One of the most important aspects of the holiday season (beyond eggnog and gifts!) is capturing the moment. We’re all getting older, families are often spread across the country, and the kids change every day. Making memories together is really fun, and preserving them through photos and videos is a great way to look back on the holidays throughout the years. But with a sea of options, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed. Where do we even start to find the right camera to capture all the special holiday moments?
Choosing a camera
While the GoPro is notorious for being the favorite option for outdoorsmen and adventurists, there are aspects of the new GoPro HERO4 SILVER that make the camera much more versatile for the average guy. This camera is even equipped with a touch screen, which makes navigating the camera’s functions much easier. Beyond the GoPro, another great active option is the V.360 by VSN Mobil, the first camera to simultaneously capture 360 degrees of video in full 1080p HD. The V.360 is durable and will go almost anywhere. It’s shock-, vibration- and dust-resistant as well as waterproof to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.
For people not ready for the GoPro but looking to step up from point-and-shoots, the Sony Alpha a6000 is a camera that’s almost as small, has interchangeable lenses and an optical viewfinder. It delivers stunning image quality, because they somehow designed in an APS-C sensor, the same size as found on many digital SLRs. If you are looking to really splurge, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 is the top of its class. This amazing camera captures everything from 4K cinematic video to powerfully intense images. Keep in mind, it doesn’t come cheap at $1500. For the more budget-minded shopper, the new HTC RE camera is a fantastic buy, with easy one-handed operation, a grip sensor, and a 16MP CMOS sensor that delivers crisp, detailed images.
A leap forward in smartphone imaging
The specific camera doesn’t always matter, as long as the you have enough megapixels to produce a good image. Nowadays most smartphones will produce a decent enough pictures if you are not concerned with professional quality. The biggest thing is to have a camera on your phone that you can change some of the settings. If you are photographing active children the ability to change shutter speed is important.
A great new trend in digital photography is HDR (high dynamic range). There are tons of apps and the iPhone has a built in HDR option but most cameras now have HDR settings, or the ability to create “bracketed” photos that you can combine to make amazing images. HDR is particularly useful around the holidays as snowy yards tend to blow out photos with their contrast. With HDR you get the bright white of the snow, against the darkness of the trees and sky.
As popular as iPhones are, they aren’t the end game. For example, the new HTC One M8 brings a totally different dimension to mobile imaging by combining the world’s first smartphone with a Duo Camera that features an UltraPixel module, with a dual flash and full 1080p HD video recording. You can snag this phone for free from AT&T if you are willing to sign a service contract. Another great option is the Nokia Lumia 1020, the only smartphone with a 41MP camera sensor – higher even than many point-and-shoot cameras.
Power that lasts
The two crucial factors when using your smartphone for photography: battery life and memory. A full battery is a necessity when wanting to snap that perfect holiday picture, but you also need a phone that isn’t bogged down by low memory capacity.
The MAZZO PowerDrive is the world’s first mega external USB drive and backup battery certified for Apple iOS devices. It works in two ways: You can save your photos and videos to the device while you’re out and about, but can also access files from the device through your iPhone, iPad or iPod. Add that to long-term charging (up to 40 hours of extra use), and you have a power-packed device that keeps you working and playing no matter where you are. It’s perfect for traveling or someone on the go because you can quickly charge your device, save photos and access pre-loaded ones.
To get decent photos there are not a lot of accessories you need. A separate flash and an extra lens with varying focal lengths are great options. If you are taking photographs indoors, good lights will be important, or a large window that lets in a lot of natural light.
If you want to get really technical, a diffuser would be awesome for outdoor photos, especially if there is snow. The diffuser will help deflect extra light away from your subject.
Also, if you want to take family pictures where you are part of the picture, but also the photographer, a tripod is necessary. If you are taking large group photos, a tripod is especially nice to better stabilize the camera and get every person into the picture.
No matter what camera you are using this season, we hope your holidays are picture-perfect this year!
Don’t miss our holiday gift guide!
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