Advice on camera and lenses for newborn and toddler photography

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jakelundy New Member • Posts: 4
Advice on camera and lenses for newborn and toddler photography

My wife and I are expecting our first child in a few months and I need some advice on a new camera and set of lenses.

I expect to take a lot of newborn and toddler photos, candid and portrait photos of family, and some videos. I'll mostly view them online but will print some of the photos, probably at 2'x3' in size at most.

This is what I'm considering getting:

  • Nikon Z5
  • Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR
  • Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S
  • Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S

I currently have a Nikon D5100 with 3 lenses (DX 18-55, DX 55-300, DX 35 f/1.8) that I got about 10 years ago. I'm concerned with the auto-focus and low-light capabilities of my current system, especially indoors in rooms without a lot of natural light.

Here's some of my thinking for the new system:

  • Brand: I'm familiar with Nikon but don't mind moving to another brand since I don't plan to bring along any of my lenses.
  • Low light: I understand FF will be better for low light indoor settings, but I'm not sure if APS-C (e.g., Nikon Z50 or Sony A6600) will be good enough for my needs.
  • Nikon DX: If I'm sticking with Nikon, it doesn't look like Nikon is giving a lot of love to APS-C (based on their lens roadmap). Plus a Z5 is in the ball park of good APS-C bodies (although I know I'll pay more for FF lenses).
  • Weight: I'd like to keep the weight low for family trips. But I figure the kit above (minus the macro lens) isn't that much different in weight from my current D5100 kit.
  • Price: I'll probably keep this system for at least five years (maybe longer based on my history), so I don't mind spending a bit more now if it'll keep up with my needs for a few years.

A few questions:

  • Did I get anything wrong in the points above or did I miss something important?
  • Should I consider upgrading to a Z6II for the better auto-focus and low light capabilities? I'm also thinking the extra processor in the Z6II gives headroom for firmware updates with better AF (where Nikon looks to be lagging Sony and Canon), so it might be a bit more future-proof.
  • Do I really need a macro lens? I see articles from baby photographers recommending it, but also see nice examples online of close up baby photos with prime lenses. Maybe I can get by with extension tubes?

I appreciate any advice or experience!

Nikon D5100 Nikon Z5 Nikon Z50 Nikon Z6 II
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