Back to Back Issues Page
DSLR Guide News, Oct. 2005 - Tips for Photographing Kids
October 31, 2005

Kid-Friendly Digital SLR Tips and Cameras

Table of Contents

Intro - Fall is here
SLR Q&A - What are megapixels for?
5 Quick Tips - How to take photos of kids
The Gear - Kid-friendly cameras and lenses
Recent Updates - What's new at the Guide
Coming Soon - New cameras around the corner


The air is crisper in the morning and the leaves are turning color. Welcome to the October issue of Digital SLR Guide News.

I took a walk the other day with my yellow Labrador Rudy and my son Alexander. I had the Minolta Maxxum 5d in hand to capture the late afternoon light. While there's something magical about sunset, there is something even better about sunset in the Fall.

The leaves turn into brilliant oranges and golds, and trees look like they're on fire. If you haven't gone out at that time of day to take some photos I highly recommend it.

It was a calming and peaceful walk, and the first opportunity I have had in a long while to really explore my surroundings and photograph away. Not a bad way to unwind after the work day.

OK, enough waxing poetic about the colors of Fall, let's get on with it. First up, everyone's favorite question: what are megapixels good for anyway?

Digital SLR Q&A

Question: What are megapixels for?

Answer: Megapixels come into play when you want to print your digital photos. You need more of them to print photos at large sizes.

If you never intend to print a single photo, or only want to post photos to a web site, get the least number of megapixels you can. Large megapixel photos take up a lot of hard drive space, so if you're not going to print then you might as well save the room.

5 Quick Tips

If you're going to use your new digital SLR camera to take photos of children, then here are 5 quick photo tips to consider that might help you find the right camera.

1. Get Down At Their Level
All child photography should be done at their eye level. Most children wind up looking very small in their photos because the camera is always above them. The simple act of getting down on the floor will improve child photos immensely.

2. Get Close
Children also appear small in photos because the photographer wasn't close enough or didn't use a long lens. To make sure that you can fill the photo with your child, use a lens between 80mm and 100mm in focal length.

3. Work Fast
Everyday photographers wonder why they might need a fast camera. Children are the reason. Wonderful moments with children only last a few seconds - you need a camera that reacts in an instant to be able to capture them.

4. Let Them See You
This is probably the hardest part about taking photos of children - they won't smile if they can't see you. With my son, I have found that I have to compose a photo, look out from behind the camera, then take the shot. It takes a steady hand, but always results in better photographs.

5. Use a Wide Aperture
A wide aperture will blur the background and keep the focus on the child. Apertures in the range of f2.8 to f5.0 work well, especially if you are also using a lens with a longer focal length (see tip #2 above).

What Gear You Need

Since this month's tips are about photographing kids, here's some of the digital SLR equipment that you will need to get your child photos.

1. A fast camera - your digital SLR should turn on in an instant and should have a lightning fast autofocus system.

2. A long lens - lenses in the 28mm to 50mm range just aren't going to work for most child photos, especially if you take pictures outdoors. Look for something in the 80mm to 100mm range.

3. Lenses with wide apertures - some lenses won't let you open the aperture wider than f4.0. If you can, get a lens with a maximum aperture of f2.8 to f3.5.

4. A large memory card - once you start taking kid photos, you'll find that you take a lot of them. You'll need a large memory so that you don't have to swap cards right when your child is doing something cute. I recommend cards that are 512 MegaBytes to 1 GigaByte.

Recent Updates to The Guide

This month I added a lot of new information to the Digital SLR Guide.

You've got two new camera reviews: the Canon EOS 20D and the Minolta Maxxum 5D.

I added a page for digital SLR deals, and a page of links to some of the best deals you can find right now on digital SLR prices.

I did a comprehensive review of all of the professional SLR review web sites and added links for all of the current cameras on the market.

Finally **WHEW** I have added RSS subscription to the site. It's just another way you can stay in touch with the Digital SLR Guide. Find out more.

Coming Soon to A Camera Store Near You

Here are two cameras you might be interested in. The first is available soon, and the second was just released.

The Olympus E500 is the successor to the Olympus E300 and seems to address some of the design issues with the E300 camera. It looks and operates more like a traditional SLR camera, which will make anyone who has used a film SLR feel more comfortable. This camera will be released November 15.

CANON 5D - Just Released!
The Canon 5D is a full-frame digital SLR camera that features 12.0 megapixels. This camera is definitely geared toward the working photographer, with its price tag of $3,500. However, if money is not a problem for you, you should take a close look at this camera (since any other full-frame SLR will cost you almost DOUBLE the price).

In Conclusion

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Digital SLR Guide News. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send them to me.

Also feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who you think might find it interesting or helpful.

If there is a topic you'd like me to address in a future issue of this newsletter, please drop me a line. I am always happy to hear from readers of the Digital SLR Guide News and your input is appreciated.

Until the next time…


Ask a Question
Provide Your Feedback
Subscribe With RSS
Back to Back Issues Page