Digital Imaging Reporter absolutely loves the spring and summer picture-taking seasons. It’s time to get out in the fresh air and capture nature as it renews itself, as well as preserve outings with family and friends. For photo retailers, this is an important time to take advantage of several gift-giving holidays and events—from communions and engagements to the all-important Mother’s Day! And, of course, May is National Photo Month!
Mother’s Day is a time to pamper mothers young, old and in between. Moreover, in the imaging industry, we know how important mom’s role is as the family memory keeper. So why not use the occasion as an opportunity to encourage customers to buy pixel-perfect presents to enhance mom’s picture taking. And let’s face it, mom just might want to treat herself to a little something photographic.
Here are our editors’ picks for cameras and accessories to promote, covering a range of price points. Of course, this is just a small sample of the amazing offerings you can promote, from waterproof cameras and action cams to portable printers, trendy camera bags and drones.
Imaging Gifts for Mother’s Day
Fujifilm Instax Square Link Smartphone Printer
This trendy-looking Fujifilm smartphone printer creates Instax Square instant prints at 1.5x the size of its Instax Mini counterparts. The prints measure 3.39x 2.83 inches.
The Square Link features functions to encourage creativity, including AR (augmented reality) Print and Instax Connect. Like all Instax Link smartphone printers, it also includes frame templates, decorative digital stickers and print mode options.
Using the free, downloadable Instax Square Link app, mom can take advantage of AR Print. It adds AR features to images that are viewable on a smartphone—special effects, text, background colors, doodles and animations. A QR code printed on the Instax photo unlocks the effects, which can be viewed in action on and around the print by scanning the code with a smartphone.
Another app feature is Instax Connect. With it, mom can share images digitally. She selects a smartphone image, adds text and/or effects and sends it to any connected device. Plus, she can get text responses sent back directly on the image.
The printer’s Instax-Rich mode produces deep, enhanced colors, and Instax-Natural mode creates a classic look. Additionally, mom can enhance smartphone images with filters or adjust brightness, contrast and saturation. Further, she can combine nine images on one print via the app’s collage function.
The Square Link transfers an image from a smartphone and starts printing in about 12 seconds. It can print 100 Instax prints per charge. Images develop in roughly 90 seconds. In white and green, $139.95.
Nikon Coolpix B500 P&S
This multitalented, easy-use Nikon camera lets anyone take great photos and videos. Turn it on, point and shoot! For maximum convenience, mom can select easy auto mode for the best settings for each shot—whether zooming in with its super-telephoto 40x Nikkor glass lens or recording 1080p Full HD video.
Notable are its 16MP low-light sensor; lens-shift vibration reduction (VR) for blur-free images; easy menus and controls; and creative effects. Plus, the whole time mom’s shooting, the B500 can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth LE for instant sharing.
Mom can also take advantage of dynamic fine zoom to double the reach of the 22.5–900mm-equivalent f/3.0-6.5 ED lens to a whopping 80x zoom. The Coolpix B500’s 3-inch, tilting LCD display also makes it simple to compose shots and monitor recording. And mom can use it to capture fun angles.
In addition to stills, the P&S records Full HD 1080p video with stereo sound, while 4-Axis hybrid VR counteracts shaky hands for tripod-steady videos.
The camera boasts 18 scene modes, like beach, snow, night portrait and sunset. And unlike many smartphones, it uses target-finding AF to quickly determine the intended subject and put the focus where it belongs. Mom will also love its smart portrait system, with face priority AF, skin softening, blink warning and more, for perfect people pix.
In creative mode, she can choose from five presets that combine options like aperture, contrast and color reproduction for great results. In black or red, $349.95.
Rofozzi Strawberry Camera Bag
Without telegraphing to the world that mom’s carrying photo equipment, this stylish camera bag holds an essential camera kit but looks like a designer handbag. The camera case will protect a DSLR or mirrorless camera and lens. It is a multifunctional, top-handle, leather handbag with a removable padded case.
The bag’s handy 2-in-1 design serves as a camera bag when mom is on a photography adventure or a beautiful handbag when she’s out on the town. She can also keep clutter at bay and stay organized with a purpose-built cushioned camera insert case. Its compartments can even keep food and drink warm if there is a need.
The fashionable, all-weather Rofozzi bag features adjustable padded compartments to meet ever-changing needs; inner pockets and slots for small personal items; and a turn-lock closure for quick access. Its water-resistant exterior is reinforced with a printed fabric lining. Moreover, Rofozzi’s designs draw inspiration from retro-modernism. $74.99.
Sigma EF-630 Flash
Who doesn’t need a little light? This, sleek, powerful shoe-mount electronic flash comes in configurations for Canon E-TTL/E-TTL II, Nikon i-TTL and Sigma TTL DSLRs. The Sigma unit delivers an impressive footage guide number of 207 (at ISO 100 and 200mm). It also features wireless slave and wireless TTL functionality to control multiflash setups.
Mom can take advantage of completely automatic settings to level-up her photography. Or the flash will operate with full manual power from 1/1 to 1/128 power. Niceties include rear curtain flash, wide-angle illumination and a dot matrix liquid crystal display.
Moreover, its zoom head covers a 24–200mm range (17mm with the included panel) and tilts from -7º to +90º and rotates 180º left or right. It also offers a modeling light function; an AF-assist beam; a recycle time of 1.8–3 seconds; and high-speed sync for working at shutter speeds faster than 1/250 sec.
The EF-630 runs on four handy AA alkaline or NiMH batteries. Measuring a compact 3.1×5.8×4.8 inches, it weighs in at 17.3 ounces. $379.
Slik Mini-Pro DQ Tripod
Ever wish you had a small tripod so you didn’t have to place your camera on a table or the ground? But at the same time, you don’t want to carry around a full-size tripod. If that’s the case, mom will love the Slik Mini Pro DQ tripod.
First, it’s small. It can fit in a camera bag, taking up the same space as a lens. And it is light, weighing just 12 ounces. It also has an all-metal compact ball head with a quick-release plate so mom can easily attach and detach her camera. The quick release is small and low profile, so it can stay on the camera at all times.
Second, the mini tripod is expandable. Its legs extend a little more than an inch for added stability, and the Mini Pro DQ has a center column that raises about 2 inches to get the camera a little higher off the ground, rock, table, etc.
Besides its traditional use as a tripod, the aluminum Slik Mini Pro DQ is also a “chest-pod” camera support. The tripod features a max height of 9 inches, a minimum height of 6.8 inches and a load of 2.7 pounds. Yet, it weighs just 0.8 pound. $39.95.
Sony ZV-1F Vlog Camera
This compact Sony vlog camera will enable “smartphoneographer” mom to step up to a point-and-shoot camera with advanced video and still capabilities, ease of use and enhanced connectivity.
Weighing only 8.1 ounces, it features a 1.0-type, 20.1MP Exmor RS CMOS sensor and a 20mm-equivalent f/2.0 Zeiss Tessar T* lens for selfie-style recording. The prime lens produces background bokeh in stills and video to make mom’s subject stand out.
Plus, a face priority AE system automatically adjusts the brightness based on a subject’s face. Other advanced features include precision focusing and eye AF for humans and animals, with touchscreen operation.
And if mom wants to vlog, it has a directional 3-capsule mic with a windscreen and S&Q mode to shoot in 5x slow motion and 60x quick motion. It also has functions for easy creation and streamlined editing.
Mom can change settings via its 3-inch, vari-angle LCD touchscreen, including zoom. And a background defocus function quickly blurs the background, while a product showcase setting automatically shifts focus between a face and products.
There’s also a recording lamp, and mom can select from 10 preset creative looks, plus a soft skin effect. The camera also functions as a livestreaming device or web camera when connected to a computer/smartphone via USB. $499.99.
Aluratek Susan G. Komen Digital Photo Frame
Digital photo frames are a convenient way to display, store and share pictures. They even add a fashion accent to home décor. Of course, they make great gifts.
Today’s digital frames are high-tech connected devices with Wi-Fi, so they can receive and transfer images. Storage capacity has also increased, and cloud-based support means more images can funnel in from various sources. They also come in a wide selection of sizes and screen resolutions—not to mention price points.
Mainly, they are a great way to showcase mom’s photos, so she can see the kids or grandkids whenever she wants. Plus, she can change out photos and video as often as she likes. And many of today’s frames will let mom access her e-mail, news, weather and even traffic reports!
With so many to choose from, we selected Aluratek’s Susan G. Komen frame. While Aluratek offers this frame in Best Buy stores, we picked it for its obvious philanthropic benefits. The frame supports breast cancer awareness, and Aluratek donates $50,000 to the Susan G. Komen organization regardless of sales.
The frame vibrantly displays favorite photos on its 10-inch “true digital” LCD panel (1,024×600, 16:9). In addition to photos, mom can enjoy video and music play via integrated stereo speakers.
Plus, she can easily transfer content to the frame’s 4GB of built-in memory with an SD card or a USB drive. Photo slideshows are created in various transitions, and the frame offers easy menu navigation with push button controls. No required setup or software to install! It also displays a clock and calendar and has an auto on/off timer. $99.99.
Tamron 18–200mm f/3.5–6.3 Di II VC Lens
For hobby, home and travel photos, this Tamron all-in-one zoom comes in versions for both DX-format Nikon F-mount and Canon EF-mount APS-C-format DSLRs. Compact and light weight, the lens provides a 27–300mm-equivalent focal length range on Nikon cameras and 28.8–320mm equivalent on Canon.
In addition, the 18–200mm f/3.5–6.3 Di III VC lens ($399) for Sony and Canon mirrorless ILCs provides a 28–310mm-equivalent focal range.
The DSLR models feature one hybrid aspherical element and one low-dispersion element to reduce distortions and aberrations throughout the zoom range and produce tack-sharp photos. Tamron’s Vibration Compensation image stabilization is integrated into the lens to combat the effects of camera shake during handheld shooting and in difficult lighting.
Plus, a DC motor gear train AF drive module achieves fast, accurate focusing performance. Its smooth, quiet operation will benefit mom’s stills as well as videos. And mom need not worry about inclement weather, because the lens also has moisture-resistant construction.
The lens’s rounded seven-blade diaphragm also contributes to a smooth out-of-focus quality when working with selective focus or shallow depth-of-field techniques—perfect for portraits. In F and EF mounts, $249.
Canon Ivy 2 Mini Photo Printer
The upgraded Canon Ivy 2 is a small, portable mini photo printer that delivers higher-quality pictures, a faster charging battery and better connectivity. Compact enough to fit into a small purse or pocket, it will feed mom’s DIY desire to “print, peel, stick and go” with more customization. She can quickly print photos from a smartphone or tablet onto sticky photo paper via Bluetooth connectivity.
Once photos are decorated and printed, mom can peel off the back of the printed photo and stick it to personal belongings or scrapbooks. Or she can print pictures to add to a photo album, a fridge and other creative spaces.
The mini printer takes just a few minutes to set up, and its multicolor LED indicates printer status. Via a USB cable, it charges in 45 minutes.
The Ivy 2 uses ZINK’s Zero Ink technology to produce full-color photos without cartridges. ZINK paper is also available as precut circle stickers (purchased separately). The free Canon Mini Printer app offers the option to print individual smudge-free, 2×3-inch prints or stickers. The app includes creative filters, like photo frames, as well as collage templates. It also has photo-editing tools, including the ability to add text and to draw on photos.
In white or blush pink, with 10 sheets of 2×3-inch photo paper, $129.99.
Lomography La Sardina Acapulco Caleta 35mm Camera
This 35mm film camera has fun written all over it. Channeling the design of the humble sardine can, the camera comes dressed in a one-of-a-kind striped fabric. No two cameras are the same. Moreover, the Lomo camera captures the world in a 170° fisheye view. It’s 22mm f/8 wide-angle lens is great for photographing landscapes, cityscapes or even squeezing into group selfies.
Additionally, it offers experimental features. Lightweight and portable, the La Sardina has a rewind dial for creative possibilities. Mom can take multiple exposures as well as mix ‘n’ match snaps with the dial. And she can photograph her subjects as close as 24 inches.
The camera also comes with Lomography’s Fritz the Blitz flash attachment. Fritz is the company’s most powerful flash, perfect for nighttime use. What’s more, bulb mode creates long exposures, and the camera integrates a tripod mount.
Lomography’s La Sardina Acapulco Caleta 35mm film camera, bundled with the Fritz the Blitz flash, retails for $119.
Canvas Photo Prints
This is a truly great gift offering, whether you can create them in-house or outsource them. The kids can elevate mom’s favorite moments with gallery-quality canvas prints. They can create a single canvas or a stunning vignette with multiple photos for a gallery wall.
Most canvas prints come in various styles, layouts and background colors to customize a collage with up to eight photos. Kodak Moments canvases, for instance, are printed with latex-based inks that won’t fade over time. And the durable canvas material doesn’t stretch or sag.
Like many print service providers that produce canvas prints, Kodak Moments offers a variety of wrapped edge styles. The color wrap adds a solid color to the sides with the photo printed on the front. With the gallery wrap, the photo extends around the edges for a seamless look. And our favorite, the mirror wrap, features the sides of the photo reflected on all edges.
Maybe mom would like a mini canvas. With its easel and sawtooth hook backing, she can display a mini canvas on a wall or tabletop. At Kodak Moments, mini canvases start at $19.99. Canvas prints, including collage canvases, start at $44.99.
Minolta MN40WP Waterproof Camera
For days at the beach or poolside, mom will love this fun camera. Offered in three perky colors, the waterproof Minolta MN40WP dual-screen, digital point-and-shoot camera captures 48-megapixel stills. It also records 2.7K QHD video. And with all that megapixel power, mom can crop or enlarge her images.
Dual LCD monitors are provided for capturing images in standard or selfie mode. The 3-inch, back LCD enables standard compositions, while the 2-inch front LCD lets mom capture selfie-style compositions.
What’s more, Intelligent shooting modes include panorama shooting, face detection and smile capture. The camera also boasts a white LED flash and a built-in wide-angle lens with 16x digital zoom. And since it’s waterproof to a depth of 10 feet, mom can capture cool underwater shots.
The Minolta MN40WP includes a16GB microSDHC memory card. It comes in blue, pink and red versions. $149.95.