Do You Want Maximum Ease or Maximum Control?
When you decide to start taking digital photographs, you have a lot of options. Most of the cameras on the market can be set on full automatic, so you just have to point and click. Each, however, will also come with a lot of settings, and of course, the more you pay, the more options you can have. So you need to decide how involved in the process you’ll be, as that will dictate the rest of your decisions.
Are you likely to:
- Use your camera on fully automatic
This mode will allow you to turn off your brain and focus on your child, with the camera adjusting for lighting, movement and more. Available on most cameras, it’s the easiest way to go and doesn’t require much expense, but it also doesn’t allow for much experimentation.
- Take advantage of the bells and whistles
Most of today’s cameras have at least a few variable settings, and all it takes is pulling out the instructions and experimenting a few times to get a feel for how to take better pictures. By doing something as simple as shifting to one setting for close-up portraits or another for landscapes, you can up the quality of your photos, while still keeping everything on automatic. You’ll be surprised how many things you can control – even on an inexpensive camera – if you just read the manual.
- Will go completely manual
There’s a lot more to learn, but turning off the automatic settings and going it alone will allow you to determine exactly how every picture looks in the end. Not for amateurs, going full manual will take a fair amount of practice. And remember that manual focusing is even harder when taking photos of fast-moving subjects, like kids playing. For digital cameras with fully manual settings, expect to pay more but also to get higher quality all-around.