Capturing the moment

Whether someone in your life is a dedicated shutterbug or you are looking to get a loved one started in photography, there are virtually endless gift ideas when it comes to cameras this Christmas. We visited Cathy Church’s Photo Centre for some gift ideas.

Instant photos

When it comes to instant gratification, there is nothing like an instant camera. Take a photo, and in a couple of minutes you have a picture in your hand. None of the tedium of connecting the camera to a computer, downloading a photo and then printing it out on a printer first. The Fuji Instax 7 comes in blue or pink, and prints credit card sized photos that are ready within minutes. It is a perfect Christmas gift for anyone looking to get a child interested in the magic of photography and pretty good fun for grown-ups as well.

Show and tell

Tired of trying to show people the photos on your camera on that little screen on the back? The Nikon Coolpix S1100pj features a built in projector so you can give a slide show at the spur of the moment, giving people much less chance of escaping a presentation of your holiday snaps. It can even be used to project data stored on a PC. Of course, it takes photos, in 14MP resolution no less, records 720p high definition video, and boasts a touch screen that allows you to draw or write notes directly onto projected images.

Up close and personal

If you want to get a photo that gets you close to the action without running the risk of becoming part of said action, the Olympus SP-800UZ might be the perfect camera. It features a 30 times zoom lens, equivalent to a 24-840 lens on an SLR camera, which means that you can keep zooming in long after everyone else has given up. The camera features a 14MP resolution as well as 720p HD movies, image stabilisation and advanced auto focus tracking.

In touch

Sleek touch screen devices are all the rage, and the Nikon Coolpix S80 fits the bill nicely. It features a 14MP resolution, but more impressively, it features a 3.5-inch OLED high resolution touch screen that allows you to interact with your photos like never before, without the need of getting them onto a PC first. The camera records 720p HD movies and features HDMI connectivity, which means you can link it directly to an HDTV.

Small but powerful

Many people who want to get serious about their photography are put off by the size of SLR cameras. However, features like interchangeable lenses are very attractive. Olympus may have come up with the perfect compromise – the Olympus PEN series. The cameras are light and compact, but feature compact interchangeable lenses based on the new industry standard micro four-thirds mount, giving you access to lenses by a variety of manufacturers. The PEN series also features large image sensors for better performance, as well as the ability to take external flash units for better lighting. There is even the option of a digital viewfinder that can be fitted to the camera, making it the closest thing to a big professional camera that you will ever be able to fit in your handbag.

For an active lifestyle

Olympus Tough series of cameras are pretty much anything-proof. The cameras can be dropped, submerged or just generally exposed to the elements without any issues. Of course, there is a limit to how deep you can take them under water – 30 feet for the more expensive model – but for those who are into scuba diving, there are underwater housings available that allow considerably deeper depths.

Barely there video

The Easy Shot Clip video camera is small – barely the size of a flash drive – but can record up to 2 hours of video. It even comes with a waterproof housing that simply clips to the side of a scuba mask and can be taken down to 100 feet.

Accessories

Of course, when it comes to cameras, you can never have enough toys. From the very practical to the somewhat fanciful, Cathy Church’s Photo Centre stocks a wide selection of accessories.

Many cameras have underwater housings, so if you enjoy spending time on and under the water, these can make an excellent gift. For cameras that are waterproof, a flotation strap is a great gift as well, as there are few worse sounds in the world than the ‘plonk’ of a camera getting dropped overboard and slowly making its way to the bottom.

For more advanced photographers who want to try something artistic with their photos, the Lensbaby is a great accessory, allowing a level of artistic control not possible with standard SLR lenses.

Of course, the store also stocks a wide range of professional-level SLR cameras, lenses and accessories, as well as a massive selection of underwater camera equipment.

Of course, the store also stocks a ranger of high end digital SLR cameras and even if it is not in stock, it can usually be in store within a couple of days of you placing an order.

These days less than $100 can buy you a great digital camera, so give cameras some serious thought when putting together your Christmas gift list.

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