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Mother's Day photography gift ideas 2013

Mother’s Day photography gift ideas 2013

It was a tough call: catch up on my how-to-shoot-spring-flowers, write a post about the importance of backing up your computer, since it was recently Backup Day, or a post on the latest gadgets I had just discovered. Since it’s so close to Mother’s Day, I am going to put the first two on the back burner. Look for those topics in the near future. I mean, most people wouldn’t know if it’s Backup Day today or if it was last week, right?  So it’s time to get moving on this list because Father’s Day is also just around the corner.

There certainly is no shortage of photography-related gifts available for the moms in your life. Here are my selections for this year:

canon250pxCanon EOS Rebel SL1 – Canon just announced the availability of this camera, which it says is the world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR camera. I am still a big fan of the DSLR with its high-quality sensor and great choice of lenses. I haven’t quite jumped onto the newer compact 4/3  format cameras. Call me old-fashioned, but I still like the feel of the conventional DSLR. The new EOS Rebel SL1 advertises to be small in size but enormous in performance. This camera is due to be released at the end of April, so it might be tough to have it delivered by Mother’s Day, but it might be worth the wait. The camera, weighing  about 14 ounces, features a 18.0 Megapixels CMOS (APS-C) sensor and the Canon DIGIC 5 image processor, a 3-inch LCD touch screen and a high-speed of shooting at 4 frames-per-second. The price will be around $799.99 with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

And to compete with your smartphone, the camera features filters,  including a miniature toy camera, art bold and water painting. I’m not sure I want my results from my $800 camera looking as if they came from a toy, but most of the new cameras are moving in this direction. lenspens250pxThis certainly would be a great pick for mom, especially if you’re already using Canon gear and might have compatible lenses.

Lenspen DSLR Pro Set - Those smudges on your lens or filter only results in blurring photographs. This nicely designed lens cleaner is an inexpensive way to ensure a quality result. I would suggest a DSLR Pro Set, which features the LensPen lenses, FilterKlear for cleaning filters and the tiny MicroPro to clean the pesky light viewfinders windows. I can never get my lens this clear with regular lens cleaning cloths or wipes. This tiny gadget with its tiny triangle shapes cleans right into the corner. I have no excuse for bad photos or smudged lenses now. The set also includes a microfiber cloth that features pouches for all three Lenspens. The perfect complement to the SensorKlear Loupe Kit! The retail price is $34.95.

Nikon COOLPIX AW110 – This is the perfect gift for the high-tech action mom or dad. coolpix250pxThe waterproof, freeze-proof and shock-proof COOLPIX AW110 is a great companion for those who enjoy the outdoors but are afraid of damaging a typical camera. This camera can go swimming or diving down to 59 feet, survive cold temperature down to 14 degrees without a jacket and withstand a drop from 6.6 feet.
When you’re done with the adventure, you can transmit those photos to most smartphones or tablets via the built-in WiFi signal while relaxing by the evening campfire. This camera features quality stats for a compact point-and-shoot with its 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, 1080 HD video, NIKKOR ED glass 5X zoom gorillapodslr250pxlens and 3-inch OLED screen and built-in GPS. The camera’s retail price is $349.95.

Joby GorrillaPod –  This bendable mini-tripod lets you attach your camera to almost anything: a small tree branch, fence, pole, table or chair. The flexible legs wrap around to give a stable grip to hold the camera. The GorillaPods come in many sizes to hold a variety of cameras, from a smartphone to a DSLR. It’s such an easy way to mount a camera in order to give you a creative angle for your main or secondary camera. Another Joby GorillaPod product is the GripTight Mount, which holds smartphones and allows you to attach it to a standard 1/4-20″ tripod screw. It’s perfect to attach to a standard GorillaPod or XShot Extender (see below).  Joby GorillaPods range in price from $19.95 to $99.95.

smoothee200pxTiffen Smoothee – Who doesn’t want to make their iPhone video look like a real filmmaker? This takes the concept of an expensive Steadicam and  converts it into a much small profile to fit the iPhone or GoPro. The Tiffen Smoothee allows you to shoot smoothly as you hand-hold and move the camera. The Smoothee features tilt adjustment left and right and back and forward after you mount the iPhone camera. It does take a little time to fine-tune the adjustment. There’s also a small learning curve to move and shoot with the camera. It’s a little tricky to make smooth turns, but it just takes practice. It gives you a chance to expand your movie-making repertoire even though you’re using your smartphone. The Steadicam Smoothee costs $169.00.

xshot-pocketPocket XShot Camera Extender – This handy little gadget is one of my favorites. How many times have you tried to take a photo of yourself on vacation by reaching out and holding the camera? It is possible to do, but that camera is just a little too close. You can ask a passerby to help, but it not always possible. This Pocket XShot Camera Extender easily fits in a backpack, purse or big pocket and extends to 30.5 inches and closes to 6.5 inches. It  features a built-in tripod adapter and lets you photograph yourself at a more pleasing distance and includes the interesting background that you are hoping to capture. You will need to learn how to use the self-timer or app on your camera or smartphone to snap the photograph. It’s priced at $29.95.

mefoto250pxMeFoto Roadtrip Travel Tripod  –  These colorful tripods have a great design for travel and the photographer on the move. The Roadtrip Travel Tripod folds into a very small package, which closes to 15.4 inches and expands to 61.6 inches. It also transforms into a monopod for more mobility. The tripod costs  $189.

Framed Prints – This is the simplest and cheapest option. Select a digital image that your mom would love and send it off to have prints made. It is so easy. All you need to do is upload a few of your favorite images to your favorite site. There are no excuses for you  here, the cost of prints keeps going down. You can easily get 8X10 prints processed for under $5; Costco turns them out for $1.49. If you want to get fancy, try a 16X20 inch collage print offered at Sam’s Club or Costco. This way you can get a nice variety of smaller photos into a single print. I like to go shopping for my frames first and then select photos to match.

camerabag_250pxCamera bag purse (My only repeat from last year)— Photo camera bags made by Epiphanie, Kelly Moore and Shootsac that resemble purses are great gift for moms who wants a more stylish way to carry photography gear. They come in a great selection of styles and colors, and are a great way not to make it look like you’re carrying expensive gear. Look to spend between $150 to $250.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone and be sure to take plenty of snapshots to capture the occasion. RL

robert.lachman@latimes.com

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