As we wrap up Mother’s Day and prepare for Father’s Day, we thought we would put together a guide of our best cameras for mom and dads who want better results when photographing their youngsters.

A point & shoot camera can be a much better option than a smartphone camera, without sacrificing those smartphone perks that you love. Things like slim size, portability and the ability to share via wi-fi are built into many of the compact cameras available these days.

What other functions are important?

Shutter Lag Timer: The time between pushing the shutter button and the camera actually taking the picture gets better with every generation of digital camera. Having a short shutter lag time is especially important when photographing kids and pets. A longer lag time can result in you missing the moment.

Low Light Capabilities: Higher ISO’s and Faster Apertures enable you to shoot in lots of different lighting including indoors, at the breakfast table, in the bath, all those places where sweet moments happen. Ambient lighting, like soft, dim lighting at bedtime can be better captured with certain cameras, freezing the mood and the feeling in a way that flash photography can’t.

Rugged Design: If you have toddlers, a rugged, camera that can withstand a good amount of impact damage, say, from being thrown or dropped is a great way to protect your investment. A waterproof camera that can be used while swimming is an extra bonus.

bebe inot swim with sally
photo by swimwithsally.co.uk

Other functions that may be important might be; a long optical zoom lens, burst mode, macro mode, a nice wide angle lens.

With all of these things in mind, here are our top 5 picks:

The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-860

Olympus Stylus Tough camera for momThe TG-860 has an ultra-wide angle, super-sharp 21mm lens to capture more of the scenery with a nice optical zoom that can reach a distance up to 105mm. Slim in size, it measures 2.5 h by 4.4 w by 1.1 inches and weighs 7.9 ounces. The camera is rated to go underwater to 50 feet, survive drops from heights of 7 feet, be crushed by 220 pounds of force, and function in temperatures as low as 14°F.  The high-speed burst mode can shoot about 7 shots per second which isn’t incredible but still good for a camera in this price class.

good camera for mom sony cybershot
The Sony DSC-RX100 Cyber-shot Digital Camera

Though it’s not waterproof and you wouldn’t want to drop it, the Sony RX100 is incredible in low light with a max 25600 ISO, 1/2000 shutter speed and an amazing 1.8 aperture on a super crisp Carl Zeiss Lens. The RX100 is a professional level camera and in a higher price class but worth it. Built in wi-fi, 105mm optical zoom lens, 10fps burst mode and an incredible 0.013 second shutter lag make this 20 mpx camera a great little machine that takes beautiful pictures, capable of being blown up and framed like works of art.

Nikon Coolpix camera for mom and dad

The Nikon COOLPIX AW130 Waterproof Digital Camera

The Nikon Coolpix AW130 is also waterproof (up to 100 feet) shockproof, crushproof and features red eye reduction, a 120mm optical zoom and a wide 24mm Nikkor glass lens. High sensitivity mode ISO up to 6400, shutter speeds up to 1/1500 second, image stabilization and a f/2.8 aperture all work together to take clear pictures in low light conditions. There is a slightly longer shutter lag because Nikon cameras determine their focus and auto exposure directly before taking the picture. Built in wi-fi and 1080p high-definition video capabilities give you options for shooting and sharing pictures and videos any way and anywhere you like.

canon powershot mom camera

The Canon PowerShot N100 Digital Camera

The Canon Powershot N100 features Dual Capture, which uses a rear-facing 25mm wide-angle “Story Camera.” While the main camera shoots the subject, the secondary camera shoots the photographer. The images are combined in a single file, with a picture-in-picture effect for both photos and video. Three sizes and four picture positions are available to customize. Shutter lag is less than 0.2 seconds in bright conditions but gets longer, up to 0.5 seconds, in low light or with the lens zoomed out. A super fast f1.8 lens and 120mm zoom make this a great camera that covers all the basics with a little extra something special.

Panasonic lumix ts5 camera

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS6 Digital Camera

The Panasonic Lumix TS6 is another rugged-bodied, all weather camera that is waterproof up to 43 ft, shockproof from a drop of 6.6 ft and freezeproof down to 14 degrees. The Leica zoom lens offers a nice wide angle at 28mm and zooms out to 128mm. A high sensitivity sensor and extended ISO of 6400 are good for lower light and if you don’t need to shoot at the highest resolution, higher-speed bursts of 40fps and 60fps are available. A barely noticeable 200 ms shutter lag. Time Lapse Shooting and a built in “torch light” to illuminate subjects in low light are just a couple of the cool features available on the Lumix TS6.

Are there any other cameras you would recommend that aren’t on this list? Tell us in the comments section at the top of the post.