still have be to willing to take the time to master it. A DSLR doesn't take great pictures automatically..

A DSLR is for someone who wants more flexibility and more control over their photography and also has the money to invest into a DSLR system..

By the way, I think they still have "DSLR-like" cameras that provide some of the same features of DSLRs (e.g., shutter speed, aperture, etc.), but only use one lense like normal P&S cameras. The Fujifilm F30, F31, and the Canon G9 are several that are like that..

Brandon..

Comment #10

I agree. You got some great shots. The Fair was a blast. I'm definately going back again this year also. Hope the weather is as good as it was last year..

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #11

BDMYSTIFY wrote:.

By the way, I think they still have "DSLR-like" cameras that providesome of the same features of DSLRs (e.g., shutter speed, aperture,etc.), but only use one lense like normal P&S cameras. The FujifilmF30, F31, and the Canon G9 are several that are like that..

Just to make a note on that for the OP. I have the F31 and do love it, however, it's not exactly as much of the micro dSLR as I hoped (its a compact P&S but a low light wonder for those that don't know). Its the best low light P&S I've owned, but find in good light my TZ3 is MUCH better. Looking at the above examples, you probably aren't going to get quite those results. I'm actually now looking to go the dSLR route too. They've come down a lot in price and the kids keep growing up on me!..

Comment #12

Once my wife realized how many shots we were missing, she let me spend the money and get a dslr. A few lenses and flashes later she regrets the $$ spent, but loves how I don't miss those precious moments.No regrets whatsover about purchasing a dslr..

Anthony.

Http://cadguru.smugmug.com..

Comment #13

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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