Buying Guide: The best cameras for parents
Last updated: November 2, 2018
Quick. Unpredictable. Unwilling to sit still. Kids really are the ultimate test for a camera's autofocus system. Thankfully, advances in autofocus technology have made their way into more cameras in recent years, making keeping a fast-moving child in focus a lot easier. We've compiled a short list of what we think are the best options for parents trying to keep up with young kids, and narrowed it down to one best all-rounder.
Top pick: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VA
The RX100 VA packs virtually every feature imaginable into a slick metal body that slips right into your pocket. It's an updated version of the original RX100 V that includes an improved buffer, reduced lag in the viewfinder and additional metering and AF options, among other things. The RX100 VA can take bursts at 24 fps with continuous autofocus and Eye AF, so it's hard to miss a shot of a fast-moving child. It has a fast lens for shooting in low light, but since it stops at 70mm, it's not well-suited to shooting sports.
A clever pop-up viewfinder makes taking pictures in bright outdoor light easy. The RX100 VA can also capture sharp 4K video with excellent autofocus. If you're spending a weekend at Disneyland you will want to pack a spare battery or two, but the RX100 VA will make it through a birthday party just fine.
Also recommended: Canon EOS M50
For parents who want the ability to swap lenses and are more 'focused' on stills than video the Canon EOS M50 is worth a look. It offers a combination of very good image quality, a capable AF system, impressive wireless capabilities, and a familiar SLR-style body.
Canon doesn't make a ton of EF-M lenses, and most aren't well-suited to low light shooting, but they cover all of the focal lengths you're likely to need.
The M50 has a fully-articulating touchscreen LCD that's good for family selfies plus an electronic viewfinder for shooting outdoors. While Canon touts the camera's 4K video, it's not great, making 1080p a much better choice. Battery life is only so-so, and we'd recommend you pack a spare for longer excursions.
We considered all of the cameras below when picking our winners, and even though we think the Sony RX100 VA and Canon EOS M50 are best overall, the other models on our shortlist are also worthy contenders.
If you're not convinced by our choices, read the full buying guide for a detailed breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of all the cameras on our shortlist.