Awesome Imaging Gear for Grads & Dads

Awesome Imaging Gear for Grads & Dads

Gift Giving for Summer Picture Taking


Expanding the opportunity to promote photography to your current customers, and even new ones, the spring and summer gift-giving season continues. High school and college graduations, and of course Father’s Day, are the perfect occasions to encourage photo-imaging and techie gift giving. Simply put, imaging gear makes an awesome present.

Choosing the perfect gift is always difficult, especially for new graduates. There are the conventional ideas—gift cards, wallets, books—but these high-tech digital natives would really appreciate the latest imaging technology and equipment.

And dad doesn’t need another shirt or tie or barbecue gear. So why not encourage your customers to appeal to his adventurous side with a new action cam, rugged compact or even a 360º video camera!

We’ve selected a range of imaging products that will make terrific gifts for grads and dads. These are just a few samples of the awesome products you can offer as spot-on presents and to promote summer picture taking.

Nikon KeyMission 80 Action Cam

Nikon KeyMission 80

Nikon’s KeyMission action cameras are designed to encourage users to capture and share personal “missions” from a fresh perspective. The lineup offers dads and grads a hands-free way to document adventures through immersive video. The James Bond-esque KeyMission 80 is a wearable cam that uses time-lapse recording and interval timer functions to capture stills or Full HD 1080/30p video.

It has a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor, a 25mm f/2.0 (80° angle-of-view) lens and a 1.75-inch touch LCD. Grads can use its secondary front-facing 5MP camera with a 22mm f/2.2 lens for snapping selfies.

The cam is waterproof (3.2 feet), shockproof (6 feet) and freezeproof (14° F). It also pairs with Nikon’s SnapBridge app for easy sharing. $279.95.

Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone

Breaking out from the standard black, gray or white of most drones, the X-Star Premium is an eye-catching, cool shade of orange. Its camera is attached to a 3-axis gimbal and shoots 4K Ultra HD video as well as 12MP stills. The drone’s included controller uses Wi-Fi with a 1.25-mile range even novice pilots can handle. The controller has a holder for a phone or tablet to run the companion Starlink app for live view, settings adjustment and to live stream 720p video.

Autel Robotics X-Star Premium

In beginner mode, speed, distance and altitude are limited, and hands-free hover is an option. Flight time tops out at 25 minutes, and a 64GB microSD card records two hours of 4K video. Autel ships the quadcopter with a zippered carrying case with foam interior and extra space for accessories. $799.99.

Nissin i60A External Flash Unit

Nissin i60A

For dads and grads with more advanced photography skills, this compact, high-output flash uses rear dials and a color LCD to view and control settings. Its Nissin Air 2.4-GHz radio control system provides access to eight channels in three groups and has a 98.4-foot operating range.

The flash supports a host of automatic functions and provides a fast recycling time in the 0.1–5.5 sec range when using four AA batteries or an external battery pack. Despite its diminutive size, it’s quite powerful, with a guide number of 197 at ISO 100 at the 200mm setting. And its zoom head covers focal lengths from 24–200mm (16mm with wide-angle diffusion panel). It also tilts 90º up for bounce and swivels 180º to the right and left. For hybrid shooters, there’s a built-in LED video light. The Nissin i60A comes in versions for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fujifilm and Micro Four Thirds cameras. $339.99.

Olympus PEN-F Mirrorless ILC

At the higher end of the gift list, this handsome Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera features the retro styling of the classic 1960s’ analog PEN F. But it’s high tech all the way, with a 20.3MP Live MOS sensor that omits the low-pass filter for crisp, detailed images. The rangefinder-style camera delivers Full HD 1080p video at 30 and 60 frames per sec. For fast-action shooting, it’s capable of 10-fps, full-res bursts.

Olympus PEN-F

Dads and grads can also count on low-light performance with a sensitivity range that extends to ISO 25,600. And in high-res shot mode, the camera combines eight frames into a single 50MP-equivalent image! With 5-axis image stabilization, it records time-lapse movies that can be exported in 4K UHD. Also cool is a front creative control dial for adjusting the look of images with creative effects and filters. Other features include a 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder; an articulated 3-inch, touch-screen LCD that doubles as an AF targeting pad; and Wi-Fi. $999.99.

Tamron 18–200mm f/3.5–6.3 Di III VC

Tamron 18–200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC

This all-in-one zoom lens for mirrorless cameras handles practically any shootingsituation—from casual close-ups to telephoto action images. Light, compact and beautifully designed, the lens covers the full focal-length range from 18mm wide angle to 200mm long telephoto (28–310mm equivalent). And Tamron’s VC (vibration compensation) image stabilization allows shooters to capture sharper photos handheld in practically any light.

Its optical design includes an array of specialized glass elements to correct aberrations and result in crisp images. Dads and grads can also count on its autofocus capability when shooting video. Plus, after adjusting with the AF mechanism, they can use the full-time manual function to make delicate adjustments to capture the scene focused exactly as they want.

The lens sports a sophisticated, professional metal finish and comes in both black and silver models. $249.

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Adventure Camera

This rugged P&S features a 16.4MP, BSI CMOS sensor and a 3-inch LCD. Geared for conditions to risky for a mobile phone, the XP120 is waterproof to 65 feet, shockproof to withstand a 5.8-foot fall and freezeproof to 14°F. Its Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens has a 28mm wide-angle setting to help capture sweeping landscapes. The optical zoom range can be doubled with Intelligent Digital Zoom technology, while an optical IS function minimizes shake effects. And its buttons were designed to enable operation even while wearing gloves!

Fujifilm FinePix XP120

Grads will appreciate the XP120’s cinemagraph mode that produces still images with moving elements. Somewhere between a still and video, photos have an animated area that contrasts against the rest of the still image. Other appealing features include 10-fps bursts; an advanced burst mode at 60 fps; Full HD video recording; time-lapse recording; motion Panorama 360°; 11 artistic filters (7 for video); underwater/underwater macro functions; and interval timer shooting. The XP120 comes in four colors. $229.95.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Compact DSLR

This small, lightweight DSLR features an 18MP, APS-C-size CMOS sensor, 4-fps bursts, a hybrid AF system, Full HD video recording and creative functions. Its body measures just 4.6×3.57×2.74 inches and weighs 13 ounces. The SL1 can shoot in bright or dimly lit environments, with ISO settings of 100–12,800, expandable to 25,600 for photos. For video, a native ISO 6,400 is expandable to 12,800. Video features include movie servo AF, which provides continuous AF tracking of moving subjects.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

A 3-inch, touch-screen LCD allows two-finger touch gestures for zooming, changing images, accessing menu and quick control settings, and activating focus point and shutter release while shooting. Other niceties include: scene intelligent auto mode; effect shot mode; the ability to display creative filter and background blur simulation effects in real time during live view; and a host of scene modes. $499.99.

Sirui 3T-35 Tabletop Tripod

Sirui 3T-35

This sturdy ultracompact, portable tabletop tripod fits easily into a camera bag or jacket pocket. It’s made of forged, aircraft-grade, aluminum alloy, and it can hold digital and video cameras weighing 8.8 pounds. A two-section center column extends to 13.5 inches. The tripod’s legs fold down for extra reach when shooting over a crowd and fold up toprovide an ergonomic grip for normal shooting.

A robust ball head comes with a quick-release plate, and if the center column is removed, the device can be mounted directly on the support legs for low-angle shooting and excellent stability. When the two-section center column isn’t needed, grads and dads can swap it out with the included short center column for even greater compactness. It comes in red or black. $65.

Kodak PixPro SP360 4K VR Camera

Fitting in the palm of a hand, the cam’s 360° spherical lens employs a 235° field of view and can record circular fisheye video. A note, to come up with fully spherical 360º coverage, it has to be paired with another cam in Kodak’s Dual Pro pack. Videos captured by the SP360 4K are YouTube and Facebook 360° compatible. There are various recording options, including 4K UHD (3,840×2,160) at 30 frames per second, Full HD 1080p at up to 60 fps and HD 720p at 120 fps.

Kodak PixPro SP360 4K

With a 12MP sensor, it also captures 8MP still images at 10 fps. Its rugged body is shockproof enough to survive a 6.5-foot drop, splash resistant and operable to 14°F.

A 1-inch LCD lets grads set up shooting modes, and they can control the cam remotely from iOS/Android smartphones via its built-in Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity and app. It also supports up to a 128GB microSD card.

Included in the Premier pack are mounting accessories and a frame housing for $449; the Dual Pro pack will set gift givers back $799.99.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H400 Long-Zoom P&S

This ergonomic, DSLR-style compact has an integral 63x optical zoom, f/3.4–6.5 lens. The all-around picture taker boasts a remarkable 24.5–1,550mm focal length range to deliver the versatility of an ILC in a compact package. The entry-level camera incorporates a 20.1MP Super HAD CCD sensor coupled to a Bionz R processor for excellent responsiveness and image detail.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H400

In addition, it provides Optical SteadyShot IS to minimize the effects of camera shake at long focal lengths and close focusing distances. Other key features include: a 3-inch, 460K-dot LCD monitor; a 210K-dot electronic viewfinder; ISO settings of 80–3,200; 720p HD video capture at 30 fps; intelligent auto mode; 360º sweep panorama mode; face detection, smile shutter, picture effect and party modes; and a dedicated movie button! $269.99.