Great Gadgets for Grads and Dads

Great Gadgets for Grads and Dads

Spot-on Presents to Promote Summer Picture Taking


The spring and summer gift-giving seasons continue, with high school and college graduations on the horizon, as well as Father’s Day. These occasions extend the opportunities for photo retailers to promote photography to your customers—plus bring in new ones.

And, of course, ever since 1987 the United States has commemorated May as National Photo Month. Celebrated by photography contests, festivals, exhibits and other imaging-related activities, National Photo Month is a perfect tie-in to promote imaging products and gadgets large and small as ideal gifts.

At Digital Imaging Reporter, we’ve put together a selection of imaging products we think can easily be promoted as great gifts for grads and dad. These are just a few samples of the amazing products you can offer as spot-on presents and to promote summer picture taking.

GoPro Hero4 Session Action Cam

GoPro Hero4 Session with Floaty
GoPro Hero4 Session with Floaty

With the image quality of the flagship Hero4 Black, this waterproof POV cam is 50% smaller and 40% lighter. It features easy one-button control to make capturing immersive photos and video quicker. A durable design lets it operate at depths of 33 feet without a housing. The cam captures Full HD 1080p video at 60 fps, 720p at 100 fps and 1440p at 30 fps, along with 8MP photos in single, burst and time-lapse modes. It adopts SuperView, Protune and auto low-light recording modes, plus an expanded set of settings can be accessed via the GoPro app or smart remote. Other features include: dual microphones; Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity; auto image rotation; and a ball joint buckle mount with a rotating axis for a range of shooting perspectives. Its optional Floaty ($19.99) is an easy-to-spot flotation accessory. $199.99.

Lexar 200GB High-Performance 633x microSDXC UHS-I Card

Lexar Card Reader with 633x microSDXC UHS-I Card

This microSDXC UHS-I memory card is specifically designed for sports camcorders, tablets and smartphones. It’s engineered to quickly capture, store, play back and transfer multimedia files without having to worry about running out of space. The card is rated for read transfer speeds of up to 95MB per second (633x) and to store up to 17 hours of 4K and Full HD video, 33,000 photos or 28,000 songs. The 200GB card comes with a Class 10 USB 3.0 reader for high-speed file transfer of photos and videos to a PC or Mac. The reader is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and has a one-year limited warranty. The card itself comes with a limited lifetime warranty and a lifetime copy of Image Rescue software. $129.99.

Nikon Coolpix AW130 Adventure Camera

Nikon Coolpix AW130

Sporting plenty of attitude, this rugged imaging machine is waterproof to a whopping 100 feet, shockproof to survive a 7-foot fall and freezeproof to 14º F. It has a 16MP, low-light CMOS sensor and a 5x, 24–120mm f/2.8–4.9 Nikkor lens for all-around versatility. Its 3-inch, 910K-dot OLED monitor has antireflection coatings and brightness adjustments for comfortable outdoor viewing. Add to that hybrid vibration reduction for crisp photos and smooth Full HD video. Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity provide file transfer and remote operation via a smartphone. And built-in GPS records shooting coordinates plus maps the shots and nearby points of interest. A handy action control function lets shooters control selected functions one-handed by shaking the camera! $299.95.

Manfrotto PIXI EVO Tripod

Manfrotto PIXI EVO

This ingenious tripod evolved from the original PIXI mini to offer five-step-adjustable, two-section legs that extend to a maximum height of 7.9 inches, enhancing its usefulness. Lightweight and portable, it’s engineered to support DSLRs with larger lenses and offer a variety of framing positions, including ground-level imaging. It also features: a load capacity of 5.5 pounds; a minimum height of 3.9 inches; 360º panoramic rotation; and a 90º notch built into the integrated ball head for positioning a camera vertically, which is perfect for shooting in portrait mode. $49.99.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Drone

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Recently landing a Rudy Award, DJI upped the ante with the Phantom 3. It cruises up to 1,640 feet and spans a 3.1-mile radius. “Beginner” mode limits flight to 100 feet in altitude and radius to help pilots acclimate. Better GPS (including GLONASS) and a sturdy frame give it greater stability, helping withstand higher gusts. Location data sends it back to the takeoff point when the drone exceeds its range. Its 12MP camera’s 3-axis gimbal system provides image stabilization, a 90º downward tilt and a 94º lens that reduces fisheye effects. Via the Go app or controller, it captures 4K and Full HD video plus stills. The controller’s joysticks manage elevation and orientation. There’s a holder for a smartphone/tablet to display live footage with options to control recording, shutter speed, ISO, white balance and tilt. Live streaming over 4G LTE/3G and Wi-Fi facilitate sharing. $999.

Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR

Canon EOS Rebel T6

This entry-level DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi/NFC offers simple sharing of photos and video to social media sites, via mobile devices and Canon’s Connect Station CS100. Its 18MP CMOS (APS-C) sensor and Digic 4+ processor provide ISO 100–6400 settings, expandable to 12,800, for shooting in bright to low light. The camera shoots 18MP bursts at 3 fps with predictive autofocus. It also records Full HD video with automatic or manual focusing. An optical viewfinder for quick, accurate focusing is complemented by a 3-inch, 921K-dot LCD. For novices, Canon’s scene intelligent auto mode analyzes images, accounting for faces, colors, brightness, moving objects, contrast and whether the camera’s handheld or on a tripod—then chooses the optimum settings. Other niceties are creative filters, manual exposure and focus controls, RAW output and a bundled EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 IS II lens. $499.99.

Sigma 18–250mm f/3.5–6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Zoom Lens

Sigma 18–250mm f/3.5–6.3 DC Macro OS HSM

This multipurpose lens offers optical stabilization (OS) for blur-free photos, whether shooting wide-angle, telephoto or macro photography. The compact lens is perfect for travel, landscape, family or nature photos. For DSLRs with APS-C-size sensors, the all-in-one lens will take the place of several lenses in a shooter’s camera bag. Its focal range spans from wide-angle 18mm to an impressive telephoto 250mm. Add to that macro capabilities with a 13.8-inch close focusing distance. Sigma’s OS system compensates for shake and corrects color distortion, also allowing for low-light shooting. When capturing moving subjects, it detects when the user pans to provide correction. Other features include: super-multilayer coating to reduce flare/ghosting; a hypersonic motor (HSM) for fast, quiet AF; bokeh capabilities; and lightweight Thermally Stable Composite material that handles temperature changes. $349.

Fujifilm X-A2 Mirrorless Camera

Fujifilm X-A2

This ultralight camera gives users quick access to a high-res, 175º tilting LCD with face and eye detection for candid selfies. An affordable entry point into Fujifilm’s premium X series, it has a 16.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor, fast multi-target autofocus and wireless transfer for quick sharing of photos and movies on social media. Image stabilization of 3.5 stops makes it easier to take telephoto and low-light images. Other features include: a 0.5-sec start-up; 0.3-sec AF speeds; a 0.05-sec shutter lag time; ISO 25,600; a Q menu shortcut button; RAW processing; a super i-Flash that controls output according to scenes; film simulation; auto macro; multiple exposure mode; and Full HD 30-fps moving recording. The Fujifilm X-A2 comes with a Fujinon XC16–50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II lens. $549.95.