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When your dad decides to take his photography game to a new level, a smartphone may not be enough. Some may want a sports camera to capture their adventures while others may need a mirrorless camera for better family photos, movies, or artistic shots. Thanks to rapidly evolving technology, they just keep getting better with faster shooting speeds, sharper videos and incredible autofocus. We’ve found five of the best models for budgets ranging from $ 350 to $ 2,500, plus a few accessories to complement the outfit your old man already has.
Black GoPro Hero9 Action Camera
If your dad would rather play in his own sporting adventures than watch them on TV, the Hero 9 Black is the camera he needs. It outperforms the previous black Hero 8 in several ways, especially the addition of a front camera. This makes it much easier to frame yourself in the action for mountain biking, skating, and other activities. GoPro also introduced 20-megapixel photos and 5K 30 fps (or 4K 60 fps) videos, giving your dad more options for cropping, framing, and slow-mo. Meanwhile, it has improved some popular tools like Hypersmooth 3.0, while also increasing battery life. Better yet, it can be yours for $ 350 with a one-year GoPro subscription – a $ 50 discount off the regular price. without a subscription.
Canon EOS M200
So your father is taking up photography? An entry-level camera is a good place to start, and the best is Canon EOS M200. With a 24-megapixel sensor and Canon’s skin-friendly colors, it delivers great photos. They’re also easy to capture thanks to an intuitive smartphone-like interface, fast autofocus speeds, and excellent eye detection performance. It will also be able to shoot 4K 24p video (albeit with 1.6 times cropping), as well as a 1080p sensor at 60 fps. And it’s available for a significantly lower price than most other $ 549 mirrorless cameras, with an EF-M 15-45mm kit lens.
Sony cameras generally make great gifts and the best value right now is the A6100. It delivers industry-leading autofocus and eye-tracking performance for humans and animals, ensuring sharp shots even with fast-moving subjects. Sony has also improved color science and low-light capabilities, so family photos look sharp and color-accurate even in low-light environments. The downsides are a bad roller shutter which can cause video wobble and a low resolution electronic viewfinder. Still, for $ 748 (body only), the A6100 is the best mirrorless camera in its price range.
Fujifilm’s X-T4 is the best crop sensor camera on the market, making it a desirable gift for any lucky dad. It’s notably improved over the X-T3 with the addition of in-body stabilization and a fully articulated screen. At the same time, it has the best video features for an APS-C camera, with crisp 4K video up to 60fps, as well as 1080p resolution at 240fps. Photo and video quality is exceptional, with stunning skin tones just behind Canon models. But the autofocus, with eye tracking and detection, is good but not quite up to Sony standards. And while the generous manual controls provide excellent maneuverability, it’s less compact than before. It’s not cheap at $ 1,700, but it can stand up to much more expensive full-frame cameras.
Canon EOS R6
For dads who can’t decide between photos and video, Canon EOS R6 does both things well. The 20-megapixel sensor lacks resolution compared to its competitors, but it offers outstanding specs like in-body stabilization and Canon’s fast and precise Dual Pixel autofocus for video and photos, as well as crisp 4K video up to 60 fps. Other features include a flip-up screen, relatively compact size, and skin tones that will flatter your dad’s (possibly you) subjects. It suffers from overheating issues with video, but that will likely only affect pros who shoot for long periods of time at a time. Overall, this is currently our best choice for under $ 2,500.
Smartphone stabilizers are fine, but nothing beats a gimbal for shooting. The best deal for mobile devices is DJI OM4, ideal for your dad if he’s tired of jerky tracking shots. While previous models used a clamp, this model uses a magnetic mounting system that makes securing your phone faster and easier. It also adds new features such as “dynamic zoom” and “spin shot” which will give your dad a new repertoire of movements. As with other DJI gimbals, it offers smooth and reliable performance and has a solid, easy-to-use app. It’s also relatively affordable: you can buy one now with a grip and tripod for $ 149.
Peak Design Everyday Messenger
With its robust and practical design, Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag is an ideal gift for adventurous dads or photographers. It is built with a 100% waterproof, lightweight yet durable recycled 400D shell and with the ingenious Flexfold dividers in the main storage area. It also offers a pair of zip pockets, two elastic side pockets and a compartment large enough for a 13-15 inch laptop. I own one myself and find it convenient for both work and daily activities, allowing me to fit a camera, lens, and laptop with my wallet and keys. At $ 220, it’s not the cheapest bag on the market, but your dad won’t have to buy another one for a while.
Magnus VT-4000 Tripod
For dads serious about video, the Magnus VT 4000 is the best budget tripod option. It’s tough enough to handle a mirrorless camera and accessories weighing up to 8.8 pounds, more than the eight-pound weight of the tripod itself. This lack of weight makes it convenient for travel, while the fluid head helps you tilt and move smoothly. Other features include a center spreader to keep things stable and legs that extend up to 64 inches so you can match your subjects’ eye line. All of these features are priced at $ 160, a relative steal considering the quality.
Joby GorillaPod 3K mini tripod
The most useful accessories for vlogging dads are Joby’s famous mini tripods, and the best bang for the buck is the GorillaPod 3K. Attaching your camera couldn’t be simpler with the secure clip-on mounting plate with a built-in level. The hose also allows you to place your camera anywhere to take photos, or even wrap it around a tree or other object. And, of course, you can bend them to get the perfect vlogging angle and stabilize your shot, to boot. It’s $ 45 at Amazon right now, a steal for such a versatile tool.
SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Card (64 GB)
Camera-loving dads never have enough memory cards, but they can be quite an expensive gift. One of the best budget options is SanDisk ExtremePro UHS-I SD Cards. While they don’t offer the best 300MB / s speeds of UHS-II cards, they are much cheaper and the 90MB / s read / write speeds are fast enough for most types of photography and of video. Plus, you can transfer files at speeds of up to 170MB / s with a compatible drive, and SanDisk is known for producing reliable cards. SanDisk has models for all budgets, with the 256GB version in the sweet spot at just $ 60. If that’s too much, the 128GB version costs $ 33 and the 64GB model costs just $ 18.