Spring and summer occasions make up the second busiest gift-giving season for your customers. Buying the spot-on gift for Father’s Day as well as high school and college graduations—not to mention all those June weddings—can be daunting. At DIR, our go-to presents for dads & grads always involve photography. Let someone else give the barbeque equipment, laptop cases and gift cards—we’re going summer photo gear all the way!
Our editors have chosen a selection of great imaging products that are pretty awesome gifts for tech-savvy dads and youthful digital natives. And the best part is they encourage picture taking and a passion for photography.
So here is just a sprinkling of the terrific equipment at varying price ranges you can promote this time of year for gift giving. While you may not carry all of the items we’ve picked, the gift-giving trend is clear. You’ll also notice that not all of our picks are high-tech gear. We just had to include some of the fun, retro products that are spearheading the renaissance of analog photography!
Nikon Coolpix W300 Outdoor P&S
Some of life’s best moments happen in places you might not want to bring a regular camera, and certainly not a smartphone—the beach, the pool, the slopes, hiking. New grads can take Nikon’s waterproof (100 feet), freezeproof, shockproof and dustproof Coolpix W300 wherever their adventures take them and leave their worries at home. This tough-as-nails point-and-shoot camera will capture 16MP photos and 4K UHD videos of all their wanderings.
They’ll also benefit from the camera’s 5x optical zoom Nikkor lens with telephoto power and its hybrid VR image stabilization. Moreover, Nikon’s dynamic fine zoom will get them closer to the action. Add to that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE connectivity, GPS functions as well as an eCompass, an altimeter and a depth gauge. The Coolpix W300 comes in a choice of orange, black or yellow. $389.95. nikonusa.com
AEE Selfly Drone-Smartphone-Case
We’ve said it before, this winner of a 2018 Rudy Award is certainly something different. The AEE Selfly is the first flying phone camera case! Actually, it’s a smartphone case with an embedded drone. How’s that for a present for the grad or dad who has everything!
The “drone” is targeted at smartphone users, giving them the ability to capture selfies and video from high above, in tight spaces or from a distance. It takes flight with a touch of a button, providing options and angles beyond the arm’s length of a selfie stick. Incorporating stabilization technology, the Selfly snaps onto most standard 4- to 6-inch smartphones.
Its integrated, foldable wings enable it to fly at the user’s command. As it hovers, the drone waits for commands from an intuitive, free smartphone app. And its fly by picture mode makes for easy piloting via the phone. It also has a visual and sonar positioning system for safe flight. The Selfly records Full HD 1080p video, while its 13MP camera captures wide panoramic photos. $130. aeeusa.com
GoPro Hero Waterproof Action Camera
GoPro just added this action camera that’s clearly aimed at stepping up smartphone videographers to an outdoor adventure camera—perfect for the new grad! Marketed as a go-anywhere, capture-anything camera, Hero is designed to make it easy to share experiences that would be difficult to capture with a smartphone.
It offloads photos and videos to the GoPro app, which creates fun, shareable videos automatically. No fumbling with an SD card or plugging the cam into a computer. Hero makes it simple. It has a 2-inch touch display for framing the shot and reviewing captured content. In addition, it’s waterproof to 30 feet and built for durability. It records HD video at 1,440/60p as well as 1,080/60p using video stabilization.
And it captures 10 megapixel photos. Like other GoPros, it offers voice control. This function lets anyone take hands-free control of the Hero by using simple voice commands. They can tell Hero to start and stop recording, take a photo and turn off. Hero is compatible with 30+ GoPro mounting accessories—opening up even more gift-giving options! $199. gopro.com
Lomo LC-A+ 35mm Anniversary Camera
This entry is a real beauty that wins points for its nostalgic design. A great choice for any dad who’ll fondly recall the days of 35mm photography, it will also appeal to the younger generation hooked on all things retro. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Lomography unveiled three special edition cameras: the LC-A+, LC-Wide and LC-A 120. Each comes with a leather strap, a cable release, LR44 batteries and a manual.
The Compact Automat is a 35mm leather-clad camera showcasing an embossed anniversary message. It features zone-focus and autoexposure systems as well as a Minitar-1 32/2.8 lens. Best of all, it delivers radiant colors, knockout contrast and shadowy vignettes to create the instantly recognizable Lomo look loved by millions.
Compatible with several accessories, the LC-A+ shoots multiple exposures with the slide of a switch. The included cable-release thread can be used to create long-exposure photos, and ISO settings extend from 100 to 1,600. Also featured are an optical viewfinder and a hot shoe. $299. lomography.com
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 Long-Zoom P&S
We’ve picked this P&S bridge camera before as a terrific option for an ultra-zoom camera. Dads and grads will appreciate how it handles like a DSLR but offers point-and-shoot ease of use. And its 63x optical zoom lens will let them capture all their adventures, from wide-angle group shots to far-off action.
While compact, the H400 boasts a 24.5–1550mm focal length range for true imaging versatility. The entry-level camera uses a 1/2.3-inch, 20.1MP Super HAD CCD sensor coupled to a Bionz R processor for excellent responsiveness and image detail.
In addition, it provides Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, minimizing the effects of camera shake at long focal lengths and close focusing distances. Other niceties include: a 3-inch, 460K-dot LCD monitor; a 210K-dot EVF with real-time preview; 720p HD video capture at 30 fps; intelligent auto mode; 360º sweep panorama mode; face detection, smile shutter, picture effect and party modes; a dedicated movie button—the list goes on! $269.99. sony.com
Polaroid Originals SX-70 Instant Film Camera
Polaroid Originals is at the forefront of the resurgence of analog photography. In 1972, Edwin Land pulled a camera from his pocket at a company meeting and took five instant photos in 10 seconds. That camera made instant photography possible. Now Polaroid Originals is reoffering the Polaroid SX-70—one of the most famous instant cameras ever. The first instant, single-lens reflex camera, it was also the first to use Polaroid’s iconic instant film. And it features a cool design that could only have been born in the ’70s.
The SX-70’s manual controls have made it a go-to camera for artists and everyday snapshooters alike. And a fold-down design makes it easy to take along.
It also features Polaroid’s patented Sonar autofocus, developed to make perfectly focused instant photos; manual focus override; a lighten/darken wheel; 10.4-inch close focusing; an automatic variable shutter speed/aperture system; and a flash-bar slot. A truly unique present, the SX-70 comes with a tripod socket, neck strap and film shield. $379.99–$399.99. polaroidoriginals.com
Canon 470EX-AI Speedlite
This compact flash is perfect for entry-level as well as enthusiast photographers who might be intimidated by external lighting. Its Auto Intelligent (AI) Bounce technology automatically, intelligently configures the most appropriate bounce angle for ideal lighting. It’s really pretty amazing to see in action. Intended as a gateway for photographers looking to expand their skills, the 470EX-AI is especially targeted at those stepping up from smartphone photography.
The flash determines and dictates the optimal angle of flash based off of two distance variables: the distance between the camera and the ceiling; and the distance between the camera and the subject. This allows photographers new to flash photography to use the ideal lighting and natural brightness of the room.
For more advanced photographers who alter the horizontal or vertical direction of their cameras back and forth, the 470EX-AI will remember the previous angle and return to it. $399.99. usa.canon.com
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Hybrid Camera
This square-format hybrid instant film camera combines digital imaging technology with square film prints—the definition of cool! Using the Instax Square film format with a 1:1 aspect ratio, it integrates a ¼-inch CMOS sensor and digital image processing with the Instax system. Features include automatic exposure control, facial recognition, autofocus, 4-inch macro shooting and a 28.5mm-equivalent f/2.4 lens.
A unique, thin, rounded, symmetrical shape permits easy holding. Its dual shutter system has two buttons—one on either side—and these buttons also work as function buttons. Designed for simple operation, three buttons correspond to its main functions: 10 filter effects; vignette control; and brightness adjustment. Digital features include a 3-inch color LCD, a microSD slot and also a micro USB port.
If that isn’t enough, the SQ10 has special shooting modes like double exposure, a bulb exposure function for night scenes and light streaks, and a mode that places nine images on one print. And users see a live display on the LCD of all operations during shooting, editing, processing as well as printing. $279.99. fujifilmusa.com