Hi, Betty A. Muscott, Child Photographer here.

So you have decided to buy a digital camera and are confused by all of the choices out there, right? Well, let me offer some help.

Have you noticed how the advertisers emphasize the number of pixels that the camera has? Do you begin to think that more pixels mean a better camera? Well, think again. Unless you are taking photographs of subjects that you want to enlarge to say a 4’ by 8’ poster then any pixels above 10 megapixels will not really help get you better photographs.

Or are you thinking that the small digital camera is a better choice? After all, they are small, fit in your pocket and are very convenient to carry. But these cameras have serious limitations which will hinder your ability to get really great photos.

The following items are far more important than the number of pixels:

  1. TTL – through the lens focusing and viewing;
  2. LCD – a large liquid crystal display for looking at the histogram and image details after you take a photograph;
  3. Owner’s Manual – a clearly written, easy to understand owner’s manual with lots of suggestions can make your photography more interesting and fun;
  4. Hot Shoe – to attach an adjustable flash unit so that you can redirect the light from the flash resulting in softer and more pleasing images;
  5. Flash Unit – an adjustable flash unit with head that can tilt and swivel allowing you to direct the light toward a reflective surface reducing harsh images and filling in the background or removing shadows from a subjects face;
  6. RAW of JPEG image selection – RAW images are the best to work with in a program like PhotoShop when correcting and improving your photographs.

Have you ever used a small pocket digital camera and noticed that you focus by looking at the LCD on the back of the camera? Notice that it is like a video camera – the image changes as you move the camera ever so slightly. Tough to focus and frame your subjects, right? There’s a better choice …

An Easy Choice – The Newest Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi Camera

Rebel Xsi Digital Camera

Rebel Xsi Digital Camera


Generally speaking a camera with a resolution of 8 megapixels or so will give you an image that you can enlarge as large as you want and still look great. What is most important, however, are not the technical details but the practical details.

This top rated Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black) costs around $ 700.00 but provides excellent value and terrific flexibility when taking photographs.

The EOS Rebel XSi operates with such effortless speed that operation is nothing short of intuitive. With instant startup times, speedy autofocus and minimal shutter lag, the EOS Rebel XSi is one of the fastest cameras available today. It can shoot up to 3.5 frames per second so you’ll never, ever, miss a shot.

Rebel LCD Display

Rebel LCD Display

Another great feature is the large 3 inch LCD display with the Live View Function. This makes it possible to see how your subject will look right away. You can even superimpose a grid on the LCD so that you can make sure your subject is aligned properly in terms of vertical and horizontal orientation.
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As with all Canon cameras the instructions are clear and concise, the camera is easy to use and adjustments intuitive. One of the more important features is that it takes pictures in the raw.

Why you ask? Well, if you want to work on your photographs in a program like Adobe Photoshop CS4
then the best results come if you can work with photographs in the raw.

You REALLY Need A Good Canon Rebel Camera Flash

Canon 430EX Flash

Canon 430EX Flash


A flash unit is a very important addition to your camera. Have you ever noticed that when you photograph someone indoors that they appear to be standing in front of a black hole? Or that you always wind up with red eye in your pictures from the flash reflecting from the subjects eyes?

The reason is that when all of the light from the flash is aimed straight ahead it illuminates the closest object which in turn reflects all of the light back towards the camera. None of the light reaches the background leaving your subject in a black hole. The light reflecting from a person’s eyes results in red eye detracting from the quality of the photograph.

An adjustable flash unit will allow you to bounce the flash off of a ceiling or wall, and this indirect method of lighting your subject will eliminate shadows, remove red eye and include the background, all of which make your photographs more interesting and complete.

The Canon Speedlite 430X makes a great addition to your Rebel, and has all of the flexibility you need to get great photos.
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The Canon Rebel Zoom Lens Completes The Camera

Canon EF S 18-200mm Zoom Lens

Canon EF S 18-200mm Zoom Lens

If you purchase your Rebel camera without a lens then you can consider a more flexible lens for the camera like a zoom lens. When you purchase just the camera body you can save some money and use the savings to purchase a more flexible lens that may better serve your purposes. For example, consider a zoom lens.
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With a zoom lens you can take close up, wide angle or distant photographs of your subjects giving your pictures more interest. Many photographers view this lens as the “all in one” for travel and walk around photography.

It is 5″ x 4″ x 3″ and weight 2.2 pounds. As with all Canon products it comes with a great warranty, is easy to use and has complete instructions to help you get the most out of your lens.
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Check out this Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras and learn more about it.
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Want The Best Rated Digital Camera?

Canon Digital 5D MK II Camera Body

Canon Digital 5D MK II Camera Body

Well, if you insist on getting the best money can buy, then you will want the Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens camera. Also, once you purchase the body for the camera you will need to get all of the accessories to make it work the way you want. By the time you get everything you will need and want don’t be surprised if you have $ 8,000 into it!

But no doubt you will have a first class camera that will do everything you want and more.

A Great Pocket Camera

Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS

Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS


You just can’t afford a Rebel or 5D? Prefer to have a small, easy to carry and compact camera? So what to do?

My choice would be the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS Digital Camera pocket camera. Weighing less than 5 ounces, this powerful little camera can connect to your computer through a USB cable, has 4X zoom capability, image stabilization (for motion), 8 megapixel quality and, most important, a large 2.5 inch LCD for better viewing from wide angles.
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The biggest shortcoming is the flash capabilities. As I explained earlier while taking pictures lighting can, and is, a problem for cameras. Deep shadows, bright sunlight and indoor pictures can be a challenge for the photographer to keep the subjects face free of shadows, not to mention the red eye problem.

The best way to avoid these problems? A starter digital camera with an adjustable flash will do the trick!

Its Up To You

Over the years I have worked with many cameras, of all shapes, sizes and makes. My experience has been that Canon makes the best of the best, and while perhaps a bit pricier than some, delivers the best quality with the easiest to use features of any digital camera on the market today.

But more important is that you get a camera, get off the couch, turn off your tv and photograph your family, particularly your children. The best photographs require some planning, some work and some time. Don’t let your family and children’s lives pass without recording the best moments for yourself, your family, your friends and the relatives yet to come.

Now get out there and take some pictures!

Share Your Photos Online For Free

Betty A. Muscott

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