Holiday Gifts for the Photographer on Your List

As the holidays approach, many of us start to think about gifts for friends and family and many of us find ourselves with a shutterbug on our shopping lists. You know who I’m talking about, that person who snaps pictures at every event and get-together, working to capture the spirit of each moment. Thanks to smartphones, photographers, both amateur and advanced, are always within reach of a camera. In fact, smartphones have made such a huge impact on how we take photos, according to some estimates, we now upload and share more than 1.8 billion photos online each day! But despite the impact smartphones have had on photography, a true shutterbug might still prefer a digital camera for the quality of pictures and just the experience of holding a camera and lining up the perfect shot. If you're shopping for a photographer this holiday season, here are a couple of gift ideas to help you along.


For the Serious Beginner: Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR

If you know someone who's itching to take their photography to the next level, give them a little nudge in the right direction with an entry-level DSLR. At less than $500, the Canon EOS Rebel T5 is the perfect choice. This camera comes with an 18-55mm lens and is equipped with an Intelligent Auto Mode, so you can take stunning photos right out of the box. But the fun really starts when you begin to experiment manually and learn about the camera and all its settings. Thanks to its 18-megapixel CMOS light sensor, the Rebel T5 handles beautifully in both daylight and low-light conditions. It also records HD video with impressive results. Overall, it offers amazing functionality at a very reasonable price point.


This is actually the camera I purchased for my teenage daughter, who was interested in becoming a better photographer, last Christmas. Since then, she’s fallen in love with this camera and it rarely leaves her side. She captures both brilliant photos and fantastic video with it. As she’s become more familiar with all the manual settings, she’s been able to get more creative with her photography and get better results as well. The best part is, there’s no sign of her outgrowing it, even a year later. All in all, I think it’s an excellent investment for the serious beginner.


For the Casual, Fun Photographer: Fuji Instax Mini 8

OK, so this isn’t going to be a camera that you wrap up and give to the serious photographer on your list this Christmas. That being said, it’s a cool little device for the right person. The Fuji Instax Mini 8 works much like a Polaroid. Remember those? Yeah, me neither—I’m much too young. Jokes aside, the Instax Mini 8 gives you the instant satisfaction of seeing your pictures print out on a credit card sized piece of photo paper as soon as you’ve taken them. It’s a fun little camera that you can take to a party or event and kids can have fun with at school. In fact, while my daughter loves to get creative and improve her photography skills with her DSLR, she also enjoys taking fun and silly pictures with her Instax Mini 8. She and her friends share these and the inside of their lockers at school are plastered with them.


The Instax Mini 8 comes in a range of fun colours, like “grape” and “raspberry,” and retails at less than $100. Refills of the mini photo paper come in packs of 11 sheets at $12 per pack.


So there you have it, a great entry-level DSLR for serious beginners and a fun camera for those who crave instant gratification. Regardless of which option you choose, your loved one will be able to set down their smartphone and get a more authentic photography experience.

By Mike Agerbo

November 12, 2015