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Dear Santa, | Gift suggestions for photo enthusiasts

I have received so many calls and emails from clients and blog-stalkers asking which cameras I recommend for Christmas gifts! I don’t mind responding to those calls and emails because I love being a part of the behind-the-scenes Christmas surprises, but I thought it might be helpful to put together a quick little post linking straight to products you might want to snag for Christmas! Be sure to check your local stores and shop local if you can, but I’m an Amazon Associate so when you click and shop through the links it’s good for me, too! (All about total transparency here, obviously haha!)

I’ve done tons of research on these cameras and these will be eagerly received gifts! I kept everything in the price ranges I’m asked most about, but if you’re looking for anything specific just comment here or shoot me an email! :)

ENTRY-LEVEL dSLR

All of these cameras come in “kits”, which I’ve linked to for you. They include entry-level kit lenses. You can buy tons of different lenses for these cameras! And don’t forget memory cards so the giftee can start shooting right away! Check the individual product descriptions to make sure you get the right type.
Under $500, the Nikon D3000 is an excellent choice for the beginner, just getting into SLR photography. It’s lower on the pixels-end, which is just fine if you don’t plan on printing huge wall art from these images. It has great reviews, and it’s a Nikon… need I say more? :)
A step up from the D3000, the D3100 would give a photography-novice plenty of growing room. $650, you’ll get more megapixels (print larger pictures, better details) and more flexibility in your controls. The big difference between the D3100 and the D3000 would be the ability to shoot HD Video with the D3100! Awesome feature for those also interested in exploring the video-world.

POINT & SHOOT

If you are looking for something more basic, cheaper and more compact then a Point and Shoot is where it’s at.

This point and shoot has tons of awesome features. High megapixels, wide angle lens with 21x optical zoom (that is AWESOME, you are going to get great pics with a ton of zoom power. Digital zoom is where you’ll lose detail from a distance- you want a high # optical zoom when shopping around.) It shoots HD video, has image stabilization… basically it’s everything you’ll need short of the ability to change lenses. It’s a great size and lightweight. And it comes in a couple fun colors!
The Nikon CoolPix P300 is on MY wishlist this year- I desperately need a small camera for around-the-house and out-on-the-town, lugging the SLR around gets tiring! It has the fastest lens of all the CoolPix cameras, and has f/1.8 max aperture, which means you’re going to get some really awesome shallow-depth-of-field shots with this baby. It’s the perfect size, nice and compact. It also has Nikon’s new Expeed C2 processor which is going to give your pictures an even more professional look. HD video, shoots macro shots (like those crazy-close shots of tiny things, that’s macro photography, it’s rare to find a great point and shoot that will shoot macro!) And it’s at a great price, just under $280. (I’m salivating, Santa! Bring this baby my way!!)

I hope this post helps!! I love to do research on cameras and gear, so feel free to ask any questions and if I don’t know the answer I’ll be sure to find it for you!

Merry Christmas and HAPPY SHOPPING!! Be sure to keep an eye on your online picks this coming Monday- Amazon has great Cyber Monday deals, don’t miss out!

Curious what gear I use? Check it out here!