This winter we had sobering reasons to be cooped up in our homes, isolated from friends and relatives. And we sincerely hope you and yours are well.
Traditionally, spring is a time of renewal, and at Digital Imaging Reporter, we look forward to a return to normality. Each year at this time, we happily turn out thoughts to spring and summer, and all of the activities and events we will enjoy.
Photography remains a big part of all those happenings. Not only does photography endure as a crucial way to preserve precious memories, but it is also a pivotal way to stay connected to those we love. It gives us the ability to share the moments of our lives, small and momentous, with loved ones near and far.
Of course, there are certain occasions we would be remiss if we didn’t consider at this time of year; chief among them Mother’s Day, National Photo Month and Father’s Day! They are all optimum reasons to promote photo-imaging gear of all kinds—either as gifts or for those who simply want to enhance their own photography experience.
We’ve selected a variety of products that are perfect for promoting photography—both in-store and online. Here are our picks; of course, this is just a small sample of the infinite offerings you can promote, from waterproof cameras and action cams to portable printers, trendy camera bags and drones. And while we’ve broken them down for “Her” and “Him,” these products appeal to any photographer!
Great Gifts for Her
A recent Rudy Award winner, SanDisk says its trendy-looking ibi smart photo manager “is like giving friends and family their own personal cloud to keep their memories all in one place.” Today, people have an abundance of cherished memories at their fingertips; however, it’s overwhelming with photos and videos scattered across multiple devices and services. ibi solves this problem by offering a physical device that sits in their home and provides anywhere access to their photos and videos.
ibi is a simple, comprehensive solution to take control of personal photo and video collections. Available with 1TB of storage, it stores 250,000 photos (average file size 3.5MB) or 100 hours of video. The device works with a companion app and an Internet connection. It imports photos and videos from phones, computers, USB drives, cloud accounts and social media. It also enables private sharing of individual photos or entire albums. Mom can even stream photos and videos to a TV via a TV streaming device. In addition, ibi has a one-time cost and no monthly subscription fees. $129.99.
Nikon Coolpix B600
To get close up to special moments, this sleek long-zoom point-and-shoot Nikon does the job. With a 16MP low-light CMOS sensor, the B600 delivers sharp, detailed images. Its crown jewel is an impressive Zoom-Nikkor ED 24–1440mm f/3.3–6.5 lens with a 60x optical zoom range. And to bring the action on the school field or sweeping vistas even closer, it extends to a dramatic 120x super-telephoto with Dynamic Fine Zoom technology. In addition, the lens uses Nikons’ lens-shift vibration reduction to minimize the effects of camera shake.
A simple menu and mode dial make it easy to select the right photo or video settings as well as apply 36 creative filters and effects. The B600 is also capable of full-res bursts at 7 frames per second and Full HD video recording with stabilization. It also takes macro images and creates video montages with ease, which can be shared via Nikon’s SnapBridge connectivity and a compatible smartphone or tablet. Other features include a 3-inch LCD monitor, subject tracking and target-finding auto subject identification. The affordable bridge camera now retails for $299.95.
A great gift idea and a terrific way for mom to decorate her space while keeping loved ones close, Fracture turns photos into frameless works of art. The 10-year-old company was founded by University of Florida graduates Alex Theodore and Abhi Lokesh, who had a creative vision for photo display. Fracture images are printed directly on shatterproof glass and shipped to customers fully assembled and ready to hang.
The photo should strike “just the right balance between light and dark,” advises the company. Fracture also notes that its online preview displays images exactly the way they’ll look when printed on the glass. Fractures come in eight different sizes for each of three printing formats: square, portrait and landscape. Prices range from a mere $17 for a 5×5-inch Fracture to $135 for a 21.6×28.8. The company also offers stands to set the prints on a desk or table. Prints are all handcrafted in a carbon-neutral factory in the U.S. and delivered in environmentally friendly packaging. Retailers can join the Fracture Pro Program to earn a 15% discount on orders.
With the old-school charm of the classic OneStep instant camera sold by Polaroid in the 1970s, this is a fun, updated version. Made of polycarbonate, it still makes 3.5×4.2-inch prints with a 3.1×3.1-inch image area; it uses both i-Type and 600 instant film. However, it does a lot more than its predecessors. New features include a 106mm f/14–64 lens that captures sharp images down to 2 feet (1 foot at the portrait setting).
It also has built-in Bluetooth connectivity that provides remote shutter control, double exposure capability and sound-activated shutter firing. A built-in flash and a 12-second self-timer round out its features. In addition, its built-in 1100 mAh Li-ion battery lasts for up to 60 days per charge and is recharged with the included USB cable. Connect to its companion app with Bluetooth to unlock seven creative tools, such as light painting, manual mode and more. It all adds up to creative freedom in a statement ’70s design! $139.99.
HP Sprocket 2nd Edition
We know we are all taking tons of photos with our smartphones. This adorable Hp mobile mini printer lets snapshooters print directly from a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connectivity also allows them to view a shared album with Google Photos.
Ultracompact, the Sprocket mini printer is about the size of a smartphone and prints out 2×3-inch photos or stickers using ZINK printing technology. It has a back LED charge light that indicates its battery level and other functions. In addition, you can choose from six colors to customize the LED. Moreover, via the HP Sprocket app, images can be customized before printing. The portable instant printer comes in pink, black and pearl models. $129.99.
Gadgets and Gear for Him
Another Rudy Award winner, the GoPro Max is a versatile single-lens stabilized Hero action camera, a dual lens 360º camera and a vlogging camera—all in one! Dads and grads can switch between traditional Hero-style video/photo capture and immersive 360º footage in a snap. Waterproof to 16 feet, the Max records 5.6K 30p 360º video as well as 1440 60p and 1080 60p Hero video. It also captures 5.5MP Hero photos. What’s more, it takes its features to the “maximum.” Max HyperSmooth provides next-level stabilization and in-camera horizon leveling for a cinematic look sans gimbal. Max TimeWarp, in 360º and Hero modes, bends time and space with expanded control and performance over traditional TimeWarp. And Max SuperView delivers GoPro’s widest, most immersive field of view.
And with just about everyone vlogging these days, the Max provides four digital lenses for the ideal “look”; a front-facing touch screen for framing; and six mics for shotgun-mic audio effects. It also features one-click 270° PowerPano with in-camera 360º video and photo stitching of 6.2MP photos. Other Max features include folding mounting fingers, 1080p livestreaming, voice control and scene detection. $499.
Kodak PixPro WPZ2
The company’s newest waterproof point-and-shoot camera, the PixPro WPZ2 adds another affordable option for photographers and adventurers of all genders and ages. The WPZ2 sports an attractive rugged exterior, which features the iconic and recognized Kodak brand yellow color. The adventure-ready compact is also shockproof and dustproof.
Built for on-the-go photographers and to operate in, on and under the water, it works fully submerged in up to 49 feet of water. Its durable build is resistant to dirt and dust with a JIS/IEC rating of IP6X. Moreover, the camera is shockproof to withstand a fall of up to 6.6 feet. In addition, it provides scene modes to help capture the best shot, along with 1080p Full HD video Other features include a 4x optical zoom, 27–108mm-equivalent f/3–6.6 zoom lens; a 16MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor; 6-frames-per-sec full-res bursts; and a 2.7-inch LCD monitor. $149.99.
DJI Mavic Mini
Longing for the great outdoors? The DJI Mavic Mini drone is a great excuse to get out there. It earns its name via a light frame that weighs 249 grams (8.8 ounces)—just shy of the 250 grams the FAA mandates for pilots to register drones. So, anyone can fly the Mavic Mini to capture life from new perspectives. To build this “everyday flycam,” DJI did trim some fat; sacrifices were made to obstacle avoidance. It has no onboard sensors to warn itself of a possible collision. It also limits subject tracking and auto-follow modes, but it does have basic modes. And simpler controls mean a shorter learning curve.
Footage is shot on a 3-axis gimbal in 2.7K rather than 4K, but it also records in Full HD and captures 12MP aerial photos. The drone communicates via 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. DJI claims it flies up to 2.5 miles away, and a remote controller maintains an HD video feed at that distance. One should probably head to open areas; however, fixed locations aren’t hard to shoot because of the flight stability DJI engineered into it. Detachable control sticks are stored inside the remote controller for added portability. Plus, DJI’s Fly app has a flight tutorial, creative add-ons and a video editor that puts clips together with a tap. $399.
MailPix Photo Car Mats
Today there’s no shortage of personalized photo merchandise. One that caught our attention comes from MailPix. The company recently expanded its portfolio of custom photo products that make wonderful gifts for others or one’s self! MailPix is making it possible for consumers to personalize their cars with custom photo car mats. The easy-to-clean latex car mats come in sets of two. Consumers can personalize them with favorite photos, text and a choice of background images. The mats are available for both the front and back of a vehicle. The front mats measure 27×17 inches, and rear mats measure 13×17 inches. They are also backed with latex and have black edges.
Note, another new photo product from MailPix is its photo yoga mat. Now anyone can head to the yoga studio with their own personalized photo mat. Each 24×70-inch, 1/4-inch-thick photo yoga mat comes with a carrier sling.
Canon EOS M200 Content Creator Kit
It’s nearly impossible to scroll through your social feeds or visit a website and not encounter a video catching your eye; some online video platforms see 500 hours of video uploaded every minute! To feed the needs of innovative vloggers and everyday content creators, even Etsy shop owners, Canon USA is making it easier to produce and distribute quality content with creator kits for three of its newest cameras. They currently have kits for the EOS 90D, PowerShot G7X Mark III and EOS M200, but we’ll focus on the M200.
Each creator kit has a Canon accessory. The M200 kit provides the HG-100TBR tripod grip with a BR-E1 wireless remote that snaps directly into the tripod. It allows video shooters to release the shutter and start/stop recording video remotely. The grip rotates 360º for selfies as well as 90º, making it ideal for vertical video. Of course, the kit also comprises the EOS M200 mirrorless camera, along with an EF-M 15–45mm lens and a 32GB SD card. $649.99.