Here at Digital Imaging Reporter, we look forward to turning the calendar from March to April each year. The winter doldrums are finally behind us, and the spring and summer selling season is just ahead. An important part of that is gift giving, beginning with the perfect gift for mom. Spring is a time of renewal, and that includes renewing your homebound winter customers’ passion for photography, as snapshooters and hobbyists turn their attention to outdoor activities once again. Of course, mom tops that list as the family memory keeper and chief historian. And this all makes a new camera a perfect gift for Mother’s Day.
Here are our selections for colorful cameras to display as the ideal Mother’s Day presents.
Pentax K-S2. Marketed as the “ultimate family camera,” the K-S2 features built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing, a weather-resistant body and a 20MP, AA filter-less CMOS sensor. It’s kitted with a retractable standard zoom lens for chronicling all of life’s important moments in stills or Full HD video. Mom can capture creative perspectives using the vari-angle, 3-inch, 921K-dot LCD. And with its self-shot assist function plus a convenient second shutter release button, she can take the perfect selfies. Best of all, the K-S2 is available in 10 colors via Ricoh Imaging’s color order service. $799.95. ricohimaging.com
Nikon Coolpix S6900. This is the first Coolpix with a vari-angle LCD and kickstand designed for selfies. The 3-inch touch screen flips all the way around to face mom, while the built-in kickstand keeps the camera in an ideal selfie position. When ready to shoot, mom can press the helpful front shutter button or just wave a hand to activate Nikon’s cool gesture control feature. Plus, a 12x optical zoom Nikkor ED glass lens with 24x dynamic fine zoom enables her to take detailed close-up selfies, group shots and portraits. The 16MP camera includes built-in Wi-Fi with NFC (Near Field Communication) for easy sharing via smartphone or tablet. $229.95. nikonusa.com
Fujifilm FinePix XP80. Fujifilm’s toughest camera for extreme weather, the XP80 is waterproof to 50 feet, shockproof to withstand a 5.8-foot drop and freezeproof to 14° F. It has a 16.4MP CMOS sensor, a 28–140mm, 5x optical zoom lens, Wi-Fi for one-touch transfer and Full HD 1080p movie capture, even underwater. Using the Fujifilm Camera Remote app and the XP80’s Wi-Fi button, mom can shoot remotely and select images/movies to be transferred to smartphones, tablets and computers. Plus, an action camera mode turns the XP80’s lens into a fixed 18mm and enables hands-free shooting with the camera mounted. $229.95. fujifilmusa.com
Samsung Smart WB350. With 21x optical zoom to bring mom closer to the action, the 16.3MP WB350’s sharing capabilities will also bring her closer to friends and family. The cloud-enabled camera features Wi-Fi and NFC, a 23mm wide-angle lens that takes in entire scenes, and a low-light shot mode to shoot without using the flash. Mom will love beauty face mode, which evens skin tones and minor blemishes, and the preconfigured panoramic setting that captures scenic vistas by sweeping the camera from side to side. Additional features like a 3-inch touch-screen LCD, Full HD video capture and a baby monitor function will also appeal to her. $259.99. samsung.com
Canon PowerShot Elph 340 HS. The stylish Elph 340 HS provides built-in Wi-Fi plus NFC one-touch connectivity so mom is able to transfer 16MP images and Full HD video to social networking sites, mobile devices and her computer. Its 12x optical zoom, 25–300mm equivalent lens performs in a range of scenarios, from wide-angle landscapes to family portraits, including low-light scenes. Creative shot mode creates artistic photos; the camera uses composition, color and lighting from mom’s original image to create unique images. And for worry-free shooting, smart auto mode recognizes 32 predefined scenes and selects the proper settings. $199.99. usa.canon.com
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5. For adventurous moms, this indestructible-looking camera is waterproof to 43 feet, dustproof, freezeproof to 14º F and built to survive a 6.6-foot drop or 220 pounds of pressure. The FT5 offers one-touch connection with NFC, so mom can send images and video to a smartphone/tablet, or use them as a remote control by touching the FT5 and smart devices together. With Wi-Fi Direct, she can wirelessly playback images and Full HD videos on a TV. The FT5 also features a 16.1MP CMOS sensor; a 28–128mm Leica DC Vario-Elmar antifogging lens; a 3-inch LCD; and creative retouch functions. Its quad indicator includes GPS/GLONASS, a compass, altimeter/depth indicator and a barometer. $249.99. panasonic.com
Sony HDR-PJ380. Precious moments can be revisited anytime when captured in Full HD video. And if mom sees a photo op while recording, she can shoot 8.9MP stills at the same time. The footage can be shared by connecting the camcorder to an HDTV via HDMI cable, but what’s really cool is the 13-lumen projector built into the LCD panel. This lets mom transform the camcorder into a mobile movie theater by projecting onto flat surfaces. Since it works with HDMI-compatible smartphones and laptops, she can project YouTube videos, photos and full-length films. The camcorder also features: extended zoom digital technology that expands the 30x optical zoom to 55x; image stabilization; and AVCHD or MP4 recording options. $398.99. sony.com
Olympus OM-D E-M10. Offering the versatility of interchangeable lenses in a compact body, the E-M10 uses the same 16MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor as the landmark OM-D E-M5. Its FAST AF system provides very rapid autofocus speeds plus 8-fps, full-res bursts. Other key features are: a fast electronic viewfinder; a 3-inch, 1,037K-dot, tilting, touch-screen LCD; ISO 25,600; Full HD video capability with effects; IS; and Wi-Fi. The E-M10 retails for $699.99 with an M.Zuiko 14–42mm f/3.5–5.6 II R lens. If mom wants it in orange as shown, or vintage green, the limited edition kit comes with a leather strap, OM-D lens cap and M.Zuiko 14–42mm EZ electronic pancake lens, but it will set the gift giver back $1,099.99. olympusamerica.com