The Best DSLR/Mirrorless Cameras for Moms + FREE Gear Checklist

best camera for moms

One of the most common questions I'm asked by moms who are wanting to purchase a nice camera is "what kind of camera should I buy!?"

Today I'm sharing my top camera picks for moms!

Before we dive into the exact cameras I love, let's talk a little bit about what's on the market and what you should be looking for!

The two most popular camera types for those interested in a "fancy" camera and taking their photography game up a notch are DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras. So, what's the diff? Which one should you be looking at? Let's take a deeper dive.

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    DSLR Cameras

    DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. I know, I know, it sounds complicated. The most important takeaway for this type of camera is that the system uses a mirror, which reflects the light and scene up into the viewfinder. When you press the shutter button, the mirror flips and the camera's sensor is exposed to the light, recording the image to your digital memory card. The bulk of professional photographers use professional grade DSLRs (or even film cameras - but that's another topic for another day!) for their day to day work. 

    Mirrorless Cameras

    So what's a mirrorless camera? You guessed it - a camera that does NOT use a mirror to reflect light into the viewfinder. A mirrorless camera's sensor is exposed to light at all times, and has a digital viewfinder, rather than one reflected by a mirror. Why does this matter? Well, because mirrorless cameras don't require the mirror mechanism in the camera, they are often less bulky and smaller, making them more practical to carry around for every day use. 

    Interchangeable Lens Systems

    Both mirrorless cameras and DSLRs offer what's called an interchangeable lens system. This means that you can create different looks and artistic styles by changing the lens on the camera. You can have a close, tightly cropped focal length to create beautiful portraits, or a wide angle lens for landscapes and tight spaces. The beauty of the interchangeable lens system is that the same camera can meet changing needs, and you can also slowly add to your collection over time. 

    My Camera Collection

    I currently own two Canon 5D Mark III DSLRs, and a Sony A7SII Mirrorless Camera. I use the Canon cameras for my professional photography work, and the Sony A7SII for my personal photos. I chose to purchase the Sony for my personal camera because I wanted something small and portable. My DSLR is bulky, and my Sony fits perfectly into my purse and is lightweight enough to carry around town with a toddler in tow. 

    The truth is that the best camera you can have is the one you have with you, and the mirrorless camera is just easy to have with me! 

    While my personal cameras are considered professional line equipment, there are some really wonderful entry and amateur level cameras that can give you BEAUTIFUL results at a lower price point.

    Below you'll find my recommendations for entry level DSLR and Mirrorless cameras! 

    1. Sony A6000 Series

    This is my top pick for moms who are shopping for a new camera! I'm obsessed with Sony's line of mirrorless cameras. The Sony A6000 series is a mirrorless camera system. It's super lightweight, but packs an awesome punch. It's the perfect purse or diaper bag camera, especially when paired with a 35mm or 55mm Zeiss Lens! 

    2. The Canon Rebel Series

    The Canon rebel series is an incredibly popular line of entry level DSLRs! In fact, there are many professionals out there whose careers have started with a Canon Rebel! I am a huge Canon fan and have been using them since I was in high school. 

    3. The Canon 6D

    This one is for the mama who wants something in between an entry level and professional grade camera. The Canon 6D is a full frame DSLR camera at a really affordable price point. Why should you care about full frame vs. crop frame?

    Well, you've probably often heard that a 50mm lens or a "nifty fifty" is one of the best lens upgrades you can purchase for your camera, right? On a crop sensor camera, that focal length is actually a lot shorter and tighter, meaning you have to be further away from your subject to get the same effect. Most entry level DSLRs have whats called a crop factor, meaning that the focal length of the lens is automatically cropped by 1.6x, or somewhere around there. For example, when you put a 50mm lens on a camera with a 1.6x crop factor, the effective focal length is 80mm. A full frame camera sensor means that whatever lens you use, you can utilize 100% of the focal length and avoid the automatic crop.

    I am recommending both Sony and Canon cameras because those are what I have the most experience with! Nikon also makes wonderful cameras that run the spectrum from entry level to top of the line! They are wonderful cameras, but I don't have them on my list because I simply have always been a Canon girl! 

    * Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission should you purchase a recommended item. I only recommend products and services that I know or trust to be of high quality, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not. 

    learn to use your DSLR camera in manual mode

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    The Frame Worthy Photo Workshop is an in depth beginner photography course geared exclusively towards mamas who want to better understand not only how to use their camera, but how to capture images that tell the story of the beauty of every day life