Gift Ideas for Photographers: Holiday Camera Buying Guide

Gift Ideas for Photographers: Holiday Camera Buying Guide

In a relatively short period of time, digital cameras have gone from being elite, esoteric and expensive tools to widely used, inexpensive devices with almost endless options. Choosing the right camera for your needs and goals can be confusing, so we pulled together our top choices for POV, DSLR and affordable digital cameras. Whether you have a budding artist, intrepid traveler, energetic entrepreneur or a wild adventurer on your shopping list, we can help you find the right camera.

 

POV Camera Buying Guide

POV (point of view) or action cameras are designed to be attached to helmets, surfboards, bikes, cars and other moving objects. They are small, durable and often waterproof, with a lens that records HD video from a wide-angle, or fisheye perspective.

Everyone from amateur athletes to professional production companies can use POV cameras to capture dramatic, exciting footage that would be impossible to get with a traditional camera. There are many choices available, with many different features – think carefully about what you want your POV camera to do in order to find the right model for you.

Nikon’s 26514 KeyMission™ 170 transforms everyday adventures into thrilling first-person 4K Ultra HD videos that can be shared with a compatible smartphone. Its waterproof, freeze-proof and shockproof, has built-in Wi-Fi® with Bluetooth®, electronic Vibration Reduction, time lapse, loop recording, includes a remote control and has more than 10 mounting accessories.

Want to create videos with a professional look? The Replay XD Prime X HD camera combines never-before-seen size, light weight, power, optics, image sensor, processing and aerospace-grade materials, and a custom miniprime cinema lens. The Hyperion CinePrime X lens has a patent pending, multi element all-glass design, with SLD elements, CineAR Anti-reflection coatings and superior chromatic correction, all optimized for a cinematic look and feel.

The HX-A500H from Panasonic is a small, lightweight, wearable 4K camera that offers many setup options. The main body of the camera can be strapped to your arm, with the camera lens placed over an ear or you can use the clip mount to attach the camera to a helmet or bag. You can also use the ‘multi-case’ to combine the main unit, camera and cable into one body, and use with only one hand! Since the HX-A500H is designed as a camera for the outdoors, it is dustproof, as well as waterproof up to almost 10 feet for up to 30 minutes.

 

DSLR Camera Buying Guide

Thanks to the improvements in smartphone technology, you probably have a decent digital camera in your pocket right now. If you want to move your photography skills and capacity beyond a point and shoot digital camera, the next step is getting a DSLR, or digital single lens reflex camera.

A DSLR has many advantages, including a better quality image sensor that produces higher quality photos, near aero lag time for amazing action photography and the ability to change lenses. DSLR cameras have recently become more affordable, and there are many different makes and models that offer a wide range of features. Here are four of our top choices.

The Canon EOS Rebel T5 is great for families, budding photo enthusiasts and first-time SLR users alike, and makes it easy to capture movies and photos. It features a powerful 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) image sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 4 Image Processor for HD video and high-resolution photos. It also has a huge 3.0-inch LCD screen for Live View recording and review. This kit includes everything you need to start shooting, and comes with a cash back instant rebate!

The 24.2MP Nikon D5500 is a compact DSLR camera with a touchscreen Vari-angle display that transforms into a versatile Full HD video camera that allows you to record 1080 video at a high-speed frame rate of 60p — great for capturing fast-moving subjects or creating ultra-smooth slow-motion effects. The D5500 allows you to create star trail images, interval–timer sequences, as well as some HDR photography. Add artistic filters and effects and even retouch your shots right in the camera, and then share your creations instantly with built-in Wi-Fi®.

Are you a frequent traveler, or just want a smaller and more portable camera? Sony’s a7 [model ILCE-7K/B – with SEL2870 Lens] is a full frame, interchangeable-lens camera that is less than half the size and weight of a conventional full-frame DSLR. It offers 24.3MP of rich detail, a true-to-life 2.4 million dot OLED viewfinder, plus Wi-Fi® sharing and an expandable shoe system all in one of the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens full-frame cameras.

Do you shoot fast-paced activities or scenes? The DMC-FZ300K from Panasonic can capture what you are looking for by using the exclusive 4K PHOTO technology of 30 frames per second in high resolution 4K Ultra HD Video to extract them as photos. It also features a splash-proof / dustproof rugged design with tight seals on every joint, dial and button, so it stands up to harsh weather conditions and challenging environments.

 

Our Favorite Cameras Under $500

Camera technology is always changing, improving and thankfully, becoming more affordable. Many of today’s cameras that are available for less than $500 contain features that were previously only available to professionals. Here are six affordable cameras that deliver big results on a smaller budget.

For less than $200, the Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-SZ10 packs a 14 megapixel 1/2.33-inch CMOS sensor, 12x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-288mm) lens and 180° tiltable monitor with selfie functions into a compact point and shoot digital camera with WiFi® connectivity.

Canon’s PowerShot N2 is a Wi-Fi® enabled high-spec camera that creates the high-quality images you desire, even in low light conditions. Perfect for promoters, it can post directly to social networking sites, and even shoot remotely from your smartphone or tablet. The new Self Portrait mode takes full advantage of the camera’s selfie-ready, multi-angle capacitive touch panel LCD, and Creative Shot mode offers dozens of ways to make your shots stand out with unique creative flair, and captures fantastic movies as well.

Canon’s PowerShot SX710 HS camera is powerfully advanced and easy to use. The 30x Optical Zoom gives you the versatility you need to take your still images and breathtaking 1080p Full HD video to the next level, with Intelligent IS and Zoom Framing Assist to keep even the highest zoom shots clear and steady. It also offers sophisticated video capabilities including 60p/30p/24p and MP4 options, the ability to add background music to your clips in Story Highlights and advanced Dynamic IS that also keeps video steady, Built-in Wi-Fi® and NFC make sharing what you’ve captured easy.

The Panasonic LUMIX ZS60 brings the legendary optical performance of a LEICA DC 30x (24-720mm) lens to a highly portable point-and-shoot travel camera. Features that traditionalists will love include the hands-on manual feel of a lens-mounted control ring and thumbwheel, plus the familiarity of an eye-level electronic viewfinder. The more modern enthusiasts will love the WiFi® mobile device controllability as well as the next-generation flexibility that 4K video and 4K PHOTO modes bring to the creative experience.

The Sony Cyber-shot® RX100 features a massive 1″ image sensor and large-aperture F1.8 lens with integrated control ring for intuitive access to settings. Combined with supreme ISO sensitivity, you’ll enjoy richly-detailed results with remarkably low noise even in challenging lighting conditions. Whether you’re a pro looking for a premium compact camera, or want to take your point and shoot photography to the next level, the RX100 offers excellent quality and SLR-like operation in a sophisticated, portable package.

For even more variety in digital cameras, visit FullCompass.com today.

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