When your dad decides to take his photography game to a new level, a smartphone may no longer be enough. Some may want a sports camera to capture their adventures while others may need a mirrorless camera for better family photos, films, or artistic shots. Thanks to the rapidly advancing technology, they keep getting better with faster shooting speeds, sharper video, and incredible autofocus. We found five of the best models for budgets ranging from $350 to $2,500, along with some accessories to complement the gear your old man already owns.
Canon EOS M200
So your dad is taking up photography? An entry-level camera is a good way to start out, and the best one out there is Canon’s EOS M200. With a 24-megapixel sensor and Canon’s skin-friendly colors, it delivers great photos. They’re also easy to capture thanks to an intuitive smartphone-like interface, fast autofocus speeds, and great eye-detection performance. He’ll also be able to shoot 4K 24p video (albeit with a 1.6 times crop), along with full-sensor 1080p at 60 fps. And it’s available for significantly less than most other mirrorless cameras at $549, complete with an EF-M 15-45mm kit lens.
Sony cameras generally make great gifts and the best value right now is the A6100. It features class-leading autofocus and eye-tracking performance for humans and animals, ensuring your sharp shots, even with fast-moving subjects. Sony has also improved the color science and low-light capabilities, so family photos will be sharp and color accurate, even in dimly lit environments. The drawbacks are bad rolling shutters that can cause video wobble and a low-resolution electronic viewfinder. Still, for $848 (body only) the A6100 is the best mirrorless camera in its price range.
Canon EOS R6
For dads who can’t decide between photos and video, Canon’s EOS R6 does both things well. The 20-megapixel sensor lacks resolution compared to rivals, but it offers killer specs like in-body stabilization and Canon’s fast and accurate Dual Pixel autofocus for video and photos, along with sharp 4K video at up to 60 fps. Other features include a flip-out display, relatively compact size, and skin tones that will flatter your dad’s subjects (you, possibly). It does suffer from overheating issues with video, but that’s only likely to affect pros who shoot for long stretches at a time. Overall, it’s currently our best pick for under $2,500.
Novice photographers are often worried about DSLRs being complicated to use, but the Nikon D3500 has a brilliant ‘Guide’ shooting mode that acts as a fully interactive tutorial on photography, delivered via the rear LCD screen. The rear screen is fixed, and you’re limited to Full HD video rather than 4K, but the 24-megapixel sensor delivers super-sharp images, and the retracting 18-55mm kit lens is rather good too. The D3500 is small, light, cheap, and easy to use – all the qualities that will appeal to beginners.
Fujifilm’s X-S10 is the best crop-sensor
camera on the market, making it a desirable gift for any lucky father.
The company describes the X-S10 as a cross
between the company’s X-T30 and the X-H1 cameras: You get the guts from the
former and the design and in-body image stabilization feature (in a new
miniaturized form) from the latter.
the same time, it has the best video features for an APS-C camera, with sharp
4K video at up to 60 fps, along with 1080p at 240 fps. Both photo and video
quality are outstanding, with great skin tones second only to Canon’s models.
But the autofocus, with tracking and eye-detection, is good but not quite up to
Sony’s standards. And while the generous manual controls deliver great
handling, it’s less compact than before.
The X-S10 camera is targeted toward both beginning and experienced users who may have Canon or Nikon DSLRs and want something a little more ‘familiar’ than a typical Fujifilm camera.