Sunday, December 5, 2010

TBone's Holiday Gift List - Cameras (Photo and Video)

Photo by mmlolek

Today I am kicking off my first section of my holiday gift guide.  Over the next couple days running up to whichever holiday you happen to celebrate, I will release a new post concentrating on a specific category of gifts with products that I recommend.

In each section I will be limiting the amount of products I recommend to only a select few.  I only recommend products that I own, have used, or have significant knowledge about.  Even though I am recommending these products, I still encourage you to shop around and pick gifts that fit your needs and are within your budget.

If you chose to purchase any of these gifts, then you can click on the link and purchase through Amazon.  I have written before on my thoughts about Amazon and I still think they are one of the best option out there to get the products you need for a great price.  Also if you purchase any of the products using the links provided below, then I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price, which will go into making TBone's Mind a better blog for all to enjoy.

Click the link to see the products that are selected for this post's category.

Cameras (Photo)

I am not a photography expert by any means, so I am not able to provide any recommendations for dSLRs since I haven't really used any or have much experience with them.  However, I have listed some cameras below that will work well for folks both new to photography and also those who are more experienced.  I know the options below are expensive, but I think you will get a lot of life out of these cameras.

Canon G12 10MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.8 inch Vari-Angle LCD

This is probably the most advanced camera you can get before you start heading into the dSLR category.  It has enough auto settings for those still new to photography, but you are also able to manually adjust just about anything for those who are more experienced.

Canon PowerShot S95 10 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch inch LCD

The most powerful point and shoot camera on the market.  It is small, compact, easy to use, and has a lot of settings that can be configured manually for the folks who have more experience.  It is also one of the best performing low light cameras on the market.  You can save a few bucks by going with last years model, the Canon S90.  Some features are different but the performance is pretty much the same.

Cameras (Video)

Now I know most folks have a phone on them that can record decent video.  I even use my iPhone when I am in a pinch.  But for those times when you need HD, or just better video and audio quality, you can't go wrong with a dedicated device.

Flip UltraHD Video Camera - Black, 8 GB, 2 Hours (3rd Generation) NEWEST MODEL

I stand by the Flip cameras.  I know that there are a lot of imitators in this space, but I like the simplicity and quality of the Flip cameras.

Flip MinoHD Video Camera - Black, 8 GB, 2 Hours (3rd Generation) NEWEST MODEL
Flip MinoHD 8GB ($199.00)

Same great Flip camera just in a smaller package.


There are a boat load of accessories for cameras ranging from cases, to bags, to memory cards and plenty of other things that you would be surprised even existed.  But I think there is one accessory that everyone should have that is incredibly useful and works great.

Joby GP1-D1EN Gorillapod Flexible Tripod (Grey)

The Joby Gorillapod is the only stand you will ever need.  The flexible legs allow it to wrap around or cling to just about any surface you could think of.  It works great for steady shots at night time or in low light conditions.  It is also a great stand-in for another person if you would like to take some self portraits with your sweetie.  There are a lot of different varieties of the Gorillapod so I encourage you to pick the one that works best with your device.


  1. Just added a Joby GP2 to my wishlist, based on your recommendation. I'm getting a Canon EOS Rebel T1i in a few weeks...super excited for my first DSLR!

  2. @jimmyorr I have heard good things about the Rebel T1i. I have never used one, but I heard it is a great DSLR that doesn't break the bank.

    I hope you like the Gorillapod, they are awesome.

  3. Totally agree on the Gorillapod - they're pretty solid and really versatile.

    Jimmy, how'd you decide on the T1i vs. other dSLRs in that class? I'm looking to make the leap myself and am torn between the T1i and the Nikon D3100.

  4. When I'm not taking direct advice from TBone, I usually check newegg's and amazon's top sellers lists, and then read reviews from there. In this case, the t1i had way more reviews and I already had some brand loyalty to Canon, so I went that route. The t2i didn't seem to offer anything I needed (i.e. bigger LCD and more megapixels).

  5. Of course, lesser humans cannot give me the information I need to make decisions. I can't define "it" - but that TBone's got it.

    I agree with you on the T2i vs T1i - the megapixel difference doesn't matter after 10MP, or so I'm told, and the LCD size wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me either. Are you getting one of the "packages" with the T1i (i.e. body + 18-55mm lens + 55-250mm lens)?

  6. Thanks guys. I appreciate all the love.

  7. I got a free bonus package from newegg during the Black Friday weekend. Nothing too crazy, but can't beat free: 1 TB external hd, 4 GB memory card, and a camera case. I tried out the 55-250mm lens at a brick and mortar, and definitely wanted it, but ultimately decided I'd rather get use out of the 18-55mm for awhile first before I start upgrading. There's always next xmas :)