Every year, tech reviewers and bloggers harp on “which smartphone has the best camera”, but sometimes you would rather grab a DSLR to take some pictures. This happens to us all the time, but you want to make sure you have the right camera gear for every situation, so we’ve rounded up our favorites for 2020.
For more amazing gift ideas, make sure you check our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.
Best Mirrorless Camera
Outside of the size and weight, mirrorless cameras are quickly overtaking the more-traditional DSLR cameras. These arguably offer better image quality, along with being more versatile, and of course, much lighter. There are plenty of mirrorless cameras to choose from, with more becoming available, but these are our favorites.
Sony a7 III
Sony's a7 III is a fantastic mirrorless camera option with a 3-inch LCD display, and the ability to switch between a silent or mechanical shutter. You can record in up to 4K HDR with this camera, along with snapping pictures at a resolution of 24.2MP.
The Fujifilm X-T3 has an old-school vibe with all of the benefits of a new-age camera. Video recording is possible at up to 4K resolution, with pictures coming in with a resolution of 26MP. On the back, there's an OLED viewfinder, and you won't have to deal with oddball memory cards with the traditional SD card slot.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
This kit from Olympus should provide more than enough firepower for what you would need. There are dual SD card slots so you never have to witch cards, and the built-in joystick makes it easy to select the focus area through the viewfinder.
Sony Alpha a6000
If you're looking for a basic camera that can take really great photos and videos but doesn't weigh a ton, then the Alpha a6000 is a fantastic option. Between the flip-out LCD viewfinder and a built-in anti-dust system, the a6000 should last you for years to come.
Best Digital Camera
You may not really care about all of the “benefits” of a mirrorless camera, or just want to save a few bucks and get a solid camera that’s not your smartphone. Thankfully, mirrorless cameras have not completely wiped out more-traditional digital cameras, with some of these being preferred over the more-expensive counterparts.
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
Canon's G7X is the go-to camera for many who want to get into the world of vlogging. The camera can record 4K video either vertically or horizontally, and there's even support to use Wi-Fi for transferring content, along with a touch-tilt LCD viewfinder.
Panasonic Lumix LX10
The Panasonic Lumix LX10 is a lightweight and portable digital camera capable of recording 4K footage but has a fixed lens. There is a 3-inch LCD viewfinder making it easy to line up the perfect shot, even if you're taking some selfies.
Kodak's PIXPRO Digital Camera is more for the beginners who just want a quick and easy way to take some photos. In addition to the 16MP resolution, the lens offers 4X digital zoom, along with an array of Shooting Modes to fit every scenario.
Olympus Tough TG-6
Even though many smartphones are waterproof or water-resistant, that doesn't necessarily mean you want to take them for a swim. The Olympus Tough TG-6 is perfect for taking underwater pictures, thanks to the fact that you can take it up to 50-feet underwater. There are even specific underwater shooting modes, along with being able to record in 4K at 120fps.
Best Smartphone Camera Accessories
Smartphone cameras are getting to a point where they are preferred over either DSLR or mirrorless cameras. The biggest reason is that your smartphone is almost always right in your pocket, making it the easiest to access in a quick situation. But if you’re getting serious about mobile photography, you want to make sure you have a good “kit” with plenty of the right accessories.
Moment Wide Lens
If you want to get some good glass for your smartphone, Moment is easily our favorite. The company offers an array of different lenses, along with the ability to attach different filters for the right effects. You can even pick up dedicated bags to house your various lenses you may end up wanting to pick up.
Sirui Lens Kit
This lens kit from Sirui will work with every smartphone thanks to its clip-on design. There's an 18mm wide-angle lens, a 60mm portrait lens, and a 10x macro lens, giving you the ability to take the perfect shot, regardless of what phone you have or the situation.
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Neewer Clip-on Lens Filter
In the event that you are perfectly satisfied with your smartphone's camera array, but want to add some cinematic flair, the Neewer Clip-on Lens Filter is the way to go. This low-cost filter reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor, and is adjustable to fit your needs.
Zhiyun Smooth 4
If you want to use your smartphone for videography, you'll want to invest in a gimbal. This kit from Zhiyun is a fantastic option, as it gives you all of the tools you would need, including an adapter for a GoPro, and a 60g counterweight.
DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Combo
DJI may be better known for its drones, but the Osmo Mobile 3 is an absolutely fantastic smartphone gimbal. This combo kit includes a case for the gimbal, lanyard, charging cable, and anti-slip pads. DJI also offers an accompanying app to help make the most out of whatever videos you are trying to take.
Having a gimbal for your smartphone is one thing, but having one for your DSLR or mirrorless camera is something else entirely. Thankfully, DJI comes in the clutch with the Ronin-SC gimbal. The Ronin-SC is capable of supporting up to a 4.4-pound camera and the company includes an extended grip and even a phone holder.
FeiyuTech Vimble 2S
The FeiyuTech Vimble 2S is like a selfie stick on steroids. Sure, you can attach your phone and extend it out to get the perfect selfie, but this also doubles as a more traditional gimbal, keeping your videos looking stable, even when the extension arm is out.
Photo by Harrison Kugler on Unsplash
It’s all cool to take pictures from the ground, but if there’s something that cannot be understated, it’s being able to take an overhead picture. Of course, you can’t just hop in a plane or helicopter whenever you want, so drones are here to help with that.
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DJI Mavic Mini
DJI's various drones are all pretty phenomenal, but the Mavic Mini might just take the cake. This lightweight drone sports a 30-minute flight time and weights just 249 grams, which is placed in the lowest and safest weight class for all drones. You can take 12MP photos, or record QHD videos at a 2.7K resolution, all while taking advantage of the built-in 3-axis mechanical gimbal.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the end-all-be-all for many drone enthusiasts. This drone sports a 20MP sensor, can record 4K HDR video, and can fly as fast as 48MPH. Flight time comes in around 30 minutes, and there's an SD card slot capable of supporting up to 128GB.
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Dragon Touch DF01G
While the Dragon Touch DF01G doesn't feature 4K recording, or super-fast speeds, it makes up for it with versatility and size. The DF01G folds up into a nice and compact package, while still featuring built-in GPS and a Smart Return system that makes it so the drone will return within 10-feet of its take-off position.
Most photographers will tell you that after the camera, one of the first things you’ll need to get is a tripod. It doesn’t have to be fancy or have a bunch of hidden tricks, but it’s really a necessity, as you never know when it will come in handy. And you don’t want to end up framing the perfect picture, only to find out that it’s blurry because you couldn’t keep your hands still.
AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod
Sometimes you just need a lightweight tripod that will get the job done, and that's where the AmazonBasics Tripod comes in. This tripod measures in at 60-inches, features dual bubble levels, and a quick-release mounting plate.
MACTREM 62-inch Tripod
The MACTREM Tripod is a bit more versatile, but doesn't cost nearly as much as the competition. It includes a detachable monopod, a ball-head mount, and even features a smartphone mount. Weighing in at just 2.9-pounds, this is one tripod you'll want to take with you everywhere.
Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod Kit
Manfrotto is one of the best in the business when it comes to tripods, and the Compact Action Tripod is perfect for beginners, or those who just want a no-frills experience. This is a great option for those with entry-level cameras, and with the quick-release plate, you can go from mounted to unmounted in just a couple of seconds.
Neweer Professional Tripod with Fluid Drag Head
With the Neweer Professional Tripod, not only do you get a tripod that is solid and can hold up to 13.2-pounds, but it also has a fluid drag head. This makes for a great way to take some smooth pans while recording video, or just easily framing up the next picture.
Joby GorillaPod Stand PRO
Joby's GorillaPod lineup of tripods are some of the most unique with the flexible tripod legs. These can be used to wrap around anything from banisters to tree limbs, just so you can get the perfect picture.
Best Action Camera
Action cameras may not be nearly as popular as they once were, but there’s still a great market for them. You don’t even have to be a “dare-devil”, as an action camera can be the perfect accessory to take with you on a road trip, and then offload/edit your footage from your smartphone.
Insta360 One R Twin Edition
This unique camera doesn't only offer 360-degrees of recording, but also one-ups the GO with 4K recording. But what makes this unique is the fact that the lenses are interchangeable, and it sports an IPX8 waterproof rating.
Ricoh Theta V
In addition to recording in up to 4K resolution, this 360-degree camera features a Qualcomm processor for enhanced image processing. Plus, you won't have to worry about using another mic, thanks to the four-channel microphone that is built-in.
GoPro HERO 9
If you want an action camera that can take high-resolution videos and great pictures, the HERO 9 from GoPro is fantastic. Video recording is possible in up to 5K resolution, and you can even use this as a live-stream camera at 1080p.
DJI Osmo Action
With the DJI Osmo Action, you'll be able to record video in up to 4K, while taking 12MP pictures, all of which can be lined up perfectly with the dual displays. But the biggest benefit comes in the form of the water-resistance, as you can use take this camera up to 36-feet deep.
Phandroid’s 2020 Holiday gift guide
While the list above highlights a few of our favorite gadgets of 2020, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of 250 products in 19 different categories to make it easy for you to find the best gifts for your family members, friends (or yourself) this holiday season. We’d also like to thank MediaTek for sponsoring the Chromebooks, Smart Home, and Smart Speakers & Displays sections of our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide.
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