From digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras to mirrorless cameras to compact cameras, there are various types of cameras that can take great family photos. The best option will be determined by your budget, skill set, and needs. Some prefer a small, compact camera, while others aren’t intimidated by long zoom lenses.
To help you find the best camera for family photography, here are 10 great choices:
1. Best Cheap Camera for Family Photography
For budget-conscious photographers, there’s the Panasonic LUMIX ZS80, a great all-in-one superzoom camera. It has a solid build and super quick autofocus system. Its face detection also deserves special mention, making it a great choice for family photography.
Other notable features include its very responsive LCD touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi, and RAW shooting option.
All in all, it’s a great fit if you don’t want to lug a big camera around with you and you also don’t want to spend a large sum of money just on a camera. On the downside is its image quality. It’s not the best, but considering that it’s not the most expensive camera either, it’s a case of you get what you’re willing to pay for.
2. Best Camera for Beginners
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 Digital SLR Camera is a great choice for aspiring family photographers new to the industry. It’s an entry-level DSLR that’s not only easy to use, but it’s also one of the more affordable options.
If you’ve been using a mobile device’s built-in camera up until now, this Canon will be the next logical step and the jump between the two isn’t that big. Its clear LCD screen makes it easy to find the right camera settings and, to help you take better pictures, it includes manual and autofocus support with multiple autofocus (AF) points.
While it’s intuitive, it’s not at the expense of functionality. It still offers plenty of powerful features and connectivity including image stabilization, Wi-Fi integration, and optional GPS.
Compared to other Canon models, you’ll find that its sensor is more powerful and the body more compact. Though, its ISO range has room for improvement.
You can pair it with a standard 18-55 lens kit which is one of the more affordable zoom lenses. For portraits, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is a good choice, while the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM works well for headshots, but it’s less versatile.
3. Best Camera for Professional Family Photography
The Sony Alpha a9 II Full-frame mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera offers a near perfect autofocus system, helping you to photograph in a range of lighting settings. After the initial setup, you’ll also find that you’ll rarely have to change the settings.
What makes it such a good choice for professionals is its RAW noise levels and faster wired transfer speeds. You can also look forward to a consistent experience, helping you to deliver the same high-quality family photos that you’ve become known for.
One drawback, though, is its video capabilities and rear screen. You might also find that it’s not the best choice for landscape photos. However, if you’re going to stick to family events, it’s a solid choice and you can count on it to catch all the action.
4. Best Camera for Vlogging With Your Family
If you’ll be vlogging mainly, you’re spoilt with two top choices: The DJI Osmo Action 3 (or GoPro) and the Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera With Vlogger Accessory Kit.
While DJI is synonymous with drone photography, it also offers a selection of compact action cameras. What makes the DJI Osmo Action 3 such a good choice for family photography is its focus on portrait-mode shooting. You can also shoot in 4K resolution, which is key for successful vlogging.
Plus, if the action gets a bit intense (or literally too cool), it offers great image stabilization, HorizonSteady and HorizonBalancing features, and improved heat management. Not only can you count on it that it will be able to capture even the most action-packed moments, but thanks to its great battery capabilities, you won’t miss out on any action. According to DJI’s product info, it takes only 50 minutes to charge the battery fully and on a fully charged battery you can record about 2.5 hours.
Other useful features of the DJI Osmo Action 3 include:
- A protective frame which supports vertical and horizontal mounting
- A quick-release design
- Two touchscreens
- Three-mic stereo recording
- 4X digital zoom
For something compact, yet powerful, you’ll like the Sony. Its size is probably its biggest attraction. That being said, it still offers impressive depth. Thanks to its optimized audio system, it’s perfectly suited for vlogging. If you know that you won’t need interchangeable lenses, this pocket-sized camera is great for family filmmaking.
5. Best Camera for Travel Family Photography
For families that often hit the road, there’s Nikon’s 20.9 D500 Sports & Wildlife Kit With 3.2” LCD. As its name suggests, it’s actually aimed at sports and wildlife photography. However, for families who love to spend time outdoors, this camera can help to capture the best of worlds — family life and wildlife. That being said, it’s not meant for the amateur. It’s a high-speed, advanced-tier camera, which is made clear by its heavy body.
Its notable features include the image quality and autofocus system. It’s great at capturing fine details, actions, and even landscape settings. However, for shooting video mode, there are better options available.
6. Best Camera for Landscape Family Photos
The Nikon D5600 offers a great balance of control and ease of use. There are enough features, but not too many to confuse you if you’re still learning the basics of the finer art of landscape photography.
Included in its honourable features are dozens of autofocus points ensuring accurate focus shot after shot, Wi-Fi, and video capabilities. With the D5600 in your camera bag, you can look forward to sharp, crisp images.
The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality might be disappointing, but the pros of this camera far outweigh the cons.
7. Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
The Sony α7R IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera offers great resolution at a great price. It will help you to capture great detail and its autofocus system is one of the most powerful available on the market. With the help of its Pixel Shift Multi-shooting feature, you’ll end up with impressive image quality, making it a great choice if you plan on enlarging many of your family prints.
Another standout feature that deserves special mention is its 4K video capability. It lets you capture great slow motion video for slowing down those magical milestones like a baby’s first step.
If you plan on using multiple lenses, you’ll love its huge lens range. In addition to Sony’s own range, you can also check out third-party lens makers.
8. Best for Family Photography and Video Content Creation
The Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 4K Video is a great camera for family photography. It offers very impressive autofocus capabilities and equally great image stabilization. It’s also great for low-light conditions and will deliver crisp and detailed shots without fail.
Keep in mind, though, that some users have complained about the battery life. So, you might have to budget for more batteries. You might also find that its resolution is not the best, compared to similar cameras.
All in all, it’s one of the best cameras for family photography and handles well. Advanced amateurs will love its ability to capture moving objects, like toddlers.
9. Best of Both Worlds
If you can’t decide between buying an entry-level DSLR or a compact camera, there’s the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ1000 20.1 MP 4K Point and Shoot Digital Camera w/ 16X Zoom Leica Lens. It offers a great selection of features to help you create high-quality photos and videos. Basically, if you want to enjoy DSLR-like controls and the convenience of a single fixed lens, this is a great solution.
You can get about 360 shots per charge which is not that great compared to similar cameras in its category. It’s also slightly heavier.
10. Best DSLR Camera for Family Photography
If you prefer a DSLR over a mirrorless camera, be sure to check out the Nikon D850. It remains one of Nikon’s most iconic cameras and a firm favorite among professional photographers. While it only offers a mechanical viewing system, its image quality and range of features give even the best mirrorless cameras a good go.
Its standout features include its ability to shoot in low light. Plus, if you have a nice collection of older lenses, you won’t need an adapter.
Your needs, skill set, and budget will impact which will ultimately be the best camera for family photography for you. The Panasonic LUMIX ZS80 is a great choice for beginners, while professionals can check out the Sony Alpha a9 II Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera. If you’ll be using more for vlogging than photos, you’ll want to pay attention to its video capabilities too, in which case the DJI Osmo Action 3 and the Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera With Vlogger Accessory Kit are great options.
The short answer is that every camera has its own unique pros and cons. It will mostly depend on which type of photography it will mainly be used for. For example, if you’ll be using it mostly for family photography, you’ll want to pay attention to features like its autofocus system. Price is only one factor and shouldn’t be the deciding factor.
Family photographers are blessed with a selection of great cameras which can make choosing the best camera more challenging. Here are key things to keep in mind which will help with the process of shopping for a new camera:
1) The image quality should be better than your mobile phone’s photo quality.
2) The camera should have a good grip to suit your hands and habits. Light and compact cameras are better, for example, for parents with young kids, while a larger camera can make more sense if you typically walk around with a bag.
3) If you prefer a bigger camera, an interchangeable lens camera that suits your budget can be the smarter investment.
4) Where possible, avoid older models. Tech advances quickly and you’ll want the latest model in order to leverage the new features.
The short answer is no. If you don’t know how to use the features, it will be useless if you have the most expensive camera. What you need to be able to take great photos are the skills and knowledge to know how to use your gear. You’ll also need a good grip on the basics of photography. To sum up, it’s knowledge about gear and the fundamentals of photography as well as basic skills that are needed to take great photos.