Black Friday may have come and gone, but if you’re anything like us, there’s still plenty left on your Christmas shopping list. To help you narrow down your decisions for either yourself or photography-loving friends and family, we’re creating a five part gift guide.
The first installment (this one) will focus on the most important part of any photographers arsenal – a camera. From inexpensive action cams to top of the line DSLRs, we’ll share with you some of our favorite cameras available to pick up this year.
At its original $399 price point, GoPro’s cube-shaped camera wasn’t worth so much as a stare. But with the recent price drop, it’s a much more reasonable action cam option. It doesn’t feature 4K video or an LCD screen, but its small size and price point make it a good choice for those who want action cam footage on a budget.
It might not look like much from its broad, rigid form factor, but the G7 has quickly become a staple in the mirrorless community, especially for those looking to dabble in video. Its 16 megapixel sensor features a maximum of ISO 25,600 and is capable of in-camera 4K video at both 30 and 24fps. You aren’t going to find much more in a camera at this price point.
Until this little device, DxO was known only as a software manufacturer. Designed specifically for iPhones, the DxO is a 20.2 megapixel camera and f/1.8 lens that plugs directly into your iPhone’s lighting port. Considering it uses your iPhone as its viewfinder and screen, its compact size is its selling point, with DxO’s impressive software acting as the driving force behind a new low-noise, high dynamic range raw technology DxO calls SuperRAW.
It seems like a natural progression for a company who’s as invested in gimbals as they are drones, but DJI still dropped some jaws when they released their handheld, stabilized 4K video camera. If you’re willing to drop the resolution down to 1080p, you can also turn the Osmo into a slo-mo camera with 120fps recording. It won’t replace an entire 4K video setup, but if you’re looking for a supplementary camera or want something a little more robust than a GoPro on a handheld rig, the DJI Osmo is the way to go. As a bonus, you can purchase only the handle for less cash if you already have a DJI drone with Zenmuse gimbal setup.
Nikon’s D5500 might be an incremental improvement from its D5300 predecessor, but the small features improve upon an already solid camera lineup, making it even more inviting for the photographer looking to make the jump to the prosumer market. It features a touchscreen LCD, WiFi connectivity and a faster processor. At $700, it’s not breaking the bank, either.
Considered the younger sibling of Fujifilm’s Fuji X-T1, the X-T10 packs quite the punch for its small form factor and price point. It uses Fujifilm’s second-generation X-Trans CMOS sensor which measures in at 16.3 megapixels. It’s not at the top of Fujifilm’s line-up, but if you’re looking to dip your toes into Fujifilm’s X-series on a mid-range budget, the X-T10 is a great choice.
If you want Sony’s impressive sensor tech without the hassle of carrying around multiple lenses, the RX100 IV is the way to go. For being a compact camera, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but its fast glass, impressive autofocus and 16fps continuous burst, it’s one of the more capable compact cameras you’ll come across.
Sony’s Alpha lineup doesn’t need much introduction. Sony has almost perfected the full-frame mirrorless form factor and has a healthy (and growing) lineup of lenses to boot. The 7R II improves upon its predecessors with a 42.4 megapixel image stabilized full-frame BSI CMOS sensor. It’s also capable of 4K video capture and features a maximum of ISO 102,400 – enough to literally see in the dark.
Rather than releasing the 5D Mark IV, Canon decided to split its 5D lineup into two new cameras, the 5DS and 5DS R. While identical in form factor to the 5D Mark III, the 5DS and 5DS R pack a much more powerful 50.6 megapixel full-frame sensor inside. You can read up on the difference between the two models here, but the long and short of it is that the 5DS opts for a more traditional low-pass filter construction, whereas the 5DS R features a second filter to reduce moiré and increase sharpness ever so slightly. The choice is up to you, but
Leica surprised many with this camera. Taking many cues from its historic M-series, the Leica Q brings the build quality and beauty you’d come to expect from the German manufacturer to a fixed-lens full frame camera. It 24 megapixel sensor might seem subpar compared to Sony’s options, but what it lacks in megapixel size, it makes up for in almost every other field. Helping image quality is the 28mm f/1.7 lens permanently attached to the front of the camera. At $4,250, it’s a bit expensive for the average consumer, but when you take into account it has Leica glass included, it’s not that bad for those looking to own a Leica.
Whether you’re looking for yourself or someone else, I hope we’ve helped to narrow down your choices a bit.
What cameras do you think are missing on our list? Let us know in the comments below.
Be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming gift guides, which will be posted one day at a time for the remainder of the week. We still have lenses, lighting, accessories and camera bags to share with you!