Digital camera Christmas gift guide
So you’ve decided that a digital camera is an ideal gift for a loved, or a well-deserved treat for yourself. But should you spend £20 or £2000? Do you need 15 different lenses or will just the one do? If you’re not that familiar with the latest developments the range of options on offer can be a little bit baffling, so we’ve picked out 6 different recommendations to suit different needs (and wallets).
Best Compact Camera (Under £50)
Really good value for the product purchased. Recommend for someone wanting a camera for basic use with nothing too technicalBenjamin
Ideal for absolute beginners or anyone who’s just looking for something cheap and cheerful to do the odd holiday snap, the AV200 also records HD video and can automatically stitch together pictures to create panoramic photographs.
Best Compact Camera (Under £150)
Well built, solid construction, great features, great for beginners or advanced users.Geo, Stockport
This nifty compact packs in a 12x optical zoom lens, as well as manual control over aperture, shutter speed and exposure. Ideal if you want something pocket-sized and wallet friendly that’ll take very respectable photos.
Best Advanced Compact Camera
Fantastic range of features in a small, portable body. Wide angle lens allows you to capture buildings close up, sweeping landscapes or big crowds, then you can zoom in for portraits etc.Tony, Dublin
Our last compact pick is for those who want to go all out without scaling up to the bulk of an SLR or Hybrid camera; the Canon G12 offers brilliant image quality and lots of manual control to get the most out of your shots (and there’s even a flip-out screen to help you out if you need to snap something at an awkward angle). It’s a hard camera to beat in terms of image quality, unless you want to leave compacts behind altogether and go for something a bit bigger…
Best Hybrid Camera
How can Panasonic build such a camera as the Lumix DMC-FZ45 at such price. It powers up at a fraction of a second ready to shoot stills or video.Thomas, London
The traditional halfway point between the compact and the fully-featured SLR camera is the hybrid, with pseudo-SLR styling, advanced features, but with a fixed lens. The DMC-FZ45 is the current cream of the crop and at £240 is very good value indeed, with an impressive feature set including a 24x zoom.
Best Entry Level Mirrorless Camera (Under £500)
Most of the benefits of an SLR in a more compact package. Can be used daily as a point and shoot compact digital with a pancake 17mm lens (separate purchase ) , and as an SLR replacement with the zoom lenses.Dave Atherstone
Then there’s the mirrorless (Also know as compact system or occasionally as EVIL cameras. It stands for Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens, apparently.) camera. These maintain a relatively compact size whilst incorporating advanced features like being able to swap out the lens. This Olympus kit comes with 2 different lenses so would make a great starting point for someone looking to get a little more advanced than your basic point and shoot.
Best Entry Level DSLR Camera (Under £500)
Excellent camera, I am so happy with it. I think it makes the perfect step up from a point and shoot to something more advanced.Confirmed purchaser
And last but certainly not least, if you’re buying for someone who’s starting to get more serious about their photography, there’s the digital SLR, bringing with it better image sensors and interchangeable lenses. You could spend over £10,000 on an absolutely top of the range SLR body and lenses, but there are some very good entry level options. Just over £350 for Canon’s 1100D, very much aimed at the first time SLR buyer, is exceptionally good value.