Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gift ideas for Mother's Day (digital cameras)

Mother's Day is May 11, but don't wait until the last minute to purchase a gift! And what better gift for Mother's day than a digital camera! Sure, flowers, and chocolates are nice for a day or two, but flowers spoil and chocolates have lots of calories. So instead, consider a gift that keeps on giving for years to come!

Unlike most Mother's Day buyer's guides that are dressed in pink and only recommend shiny silver point and shoot cameras, we will try to offer a diverse group of digital camera gift ideas since Moms are a diverse group of individuals and photographers. Holidays sometimes create a "santa-clausification effect" and we sometimes forget that we are still talking about real people :)

Photography Enthusiast to Expert Moms
If you are in the market for an expensive gift, and if the Mom has worn out her Nikon D200, or looking to upgrade from the Nikon D80, or had enough of the EOS without a spotmeter, then consider the Nikon D300. It is the most "buzz for the buck" DSLR out there!

Is Mom a very involved photographer who enjoys RAW and post-processing and making the most out of her images, and prefers alternatives to the mainstream? Well then consider the Ricoh GX100 special kit for around $550. This includes extra like a OVF, spare battery, hood and case. If no extras are needed, the standard kit is around $440.

If Mom is an enthusiastic photographer but looking for a "safer" and more mainstream camera gift, then you can't go wrong with the Canon G9, Canon's most versatile non-dSLR camera at the moment.

Is Mom an old-school K-mount user with an attic full of K-mount lenses of all sizes and ages? Then consider the Pentax K10D!

How about an all-purpose sub-$1000 DSLR? Well, there are so many good choices out there! There's the Nikon D40, D60, D80, the three Digital Rebels, the Olympus E410, E420 and E510, the Sony A200, A300, A350, Pentax K200D, and such!

Do-it-all super-zooms
Another group of cameras that makes a nice gift are the superzooms that can also be used to capture video, and have the benefit of carrying just one gadget instead of two. From this group, there's the fun-zoom Panasonic TZ5 that got recently reviewed by dpreview.

For more super-zoom ideas be sure to check our Super Zoom Buyer's Guide.

The Outdoorsy Mom
While none of the consumer digital cameras out there are designed to battle the elements, the Olympus SW-series has better chances of surviving the elements, be it drops (as in dropped to the ground), water, rain, and such. Mind you these are not industrial-strength cameras!

Onecall has created a special starter bundle with the Olympus Stylus 850SW, 1gb Olympus xD memory card, 3.5" Sunpak digital picture frame, for $338 + S&H starting at $11.

The Social Causes Mom
Fuji has a special edition of their Fuji Z5fd camera, available at Best Buy and perhaps other locations. A portion of the proceeds are donated to organizations that are fighting Breast Cancer.

Casio had a special edition of the EX-Z75 that supports Breast Cancer awareness however it is currently out of stock at Amazon.

The Alternative Mom
Is Mom just different from most people out there? Does not want to follow the masses (aka sheep). Wants to boldly go where most people do not dare to go? Well, in this case, meet Foveon! Can't get more alternative to the Bayer-sensor digital cameras that are the 99% of the market. So if Mom wants to make an alternative statement, here is the Sigma DP1 or the Sigma SD14 DSLR.

The Who-Stole-My-Dynamic-Range Mom
Yes, of course we are talking about the Fuji S5 Pro. Who else would we be talking about? :)

The fit-in-a-small-purse camera
Looking for a small and convinient digital camera for a Mom who just wants to take occasional pictures with a simple easy to use, affordable yet not clunky camera? Then how about the Canon SD1000, currently going for about $150.

Many Ultracompact choices
Apart from the ones already mentioned in this post, there's plenty of ultracompacts to consider, such as the Nikon S600/S550/S210, the whole Canon Elph (Ixus, Ixy) series, the Panasonic FS-series and FX-series, Fuji Z-series, Kodak M and V series, Sony W and T series, the Casio EX-Z and S-series, Samsung L-series and NV-series, and lots more.

The AA-powered Mom
If Mom loves using rechargeable AA batteries, then consider the very affordable and flexible Canon A590-IS. This is quite possibly the best bang for the buck digital camera out there at under $200.

The Desperate Housewive
You can't get more stylish than the Casio Exilim series of cameras! Especially the smaller S-series that use ceramic lenses. These are style-priority digital cameras, and considering the size, do not expect them to take pictures like DSLRs. But for occasional general-purpose use in bling-bling-priority situations, then consider the Casio EX-S880, available in red, or black.

But wait there's more!
Of course there is more! There are more than 200 active/current digital camera models out there, and we could make a case for at least half of them. But then we would end up with a 50-page post that no one wants to read :)

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