Your daughter is poised to take her first steps.
She's sitting in the middle of the living room, and rolls forward onto her hands and knees. She tentatively assumes a standing position.
It's suddenly clear to you that she is about to wobble across the room. You grab your compact digital camera and turn it on.
By the time the camera has powered up, she has already taken a few steps. You point the camera at her, but it can't focus in the dim living room light.
The moment is over – she's sitting down again, and you're left without a photo to show for it.
If you hate missing moments like this, you need an alternative to your compact digital camera. Let me tell you about the benefits of a digital SLR.
SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex, and there are two big differences between SLRs and compacts.
First, the image that you see in an SLR viewfinder is the image that the camera will take. Second, you can take the lens off the camera and put a different lens in its place.
Besides these two differences, there are many other features that make an SLR ideal for a family photographer.
You don't have to wait for a digital SLR to warm up.
Flick on the power switch and the camera is ready to go. You can even leave the camera on all the time if you want to.
Digital SLRs have a “sleep” mode to preserve battery life. Just press a button, and the camera is “awake” and ready to take the next photo.
Even fleeting moments won't be missed waiting for the camera to start up.
Fast Accurate Autofocus
Digital SLRs have advanced autofocus systems.
They include multiple autofocus points, and they can use any one of these points to quickly focus on your child, regardless of how much he or she is moving around.
There is also a mode called predictive autofocus, which tracks your child's motion and continuously adjusts to keep the focus sharp.
Digital SLR cameras are much larger than compact cameras.
This provides a unique advantage: the photo-sensitive sensor inside a digital SLR is physically larger than the sensor inside a compact camera.
The larger sensors are more capable of producing high-quality images even in low-light conditions.
If you spend a lot of time taking pictures of your child indoors, then you'll really benefit from the larger sensor size of a digital SLR.
No More Red-Eye
You've probably dealt with a lot of red-eye when you've used the flash on you compact digital camera.
This is because the flash on a compact camera is close to the lens, and the light from the flash is reflecting off your child's retina.
Every digital SLR flash pops up far away from the camera's lens, virtually eliminating red-eye.
Even though it's easy to fix red eye with today's photo editing software, is that really how you want to spend your time?
If you're a parent and have been thinking about upgrading your 3-year-old compact digital camera, I urge you to take a good look at the digital SLR models available.
The have come down in price significantly in the past two years, and are now competitive with the cost of compact cameras.
Think about it this way: it's probably worth the extra money to know that you will never again miss an important milestone in your child's life because your camera wasn't ready.