DSLR vs. iPhone: When to Use a DSLR Camera
So you may be wondering, why even bother with a DSLR? Many parents donâ€™t, and that is totally fine!
However, if you want to get deeper into telling the story of your childâ€™s life through photography, there are times when it is absolutely worth using your DSLR instead of your iPhone.
But before we talk about when, letâ€™s talk about the advantages of usingÂ aÂ DSLR camera:
1) Higher quality photos
This doesnâ€™t just mean higher resolution photos, but also photos with better focus, clarity, color, handling of light, detail etc.
2) Better control over focus and shutter
While you can tap to focus on your iPhone, your DSLR has much finer focus controls, and the shutter is more responsive. Â In other words, there is no delay between when you try to take the photo and when the photo actually takes.
3) More focal length options
You can use zoom lenses or different prime lenses with your DSLR for different needs. The longer the focal length, the more â€śzoomed inâ€ť you are, whereas on an iPhone, you are more limited, and the more you zoom in, the lower the resolution of the photo.
Note on lenses for DSLR cameras: prime lenses have a fixed focal length but you can use different prime lenses for different results.
4) Ability for shallow depth of field
This is when your subject is in focus but everything in front of or behind your photo subjectÂ is increasingly blurry. Itâ€™s a great way to tell a story because the viewerâ€™s eye will first focus on what is in focus in the photo as opposed to most iPhone photos where everything is in focus and it is harder to distinguish the â€śsubjectâ€ť from theÂ background.
So, how do you decide when itâ€™s worth using a DSLR instead of an iPhone?
I try not to use my DSLR when I am hosting, but if you or the host would like good quality photos, someone should be using a DSLR.Â Examples: family birthday parties, baby showers, weddings
2) Are you going somewhere fun or different with good photo ops that wonâ€™t be too crazy and crowded?
Examples: a park or hiking trail where youâ€™ve never been, or any spectacular backdrop, natural or urban
3) Are you going somewhere where youâ€™ll have the chance to hang out for a bit and take photos?
Examples: your favorite local park or playground
4) Is the light gorgeous?
Example: cloudy days can be the best for photos and itâ€™s worth bringing outÂ the DSLR
5) Do you want to take action shots?
Examples: sports events, kids jumping or playing in water or snow.
6) Is it a portrait worthy occasion?
Examples: birthdays, holidays, first day of school, Motherâ€™s Day etc. I like to take portraits to commemorate these milestones that are not â€śofâ€ť the event itself but just happen to be taken that day.
For me, ultimately, my DSLR is about capturing portraits in vivid detail where I can blur the background/foreground using shallow depth of field; when I have gorgeous light and some time to explore different shots; or when I want to capture a place or event with high quality photos.
Get more tips for taking memory worthy DSLR photos.
Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick is a family photographer and photography coach for parents with Photosanity. A former architect and interior designer, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her two boys Liam, age six, and Jack, age three.
Alethea is on a mission to help parents more fully experience the precious fleeting moments of their childrenâ€™s lives through photography. Find her on http://photosanity.com