There may be nothing more precious than a baby, especially the “firsts” of their growth and development. Here are some ways to capture them.
A camera is an incredible tool when you consider what it affords you to do. With children, it is the way to freeze time, to capture a slice of life, to record a moment in time. They make up the visual memory of a life that grows and evolves. When they’re babies, you want to capture it all so as to relive and remember it all.
It’s easier to do that when you have the right camera. Sure, your smartphone is usually readily available, but we’re talking about a quality and performance increase here. This group isn’t purely designed for children’s photography, but you are likely to get the best shots with them.
Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 VII
This camera’s size is deceptive. Small and nimble, yet highly capable. The keys lie in its 20.1-megapixel Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor and 8x optical zoom. That lets you keep a distance from the little one while he or she is active and take candid photos. It helps that the autofocus (AF) is fast, so locking on isn’t hard, courtesy of real-time eye AF tracking. Equally important is the burst shooting at up to 90fps to truly never miss a moment. Somewhere in that stack of images will be a real gem.
The 3-inch LCD is great for framing a shot, while also making adjustments on the fly. As you learn the camera, try to learn the other modes. Don’t just stick to Auto or Scene mode. Learn about composition in Shutter priority (S), Aperture priority (A) and Manual (M) modes. Your baby will already look cute, but why not compose the images to look incredible? It’s one of the best cameras you can get for its size.
Nikon CoolPix A1000
A more affordable option, the CoolPix A1000 is a point-and-shoot compact camera featuring a long 35x optical zoom. You probably won’t need to zoom in that much to take photos of your baby, but the flexibility means you can effectively shoot from just about anywhere. The Macro mode goes the other way, and can capture detail up close, in case you want to use it to focus on a unique detail up close.
The 16-megapixel CMOS sensor is fine, and you can shoot video in 4K if you want to go with the higher resolution. The 3-inch LCD does tilt, including 180-degrees vertically, in case you want to capture yourself with your little one, though it’s especially useful for shooting at lower-angles, where babies tend to crawl around. Nikon’s SnapBridge app is also available on iOS and Android to connect wirelessly to share photos or use your mobile device for remote control.
DJI Osmo Pocket 4K Action Camera
The concept here is pretty simple: stick to the subject and let the camera’s mechanisms do the work. The 3-axis gimbal will move the camera head to stay locked onto a subject, no matter how much the baby moves, or your hands move. The result is video clips free of hand shake and jitters that could otherwise mar a wonderful moment. It’s particularly helpful if you’re out and about and capturing them in action.
It shoots in 4K at up to 60fps so action isn’t a problem. The Osmo Pocket 4K is fairly compact and easy to travel with, or produce quickly to not miss something. You will need a memory card to record to, and it should probably be on the bigger side, given how big 4K files can be. You can connect it to an iPhone or Android device through the included cables to either transfer footage or use the phone as a live view screen via the DJI Mimo app.
Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera
Venturing into mirrorless territory, the Canon EOS M50 comes with a 15-45mm lens kit to get you started. There is an electronic viewfinder for that DSLR-style framing where you can peek through to compose your shot, rather than just doing it through the screen (which you can do as well). The Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus system widens the focal area, while also improving subject tracking and eye detection AF. You shouldn’t have a hard time keeping baby in focus with this thing.
Since video recording varies in both resolution and framerate, you can go a little more cinematic and shoot at 4K and 24fps for a softer and more movie-like appearance. Because subject tracking is tighter, you can also ensure footage doesn’t stray and stays focused. You do get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for image transfers and sharing, too.
Canon EOS Rebel T7i DSLR
Moving on to a DSLR, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i is a good entry point if it’s your first foray into DSLR photography. Unlike more pro-level models, the Rebel line tends to use a mix of automatic and manual features to bring you along as you acclimate yourself. A Feature Assistant is on board for that very reason, displaying what the simple and advanced functions are to help you visually navigate the feature set.
The 24.2-megapixel image sensor works nicely with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF to keep subjects sharp and in focus. There are filters for both still images and video, but as with Canon’s mirrorless EOS M50, put in the work to learn the more manual modes to improve on both composition and output. Cameras like this are very capable when you push their boundaries, and that’s one way to do it. You do get the 18-55mm lens in the box, but the camera is compatible with a huge range of Canon lenses, giving you the chance to expand further later on. Even if you were to get another Canon DSLR later, the lenses would still be compatible.
Photography is a beautiful way to seize and freeze a moment in one’s life. For babies, who are often easy subjects to shoot with at all times, the beauty can sometimes feel emotional. Going with one of these cameras is not just about capturing images, it’s also about investing in the quality of those images. Learn to shoot in RAW and how to edit them in photo-editing apps later, for example. The possibilities will feel endless as your confidence grows.
Check out all the cameras available now.