Best cameras to gift your favorite shutterbug for the 2019 holidays
Help someone step up their photography this holiday season.
For your favorite action hero
When moving at high speeds, nothing beats an action camera for sharing the most breathless moments. The latest version of this excellent little action cam got rid of the separate mounting frame, improved on its already-terrific image stabilization, and made it easier to create better-looking videos. It's a perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast or traveler on your list. .
The high-flying photographer
To quote our Mavic Air review, this is "a folding 4K mini drone that's close to perfect." It's an amazingly capable quadcopter that can shoot lovely 4K video -- and it's actually small enough to fit into a pocket, albeit a big one. At about $850 it's a pretty generous gift, but look for deals around the end of November on if you want to get it a little cheaper. .
Cheap but winning mirrorless
Any newbie downsizing from a DSLR or upgrading from a phone will find this a great mirrorless interchangeable-lens model. Providing the image quality and performance you expect when graduating from a phone, the A6000 may be several generations old, but that just means it's inexpensive enough to make an affordable yet terrific gift, and there are usually plenty of bundle deals to choose from this time of year.
Its current descendant, the , has a much-upgraded autofocus system and improved image processing, but it's also $1,000 with a basic kit lens. And after all these years, people buying the A6000 still rave about it. .
Compact and inexpensive mirrorless
Mirrorless models are lighter and more convenient than their cheaper mirrored counterparts. One of the best things about this Micro Four Thirds interchangeable-lens camera as a DSLR alternative is that the lenses are tiny -- you can throw five in your bag and barely feel them. The E-M10 Mark II is fast, with solid photo quality and a useful feature set, plus Olympus' policy of adding features via firmware upgrades makes this one a long-term choice. The Mark III succeeded this one, but most of the changes were in the interface, so performance and photo quality should be identical if you feel compelled to give something newer. .
For the DSLR action shooter
It's easy to go for the cheaper models when it comes to general photography, but shooting fast-moving subjects such as sports and wildlife still requires a little more outlay. The Nikon D7500 is a terrific DSLR for the enthusiast action photographer. And at about $1,200 for a dual-lens kit, it's not even that expensive for its class anymore, though still quite a generous gift. .
DSLR for shooting 1080p video
You can find this excellent general-purpose DSLR at a reasonable body-only price. That makes it a nice gift for anyone who's done with their cheap DSLR and looking for faster focus and continuous shooting or looking for a good video experience in a DSLR. It's been succeeded by the 90D, which brings with it 4K video support, but that kit will run you at least $1,300 -- you can get a dual-lens kit of the 80D for less than that -- and may not see big discounts this holiday season. .
A value 1080p webcam for YouTube streamers
For the streamer on your list, the C922 Pro delivers 720p at 60 fps with solid image quality and decent audio. It also comes with a three-month subscription to XSplit Broadcaster and Gamecaster to do more-than-simple broadcasts. .
For 4K YouTube streaming
The Brio 4K has more features than the C922, like the option to use it to sign into a Windows 10 PC using facial recognition. The main attraction is the increased performance for streaming at full ultra HD 1080p resolution at up to 60 fps and recording in 4K resolution at 30 fps. It can also compensate for bad lighting with HDR. And don't you want your giftee to appear in the best light? .