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The Best Gift for Photographers - The Camera of Choice

Updated on July 1, 2013

Looking for Gift Ideas for Photographers?

With the increased interest in amateur and professional photography, many people are searching for the best gift for photographers.

If you have a friend or a loved one who's a shutterbug, you've got two main categories of gift ideas: 1) cameras or 2) everything else. If you're looking for an inexpensive gift in the latter category (everything else), check out these gift ideas for photographers. You'll find plenty of ideas for accessories and gifts that your shutterbug pal will love.

But if you want to surprise your favorite photographer with a new camera and aren't really sure what to get, this page can help you decide which camera will make the best gift for a photographer.

Image, courtesy of Amazon: Cannon EOS Rebel T2i

Which Camera?

Figuring out what type of camera to buy for your favorite photographer

So you want to surprise your favorite shutterbug with a new camera, but you're not sure what to buy? Here are some questions that can help you decide.

1. What is your friend or loved one's photography skill level?

Are they a budding photographer who currently uses a smartphone to take most of their pictures, but now wants to get a "real" camera? Are they someone who mostly uses a compact camera and wants to move up to a digital SLR? Or are they a serious shutterbug or professional photographer who already owns a DSLR?

The type of camera you'd buy for each of these folks is different. For someone just getting into photography and moving up from a smartphone, a good compact camera or mirrorless camera would be an excellent choice.

For someone who wants to move up from a compact, your best bet is to get a good entry-level DSLR that will introduce them to the advanced controls photographers use to take stunning photos.

For someone who already owns a DSLR, you'd have to shell out some good money to get them a better camera than the one they already own. But your other alternative is to get them a second camera body (photographers love owning multiple bodies!) or a backup camera that can do things their DSLR can't. For instance, they might like a waterproof camera they can take in the pool, a POV action cam for hands-free shooting, a mirrorless camera with extremely fast shutter speeds, or a super zoom compact camera that can capture images beyond the reach of the lens on their DSLR.

What type of camera does your shutterbug currently own?

If you're buying a camera for someone using a smartphone, your options are endless, as they will have no brand preference. But if your favorite photographer already owns a camera, they may be partial to the brand they own or may have already invested money in accessories specifically for that brand.

This is not as much of an issue with compact cameras with fixed lenses as it is with a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC) or a digital SLR. Both ILC and DSLR cameras are designed to use only lenses made for that particular brand. So a Nikon camera cannot use a Canon lens and vice versa. If your friend already owns an ILC or DSLR, make sure any new camera you purchase is made by the same manufacturer.

How Serious is Your Favorite Photographer? - Take the poll!

How serious about photography equipment is your gift recipient?

See results

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A New Cameras is Always a Welcome Gift

A New Cameras is Always a Welcome Gift
A New Cameras is Always a Welcome Gift

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