Best Digital Cameras for the Family for 2017


The choice of digital cameras for the family varies from simple automatic point & shoot compacts for the beginner and intermediate photographer up to prosumer for advanced needs. Desirable features to look out for when assessing a digital camera for family photography include:

Speed - the digital camera must have minimal shutter lag to allow fast picture taking i.e. children playing, babies, parties, children playing sports & family social occasions.

Zoom lens - the zoom lens must be 3x or longer and must be capable of producing sharp high quality photos.

Size - except for some people with larger hands, a small pocketable digital camera is more likely to be taken out and about by a family member than a larger camera which often gets left behind.

Movie Mode - Most digital cameras released over recent years have high definition video at either 720p or 1080p. These cameras are capable of taking high quality family movies. HD movies are also available on mirrorless and digital SLR cameras. Some video enthusiasts and film makers are now beginning to use mirrorless and digital SLR cameras for their film making. With the recent appearance of 4k video (which has 4 times as many as 1080p video) on digital cameras, this trend for high end film is likely to expand rapidly. To avoid movies taking up huge amounts of space on a memory card, it is important to look for cameras which offer some type of compression such as H.264 MPEG-4 compression.

Battery Life - the digital camera battery must be able to last for a reasonable time before recharging is required.

Large LCD - the LCD viewfinder must be 3" or larger to accurately view and compose the picture.

Face Detection - some digital cameras can detect a number of human faces in a scene and this can help to avoid focusing errors.

Except where otherwise stated, all digital cameras recommended for the family have most of the above features.

Other desirable feature which can be found on a few cameras include weatherproofing for use on the beach or in the rain and image stabilization for hand holding cameras in low light without using flash to produce more moody atmospheric shots.

Prosumer or digital cameras for advanced family photographers have additional features which can provide more control for creative photography. These features include full manual control over aperture and shutter speed, a hotshoe for external flashguns and the option to save raw files without compression.

Digital SLR cameras provide the advanced family photographer with the greatest range of options for creative photography including interchangeable lenses, wider choice of accessories including filters and flashguns, faster operation and an SLR viewfinder for accurate composition. One of the greatest benefits of digital SLR cameras is the ability to take low light photographs without flash as SLR sensors are much larger than those found in digital compacts and therefore produce less noise at higher ISO settings such as 800 or even 1600.

These recommendations are provided as a general guide and the final decision as always is with the camera buyer. Digital camera specifications change constantly and therefore it is advisable to check these before buying.


Fujifilm X-A3

For: - 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor. EXR processor II.
- 3 inch touchscreen LCD with tilt. HD video.
- Film simulation modes. Built in wireless.
- Superb selection of Fuji and independent lenses.

Against: - No eye level viewfinder.
Buy from Amazon

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

For: - Large 20 MP one inch sensor for great images
- Bright 24 to 100 f/1.8 to f/2.8 zoom lens.
- 3 inch LCD with tilt. Jpeg & RAW images.
- HD 1080p videos in MP4 with stereo sound.

Against: - No eye level viewfinder.
Buy from Amazon

Nikon DL24-85

For: - 20.8 MP CX format BSI CMOS sensor.
- Bright 24 to 85mm f/1.8-f/2.8 VR lens.
- 4k video. 3 inch tilting OLED touchscreen.
- Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. Built in ND filter.

Against: - Zoom range may be limiting for some.
Buy from Amazon

Nikon D3400

For: - 24 MP DX format CMOS sensor. RAW & jpeg images.
- No optical low pass filter for sharper images.
- Snapbridge Bluetooth connectivity. Shoots at 5 fps.
- Compact size. 1080p video. Optical viewfinder.

Against: - No weather sealing.
Buy from Amazon

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

For: - Multi aspect four thirds sensor with 12.8 MP crop.
- Fast 24 to 75mm f/1.7-2.8Leica DC zoom lens.
- Eye level viewfinder with 2,764k dots. Shoots at 11 fps.
- 4k video. Filter effects. Focus peaking.

Against: - LCD is fixed. Limited Zoom range.
Buy from Amazon