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For most people, a smartphone is sufficient for capturing still or moving images, but shooting pro-quality photographs or video requires equipment expressly made for that purpose. Luckily, though the camera industry as a whole has been battered by new technologies, camera makers are still producing quality gear. So, if your giftee is a photographer who needs a camera with a high megapixel count for print, an artist who works with large-scale images, or a videographer of street scenes, consider giving him or her (or yourself!) one of these five cameras. (Prices accurate at time of publication.)
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Sony Alpha 7C
Whether they take photographs, video, or both, most artists will find that Sony’s relatively compact Alpha 7C mirrorless camera offers ample power and versatility, It comes with a 24.2-MP full-frame CMOS sensor and 5-axis in-body image stabilization. Framing shots is easy with either its 3-inch swiveling LCD or its high-quality electronic viewfinder. Its ISO sensitivity range is 100–51,200, but you can expand it to ISO 50–204,000. Its video resolution is 4K at 3,840 x 2,160 @ 30/24 fps, which will cover most situations. The Alpha 7C kit also comes with the new Sony FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens, which would cost you roughly $500 if purchased separately.
Purchase: Sony Alpha 7C Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 28-60mm Lens, $2,201.98 on B&H Photo Video
Canon EOS R5
If you’re looking for a cutting-edge camera, then the EOS R5 is an ideal choice. When Canon announced this model, the company noted that it would be its most advanced full-frame mirrorless camera ever. What makes it so advanced? To begin with, not only does its 45-megapixel image sensor produce high-resolution photos, but it can also shoot 8K-resolution video. If you want to take advantage of the latter, you’ll need to buy a CFexpress memory card—although in addition to the CFexpress memory card slot, there’s an SD-memory card slot for shooting lower-resolution video and stills. Other impressive specs include a 5.76-million-dot OLED viewfinder and a shooting speed for full-resolution images of 20 frames per second. Overall, it’s one of the most impressive full-frame mirrorless cameras to arrive in the past few years, and since it’s from Canon, you’ll have your pick of Canon lenses.
Purchase: Canon EOS R5 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera, $3899.00 on B&H Photo Video
Go Pro Hero10
For some vloggers, a non-GoPro camera is a nonstarter, and even GoPro cynics might find themselves yearning for the latest Hero model, which shoots in ultra-crisp, ultrasmooth 5.3K-resolution video and takes 23-megapixel still photos. It can also produce 8x slow-motion video in full HD or 1080p. Although it lacks an optical image stabilizer, this model includes the latest digital IS from GoPro (its HyperSmooth 4.0), and voice activation means you can tell it when to start and stop.
Purchase: GoPro Hero10 Action Camera, $449.99 (was $499.99) on B&H Photo Video
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 VII
In a point-and-shoot camera, one of the of the most important considerations for image quality is sensor size. With the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII, Sony packs a full-frame, 20.1-megapixel sensor into a relatively small body. It’s a robust performer too: It borrows its autofocus and burst mode features from Sony’s higher-end full-frame mirrorless cameras, so it can focus more quickly and accurately and can capture a fast series of shots—up to 90 fps—as either jpegs or RAW files. The high-quality Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T 24-200mm lens gives a nice zoom range (8.3x optical zoom) to play with when composing shots, and the camera is also equipped with both optical and digital image stabilization, for sharp photos and jitter-free video.
Purchase: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 VII Camera, $1,298.00 on B&H Photo Video
Fujifilm GFX 50S II
The latest model in Fujifilm’s GFX line of medium-format cameras, the GFX 50S II has not only a high-megapixel count but also a 44 x 33mm image sensor. What does this large, pricey camera give you? For starters, its sensor and system help reduce noise in low-light settings. The camera also offers in-body image stabilization (for 6.5EV of compensation) and comes with a 3.2-inch touchscreen and a 3.69-million-dot OLED viewfinder. And Fujifilm’s pixel-shift high-resolution features can produce 205-megapixel images. If it’s a lot of resolution that’s needed, this is a great camera. (This price is for the body only, but you can buy it as a kit with the GF 35-70mm f4.5-5.6 WR lens for $4,499.)
Purchase: Fujifilm GFX 50S II Medium Format Mirrorless Camera (Body Only), $3,999.00 on B&H Photo Video