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Gift Guide: 10 great cameras when a smartphone lens isn’t enough

Welcome to the TechCrunch 2021 Christmas Gift Guide! Do you need help with gift ideas? We have a lot of them. Are you looking for our other travel guides? Find them here!

As we enter the second Christmas season of the pandemic era, there is no better time to dive headfirst into a new hobby. Or you should tell your loved ones when you give them one of the cameras from our list of photo gift ideas this year.

Mobile photography is ubiquitous, but it still can’t match the control and quality offered by some of the most innovative cameras. So rule out a serious upgrade for anyone on your gift list looking to get more creative this winter.

GoPro Hero 10 Black

Credit: GoPro

GoPro is still a leader in action and sports. The tiny, cube-shaped GoPro Hero 10 Black can record any exciting endeavor you can think of and make, with great waterproofness and an abundance of useful accessories to make it happen.

The GoPro Hero 10 Black is the crème de la crème with a faster processor and a slightly higher image resolution, but the previous generation Hero 9 Black saves you some money with little compromise. But since the lagged UI is historically one of the only downsides to shooting with a GoPro, you probably won’t be pissed off for going for the latest and greatest, even though older generations are great value for money.

Price: $ 449 from Best Buy

Sony A7C

Sony A7C

Credit: Sony

Released late last year, Sony’s A7C builds on the company’s solid track record of bringing innovative mirrorless cameras to market that even professional photographers can love. The Sony A7C is a full frame mirrorless shooter, which means it’s probably over the top for any brand new photographer just figuring out the ropes, but it’s a perfect upgrade for anyone pushing the limits of an old DSLR or newer APS-C -Camera crossed. The A7C describes itself as an ultraportable option in an already ultraportable category, and with in-body image stabilization and an impressive sensor, the A7C doesn’t require any significant compromises.

In addition: For those who are looking for a similarly super compact full-frame camera at a lower price, the Canon EOS RP is worth a look. It lacks the in-body image stabilization of its more expensive competition, but it’s a great entry point for someone looking to take the plunge to full-frame photography in a tiny package.

Price: Sony A7C, $ 1800 from B&H | Canon EOS RP $ 999 from B&H

Fujifilm X100V

Credit: Fujifilm

There’s no new model this year, but the Fujifilm X100V is still an amazing option for a professional pocket-sized camera. With tactile touches reminiscent of a bygone era of photography, it comes as no surprise that Fujifilm’s little shooter enchants so many people. You don’t get interchangeable lenses for the price, but you get a very powerful camera that fits in your pocket and makes all kinds of inconspicuous street and travel photography child’s play.

Price: $ 1400 from Adorama

DJI Mini 2

Credit: DJI

For the drone-curious gift recipient, the DJI Mini 2 is a perfectly rounded entry point. Small enough to be dragged around on adventures but feature-rich enough to be worthwhile, the Mini 2 brings DJI’s smaller option closer to the more advanced Mavic line. Notably, adding Ocusync 2.0 to the Mini 2 makes for a more reliable connection, and an improved motor makes things more stable across the board – and the 4K video doesn’t hurt either.

Price: $ 450 from DJI

Polaroid Go

Polaroid Go

Credit: Polaroid

Okay, there are probably more practical instant photo options out there, but have you seen this thing? Possibly the cutest camera (device?) Ever made, the Polaroid Go is probably the smallest instant camera ever at 4.1 inches on its widest side. It shoots a miniaturized version of the classic Polaroid film that’s not much smaller than the tried and tested Instax format, 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 combines a ring-light enabled digital camera with a sleek, pocket-sized photo printer. If you want to get less weird is Fujifilms Instax line has a number of great instant camera options with great looking prints.

Price: Go polaroid, $ 100 from Polaroid | Canon Ivy Cliq 2, $ 130 from the Best Buy | Fujifilm Instax, Price varies

Logitech StreamCam

The Logitech Streamcam on a monitor.

Credit: Logitech

Don’t give anyone a webcam that just works Zoom meetings look better, that is depressing. But give the budding Twitch star in your life a webcam designed specifically for content creators. Logitech’s StreamCam can produce professional-quality video, complete with face-tracking technology and 1080p video quality at 60 frames per second. For those who are just starting to stream and want to get started quickly, the built-in dual webcams have one less thing to worry about.

The maker of streaming capture cards, Elgato, has launched its own dedicated creator webcam, the Facecam. Elgato’s option is more expensive and skips the built-in mic, but if a streamer you know is serious about picture quality, it’s worth a look.

price: Logitech Streamcam, $ 160 from Logitech | Elgato Facecam, $ 200 from the Best Buy

TechCrunch 2021 Gift Guide

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