Part 1: Digital or Film?
Children are the most photogenic subjects for pictures, so why not photograph them with the technical quality that they deserve? The first question in making children pictures is: should you use a digital camera or film camera? One prominent magazine compared a professional digital camera to an old film camera (along with an inexpensive scanner), and concluded: there is no significant difference in the quality of the photographs. What the magazine failed to mention is that the digital camera cost 10 times as much as the film camera. If you already have an old film camera, then the digital camera is infinitely more expensive. Much higher image quality is also possible by drum scanning (sample) that rare film image masterpiece (more).
2) Sharpness, Contrast, Resolution
Before analyzing the finer points of commercial advertising claims about digital cameras, some basic concepts need to be clarified. It isnít to your advantage to dumb-down when spending your money. Sharpness and contrast are commonly cited qualities of children pictures. Increasing one usually has the appearance of increasing the other. Resolution is a quality of imaging systems (more).
3) Accurate focus
- especially with fast and unpredictable subjects such as children - can be aided by auto-focus mechanisms, but may be subject to error. Other aids to accurate focus include using an artificial light during focusing, using lenses with bright maximum aperture, and using magnifying viewfinders. Imperfections in camera or lens manufacture can also cause inaccurate focus even when focusing manually. One solution is focus bracketing: take one picture with the most important part of the subject (usually the eyes) apparently in focus, then take another photo focusing a tiny bit in front of that point, then take another photo focusing a tiny bit behind that point. If you're really lazy and money is no object, some new cameras offer an automated focus bracketing function (more).
4) Which film format is best?
5) Digital vs. film cameras compared
6) Portrait perspective
7) Lens comparisons: Nikkor, Leica, Zeiss