Welcome to TechCrunch’s 2021 Year-End Gift Guide! Need help with gift ideas? We have a lot of them. Looking for our other guides? Find them here!
As we enter the second holiday season of the Pandemic Era, there is no better time to dive headlong into a new hobby. Or that’s what you should tell your loved ones when you treat them to one of the cameras on our list of photo gift ideas this year.
Mobile photography is ubiquitous, but it still can’t compete with the control and quality offered by some of the most innovative cameras on the market, so don’t rule out a serious upgrade for anyone on your gift list that is looking to get more creative this winter.
GoPro Hero 10 Black
For action and sports, GoPro is always ahead of the pack. The tiny cube-shaped GoPro Hero 10 Black can save any thrill-seeking endeavor you can imagine and achieve, with excellent waterproofing and a host of useful accessories to make it happen.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black is the cream of the crop with a faster processor and slightly higher image resolution, but the previous generation Hero 9 Black will save you money with little sacrifice. But because the sluggish user interface is historically one of the only downsides to shooting with a GoPro, you probably won’t be sorry to go with the latest and greatest, although older generations offer a great price-performance ratio.
Price: $ 449 from Best Buy
Released late last year, Sony’s A7C builds on the company’s strong track record of launching innovative mirrorless cameras that even professional photographers can love. The Sony A7C is a full frame mirrorless shooter, which means it’s probably overkill for any new photographer who has just discovered the ropes, but it’s a perfect upgrade for anyone who’s crossed the line. an old DSLR or a new APS-C camera. The A7C bills itself as an ultra-portable option in an already ultra-portable category, and with in-body image stabilization and an impressive sensor, the A7C doesn’t require any significant compromises.
Also: For anyone looking to buy a similarly super compact full frame camera at a cheaper price, the Canon EOS RP is worth checking out. It doesn’t have the in-body image stabilization of its more expensive competitors, but it’s a great entry point for someone looking to make the leap to full-frame photography in a tiny little body.
Price: Sony A7C, $ 1,800 from B&H | Canon EOS RP, $ 999 from B&H
There’s no new model this year, but Fujifilm’s X100V is still an incredible option for a pro-level pocket camera. Offering tactile keys reminiscent of a bygone era in photography, it’s no surprise that Fujifilm’s little shooter manages to woo so many people. You don’t get interchangeable lenses for the price, but you do get a high-performance camera that fits in a pocket, making all manner of low-key street and travel photography a cinch.
Price: $ 1400 from Adorama
DJI Mini 2
For the curious drone gift, the DJI Mini 2 is a perfect and all-round entry point. Small enough to take on adventures but feature-rich enough to be worth it, the Mini 2 brings DJI’s smaller option closer to parity with the more advanced Mavic lineup. Notably, the Mini 2’s addition of Ocusync 2.0 allows for a more reliable connection, and an improved engine makes things more stable across the board – and 4K video doesn’t hurt either.
Price: $ 450 from DJI
Okay, there are probably more convenient instant photography options out there, but have you seen this thing? Perhaps the cutest camera (device?) Ever, the Polaroid Go is arguably the smallest instant camera ever with 4.1 inches on the widest side. It shoots a miniaturized version of the classic Polaroid movie that’s not much smaller than the tried-and-true Instax size and you can even wear it around your neck.
If you’re looking to get weird in a different way, the Canon Ivy Cliq 2 is a quirky option that pairs a ring light digital camera with a slim pocket photo printer. If you’re looking to be less quirky, Fujifilm’s Instax line has a plethora of instant camera options with great prints.
Price: Polaroid Go, $ 100 from Polaroid | Canon Ivy Cliq 2, $ 130 at Best Buy | Fujifilm Instax, price varies
Don’t give someone a webcam that just improves their work, Zoom meetings is depressing. But give the aspiring Twitch star in your life a webcam designed for content creators. Logitech’s StreamCam can produce professional-level video, with face-tracking technology and 1080p video quality at 60 frames per second. For anyone just starting to broadcast and looking to get up and running quickly, the built-in dual webcams mean there is one less thing to worry about.
Streaming capture card maker Elgato has released their own dedicated designer webcam, the Facecam. Elgato’s option is more expensive and ignores the built-in mic, but if a streamer you know takes picture quality seriously, it’s worth a look.
Price: Logitech Streamcam, $ 160 from Logitech | Elgato Facecam, $ 200 from Best Buy