Hey mama, you must be here because you take tons of pictures of your kids on your phone and they just aren’t cutting it. If you are local here to Seattle, it is almost a crime to NOT take tons of pictures when we live in such a beautiful place! You want to capture every moment so you don’t forget it, but you also want the quality to be better, especially for special occasions.
Likely you aren’t looking to become a professional photographer so the most expensive camera on the block isn’t necessary (and even if you were interested in getting into professional photography, I still wouldn’t recommend the most expensive camera on the block), so WHAT camera do you get then? Well, I’m here to help.
As you saw from the title, I am only covering Canon cameras today. This is the only brand I have ever bought from and probably will ever buy from because of familiarity purposes. If you are getting into photography and are overwhelmed by all the different brands out there and that is stopping you from buying a DSLR, don’t let it!! I have talked to photographers who have Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic cameras and they all are working great for them. I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other in functionality, so just pick one and go with it.
I personally chose Canon because the people I learned photography from all shoot with canon and it was easier for me to learn if I also had one. I think the resources for canon users are great and super extensive which is why I have loved shooting on them.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I will lay out a few different options for you to choose from depending on your budget and needs! Finding a camera is only half the equation to high quality pictures though.
Stay tuned for my blog post next week when I talk about lenses!
So before we even get into the cameras, I want to give one little tip.
Saving money is always a nice thing to do, right? If you agree, I highly recommend buying used camera gear. You can find it massively discounted to the point where it is totally worth it to give up a warranty that buying it new from a store would provide.
Also, cameras hold up over time extremely well. The two main things to ask the person selling the camera is 1) if the camera has anything wrong with it of course and 2) how many actuations the camera has. Actuations are the amount of times the shutter has been clicked, similar to car miles on a car. Every camera is different in the range of actuations that they generally can tolerate before there is a higher chance of something needing repaired. For each camera below, I will put that range so that you know what to look for if you decide to buy your camera used.
Alright, now that those small orders of business are taken care of, let’s get into the good stuff!
CANON REBEL T7i
Check in out on Amazon
My favorite camera and best suggestion to moms who just want to take nicer pictures of their kids is the Canon Rebel T7i. The line of Canon Rebels is their beginner line that is most affordable, but still perform great. The higher the number after the ‘T’ is, the newer the camera is which generally means better resolution and more features. The reason I choose the T7i is because of the WiFi capabilities (so you can send the pictures from your camera straight to your phone without connecting it to the computer) and the higher ISO range (so you can still take good pictures in lower light situations, especially indoors).
The life span for a T7i is 100,000 actuations, so if you are looking for a used camera I would recommend to stay below 75,000.
Alright now on to the next camera!
CANON REBEL T3i
Check it out on Amazon
My very first camera that I built my business on was a $50 used Canon Rebel T3i! I did probably 25 official photoshoots on that camera before I was able to upgrade and those pictures were definitely good enough for people to pay for them, so if you need a cheaper option but still want to get started, go with a lower model Rebel!! They don’t come with all the bells and whistles, but they can simply take a nice picture, which, sometimes is all you need. So that is why I recommend this camera second to the T7i for moms on a tight budget.
The lifespan of a T3i is also 100,000 actuation so again, I recommend keeping it under 75,000. 🙂
CANON EOS 6D MARK ii
Check it out on Amazon
The last option is my camera that I use today — the Canon 6D Mark II. I absolutely LOVE this camera!! I have also had the Canon Mark 5D II and 5D Mark III cameras, but this one has been my favorite and is even a lower price. I would say that it is worth it to invest more money into this camera if these two things are true for you:
– you want to learn more about photography instead of just snapping pics on the automatic setting
– your budget allows it
If you don’t super care about the realm of photography, learning manual mode, getting creative with your shots, etc., and you just want to snap cute pics every now and then, go with one of the Rebel options. However if photography really interests you (and even if you don’t ever want to make a business out of it!) then this camera is worth the investment.
The Bluetooth/WiFi feature is a game changer
The resolution (quality) of the pictures are much better
It has much better ISO capability ( which means they are much more sensitive to light so they can compensate for low-lighting situations a lot better)
Touch screen in live mode allows you to simply touch on the part of the frame that you want the focus to be on and it takes the picture for you
It is a Full-Frame camera so unlike the Rebels which are crop sensor cameras, the 6D Mark II treats lenses true to their focal length.
“Wait wait, Courtney, I have no idea what you are talking about!!”
Okay simply put, in a crop sensor (the canon rebels are crop sensor cameras) you are going to have to stand further back from your subject to get all of what you want in the picture than a full frame. For a mom, you are likely going to be taking pictures indoors and this makes it a lot harder to get all of the wanted frame in the picture.
Pretty much, full-frame DSLR cameras are the bomb and if you want to take your photography a little more seriously, you should really consider investing in one!
The lifespan is up to 150,000 actuations. For a camera as expensive as this one, I would treat actuations a little more delicately and only go up around the 75,000-100,000 range if you are getting an awesome deal!
If you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge fan of this camera. But if it is out of your budget, don’t get it right now! And that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get any camera at all right now. Cameras are so easy to buy and sell on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp, so for now buy a more affordable camera so you can start practicing and when the time is right, re-sell that one and invest in the nicer camera.
Those are my top 3 suggestions for first-time dslr buyers that just want a camera to document life! Connect with me on Instagram to tell me what kind of camera you chose. This is so so exciting!!
And remember, the camera body is only half the equation. Next week I will be posting about some lenses that will compliment that camera body for the perfect mommy memory-capturing machine. 😉
Courtney Wilde is a pregnancy, newborn, and milestone photographer in West Seattle, Washington. She serves the greater Seattle and Bellevue areas. Her newborn photoshoots take place in her in-home studio in West Seattle.
Courtney’s work reflects a light & airy, natural, and timeless style for young families seeking flowy, romantic photos that will capture their joy for generations to come.