Best Macro Point and Shoot Camera(9 cheap and high end picks)

Macro photography is extremely fun and some of the most phenomenal photographs ever taken are macro photographs. You don’t need an expensive dSLR or mirrorless camera to take great macro photos.

There are plenty of great macro point and shoot cameras that take fantastic macro shots, so let’s go ahead and check out the best macro point and shoot cameras.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
cfimvtbl-table__imageOur Top PickOur Top PickPanasonic Lumix DC-ZS70
  • 20.3 megapixels
  • dSLR features
  • 30x optical zoom
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageSony RX-10 Mark III
  • 20 megapixels
  • Adjust focus after taking shot
  • 2/3 cm macro focus
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageRicoh WG-50
  • 16 megapixels
  • Super macro mode
  • Shockproof and waterproof
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageOlympus Tough TG-6
  • Can shoot RAW images
  • Great macro mode
  • Waterproof and shockproof
CHECK BEST PRICE →

Best Macro Point and Shoot Camera: 9 picks

1. Ricoh WG-50

Ricoh WG-50 16MP Waterproof Still/Video Camera Digital with 2.7' LCD, (Orange)

The Ricoh WG-50(and its newer brother the Ricoh WG-60) are two compact point and shoot cameras that sport really awesome specs.

The Ricoh WG-50 has a 16 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that can capture JPG images. There is no capability to capture RAW images, unfortunately.

Macro mode is available on this camera which decreases the focus distance down to just 10cm to 60cm, and you can even get into super macro mode which decreases the focal length further to 1cm to 30cm.

Think about that! Just 1 cm is amazing!

For regular shooting, the zoom distance is 28mm to 140mm, and the lens will come out up to 20mm from the body of the camera. In normal conditions, the focal distance is 50cm up to infinity.

Finally, the build of the Ricoh WG-50 is super rugged and strong, as it is both shockproof and waterproof. There are also six built-in lights that will let you take better photos in lower light.

Ricoh WG-50 16MP Waterproof Still/Video Camera Digital with 2.7" LCD, (Orange)
  • 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor offers plenty of image detail. Wide angle 5X internal optical zoom lens (28 140millimeter equivalent)
  • Waterproof to 46 feet perfect for use when submerged
  • Shockproof, ruggedized design protects from drops up to 5 feet
  • Capture video in Widescreen 1080P HD at 30 frames per second
  • Enhanced digital microscope mode uses 6 macro LEDs for perfect focus and smooth, even lighting; Instant illumination enhance feature; Max Resolution: 4608 x 3456

2. Olympus Tough TG-6

Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red

The TG-6 by Olympus is a rugged waterproof point and shoot camera that can take great images in whatever conditions you can imagine. Take this camera skiing, scuba diving, into the desert, heck, you can even climb a mountain through a blizzard and get good shots with this camera!

The guts of the camera contains a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that can capture both JPG and RAW images, which is a step above the Ricoh camera above.

Of course, this camera made our list thanks to the amazing macro mode, which allows you to focus from 1cm to infinity.

This camera is also specially designed for underwater photography and has a variety of underwater modes as well as specialized white balance for underwater photos.

Video quality is OK, but I feel like that is more than compensated for by the superb photo quality in nearly all conditions. If you are the adventurous type, this camera is perfect to take with you into water, snow, sand, or whatever else you can imagine.

And of course, it shoots superb macro photographs.

Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red
  • Waterproof (50 feet /15 meter), dust proof, shockproof (7 feet / 2.1 meter), crush proof (100 kgf), freeze proof (14 degree Fahrenheit / -10 degree Celsius), anti-fog
  • High resolution F2.0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • Variable macro system comprised of 4 macro shooting modes, magnified shooting up to 1 centimeter from the end of the lens
  • 5 underwater shooting modes including underwater microscope, 3 underwater white balance modes
  • 4K movie and full HD 120 fps high speed movies can be recorded. Battery life - Approx. 340 Images (using Toshiba SDHC UHS-I Card Exceria with is on, based on CIPA test standards). Approx. 50 minutes (under standard JEITA testing). Approx. 110 minutes (when zoom and other operational functions are not used). When repeatedly recording at the maximum time of 29 minutes

3. Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B

Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Black)

The third choice in our list, the Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B is slightly different from the first two cameras we reviewed as this camera is much more budget friendly. However, the cheaper cost is due to the fact that this camera is nowhere near as rugged as the Ricoh and Olympus.

However, if you’re not planning on taking it into extreme weather or geographic conditions, then this point and shoot camera really shines for everyday use.

It has a built in macro mode that can take respectable macro photographs(minimum focal distance is 4.8 cm), though not as close up as the Ricoh and Olympus. Still, considering how much more budget friendly this one is, we recommend it.

The biggest aperture this camera can manage is f/3.2 which is not too bad. If you zoom all the way, it falls to f/6.4.

As a simple point and shoot camera with a respectable macro mode, you can’t really go wrong with the Sony Cybershot DSC-W800B.

Sale
Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Black)
  • MP Super HAD CCD sensor for beautifully detailed images. Blink Detection
  • Sony Lens w/ 5x Optical Zoom and 360 sweep panorama
  • Reduced blur with SteadyShot Image stabilization.Recording Format:Still Images: JPEG , Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG)
  • Capture your videos in 720p HD Movie mode
  • Simplify camera menu with Easy Mode; Digital Zoom- Still images: 20M approx.10x, 10M approx.7.1x, 5M approx.9.9x, VGA approx.40x, 2M(16:9) approx.13x, Movies: Digital Zoom approx. 10x (*1)

4. Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70

Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S 20.3MP 4K Digital Camera (Black) with Battery and External Charger Travel Pack Bundle

I don’t even know where to start with how amazing the 20.3 megapixel Lumix DC-ZS70S is. If you were to ask me to summarize in one phrase, I would say that this camera is a dSLR in a compact camera body.

Even though it is a point and shoot camera, it has a special system called focus stacking which lets you take really nice macro photos(this generates a larger field of view than usual to make focusing easier), letting you focus as close to 3mm to infinity.

That’s for shooting up really close, and if you’re really far away, the optical zoom magnifies up to 30x! In dSLR terms, thats 27-720mm.

Here’s where things get really cool: on the lens, there is a control ring which lets you manually (!) change the zoom, aperture, and a variety of other settings. There is also an image stabilization system which comes really handy when you shoot in low light conditions or when you’re making use of the 30x zoom.

At such a high zoom, even very tiny shakes will start becoming really visible, so the stabilization goes a long way.

Aside from the regular LCD screen, there is also a viewfinder(not optical, but digital) which comes in super handy when the sun’s glare prevents you from seeing the screen. You can still compose your photos using the viewfinder.

Finally, did we tell you that you can shoot 4K videos at 30fps?

Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S 20.3MP 4K Digital Camera (Black) with Battery and External Charger Travel Pack Bundle
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S 20.3MP 4K Digital Camera (Black) with Battery and External Charger Travel Pack Bundle
  • MOS SENSOR: The Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S has 20.3-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor and records high-quality images in incredible detail. The sensor works in tandem with the Venus Engine to ensure stunning pictures even in dimly lit environments with minimal image noise
  • TILTABLE MONITOR: With a 180-degree tiltable monitor, you'll always get the perfect selfie. Whether it’s of you, a group, party moment or overactive dog, you'll get your shot in 4K quality. LUMIX 4K PHOTO lets you catch the best moment at 30fps
  • 4K VIDEO: With the clarity of 4K video, the LUMIX ZS70 makes it easy to record every journey in up to 3840 x 2160p detail - four times the quality of Full HD

Related

5. Nikon COOLPIX w300

Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera with TFT LCD, 3', Orange (26524)

Number 5 on the list is another tough, rugged, all-terrain camera sporting a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor.

You can zoom all the way from 24-120mm(translates to 5x), and the image is quite clear on the LCD screen. There is a small stabilization system built in as well.

As far as macro photos are concerned, the focus distance starts at 1 cm so you can get really up and close to your subject. There are also built-in lights for a little extra boost in low light conditions.

You can also shoot timelapses and stunning 4K videos.

It’s waterproof up to 100 feet, shockproof, and dustproof, making it a very viable competitor to the Olympus and Ricoh cameras above.

Finally, there’s a GPS chip built in, as well as an altimeter and depth gauge which will help you track your progress during your adventures!

Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera with TFT LCD, 3", Orange (26524)
  • Waterproof, freeze proof, shockproof and dustproof adventure camera with extra capabilities
  • Stunning high resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos, Time-lapse videos, Super lapse videos and music montages
  • 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with telephoto power and Hybrid VR image stabilization
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, eCompass, altimeter, depth gauge and more
  • Operating environment: Temperature: -10 to +40°C (14 to 104°F ) for land use, Temperature: 0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F) for underwater use

6. Sony RX10 Mark III

Sony DSCRX10/B Cybershot 20.2 MP Digital Still Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen

Departing from the typical point and shoot design, the RX10 Mark III by Sony looks like a dSLR camera but is in fact a point and shoot system.

Sporting a 20 megapixel sensor that shoots RAW and JPG images, it can take some really fantastic photographs. A really useful focusing feature is called digital focus, which actually lets you make small adjustments to the focus after the photograph has been taken.

The lens is quite impressive at 24mm to 200mm. You can’t zoom manually, though, so you’ll have to use a toggle on the camera body to zoom in and out. In macro mode, the focus distance is about 2/3 cm, which is really respectable.

There’s also a high quality LED viewfinder you can use if you don’t want to use the screen(which can tilt, too).

If you’re into videos, you can take slow-motion videos up to 960 frames per second.

7. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10

Panasonic LUMIX LX10 4K Digital Camera, 20.1 Megapixel 1-Inch Sensor, 3X LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX Lens, F1.4-2.8 Aperture, POWER O.I.S. Stabilization, 3-Inch LCD, DMC-LX10K (Black)

The Lumix DMC-LX10 is a spectacular point and shoot camera that has a large 20.3 megapixel sensor. Focus stacking technology allows you to take much sharper pictures, and you can even adjust the focus points right on the camera after shooting the image.

For low light photography, the F1.4-2.8 aperture will let you really open the lens wide and let a lot of light in.

You can focus up to 3cm away for amazing macro photographs.

A really cool feature the Lumix has the ability to extract 4K still images. Suppose you are shooting a 4K video(max is 30fps). You can shoot the video and pull out the exact frame from the video which you want to use as a photograph, and in an instant, you’ll have a 4K photograph.

The lens has an aperture ring you can use to adjust the aperture manually, giving a really tactile feel. You can also use the ring to adjust shutterspeed.

For the slo-mo fans out there, you can shoot up to 120fps for dramatically slowing down footage in post-processing.

Overall, the Lumix DMC-LX10 is a compact point and shoot camera with features that rival many leading dSLR cameras.

Sale
Panasonic LUMIX LX10 4K Digital Camera, 20.1 Megapixel 1-Inch Sensor, 3X LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX Lens, F1.4-2.8 Aperture, POWER O.I.S. Stabilization, 3-Inch LCD, DMC-LX10K (Black)
  • POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA: Large, 1-inch 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor plus 3X zoom LEICA DC VARIO-SU millimeter ILUX lens (24-72 millimeter) and POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) delivers brighter, more colorful photos with fewer image artifacts
  • TILTING SELFIE DISPLAY: Rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD display (1040K dots) tilts upward 180 degree for easy selfie photos
  • 4K VIDEO CAPTURE: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), plus exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus with internal Focus Stacking allows you to record photos up to 30fps and set your desired focus points after the photo has been taken
  • LENS-MOUNTED CONTROL RING: Manual lens-mounted control ring brings DSLR-like exposure control to a compact point-and-shoot camera body
  • USB CHARGING AND WI-FI CONNECTIVITY: Enjoy travel ready technologies like USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity to your mobile device; micro-HDMI type D (3) and USB 2.0 micro-B provide additional connectivity to your favorite devices

8. Panasonic Lumix DC-Fz80

Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9 Aperture, Power O.I.S. Stabilization, Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD, Wi-Fi, DC-FZ80K (Black)

Like the Sony camera we reviewed above, the Lumix DC-FZ80 looks like a dSLR but is in fact a point and shoot camera. It has an 18.1 megapixel sensor and you can compose your photographs using the LCD screen or the electronic viewfinder.

Like most Panasonic cameras, this camera sports focus stacking, letting you shoot really crisp images.

By default, the minimum focal length is 20mm and goes up to 1200mm. If you turn on macro mode, you can focus down to 1 cm. When you’re up so close, the optical image stabilization does a great job of keeping the shot steady for you, negating any shakes in your hands.

Like the Lumix we reviewed just before this one, you can spot focus an image after capturing it.

For the distance photographers out there, the 1200mm focal length means you can zoom all the way up to 60x! That is ridiculous and greater than most consumer telescopes!

In fact, if you mount this camera on a steady tripod, you could probably take great photos of the moon and planets, too.

The videographers amongst you will enjoy shooting 4K video at 30fps.

As far as ergonomics go, the camera is very comfortable to grip, easy to handle, and you won’t get tired even after carrying it around all day.

Sale
Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9 Aperture, Power O.I.S. Stabilization, Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD, Wi-Fi, DC-FZ80K (Black)
  • Point and Shoot Long Zoom Camera: 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor plus 60X zooms DC Vario lens (20 1220 millimeter and Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) captures far off moments
  • High Resolution View Finder & LCD Display: High resolution 1,170K dot view finder and rear touch enabled 3 inch LCD Display (1040 dots) are clear even in bright sunlight.Lens:14 elements in 12 groups
  • 4K video Capture: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160) with three unique 4K ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo modes extracts individual high resolution Photos from 4K ultra HD video filmed at 30 frames per second to capture split second moments
  • Low Light Performance: Low light capture lets you enjoy photography during your nightlife again with impressive results; Note: Refer to user manual PDF attached below in technical specification for trouble shooting steps are on page 54
  • USB Charging and Wi-Fi Connectivity: Enjoy travel ready technologies like USB charging and Wi Fi connectivity to your mobile device; HDMI D (Micro), Micro USB and USB 2.0 provide additional connectivity to your favorite devices; Max resolution: 4896 x 3672

Note: the ability to do so much post processing even after the image has been captured is one of the main advantages of digital vs film cameras.

9. Honorable mention: macro lens attachment for smartphones

Xenvo Pro Lens Kit for iPhone, Samsung, Pixel, Macro and Wide Angle Lens with LED Light and Travel Case
  • ✔ COMPATIBLE WITH ALL SINGLE AND DUAL-CAMERA PHONES including ALL iPhone models, Samsung Galaxy and Note, Google Pixel, Huawei and more. CONTENTS INCLUDE: TruView 0.45x Wide Angle Lens, Clarus 15x Macro Lens, TruGrip Lens Clip, GlowClip Mini Rechargeable LED Light + Charging Cable, Quick-Release Lanyard, DuraCase, EasyClip, Cleaning Cloth and LIFETIME WARRANTY.
  • ✔ TRUVIEW 0.45x WIDE ANGLE LENS - CAPTURE 45% MORE PICTURE WITH EVERY SNAP: Shoot stunning photos of people, pets, travel scenery, landscapes, architecture, selfies and more. NO DARK CORNERS (vignetting) like cheaper lenses. Crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum and premium optical glass for durability and clarity. Multi-element, coated glass lenses minimize ghosting, reflections, lens flare, and other artifacts. Xenvo cell phone lens attachment is ideal for hobbyists and photography pros alike.
  • ✔ CLARUS 15x MACRO LENS - MARVEL YOUR SENSES. MAGNIFY NEARBY SUBJECTS FOR BREATHTAKING, SUPER CLOSE-UP PHOTOS: Capture all the intricacies and details with precision-focus for razor crisp macro photos every time. (For best results, position macro lens approximately 1/2 inch from subject. Not designed for zooming in on distant subjects.) THE TRUGRIP LENS CLIP offers SUPERIOR GRIPPING POWER to fasten your lenses to your cell phone when you're in action mode, framing your next perfect shot.
  • ✔ GLOWCLIP RECHARGEABLE LED FILL LIGHT - The GlowClip LED light clips ANYWHERE on your phone to instantly illuminate your subject and surroundings with warm continuous light. The warm and natural LED light is superior to your smartphone's built in flash—which can be blinding and unnatural—especially in darker settings and venues. FEATURES 3 BRIGHTNESS SETTINGS: Low, Medium and High. Say goodbye to frustrating photo "retakes" and hello to brilliant photos the first time.
  • ✔ QUICK-RELEASE LANYARD AND TRAVEL CASE - TRANSPORT AND PROTECT YOUR LENS KIT: Perfect for taking your Xenvo lenses with you on the fly. The travel case stores and protects all lens kit components snugly and safely while the quick-release lanyard is the perfect way to carry your lenses on your next outing. Just drape the lanyard and lens around your neck. The quick-release lanyard head makes it a cinch to access your Xenvo lenses in a flash so you never miss another photo moment.

Macro point and shoot camera buying guide

With our 8 favorite macro point and shoots(and one smartphone lens) out of the way, let’s talk very briefly about some of the main things to consider when buying a macro camera.

Should you take macro photos with a point and shoot or dSLR or mirrorless camera?

When it comes to choosing a point and shoot or dSLR/mirrorless camera, it really depends on how much space you have and how much flexibility you need.

Of course, a dSLR or mirrorless is the most flexible camera as you can use the same camera you are used to and comfortable with for a wide variety of applications just by switching around the lens.

dSLR cameras also offer the most customization and often will have much better sensors than even the best point and shoot cameras.

However, if you’re at a point where if you’re not a professional photographer and you just need something that’s easy to use without having to fiddle too much, point and shoots are great, and many of them have features to rival dSLRs.

The only downside is you’re stuck with the feature set of the point and shoot and the only way to upgrade is to get a new camera altogether.

Additionally, most budget-friendly point and shoot cameras are not going to have very large sensors, and at some point, the difference in quality will be evident.

But for everyday photography for sharing with friends online? A point and shoot is perfect.

Another alternative is to use a mirrorless camera, which is almost as compact as a point and shoot but still has the flexibility of changing lenses.

Related

Price

There’s quite a wide price range in the cameras we’ve listed here, but it seems like $300-400 is the sweet spot where you can pick up a really rugged camera that can take a beating and capture some really nice photographs.

If you’ve got money to spare and don’t mind the bigger form factor, the two cameras with the dSLR form factors will obviously take better photos thanks to the bigger sensors and more advanced features.

Focus distance

Since we’re talking about macro photographs here, the main question is that of focus distance. Most of the cameras listed here have very small focus distances in macro mode so you can get really nice and up close to your shots. This is great to capture subjects like insects, small birds, flowers, and water droplets.

The possibilities are really endless. Once you get up close to your subject, there are so many more things you can highlight in the photo.

example macro photograph of water droplets on a leaf

Ruggedness

Quite a few of the cameras on our list are all-terrain/all-condition cameras that are waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof.

Indeed, some of the most stunning macro photos can be shot off the beaten path, so if you’re into the outdoors and into photography, those can certainly do the job well.

In those situations the more expensive dSLR-style cameras won’t cut it because you’ll have to worry about keeping them safe from the elements!

Conclusion

Macro photography is incredibly rewarding and challenging and a point and shoot camera is a great way to get into it if you’re not willing to shell out the cash for a mirrorless camera and a lens.

Best Beginner Tripod: Great Options For Amateur Photographers

Looking for the best beginner tripod money can buy? Hoping for something that’s easy to use? You’re in the right place. We’ve trawled through the options online to find our favorites. We’ve considered aspects like max height, load capacity, ease of use and height to come up with a list of the best options available.

If you’re looking for our quick-and-dirty recommendation, check out this Manfrotto model on Amazon. Its premium Italian design, aluminum leg lock base and overall build make it a fantastic choice for those looking for a first-time tripod.

Have a bit more time and want the details? Check out our more detailed reviews below.

Best Tripod for Beginners — Our Top Picks

This section will run through our favorite models. They consistently ranked highly on Amazon and other reviews and, in our opinion, represent fantastic value for money!

1. Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290

Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum 3-Section Tripod Kit with 3-Way Head (MK290XTA3-3WUS) , Black

As mentioned at the top of this page, this option from Manfrotto gets a lot of things right. Its sturdy center column and premium design make it a great candidate for an entry level light DSLR tripod. The robust aluminum construction goes a long way in keeping it lightweight for your photos on-the-go.

The ability to adjust your tripod quickly and easily should be one of your main concerns when picking up a new base for you camera. Fortunately, the 4 different leg angles possible with the Manfrotto make it a versatile piece of kit.

In a competitive market, it’s always great to see companies willing to sweeten the deal. The free shoulder bag that comes with this ball head tripod adds a nice boost to the overall value of this Manfrotto package.

With a max height of 67.5 Inches and a load capacity of 8.8 lbs, this option should be more than capable for most requirements.

Pros:

  • Premium Italian design
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • 4 possible leg angles
  • Free shoulder bag

Cons:

  • A carbon fiber construction would have been nice
  • Can sell out quite quickly(if that’s really considered a con!)

2. Neewer Carbon Fiber Tripod

Neewer 66 inches/168 centimeters Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod Monopod with 360 Degree Ball Head, 1/4 inch Quick Shoe Plate and Bag for DSLR Camera Video Camcorder Travel and Work,Load up to 33lbs/15kg

Coming in at number two is this fantastic carbon fiber option from Neewer. Its robust construction, ball head design and 2-in-1 functionality make this a brilliant beginner tripod. The stand-out feature of this option is its versatility.

The leg sections are super tough and one can be detached and used as an individual monopod. If you work with multiple cameras for a variety of different shots, this feature could be a godsend. If you want extra stability with your carbon fiber tripod, this option might be a good choice.

The included hook attached to the center column can be used to hang sand bags and further stabilize your base. Further adding to the versatility of this tripod is the ball head top that can swivel 360°. This is one of the best tripods out there for panoramic videos and wide-angle shots.

This Neewer model offers a maximum height of 63 inches and a max weight of 33lbs. If you need a more heavy-duty DSLR tripod. this one is a great choice.

Pros:

  • 2-in-1 design
  • Best tripod for panoramic shots
  • Ball head top
  • Carbon fiber construction

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option out there
  • Make sure you click the monopod leg back in firmly; the mechanism can be a little tricky

3. Vanguard VEO – Carbon Fiber

Vanguard VEO 2 235CB Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with VEO 2 BH-50 Ball Head for Sony, Nikon, Canon, Fujifilm Mirrorless, Compact System Camera (CSC), DSLR

The Vanguard VEO is for those who aren’t willing to make compromises with their beginner’s tripod. The durable center column, chunky leg lock design and multi-action ball head combine for a seriously compelling package. This one isn’t the cheapest option on our list, but it’s absolutely fantastic.

As you grow as a photographer, you’ll come to value speed and efficiency when setting up your gear. The VEO uses an optional quick release plate and intelligent center column design that allow for a 15-second setup. If speed matters to you, this one is well worth considering.

With many entry-level tripods, consumers have to choose between weight and durability. Thanks to the carbon fibre construction of the VEO, you’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. Your tripod will be super easy to carry while staying durable enough to stand up to anything you throw at it.

If you know a little bit about tripods already, you’ll probably understand the value of twist locks when it comes to keeping things sturdy. This is a lightweight tripod that’s very sturdy on practically any flat surface. This is thanks in no small part to the premium twist locks that come as standard.

Pros:

  • A brilliant mirrorless or DSLR tripod
  • Super sturdy tripod legs
  • Convenient ball head design
  • Speedy setup

Cons:

  • Not the best budget option

4. Slik Professional Tilt Head Aluminum Tripod

This is another phenomenal option for those who need a robust pan tilt design. This Slik Professional model uses a smooth swiveling head that can take a lot of the hassle out to executing panoramic shots. If you regularly do this type of camera work, or are looking for some equipment to help get you started, this one is worth a look.

One thing that stood out to us about this aluminum tripod is the geared system that allows it to adapt robustly to different camera weights on the fly. Say you’re shooting with your DSLR but want to quickly switch to your smartphone for a livestream— this system will make sure your devices get the support they need.

Another thing we love about this tripod is how well it adapts to different terrains. Each leg supporting the tilt head can be adjusted individually. For uneven surfaces and imperfect environments, this can lend some welcome flexibility to your setup.

With a folded height of 26 inches and a maximum reach of up to 64, this might just be the best tripod for your beginner’s kit. Its versatility, durability and overall ease of use are seriously impressive.

Pros:

  • Excellent pan tilt design
  • Versatile adjustment system
  • Geared column system for camera support
  • Sturdy flip locks

Cons:

  • Best suited to a lighter camera

5. MeFOTO Compact Tripod

MeFOTO RoadTrip Classic Lightweight 61.6' Aluminum Travel Tripod/Monopod w/Case, Twist Locks, Triple Action Ballhead w/Arca Swiss Plate - Black (A1350Q1K)

For many beginners, the only tripod you really need is one that can support your smartphone or perhaps a lightweight travel camera. If this sounds like you, then this lightweight tripod from MeFOTO is right up your street.

This compact tripod can fold up inversely and, if you use an optional accessory, convert into a handy monopod. For vlogging enthusiasts who are always on the go, this one is an excellent choice. This is another tripod on our list that offers smooth 360° panning.

For effortless panoramas and immersive swiveling videos, consider options that use this kind of panning design. This model from MeFOTO has a variety of options for the materials used for its construction. You’ll be able to choose from aluminum, carbon fiber and even a version with leather accents.

With a super smooth tripod head, glorious 360° panning and a folded height of just 12.2 inches, this is one of the best options for photographers who need a versatile tool that’s easy to take with them.

Pros:

  • Great for panoramas
  • A variety of options for the construction material
  • Folds away for easy carrying
  • Very sturdy tripod legs

6. ZOMEI Z699C

ZOMEI Z699C Carbon Fiber Portable Tripod with Ball Head Compact Travel for Canon,Sony, Nikon, Samsung, Panasonic, Olympus, Kodak, Fuji, Cameras and Video Camera

This is another premium model, this time from the manufacturer Zomei. For a heftier price tag, you get a whole lot of versatility. Like other premium models on this page, the Z699C makes it easy to adjust each tripod leg individually.

The result is an accessory that can do its job on virtually any terrain. The pull-out button design is remarkably easy to use and allows for adjustments that feel effortless as you adjust your setup. Further flexibility comes in the form of a built-in bubble level.

Keeping your foundation steady is one of the first things you should think about when setting up. Additions like the bubble level make this process a whole lot easier.

Another thing about this tripod that begins to justify its price point is how durable it is. The robust carbon fibre frame can stand up to bumps very well. When you use a tripod, you’re trusting that the accessory you’ve bought will be able to support your expensive camera.

Use premium models like this one to guarantee your camera stays secure.

Pros:

  • Super steady frame
  • Legs can be adjusted individually
  • Built-in bubble indicator
  • Ultra-portable design

Cons:

  • At around $200, this is certainly an investment

7. K&F Concept SA254M2

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Last, but certainly not least, is the K&F Concept. If portability matters to you, then this option is worth considering. Its lightweight aluminum construction is very easy to carry with you wherever you are. Don’t let the lack of carbon fiber fool you, though. This tripod is no slouch when it comes to durability either.

Even clumsier photographers shouldn’t have much to worry about when using this thing; it appears to stand up to drops and bumps fairly well. Among the SA254M2’s best qualities is its fantastic 360° head that makes it super easy to get the panoramic shots you need.

The design of the SA254M2 is pretty impressive — it can stand at up to 72.8 inches tall and can shrink down to a tiny 18.9 inches. This broad spectrum of potential heights makes this the best beginner tripod for those who shoot from a multitude of different angles.

With tons of positive reviews online, this one is well worth a look.

Pros:

  • Durable build quality
  • Surprisingly portable
  • Excellent range of potential heights
  • 360° shooting

Cons:

  • The lack of a carrying handle is a little disappointing

Check it out here.

Beginner Tripods — Our Buyer’s Guide

We believe the options listed above are some of the best beginner tripods available in 2021. That said, it’s worth discussing some of the things that you should look out for when buying this kind of accessory for your camera.

When buying any new product, it’s important to make sure you’re buying something that will suit your needs. It’s just necessary to ask yourself about what you need out of a new tripod as it is to understand the tools themselves.

The more you know about tripod fundamentals and which of them matter to you, the easier it will be to spot a dud. Read on to find your best beginner tripod.

Price

The first thing to mention is that you usually get what you pay for when it comes to tripod buying. “More expensive” doesn’t always translate to “better,” but you should steer clear of prices that seem too good to be true.

As a very general rule, expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $200 for a good beginner’s tripod. Once you’re paying more, though, make sure you’re getting a feature set that justifies the price point.

Load

The load capacity of your tripod is one of the most important stats to double-check. If you regularly shoot with a heavy DSLR, for example, it’s vital that you make sure your accessory will be able to hold it.

Look out for product listings that describe themselves as “iPhone tripods” or “mirrorless camera tripods”. If you take photos with the aforementioned devices then they could work great, but don’t expect them to support your heavier equipment.

Height

How high do you need your tripod to reach? Just looking for something that can sit comfortably on a desk, or will something much taller be necessary? Use your personal answers to these questions to find a model that suits your requirements.

Remember that the taller your tripod becomes, the less stable it will be. Make sure your specific model remains stable even at its tallest height. Look for options that allow you to attach sandbags for increased stability.

Tripod Weight

It’s likely that you’ll be carrying your tripod around with you at least some of the time. If you travel a lot for your photography, it’s probably worth looking for options that are lighter and therefore easier to take with you.

The best beginner tripod is one that suits your requirements, so make sure you’ve picked a model that can travel as much as you need it to.

Material

The two things most affected by your tripod’s material are portability and durability. The most common materials used are aluminum and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is typical of more premium models as it affords more durability while remaining lightweight.

Keep in mind, though, that there are plenty of aluminum stands that are durable too.

Compatibility

Many tripods will use a standard screw mount for attaching your camera, but some will use a hot-shoe mount instead. It’s worth making sure that any model you’re considering will fit the dimensions of your specific camera.

If you regularly shoot with multiple devices, you might want to pick up a universal adaptor to make sure you’ll be able to use your tripod with everything. The last thing you want is to find yourself on location with a camera and tripod that don’t fit together!

Stability

The primary purpose of a tripod is to keep your camera steady while you work. For this reason, it’s worth making sure that any model you’re considering can do its job properly wherever you are. The main feature that can help with this is legs that can be adjusted individually.

Tweaking each leg one by one allows you to adapt your tripod to any number of uneven terrains. Built-in bubble levels are another great extra that can really help maintain stability when working on the fly.

Conclusion

We hope this page has helped demystify the process of finding a great beginner’s tripod. Remember that the best option for you will depend heavily on the type of work you do and the amount of money you can afford to spend.

Don’t be tempted to splash out the big bucks on a tripod that you simply can’t afford yet. While more premium models can be amazing, the high-quality entry-level options can be more than enough to get the job done.

As you grow as a photographer and start earning from your work, you’ll be able to upgrade your kit as you progress. Remember to use our tips from our buyer’s guide to pick up a tripod that fits your needs. Spending money on something that doesn’t work well is never a good feeling!

Best GoPro Alternative: Other Options To Consider

Action cameras have redefined the world of travel and sport photography over the past several years. It’s now possible for a complete novice to capture jaw-dropping footage of their adventures. The GoPro brand springs immediately to mind whenever the words “action camera” are mentioned.

Is there a GoPro alternative out there that can compete in the action camera space? We think so. We’re huge fans of the GoPro name, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only kid on the block.

Recent developments in image stabilization and quality mean that GoPro alternatives are well worth considering when picking up a new camera for your travels. This page lists some of our top picks for action cameras that hold up against their GoPro counterparts.

We’ll assess performance, value for money and convenience to try and find the best GoPro alternative in 2021.

Our Favorite GoPro Alternative Picks

If you’re looking for a good GoPro alternative, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the internet and found what we feel are some of the best options out there in 2021. We’ve tried to find options to fit a wide variety of budgets.

We’ve also kept in mind that an action camera doesn’t always need sky-high resolution to do a great job.

1. YI 4K Camera

This 4K-capable action camera is one of our favorite GoPro alternatives. The battery life in particular deserves a mention. No action camera can compete with the battery of a larger DSLR, for example, but the YI 4K does very well within its bracket.

Users can expect up to 120 minutes of 4K footage shot at 30fps. This is pretty impressive considering how lightweight and compact this thing is. We really like the UI on this one too.

The intuitive touchscreen design is refreshingly simple to navigate and the built-in Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth connectivity features let you share your shots almost instantly. We were impressed by the electronic image stabilization on this action camera.

For the most part, videos come out buttery-smooth without much effort required at all. Since the latest firmware update, it’s been possible to control this action cam with your voice for hands-free shooting. This model has an optional waterproof case designed to protect it from the elements while you explore.

This is a fantastic GoPro alternative with some great image stabilization and convenience features to sweeten the deal. For our money, this one is well worth considering.

Pros:

  • Comparatively long battery life
  • 4K capable
  • Uses a pretty powerful Sony image sensor

Cons:

  • The waterproof case requires an additional purchase which is a shame

2. Campark Act74 (Upgraded Model)

This is a 2021 upgrade to the hugely popular Campark Act74 action camera. The price is one thing that really stands out with this one. You can pick up this GoPro killer for around $50 on Amazon. Don’t let the price throw you off, though. This camera is no slouch.

Enjoy stunning 4K video recording at 30fps and capture your action shots in all their glory with the 20MP optical sensor. Your footage should stay nice and steady thanks to Campark’s electronic image stabilization that works tirelessly while you explore.

The included remote control with this model is a nice touch; it makes hands-free shooting much easier and is pretty easy to use too. Another huge plus that sets this option apart from other GoPro alternatives is the included external microphone that improves audio performance considerably.

This action camera stays waterproof at up to 131ft, making it an excellent candidate if you’re looking for a camera that can dive with you into the seas. The 60-90 minute battery life on this Campark is acceptable but not groundbreaking.

What did catch out attention, however, was the fact that this unit comes with two batteries and a charging cable as standard. We believe that bringing extra juice with you is the only way to make action cams viable for longer trips, so this is great to see.

Pros:

  • Waterproof up to 131ft
  • Gorgeous 4K video recording
  • Included remote control and external microphone

Cons:

  • The included user manual is a little skimpy

3. Akaso V50 Pro

This option is a little more expensive than some of the action cameras we’ve mentioned thus far but it comes with plenty to sink your teeth into. The Akaso V50 Pro is a versatile action cam with remarkable optical performance and a killer feature set.

One thing we love about the Akaso V50 Pro is the ability to adjust the viewing angle when shooting. This gives you a fair bit of extra flexibility when capturing your adventures. Your options when tweaking your view are super wide, wide, medium and narrow.

This range should be more than enough to get your subject(s) into shot. A 6-axis gyroscope and industry-standard image stabilization work in tandem to keep your videos as smooth as possible.

One thing you often see with non-GoPro action cameras is that the brands throw in extras to make their products seem more appealing. This is certainly true with the Akaso V50 Pro. This camera comes with an extra battery thrown in for good measure along with a remote control bracelet and bonus accessory kit.

If you’re looking for value for money, this option is right up your street. Among the other positives about the Akaso V50 Pro are the built-in wifi, waterproof case design and companion app for easy content sharing.

Pros:

  • Flexible viewing angle for more user control
  • Extra battery included
  • Great optical performance

Cons:

  • The low-light performance isn’t great

4. Akaso EK7000

Another option from Akaso, this GoPro challenger doesn’t come with quite the power level of some other cameras, but it’s also considerably cheaper. This is perhaps the best GoPro alternative on this list if you’re looking for a reliable helmet or security cam.

If you decide to use the Akaso EK7000 for your outdoor exploits, you’ll be able to take advantage of its waterproof design that stays safe up to 131ft deep. You should also find it relatively easy to navigate; Akaso prides themselves on producing cameras with intuitive, touchscreen-focused UIs.

The image stabilization on this GoPro challenger isn’t state of the art, but it’s no slouch either. Expect your snowboarding or biking footage to be stable and clear throughout. As for video quality, the Akaso EK7000 produces lovely footage at either 4K/25fps, 2.7K/30fps or 1080P/60fps.

Considering the the sub-$70 asking price, this is a surprising level of performance in our opinion. The built-in WiFi features on this model work very well and make it simple to share your footage with the world.

If you don’t need a GoPro alternative that can shoot 60fps 4K video, the lower price of this one might make it worth your while.

Pros:

  • Makes a great helmet cam
  • Very affordable
  • The WiFi features work well

Cons:

  • The battery gauge on the UI isn’t super accurate

5. Garmin Virb Ultra 30

The Virb Ultra 30 is perhaps the best GoPro alternative on this list in terms of raw power. It’s designed with aviation in mind but also works fantastically in place of a normal GoPro.

This thing is packed full of firepower for capturing your adventures in ultra-high definition. Video quality like this comes at a price but if you can afford it, it’s worth the investment.

A number of technical considerations that come with this 4K action camera can breathe new life into your videos. It’s possible to document your position, altitude, speed and much more while you film. This information can then be added to your shots to give insight into your flights and bike rides.

This camera produces footage with stunning video quality and crisp detail. Videos can be shot at 4K/30fps and the image stabilization is supported by a 3-axis gyroscope for accurate corrections on the fly.

If you’re flying with Bluetooth-enabled headsets, the Ultra 30 can record your audio and add it to your footage in post. While the battery life on this option isn’t great, it packs a hefty punch when compared to other GoPro competitors.

Pros:

  • Live position and audio recording
  • Brilliant 4K video quality
  • Built-in WiFi

Cons:

  • The battery life isn’t great

6. TomTom Bandit 4K Action Cam

If battery life is important to you, and it should be, then this 4K GoPro competitor is worth considering. The TomTom Bandit can shoot up to 3 hours of video continuously without needing a cable.

This makes it a great option for longer trips where you’re likely to be away from a power source for extended periods of time. Throw in an extra battery or two and you’re looking at a GoPro alternative that could last you all day!

As with the camera above, the Bandit can record details of your position and speed live and add this data to your footage. This can bring an exciting new layer of immersion to your videos. An important thing to note is that this camera doesn’t come with a waterproof housing.

If you’re using it for bike rides, you’ll be absolutely fine. If you’re boating down rapids, look elsewhere. The action camera market is increasingly saturated. Competitors are finding more and more ways to stand out from the rest.

In the case of TomTom, they’ve opted to include media server functionality with their camera. This lets users edit their footage via a companion smartphone app without having to download it first. Pretty impressive if you ask us.

Pros:

  • Innovative features like media server functionality
  • 3h battery for extended filming
  • Record live data of your position when filming

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option out there

7. Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera

At less than half the price of most GoPro cameras, the Dragon Touch action cam is one of our favorites. Both still images and videos from this camera look great and can be captured using up to a 4x zoom for close-up shots.

The waterproof housing provided by the included case keeps your camera safe while you film. The waterproofing on this model is good up to 100ft which should be more than enough for most use cases. The free companion app for the Dragon Touch 4K makes it trivial to share your footage with other people.

If you’re filming a sport where you have both your hands full, the included wrist remote control will come in handy. It can be used to trigger both still images and video recording at the press of a button. What we love about this action cam is its versatile features.

The Dragon Touch 4K has a wide variety of shooting modes that allow it to adapt to virtually any scenario you throw at it. These options include driving mode, image rotation, time-lapse, loop recording, slow motion and ‘dramashot’ for a welcome boost to versatility.

Pros:

  • Decent image resolution at less than half the price of a GoPro
  • Tons of shooting modes for versatile shooting
  • Included wrist remote

Cons:

  • Unfortunately this one isn’t Mac compatible

8. Akaso Brave

You may have noticed how prevalent the Akaso name is throughout this review. These guys are one to look out for when buying a GoPro alternative. At the time of writing, this camera is the #1 bestseller on Amazon in the “Underwater Camera” category. We think this title is well deserved.

There’s a lot to love about the Akaso Brave. The adjustable viewing angle, bonus accessories and stunning image resolution make this an excellent addition to any adventurer’s toolkit.

Akaso are willing to include an extra battery, a remote control wrist band and a slew of other mini accessories with this camera, making this option excellent value for money in our opinion. Sharing your images is one of the best parts of taking them in the first place.

The built-in WiFi and HDMI connectivity features of the Akaso Brave makes this sharing even sweeter. Overall, this is a fantastic action camera that’s considerably cheaper than your average GoPro.

Pros:

  • #1 bestseller on Amazon
  • Tons of bonus accessories
  • A great GoPro alternative

Cons:

  • The battery life could be better

How to Spot a Good Action Camera

When finding a new action cam for your gear, it’s important to know what to look out for. There’s no point investing in a camera that’s just going to let you down. This section will outline what makes a GoPro alternative worth buying.

Weather Proofing

Ignore this one if you just need a GoPro alternative to use as a webcam or something similar. Otherwise, it’s important to make sure your action camera can stand up to the elements. Check for good waterproofing and, ideally, a body that’s built to last.

Some GoPro competitors are incredibly cheap, but they’re not very durable. Keep an eye out for the build quality of any product you consider.

Related

Image Quality

It goes without saying that any GoPro alternative you choose should deliver the image quality you need. Don’t just look for the number of megapixels; it’s also important to check the frame rate and video resolution your chosen action camera offers.

Some manufacturers rely on the fact that many consumers aren’t privy to fps or video resolution. Keep a keen eye to avoid disappointment.

Stabilization

The image stabilization built into the best GoPro alternatives keeps footage far less shaky and blurry. As this type of camera is typically used in environments with a lot of movement, features like this are a must. Most cameras use electronic image stabilization, which can actually work better for video footage than its optical counterpart.

Connectivity Features

This will depend on your use case, but an action camera with good Wi-Fi functionality can make it much easier to share your shots with others. Considering that most people pick up a GoPro alternative for holidays and social sporting events, being able to quickly share content is often a priority.

Battery Life

Unfortunately, even the best GoPro alternatives don’t have an all-day battery life. The same is true of official GoPro cameras. That said, it’s important to make sure you get something with at least a little life.

Around 1-2 hours of battery life is to be expected. Anything lower than 45 minutes is far from optimal.

Last Word

We’re not here to disparage GoPro cameras; we think they’re brilliant devices too. It’s just that if you’re looking to save money, it’s worth knowing that there are plenty of competitors out there that offer some pretty enticing cameras for considerably less.

Whichever brand you go with, we hope you have fun filming with it!

Best GoPro For Fishing: Top Picks and Reviews

There’s something uniquely frustrating about getting the perfect catch but having no way to document your success. A handy tool for any 21st-century fisherman is a GoPro camera. While it may seem like overkill if you’re a bit more old school, these things can get some incredible underwater shots.

An action camera can help you document the fishing situation underwater and snap some brilliant pics once you’ve caught a beauty. As a general rule a GoPro is easy to use, waterproof and built to work flawlessly outdoors. This makes them a great tool when fishing.

This article will run through what we think are the best GoPros for fishing. We’ll touch on what makes them great for any angler and how to make the most of them when outdoors.

Most of our recommendations will be GoPro branded, but it’s worth mentioning that there are plenty of other action camera brands out there that also do a fantastic job in this context.

Our Top Picks For The Best GoPro For Fishing

If you’re looking for the best GoPro for fishing, the list below contains some of our favorites. Keep your budget in mind and find your next fishing companion.

1. GoPro Hero 7 Black (The Premium But Affordable Option)

If you’ve ever plunged an action camera underwater before, one thing you may have noticed is how shaky the footage can be. The GoPro Hero 7 does a phenomenal job of tackling this issue. The GoPro “HyperSmooth” technology is designed to deliver gimble-like performance without a gimble in sight.

This can take your fishing footage to a whole new level and makes it much easier to actually see what’s happening underwater. If you like to document your setup process or your glorious day-long fishing trips, the time lapse function on this GoPro is for you.

This feature lets users effortlessly capture extended videos while subjects move around a scene. A well-positioned GoPro on a tripod can create a brilliant video that documents your whole day. If you go fishing with a child and you want a unique way to capture those memories, this is a great option.

The GoPro Hero 7 is waterproof up to 33ft, making it more than capable of getting some stunning underwater shots. One of the best GoPro features added in recent years has been the nifty voice commands that respond to your voice hands-free.

We’ve ranked the GoPro Hero 7 this highly as it gives you a lot of the more modern features you’ll love while staying significantly cheaper than the more recent Hero 8 and 9.

Pros:

  • Waterproof up to 33ft
  • Super smooth footage
  • Intelligent voice commands

Cons:

2. GoPro Hero 5 Session (The Mount on Your Rod Option)

One of the things that sets this GoPro apart as an excellent choice for fishing is its size. The GoPro Hero 5 session uses a much smaller footprint than some of its siblings. This can save a fair bit of space for your other fishing gear and accessories.

It also makes the Session 5 a great candidate if you need a camera that can mount to your fishing rod. The tiny square shape of this camera means it virtually disappears once you’ve got it set up. The single-button design makes this a wonderfully straightforward piece of kit.

The GoPro Hero Session 5 doesn’t have a touchscreen like some other GoPro options. What it does have, though, is the option to subscribe to GoPro Plus. A subscription with this service adds a new level of functionality to your camera. Your footage can be instantly uploaded to the cloud each time you shoot, for example.

The companion app for this kind of functionality is very easy to use. An extra subscription isn’t always necessary, but it brings some nice perks if you can afford it. This camera is waterproof up to 33ft. Add this to the handy size and slew of other features, and you’re dealing with an excellent GoPro for fishing.

Pros:

  • Comparatively tiny size for rod mounting
  • Auto-uploading with GoPro Plus
  • Straightforward, hassle-free design

Cons:

  • No touchscreen which may be a let down for some

3. GoPro Hero 6 (The Great Value Option)

This model is a little older these days, but this is exactly why it’s made it onto this list. The Hero 6 is now considerably more affordable than brand new action cameras. Depending on what you need your camera to do for you when fishing, you might be much better off with this option.

The familiar GoPro ease of use and performance are still here. You’ll still be able to shoot 4K video and control the camera with an intuitive touchscreen. While you will miss out on some flashier features like the latest image stabilization, this camera is no slouch.

The Hero 6 is waterproof up to 33 ft which should of course be one of your main concerns when looking for a new fishing camera. A great thing about slightly older models like this one is that you can often find great value deals on sites like Amazon.

This listing we’ve included, for example, offers an extra battery thrown in for good measure. Other deals can include bonus accessories and cases. It’s worth thinking about what you actually need a fishing camera for. If your requirements are fairly simple, take advantage of great-value deals like this.

Pros:

  • An excellent value camera with some great deals
  • Still performs very well
  • Waterproof up to 33ft

Cons:

  • Lacks more modern features and design elements

4. GoPro Max (Awesome 360 Videos)

The GoPro Max may seem like overdoing it to some, but others will fall in love the moment they start using it. This camera has three microphones and two cameras. The result of all this extra tech is that the GoPro Max can produce stunning 360º videos and 270º panoramic stills.

This is a great GoPro for fishing videos that are truly immersive. Another thing we love about this model is the live streaming capabilities. If you have a mobile internet connection, it’s super-simple to set up a live stream of your fishing.

This could also be used to keep an eye on a favorite fishing spot if you set up a camera on location. Depending on what you get up to in the water, you may find the “Hero Mode” on this camera useful. In short, this mode gives your footage a stunning “cinematic feel”.

It’s leveling technology that keeps your videos buttery-smooth throughout. For action shouts of your fishing, features like this can be a godsend. When fishing at particularly beautiful locations, the panorama mode on this camera will produce images with far more scope than a traditional action camera.

The technology built into the GoPro Max makes it seriously impressive and a no-brainer for more adventurous fishing shots.

Pros:

  • 360º videos and 270º panoramas
  • Buttery-smooth “Hero Mode”
  • Live streaming features

Cons:

  • Only waterproof up to 16ft

5. GoPro Hero 9 (The Latest Model)

This is the one to get if you know you want the latest specs. All the familiar features like a touch screen, voice control and ultra-high-quality footage are ready and waiting, but they’re turned up a notch or two for good measure.

One great improvement to this model is the battery life. It lasts up to 30% longer than older GoPros. Another thing we love about this camera is the ability to remove the lens and modify your setup with additional accessories.

The Hero 9 can be fitted with flash, microphone and lens accessories that amplify different aspects of your gear. If you know you have specific requirements that need a little more juice, this option is the way to go.

This camera can shoot in 8x slow motion that results in some incredible videos. If you position your GoPro just right, you could get jaw dropping footage of a live fishing catch! Just like the GoPro Max, this camera comes with some great live streaming functionality too.

It’s more powerful than some people need, but it’s well worth the money if you can afford it.

Pros:

  • Next-level performance
  • Shoot in 8x slow motion
  • Modify you gear to suit your needs

Cons:

  • It’s pretty expensive

6. Akaso EK7000 (The Ultra-Budget Choice)

To round off our list, we’ve got an off-brand option. We’ve included this camera to emphasise that GoPro isn’t the only name out there; there are plenty of other brands with decent options too.

This option from Akaso is remarkably affordable when compared to some other cameras. The footage and stills are still reasonably high-quality, and the unit is waterproof up to 131ft. If your fishing or diving takes you way down into the depths, the Akaso EK7000 is worth considering.

It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but in some contexts – the simple options work best.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Handy time lapse feature
  • Waterproof up to 131ft

Cons:

  • A little underpowered compared to the competition

Related

Best GoPro for Fishing – Things to Consider

Once you’ve picked up a new action camera for your fishing exploits, it’s worth getting clued up on how best to use it. This section will explore how to get the most out of your GoPro and take your fishing trips to the next level.

Mounts and Accessories

Too much clutter can get in the way when fishing, but the right accessories can makes your GoPro much more effective. There are a wide variety of GoPro mounts that make them much easier to hold and position in the water.

Say you want to record some fish swimming a few metres away from you underwater. This process becomes much easier when you use a mount with an extendable arm, for example. The right tripod can also elevate your time lapse shots to a new level.

GoPro cameras are excellent. With the right accessories, they’re indispensable.

Want to learn more about GoPro tripods? Check out our guide here.

Double and Triple-Check Your Case

All modern GoPro cameras come with waterproofing as standard. This is one of the things that makes them an excellent action camera to use when fishing. The thing to remember is that the waterproofing on a GoPro is often achieved with an included protective case.

This is what seals the elements out and protects your GoPro from the outdoors. For this reason, double and triple-check that your case it firmly closed before submerging it in the water. We know this sounds like a no-brainer but trust us, mistakes like this happen to the best of us.

Check Your Depth Tolerance

Another thing to keep in mind is that each GoPro can have a different max depth tolerance for water pressure. The GoPro Max, for example, can go up to 16ft deep, while other GoPro Hero models can go further to 33. It’s best to make sure before ruining your shiny new GoPro.

Maintenance for Salt Water

While all modern GoPro models come with waterproofing as standard, salt water can leave residue that may creep into your unit if you regularly open the case on your camera. It’s a good idea to wipe down your camera thoroughly after each fishing session to keep your GoPro in optimal working order.

Final Thoughts

The best GoPro for fishing will be different for everyone. Not everyone cares about next-level video stabilization and video quality. On the other hand, features like these are essential for some people.

It’s worth taking the time to consider what you want to achieve with your fishing camera. This will make it much easier to choose the right model for you.

Whichever camera you choose, we hope you get some great shots with it.

Fuji vs Sony: Two Mirrorless Camera Giants Compared

When it comes to mirrorless digital camera technology, two names, in particular, stand out from the rest. Fujifilm and Sony are both capable of producing a phenomenal mirrorless camera, but which brand is better?

This page will explore the Fuji vs Sony debate. While both names produce a fair range of options, their main area of competition is their mirrorless lines.

For this reason, we’ll focus on the mirrorless offerings from both brands and attempt to identify what makes each name better for different people. If you’re looking for a new camera but are unsure which way to go, read on.

Fuji and Sony Make Great Mirrorless Cameras

It’s impossible to explore the Fuji vs Sony debate without discussing mirrorless cameras. Both Sony and Fujifilm have produced some fantastic options in this category over the past few years.

A newer, lighter and more compact format, mirrorless tech is an area of photography where innovation and competition are often at their fiercest.

Sony Overview

Royalty-free image suggestion

Sony is a brand well-known for its innovation and compelling line of full-frame and mirrorless options.

The Sony family of mirrorless cameras is growing all the time and truly contains some of the best cameras on the market. In general, the ‘a’ line of cameras from Sony are marketed as pro-level machines that come with the convenience and ease of use of a consumer product.

Expect light, powerful cameras that are quick to focus and perform well in a broad range of lighting conditions. To get an idea of what the Sony brand stands for, we explore two of their cameras below.

A Higher-End Example: The Sony α6600

Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera

One of the most powerful mirrorless cameras in the Sony ‘a’ line is the α6600 APS-C camera. While it’s likely to be out of budget for many people, the overall feel of this product characterizes Sony’s reputation in the mirrorless space.

The α6600 is a rapid, 11fps camera with a bar-setting autofocus system. Getting your subject in focus happens at blistering speed with this camera. Versatility and power really are the name of the game here.

The 5-axis image stabilization technology stands out here too. It’s taken from Sony’s line of super-premium full-frame cameras. Even when moving around, the α6600 stays mercifully steady for your images.

The ‘Budget’ Option: The Sony α5100

Sony a5100 16-50mm Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (Black)

Down in the more-affordable region of $400-$500, the α5100 is understandably less powerful than its bigger brother, but still hits many of the same key notes. The familiar Sony autofocus and rapid shooting capabilities are still here.

The reliable Sony image quality and versatile dynamic range are also a joy to experience.

Even at this ‘lower end’, the α5100 uses an interchangeable lens system to adapt to a wide range of environments.

E-Mount Lenses

Practically all Sony cameras from the past several years use their E-mount format. While the choice available doesn’t quite match up to the likes of Canon or Nikon, there’s plenty to choose from in 2021. As a general rule, the optical performance of Sony lenses is quite highly regarded.

They’re not cheap, but they’re no slouch either.

Sony Strengths

We’ll now run through some of the major factors that define the Sony identity in 2021.

It’s worth mentioning that this section is far from exhaustive and will vary slightly from camera to camera. If you’ve picked up an entry-level Sony Cybershot, don’t expect it to have the best autofocus in the world!

Speed

As a general rule, Sony cameras are lightning-fast, especially once you’re in the mid to high-end price range. Expect a camera that can shoot a ton of photos in quick succession and that can focus in on a subject in record time. Everything from shutter speed to processing is impressive.

Speed has been a primary part of the Sony advertising message for a while now. It’s true that you can’t always trust the marketing lingo, but these cameras really are some of the fastest around.

Autofocus Technology

Sony aren’t the only camera brand that offers great autofocus systems, but they’re definitely one of the best. As a general rule, the number of focus points, extra features and ease-of-use considerations here deserve a great deal of praise.

Unsurprisingly, the speed of these systems sets standards within the photography industry. Your chosen subject will sharpen practically the moment you start to focus on it. Moving subjects in particular are handled very well by Sony systems.

Battery Life

This is an area where Sony far outweighs its challenger. Sony cameras typically last a fair bit longer than their Fujifilm counterparts. This isn’t true of each individual camera, but it’s definitely the overall theme.

APS-C Flexibility

In many Sony cameras, the ability to crop into APS-C mode gives users increased flexibility when shooting. Being able to switch between different focal lengths on the fly like this goes a long way in improving the versatility of your setup.

Lenses

If you compare the line of Sony lenses to competitors like Canon or Nikon, the available selection starts to seem a bit limited. That said, there’s still plenty to choose from with the E-mount line of lenses, and the optical performance you get is impressive overall.

Sony Drawbacks

This section will touch on some of the things that put Sony mirrorless systems at a disadvantage vs Fujifilm.

Battery Life

While these systems certainly do well in terms of battery life against Fujifilm, it’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. These cameras still die far sooner than, say, a Canon DSLR.

This mostly comes down to the size of the unit; what you gain in portability you lose in available battery capacity.

Lack of Budget Options

This is especially true when it comes to the available lenses. If you’re looking for a camera brand with great budget options, Nikon or Canon might be a safer bet. Relatively affordable Sony cameras exist, but the brand focuses on higher-end models as a general rule of thumb.

Electronic Viewfinder

An entirely digital system brings with it a double-edged sword: a completely electronic viewfinder. This won’t be an issue in many cases, but for low-light astrophotography and similar environments, the noise on your LCD could prove irritating.

Fuji Overview

Fujifilm maintains a unique brand identity in 2021. On the one hand, the company is at the bleeding edge of new camera innovations. On the other, they remain dedicated to products that celebrate the feel and experimentation of film photography.

This makes a typical Fujifilm fan someone with an eye for nostalgia who nevertheless enjoys modern-day conveniences. There’s a fair amount of mirrorless options to choose from.

This brand’s line of mirrorless products are known as the ‘X Series‘. This family of cameras is designed to make users “fall in love with photography”.

In layperson’s terms, this means they perform very well, are easy to customize and use a retro aesthetic in an appeal to the nostalgic consumer.

The Powerhouse: Fuji X-H1

Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/Vertical Power Booster Grip Kit

One Fujifilm X camera that captures what the brand is capable of is the X-H1. This powerful APS-C system comes with a phenomenal level of ISO sensitivity and user control. This is a camera that can be tweaked and tuned to your heart’s content. Customization in general is an area where Fujifilm does particularly well.

The LCD display on the X-H1 can fold away out of view, encouraging users to rely on the viewfinder when composing shots. This ‘traditionalist’ approach to photography is something that sets the brand apart.

While it’s not for everyone, Fujifilm remains a popular choice among enthusiasts who are serious about their photography.

A More Affordable Option: Fuji X-A5

Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera, Brown with Fujinon XC15-45mm Optical Image Stabilisation Power Zoom Lens Kit

A product that’s more affordable for many of us is the X-A5. Even at this lower price point, the versatility and flexibility here stay true to the Fujifilm name. This is a camera that adapts well to a wide variety of shooting scenarios and gives users a surprising level of control.

Fujifilm Strengths

There are a number of factors that make Fujifilm a fantastic choice whether you’re a professional or complete novice. As before, remember that these strengths apply generally and can’t be taken as universal endorsements for every single product the brand makes.

Your Instax camera might print nice portraits, but it’s not going to establish you as a professional photographer!

Longevity

This is one area where Fujifilm really shines. It’s not unusual for brands to release firmware updates for a few years after releasing a camera. The difference with Fuji is that these updates keep coming, sometimes several years after a camera in question was considered to be discontinued.

If you’re looking for a brand that supports its products for their lifespan and then some, this is a great way to go. Image quality alone can see huge improvements through firmware updates.

Customization

Tinkering and reprogramming isn’t a deal breaker for everyone, but if customizing your gear matters to you then Fujifilm is a great choice. The X series comes with customization built in as standard.

A good example of this customization is the ‘Q menu’ on the X series line of cameras. The ‘Q’ button brings up a programmable menu of settings options that users can tweak to fit their preferred approach. Prefer to keep your aperture or ISO settings handy? Prioritize them in the Q menu!

Weather Sealing

This is another area where Fujifilm does well vs Sony. While Sony weatherproofs the majority of their lineup, the sealing doesn’t quite hold up compared to Fuji. The most critical electrical components are protected very well by this brand.

If you do a lot of outdoor shooting, or are a fairly clumsy photographer in general, Fujifilm might be the way to go.

Old School Sensibilities

Not everyone loves this aspect of the brand, but this company maintains a solid ‘retro’ appeal. The technology under the hood remains as modern as the next brand, but the design choices and approach to color science are heavily influenced by the company’s film-based roots.

On most Fujifilm cameras, users have the option to use built-in filters designed to capture the ‘feel’ of shooting in film. For that warm, otherworldly quality that digital cameras can struggle to capture, Fuji is a great way to go.

Fujifilm Cons

Whether you’re looking for a new mirrorless camera, or just want to know about the brand in general, it’s worth noting that some aspects of the Fujifilm brand leave room for improvement.

Old School Isn’t For Everyone

We’ve touched on this one already, but some of the old school sensibilities of this brand can frustrate more than they excite. The brand leans heavily on its high-resolution viewfinder technology, for example.

The aim of design features like this is to encourage users to take a more ‘traditional’ approach to composing their shots, using the viewfinder over the LCD to check images. Some people love this attitude, others prefer to look elsewhere.

Battery Life

It can be argued that this is more of an issue with mirrorless technology than it is with Fujifilm. However, this is one area where Sony does better overall. It might be worth picking up spare batteries and portable chargers if you’re going to be working for extended periods of time.

Price

Fujifilm places an emphasis on their craftsmanship. Elements of their cameras are hand-milled and an incredible level of detail goes into their camera bodies and lenses. While this is certainly a strength in another light, it can drive prices up considerably.

Add this to the stylish but unnecessary retro design choices, and you’re dealing with an expensive gear list. This is particularly true of the Fujifilm X line.

Lackluster Third-Party Support

If you need lots of accessories for your shooter, this brand probably isn’t the best choice for you. Third-party support in general is pretty poor.

Sensor Size Limit

At the time of writing, Fujifilm doesn’t make a full-frame sensor camera. The term ‘full-frame sensor’ has become something of a buzzword when it comes to marketing cameras. That said, a lack of any option at all will turn some consumers off.

Conclusion

The true answer to the Fuji vs Sony debate is that no one brand is truly better than the other; it all depends on your personal preferences. If you love a retro feel combined with cutting-edge digital conveniences, Fuji is a great way to go.

If speed and autofocus are a priority, it’s hard to go wrong with Sony. Whichever brand you choose, we hope you have fun using it!

Best Camera Brands: Comparing Sony, Fuji, Canon, and More

Digital photography has reached a phenomenal level of maturity. The number of genuinely amazing brands competing in the same market is staggering. Photography has always been a world characterized by innovation.

In the past several years, though, this innovation has really picked up. So which are the best camera brands today? Are they much of a muchness, or is it worth digging a little deeper? This article will dive into the wonderful world of today’s camera brands.

We’ll identify what sets each camera brand apart and where each falls a little short of the mark. One of the best ways to become a better photographer is to know your stuff when it comes to camera brands. Understanding your tools will make you much better at your craft!

Best Camera Brands: Sony

A behemoth camera brand from Japan, Sony has been providing cameras for the commercial market since the 80s. Sony’s first step into photography came with their Mavica line of film-based cameras. Their offerings have been rising to dizzying heights ever since.

Today, Sony offers a broad range of products for a professional photographer. While some entry-level options are available, the Sony brand is more commonly associated with pro-grade devices. Compact, mirrorless, and even cinema-quality cameras are all sold by Sony.

Mirrorless Cameras – A Sony Strength

Sony’s mirrorless cameras are what keep them on the map of digital photography; they’re what make the company one of the best camera brands around. A lighter, more compact answer to the older DSLR format, mirrorless cameras can offer incredible optical performance at a fraction of the weight.

Sony α9 – The Best of the Best

The α9 is probably Sony’s best camera to date. If you’re wondering why Sony is known as one of the best camera brands, this device should tell you why. This full-frame mirrorless beast packs a phenomenal level of punch for professionals.

It’s far from an entry-level option, but it defines Sony’s identity in the market.

Sony a9 Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera (Body Only) (ILCE9/B),Black

Sony Strengths

  • Incredible mirrorless line
  • Often on the bleeding edge of camera innovation
  • One of the strongest camera brands for cinema-level performance

Sony Weaknesses

  • Not many affordable options
  • Limited lens choices compared to some competitors

Canon

Canon is one of the most well-known camera brands around, and for good reason. The Canon suite of products has grown to gargantuan proportions and shows no signs of slowing down. This Japanese camera brand has been around in some capacity since the 1930s.

This long legacy of camera innovation shows most prominently in the strong line of Canon DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras.

DSLR – The Canon Strength

The list of Canon DSLRs with awards is impressively long. This particular product line is defined by its versatility and performance. Canon has been producing excellent DSLRs for years and there are tons of different lenses available.

While a little bulkier than their mirrorless counterparts, these cameras are what make Canon one of the most talked-about camera brands in 2020/21.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

A strong contender for the title of best Canon camera is the EOS 7D Mark II. The onboard processing and optical performance of this full-frame machine is truly breathtaking.

While this is one of the priciest cameras Canon sells, its strengths reveal a lot about the brand’s reputation and are not unique to this specific model.

The flexibility, performance and reliability of the 7D can be found throughout the Canon family of products. Everything from the 5D Mark IV to their more obscure options is usually great.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

Convenient Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Another area where Canon does particularly well is the brand’s excellent line-up of more compact cameras. If you’re looking for a good beginner’s camera, Canon is among the best camera brands out there.

Canon Strengths

  • Excellent DSLRs
  • The legendary EOS range
  • Some great compact cameras

Canon Weaknesses

  • Not great for mirrorless cameras

Nikon

If you’re looking for camera brands with tons of choice when it comes to interchangeable lenses, Nikon is a great bet. Not only does Nikon make a boat-load of lenses themselves, plenty of third-party companies make options that work too.

Nikon Pro-Grade DSLRs

Just as with Canon, many professional photographers use Nikon DSLRs for their work. The strong line of Nikon options offer a great deal of flexibility and performance. The variety really stands out with this brand in particular. There’s almost definitely a Nikon DSLR that would fit your specific requirements.

Nikon Mirrorless Cameras

The Nikon ‘Z’ series is the brand’s line of mirrorless cameras. There’s something for everyone here, with models aimed at a diverse spectrum of customers. The Z7 II is one of the Nikon full-frame cameras that stands out for its attention to detail and blistering speed.

Nikon Z 7II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body Black

Compact Cameras – A Nikon Twist

Nikon is also a strong choice for those who need something a little simpler. The Nikon family of compact cameras is sizeable, with prices to suit virtually any budget. The ” Nikon coolpix” trademark is aimed at the casual photography market in particular.

Nikon Strengths

  • Tons of choice for interchangeable lenses
  • Pro-grade DSLRs to compete with Canon
  • Some stunning full-frame options

Nikon Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t necessarily have a “specialism”

Panasonic

Yet another Japanese camera brand, Panasonic has been making cameras since the early 1900s! While the Panasonic suite of cameras is diverse, the current focus for this brand is their line of full-frame mirrorless cameras and DSLRs. The brand is also a popular choice among videographers.

While Panasonic isn’t the biggest player out there, they still sell some excellent products

Panasonic Lumix Line

The Lumix line is packed full of options for photographers of all experience levels. The mirrorless variants of these cameras are particularly impressive. The Lumix S Series is crammed full of exciting technology that helps Panasonic compete in a crowded marketplace.

Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Panasonic has spent many years investing in its offerings of micro four thirds cameras. The technology behind this venture was developed in collaboration with another camera brand, Olympus.

Micro four thirds technology allows for cameras that are significantly lighter, thinner, and more versatile. If you’re looking for a more compact, modern camera, Panasonic might be the right choice for you.

Panasonic Strengths

  • Full-frame mirrorless options with excellent image-quality
  • Micro four thirds cameras for improved portability
  • Great video recording options

Panasonic Weaknesses

  • Not the biggest name out there

Fujifilm

Fujifilm is dedicated to maintaining its legacy as a film-focused camera company. While this brand is behind an impressive amount of digital camera innovation, their bread and butter, at least in terms of reputation, is their film cameras.

Film Offerings

The warm richness of film photography is celebrated with the Fujifilm line of products. The brand has an eye for the nostalgic. The Instax suite of cameras, for example, aims to recapture people’s love of instant print cameras and film development.

Even the digital cameras from Fujifilm hearken back to the good old days of film photography. Built-in overlays and filters allow users to create film effects on their photos.

Fujifilm X System

The Fujifilm X system brings traditional styling and bleeding-edge technology together in an exciting line of digital camera options. The Fujifilm X T4 is perhaps the best option in the series. Its CMOS sensor, onboard image processing, and unique design are characteristic of the Fujifilm brand.

APS-C Mirrorless Camera Options – A Fujifilm Focus

A huge focus for Fujifilm is the brand’s APS-C mirrorless camera products. An astonishing amount of attention to detail goes into their color technology and scene accuracy. Fujifilm customers often receive firmware updates several years after an initial purchase.

This is great to see in today’s world of planned obsolescence.

Fujifilm Strengths

  • Great for film lovers
  • A unique line of digital cameras with classic stylings
  • A great option if you’re looking for a new mirrorless camera

Learn about Sony vs Fuji here

Leica

Leica is one of the oldest brands around, having first started out in the mid 1800s. While the name is still known among enthusiasts and some professional photographers, Leica has found the transition into digital camera technology quite challenging.

Full-Frame Technology

A primary focus for Leica over the past few years has been the brand’s line of high-end, full-frame cameras. While many of these products are gorgeous, with some impressive performance achievements, the pricing and variety leave a little to be desired.

Leica Akademie

An effort to re-establish the Leica name, the Leica Akademie aims to introduce newcomers to the wonders of digital photography. From insights into full-frame camera technology, to getting to grips with the basics, courses are available for a broad range of potential students.

Strengths

  • Bold new innovations into digital camera technology
  • Longstanding company that’s existed much longer than most
  • A unique, stylish approach to photography

Weaknesses

  • Waning popularity and relevance in the cut-throat world of the digital camera market

Olympus

Olympus has become well-known for its mirrorless offerings. While many cameras in this brand’s line-up offer excellent image-quality and optical performance, the Olympus name remains associated with cameras that are very affordable.

If you’re on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice performance, Olympus is a great option.

Digital Camera Tech With a Retro Twist

The Olympus family of mirrorless, digital cameras is packed full of modern technology while staying true to the brand’s film-based roots. These cameras are rugged, stylish, and most importantly, strong performers.

Price points are available to suit a broad range of needs, and the Olympus suite of lenses is also surprisingly versatile. While they’re not the biggest name on the block, many professionals in the know would recommend Olympus in a heartbeat.

Explore the World with Action Cameras

Olympus has a strong reputation for action cameras with rugged designs and waterproofing technology. For snorkeling, hiking, and general exploring, the Tough TG 6 is a great choice.

Check out our guide to great underwater cameras.

Olympus Strengths

  • A great balance of affordability and high-end performance
  • Uniquely designed cameras with a retro twist
  • Very portable products

Olympus Weaknesses

  • Olympus only offer micro four thirds cameras. This format can be great, but more flexibility could help their popularity.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will touch on some of the most common questions concerning camera brands.

What’s the Best Camera Brand for Beginners?

Canon has spent many years perfecting its control systems and as a general rule, they’re fairly easy to navigate and even self-program. Many Nikon cameras do well in this regard also.

Which is the Best Pro Brand?

The answer will depend on your specific preferences. If you prefer mirrorless cameras, Sony is probably a safe bet. For strong DSLRs, either Canon or Nikon is a great choice. All of the camera brands on this page offer some great products in the point-and-shoot category.

What’s the Cheapest Camera Brand?

In terms of compact cameras with fewer compromises on quality, Nikon has some fantastic options in this bracket. Olympus is another name frequently associated with affordable cameras that don’t sacrifice much on quality or performance.

What if I Like Film Photography?

Fujifilm is a camera company that still places an emphasis on film-based photography. It’s also worth remembering that you may be better off exploring the second hand market too. There are tons of great vintage cameras that might have what you’re looking for.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s Canon, Sony, Leica, or a different name entirely, the perfect camera brand will be different for everyone. For example, Olympus receives criticism for its lack of full-frame options, but if this doesn’t matter to you, their cameras could serve you incredibly well.

Or take Canon, for instance. The photography giant is well-known for its gigantic line of high-performance powerhouses. The thing is, though, if you just need a point-and-shoot for your casual photography needs, their cameras can be a little over priced.

It’s best to spend some time figuring out what you actually need from your photography gear. This will make it much easier to make a decision that works for you. Don’t be afraid to rent a camera first before buying. This can let you get a feel for a product at a fraction of the actual cost.

Whichever brand you choose, we hope it serves you well!

Best Camera for Snorkeling: Waterproof models for Underwater Filming

Snorkeling brings you face to face with some of the most exciting photography subjects around. The best underwater camera will make those seafaring shots a breeze.

While your average digital camera comes with some weatherproofing, the last thing you want to do is submerge an expensive DSLR underwater. You’ll need to make sure you’re using some more specific gear.

This buying guide will explore some of the best cameras for snorkeling that are on the market. We’ll discuss the features that set them apart, their value, and how they weigh up against the rest of the competition. If you’re looking to pick up a new underwater camera, you’ve come to the right place.

Our Top Picks: Best Camera for Snorkeling

The list below contains some of our favorite snorkeling cameras. We’ve ranked them for price, feature set and overall performance. Read on to find the best underwater camera for you.

1. Nikon Coolpix W300 Underwater Camera

This option from Nikon gets a lot of things right. This is an underwater camera that’s built for adventure. The water, dust and shock proofing are all rock-solid and should keep your camera functional for years to come.

This machine is capable of producing some absolutely stunning high-resolution shots. The 4K video and time-lapse features are also excellent. This waterproof camera has everything you need to get some phenomenal underwater photography.

With a 5x optical zoom, built-in wireless connectivity and a temperature tolerance of -10 to +40°C, the Nikon Coolpix W300 is one to beat.

Pros:

  • Great underwater camera for snorkeling
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Handy connectivity features

Cons:

  • The autofocus is a little slow

2. GoPro Hero 7

The Hero 7 is a couple of generations behind the more recent Hero 9. This makes it an excellent option if you’re looking for a camera for snorkeling that won’t break the bank. The rugged design and solid waterproofing make this a brilliant underwater camera with some familiar GoPro features.

The intuitive touchscreen LCD on the back of this underwater camera is refreshingly easy to use. If you’ve used a GoPro in the past, you’ll know they’re designed to be easy to use and can capture a stunning moment instantly.

For dazzling 4K memories, the video mode on the GoPro Hero 7 works very well. The time-lapse feature can produce some brilliant clips too. Image noise is a key consideration when looking for snorkeling cameras.

The image stabilization on the Hero 7 keeps your shots stable even when you’re racing through the seas. With intelligent voice controls, stunning high-resolution shots and a burst mode that can capture 15 photos a second, this underwater camera is a fantastic choice.

Pros:

  • Familiar GoPro features
  • Fast burst and time-lapse modes
  • Probably the best underwater camera if you’re on a budget

3. Olympus Tough TG 6 Underwater Camera

This super-tough option is one of Olympus’s stunning underwater cameras. The rugged design, 8x optical zoom and 5 underwater shooting modes make this a waterproof camera that gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck.

The specific lighting conditions, weather, and color palette of the underwater scene you’re shooting will demand a broad range of camera settings. Fortunately, the scene modes specifically designed for underwater work on the TG 6 do a great job of adapting on the fly.

These modes include 3 white balance options which is a great touch. This is perhaps the best underwater camera on our list if you want to get up close and personal to your sea-dwelling subjects. The 4 macro photo modes on the TG 6 keep your focus razor sharp, even at short distances!

When Olympus say tough, they mean it. The TG 6 is water, dust, shock, crush and freeze proof. The built-in anti-fog technology also goes a long way in keeping your lens clear when working underwater.

The killer lens system, excellent shooting modes and durable design make this one of our favorite snorkeling cameras.

Pros:

  • Super-durable
  • Brilliant underwater shooting modes
  • Anti-fog technology

Cons:

  • The lens cover isn’t included; it’s a $50 optional extra

4. Fujifilm XP140 Camera for Snorkeling

This is another camera on our list that’s very reasonably priced; finding an underwater camera for snorkeling doesn’t have to break the bank. The rugged, waterproof design of this 16.4 megapixel camera keeps it ready for action no matter what you throw at it.

The best underwater camera will make it easy to get creative when exploring the fabulous world of the sea. The cinemagraph, time-lapse and macro modes on the XP140 give users a fantastic level of flexibility when shooting.

If you’re worried about losing your device to the great depths of the sea, don’t worry; the included strap is designed to float if you accidentally lose your grip.

While a good camera for snorkeling won’t necessarily have the most powerful sensor on the market, you may be surprised by how good the videos and images taken by this camera look. With fantastic adventure proofing and a strong level of performance, this camera for snorkeling is tough to beat.

Pros:

  • Handy wireless connectivity features
  • Gorgeous underwater photos
  • Flexible shooting modes

Cons:

  • The controls are a little clunky

5. Olympus Tough TG 5 Camera

Another option from the Olympus line of sturdy underwater cameras, the TG 5 packs a whole lot of punch into a portable form factor. The snappy sensor on this camera dramatically boosts both low-light performance and noise reduction.

You’ll be able to get some gorgeous shots even in some murkier scenarios. You’ll benefit from some stunning image processing too thanks to the TG 5’s dual quad core system that allows for stunning color accuracy and dynamic range adjustments.

Like any good underwater camera for snorkeling, this option comes with dust, water and shock proofing as standard. Olympus has put a lot of thought into the design of the TG 5 so you can focus on exploring the ocean’s secrets.

It’s worth mentioning that this model is waterproof up to 50ft, so you may want to consider an option with a higher tolerance if you need a camera for scuba diving.

Pros:

  • Good onboard image processing
  • Super sturdy design
  • Decent low-light performance

Cons:

  • Not quite tough enough for scuba diving

6. AKASO EK7000 Waterproof Camera

A super-affordable answer to the GoPro line, this is one of the most affordable underwater cameras we’ve ever reviewed. While the EK7000 isn’t the most powerful option around, the portable design and killer price point more than compensate for this in our opinion.

In many ways, the EK7000 stands as a testament to how far camera technology has come over the past few years. It’s still 4K capable, waterproof up to 100ft, and designed with some surprisingly smart wireless features, all for less than $50!

The included protective case that comes with this snorkeling camera goes a long way in keeping the device protected. The EK7000 is built to withstand a fair bit of punishment. A nice feature of this model is the included wireless remote that lets users control the unit hands-free.

When it comes to snorkeling, this offers a fantastic level of versatility for an activity that already gives you plenty to think about. If you’re looking for a crazy-cheap underwater camera for snorkeling, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.

Pros:

  • Ridiculous price considering the performance
  • Tough, waterproof design
  • Portable footprint

Cons:

  • The video compression and image-quality are decent but not excellent

7. Kodak PIXPRO WPZ2 Underwater Camera for Snorkeling

Wi-Fi connectivity, waterproofing and a rugged design make this camera from Kodak a great option for snorkeling pics. The 16 megapixel CMOS sensor is far from the most impressive, but it’s no slouch when it comes to underwater photography either.

This camera produces shots with good image quality and strong color accuracy. Even underwater environments with lower lighting conditions shouldn’t be too much cause for concern.

The lightweight, portable design of the WPZ2 makes it easy to carry with you when swimming. Your movements shouldn’t cause too much motion blur either thanks to this camera’s electronic image stabilization. The bright yellow color of the camera body is also super-easy to spot if accidentally dropped.

The connectivity features of this camera are a nice touch for speedy photo sharing on the go. Underwater cameras are a common “bring-along” for holidays, so the ability to effortlessly share to social media is great.

Pros:

  • Great image-quality and optical performance
  • Super-tough design
  • Connectivity features as standard

Cons:

  • No 4k video

8. GoPro Hero 9

The Hero 9 is a compact camera built with reckless adventure in mind. There’s an impressive level of optical performance crammed into this thing. Forget 4k video, the 5k capabilities of this GoPro are stunning. Expect gorgeous videos and crisp still shots.

Underwater cameras like this don’t come cheap, but they’re well worth the money if you have it. Everything from the video smoothness to the convenient touch controls screams quality. GoPro has spent nearly a decade building a strong reputation in the world of “adventure cameras”.

Their experience is certainly evident with the Hero 9. The waterproofing on this camera is good down to 33ft, making it a great option for snorkelers. If you’re familiar with a GoPro setup, this will probably be the best waterproof option for you.

Definitely not a budget option, but with more than enough firepower to make it worth your while, the GoPro Hero 9 is one of the best waterproof cameras available in 2021.

Pros:

  • Stunning image quality and video performance
  • Super portable
  • Handy GoPro features

Cons:

  • Photos can take a little while to fully process which can be frustrating when taking shots in quick succession

Related

How to Pick the Best Underwater Camera for Snorkeling

This buying guide features what we feel are some of the best waterproof cameras on the market. That said, it’s worth understanding what makes an underwater camera great in the first place. Picking a camera for snorkeling need not be confusing!

Read on to get to grips with the key features to look out for.

Check the Waterproofing Rating

While it goes without saying that any camera for snorkeling needs to be waterproof, it’s also worth double-checking just how waterproof a particular model actually is. Make sure your chosen camera can tolerate the depths you’re going to be swimming at.

If you’re scuba diving, a camera with 100ft+ of protection should be a minimum. Watch out for terms like “water resistant” too, as this describes devices that can tolerate the odd splash but definitely shouldn’t be used underwater.

Learn about IP ratings here

Float Strap

The last thing you want when shooting is to risk losing your camera underwater. The best underwater cameras use float straps designed to keep your device at the surface of the water in the case of accidental drops. Always check for features like this before buying.

Image Stabilization

Another feature of the best underwater cameras is strong image stabilization. When shooting underwater, your stability is constantly compromised. Not only are you constantly treading water, you’re also at the whim of the movements of the sea!

The solution to this issue is image stabilization. Opt for optical stabilization if you can afford it.

Final Thoughts

The best underwater camera is the one that fits your requirements and budget. Consider your needs closely and weigh the options we’ve explored in this guide.

Whichever camera you choose, we hope you have fun using it!

Best Polaroid Camera for Kids: Top Picks And Reviews

An instant camera can be an amazing way to introduce your kid to the excitement of taking their own photos. Good instant cameras for kids are easy to use and reward children with a photo they can physically hold in their own hands.

For some kids, polaroid cameras are the first encounter with something that becomes a huge part of their lives. If you’re wondering which instant camera to go for, you’ve come to the right place.

This page will run through some of the best polaroid cameras for kids and describe what to look out for when choosing an instant print device.

What Is A Polaroid Camera?

In case you’re wondering, “polaroid camera” is a catch-all phrase used to describe “instant cameras”. An instant camera is typically a small, handheld camera that uses self-developing film or a built-in digital printer.

What this means is that after pressing the shutter button to capture an image, the camera prints out a small photo that is either ready immediately or develops after about a minute.

The instant print aspect of Polaroid cameras make them a fantastic gift option for kids; they’re a great way to save precious memories instantly.

Top Picks – Best Polaroid (Instant) Cameras For Kids

The list below contains some of the best polaroid cameras available today. We’ve listed them primarily for their quality, value for money and overall performance.

1. Polaroid Snap

Straight from the horse’s mouth, the Polaroid Snap is the iconic brand’s modern twist on their classic format. Photos are ready instantly without any time wasted waiting for ink to develop.

One bonus with the Polaroid Snap is that it’s designed to combine some of the modern conveniences of a digital camera with the nostalgic novelty of using an instant device.

There’s plenty for kids and adults alike to appreciate here. Photos can be taken in color, black & white, or a vintage-style sepia, leaving plenty of room for experimentation for a budding photographer.

The quality of the photos is more than high enough for the 2×3-inch photo paper that the Polaroid Snap uses. Modern considerations on the Polaroid Snap include the slim form factor, built-in self timer, an SD card slot and photobooth mode.

The “ZINK” photo paper used with the Polaroid Snap is made with durability in mind. Your kids’ photos will stay bright and crisp for years to come. Overall, this is an instant print camera that gets a lot of things right. If you’re looking for a fun starter camera for your kids, it’s a great option.

Pros:

  • Kids will love how easy it is to use
  • The form factor is super-slim compared to older Polaroid Cameras
  • Some nice modern conveniences like photobooth mode

Cons:

  • The “ZINK” photo paper is quite expensive
  • Some users report occasional issues with image quality when printing. A recent firmware update should have fixed the issue

2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

The Fujifilm Instax Mini is available in a variety of different formats. The ‘9’ model is a great option for kids who are new to instant cameras. The fun, easy-to-use design and capable lens system produce credit-card-sized memories that can last a lifetime.

If your kids love to take selfies, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 should suit them well. The included selfie lens makes it easy to capture adorable shots with friends and family. The close-up lens attachment that comes with the Instax Mini 9 adds a surprising level of versatility to a kids’ camera.

The automatic exposure settings on this digital camera make it easy for even a complete novice to capture fun shots they’ll love. Fujifilm maintains a reputation as a film-focused camera company.

This philosophy is evident in their handy “Mini Film” photo paper that prints high-quality images that capture your best memories in all their glory.

Pros:

  • Included selfie camera that lets you see what you’re shooting
  • Super easy to use
  • The Instax Mini comes with Fujifilm’s film-focused reputation

Cons:

  • The quirky design might put some “too cool” kids off

3. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

While we’re on the subject, the Fujifilm Instax Mini line features a more mature older brother. This model comes with increased control, a boost in image quality and a “neo-classic” design. If you have older kids, the Instax Mini 90 may be worth considering.

The ability to disable the built-in flash and manually tweak exposure settings make this a more serious option for those with a bit more photography experience. The six shooting modes provide a decent level of flexibility for a broad range of photography scenarios.

The “kids mode” in particular is great for those times you just can’t get your little ones to sit still. The low and high key modes allow tinkerers to experiment with lights and shadows to their hearts’ content.

The features above, combined with a handy self timer and Fujifilm’s’ excellent film technology, make the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 a brilliant choice for a digital camera with instant print magic.

Pros:

  • Increased control over flash and exposure settings
  • Six shooting modes
  • Stylish “neo-classic” design

Cons:

  • The size of the printing paper is smaller than other options

4. Polaroid Originals OneStep+

This is a great way to introduce your kids to the classic Polaroid format. The announcement of the OneStep/ Originals line was great news for enthusiasts who still remember how much fun they had with their Polaroid cameras in the past.

This update to the format brings performance and digital camera convenience by the bucket load. The built-in Bluetooth functionality on this instant print camera lets you control your shots from a smartphone.

One of our favorite features that this connectivity brings is the sound triggers that let you activate the shutter by clapping loudly. This makes impromptu selfie shots much easier to accomplish. The 89mm portrait lens on this digital camera can really help your kids up their photography game.

The double exposure mode on the OneStep+ is loads of fun too. It lets users set up awesome shots with artistic overlays. Cameras like this can help your kids get to grips with the art of photography quite quickly.

While this option is a little on the pricey side, it’s tough to argue with the feature set.

Pros:

  • Great modern features in a classic format
  • Larger, high-quality prints
  • Artistic double exposure mode

Cons:

  • The price means it would be quite a special gift

5. Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro 2-In-1

The Kodak Mini Shot comes with its own unique twist. This digital camera quickly and conveniently prints cute memories in a square format. The square prints look great in a kid’s scrapbook or on their bedroom wall.

For users who prefer the classic film look, images can be printed with an iconic white border instead. The included Kodak app works with both Android and iOS smartphones and offers some creative features that your kids might enjoy.

Users can quickly add stickers and fun effects to their images before printing for a unique touch on the memories you capture. Kodak uses “4Pass” technology for their prints. Branding language aside, this means their photo paper is designed to deliver high-quality prints with 0 smudging or blemishes.

With a print speed of just 50 seconds and an image quality that catches the eye, this retro edition of the Kodak Mini Shot is well worth a look.

Pros:

  • Fun, square design
  • “4Pass” technology for superior quality prints
  • Portable design

Cons:

  • The battery life could be better

6. Lomography Wide Lens Camera

Powered by 4 AA batteries, this option from Lomography is bulkier than most. Your reward for dealing with a bigger body is much larger, wider shots on a roomier printing format. If you want a gift that will give your kids more space to shoot, this one is worth picking up.

The wide lens system on this camera makes it much easier to capture larger subjects. Other considerations like the exposure settings, optional color gels and compatibility with Fujifilm paper make this a versatile piece of kit in the right pair of hands.

The long exposure setting in particular is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. It produces artistic, ‘streaky’ images that add a nice touch to your family’s memories. The flexible feature set and super-wide lens more than make up for this camera’s bulky construction.

Pros:

  • Roomy, wide shots
  • Fun exposure settings
  • Creative optional accessories like color gels

Cons:

  • A little bulky

7. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

Another wide angle option, the Instax Wide is Fujifilm’s most formidable instant camera. With a higher resolution and better automatic settings than other instant options from Fujifilm, this model is for kids who take their photography a little more seriously.

For colorful, vibrant shots, the automatic settings on the Wide 300 do an excellent job. The low and high key settings make it super easy to play around with the light and shadows in each image. This is an instant camera that gives kids more control than they might be used to.

The classic design of the Wide 300 will make older kids feel like the real deal while shooting. While this option used to be a pricier choice, it’s come down considerably in recent months. If you like what you see, it might be a good idea to pick it up while you have the chance.

Pros:

  • Sharp, wide prints
  • Intelligent shooting modes
  • Creative double exposures

Cons:

  • The photo paper comes out to about $1 per print

Characteristics of a Good Instant Camera

When finding a good Polaroid camera for your kids, it’s important to know what to look out for. The market for this kind of camera has exploded in recent years, so it’s worth getting clued-up to avoid wasting your money.

The list below contains some of the key things to look out for.

Ease of Use

More traditional cameras can be pretty overwhelming, even for adults! A good kid’s camera will keep things simple. Look for options with strong automatic controls that can be switched on easily. Some cameras will offer manual controls too and this can be a good thing.

Just make sure it’s easy to switch automatic mode back on again to avoid confusion.

Quick Settings Switching

Fiddling around with manual controls might appeal to some bigger kids, but it’s worth making sure the camera you buy offers a decent variety of shooting modes. These modes should be accessible at the push of a button and adapt the camera to a variety of different scenarios.

Settings for selfies, close-up shots and wider angles are all pretty common, so think twice if you find an option that doesn’t mention any of these.

Simple Timers

A good polaroid camera for kids will make selfies and timed shots simple. In some use cases, a self timer is an essential aspect of a good instant camera. Look for Polaroid cameras with simple, convenient self timers.

Price Per Print

The price of the camera itself is half the battle. It’s also important to think about how much each printed photo will cost in the long run. Some brands offer a small pack of free prints while charging steep prices for refills.

Take a look at the different options available and keep the average cost per printed photo in mind. Consider cameras with more affordable printing setups.

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Final Thoughts

The best polaroid camera for kids will be different for everyone. Some children love diving into the details of a hobby, while others prefer a more laid back approach. Take the time to think about the kid you’re buying for and consider an option from this list that fits the bill.

Best Camera for Night Photography: Picks For Low Light Shooting

Night photography involves some of the most challenging subjects for beginner and pro photographers alike. While low-light environments take a little more work to capture effectively, the payoff can be huge.

Night sky photography can reward you with stunning images if you’re using the right equipment. The thing is, there are a number of obstacles that can prevent a camera from performing well at night time, so it’s worth making sure your gear is up to the task.

This page will explore some of our picks for the best camera for night photography. We’ll discuss their strengths, weaknesses, and why they’re so great for the task at hand.

night-photography

Best Cameras For Night Photography: Top Choices

The cameras in this list have been picked for their fantastic night photography performance.

1. Sony a7 III

This thing tackles night sky photography like it’s a walk in the park. The ISO performance in particular deserves a whole lot of praise. When you’re dealing with night photography, every last inch of light sensitivity counts, so the ISO range of 50 to 204,800 is great to see here.

Another welcome addition with the a7 III model is Sony’s “BIONZ X image processing engine”. In layperson terms, this means reduced image noise and better onboard image processing overall; your images have a better chance of turning out as planned.

Poor light conditions and similar obstacles that emerge in night sky photography can make unwanted blur far more common. Image processing like this make things much more manageable.

When taking images of the night sky, you’re likely to be using a tripod. For any other photography task, the 5-axis stabilization system on the Sony a7 III will go a long way in keeping your shot shake-free.

Pros:

  • Lightweight body with decent battery life
  • Brilliant high ISO performance
  • Great onboard processing

Cons:

  • Video recordings are capped at 29 minutes and 50 seconds which is quite a let-down

2. Nikon D810 DSLR

This is one of our favorite cameras for night photography. The max ISO is expandable up to 51,200 for stellar low-light performance and some jaw-dropping images of the night sky.

This is one of the most premium cameras that Nikon sells. While not everyone needs this level of firepower, this camera is a fantastic choice for those serious about their night photography. The super-wide dynamic range will make it easier to capture the night sky with confidence.

Other features on this camera that begin to justify the price include the 51-point AF system and new, smaller RAW image format. The former will keep your images razor-sharp, while the latter can save you tons of drive space without compressing your shots.

The overall speed, precision and performance of this model from Nikon makes it a strong candidate for best night photography camera.

Pros:

  • Huge expandable ISO
  • Excellent Wide dynamic range
  • Convenient smaller RAW file size

Cons:

  • Some features like image overlay are restricted for smaller RAW files

3. Sony a7S II

This mirrorless offering from Sony is a low-light powerhouse. Don’t let the numbers mislead you; the lower number of megapixels on the a7S II actually makes elements of night sky photography easier.

While it might seem counter-intuitive to recommend a camera with a lower resolution, it makes several common astrophotography artefacts much less noticeable. In short, fewer megapixels can be more forgiving when working with night photography.

This isn’t true for every camera, but the sizeable sensor and fantastic dynamic range on offer here make this an excellent camera for night photography. Photographs produced by this camera feature, rich, deep, true-to-life colors that are remarkably easy to tweak in post production.

If you’re serious about taking photos of the night sky, this full-frame camera is a phenomenal choice. When released in 2015, the a7S II was the first full-frame camera to offer built-in 4K recording. This level of innovation and quality are fast becoming characteristics of the Sony brand.

Pros:

  • Probably the best low-light option out there
  • Wide dynamic range for jaw-dropping night photography
  • Full-frame 4K recording

Cons:

  • The settings menus can be a pain to navigate

4. Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

You may have noticed the prevalence of two particular brands in this article: Nikon and Sony. There’s a reason for this; they’re the two best producers of cameras that work well for night photography. Their sensor choices and onboard processing lend themselves very well to this type of work.

This isn’t to say that Canon and others don’t have good options, it’s just that Nikon and Sony both have several products that take glorious photos of the night sky. The Nikon Z6 is a great example of this. The adaptability, low-light performance and overall polish of this full-frame camera make it an excellent option.

The Z6 is compatible with Nikon’s line of Nikkor lenses. If you’re looking for a good lens for night photography, this is a line worth checking out. There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to the Nikkor line, making this a versatile tool in the right pair of hands.

Pros:

  • Ultra-adaptable, full-frame camera
  • Great low-light performance for night photography
  • Reasonable price considering the feature set

Cons:

  • The battery life isn’t great and third-party options are hard to come by

5. Pentax K-1 Mark II

Weather resistance, excellent low-light performance and a built-in “astro tracer” mode make this one of the best night photography cameras there is. A camera for night time shoots needs to feature a broad dynamic range, ISO and shutter speed.

Luckily, the K-1 Mark II has all of these by the bucket load. The “astro tracer” feature of this full-frame camera significantly extends the exposure of your image for bright, gorgeous shots of the milky way. Another killer feature that’s worth mentioning is Pentax’s “Hand Held Pixel Shift Resolution”.

This powerful process compiles up to four images together for a final result with superior color rendition and sharpness. In the context of night time shooting, this can make for some stunning images that far surpass the result of an unedited shot.

When it comes to finding the right lens for night photography, the selection of compatible options for Pentax cameras is comparatively small. Fortunately, there are a few gems that perform fantastically.

Pros:

  • Built-in modes that are perfect for night photography
  • Brilliant ISO sensitivity range
  • Full-frame camera

Cons:

  • Fewer compatible lenses available

6. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The 5D series from Canon has developed something of a cult following in the world of photography. In fact, the series regularly makes it into the top three for many of our “best of” lists. The versatility, reliability and all-round fantastic performance of the Mark IV make it a welcome addition to anyone’s gear.

The performance in darker conditions is very impressive here considering the megapixel count. You’re not just upping your milky way game with the Mark IV, you’re also buying a camera that can tackle virtually any scenario you throw at it.

Canon has spent years establishing itself as a photography powerhouse and this model brings a wealth of versatility with it. Stunning video capture, best-in-class onboard processing and staggering color reproduction are just some of the things take make this camera great.

Pros

  • Excellent sensitivity for night sky shots
  • The 5D line has an excellent reputation

7. Fujifilm X-T2

Another option with weather sealing for protection from the great outdoors, the Fujifilm X-T2 is no slouch when it comes to capturing the milky way in all its glory. The ISO range on this mirrorless camera can be boosted up to 51,200 for excellent performance in poor light conditions.

Getting the exposure right is critical when take photos at night time. Fortunately, the settings dial on the X-T2 is a breath of fresh air to use. Your ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation are all a twist away.

For when you feel like getting creative with your shots, the range of “film simulation modes” on this model can create some impressive effects. Fujifilm maintains a strong “film-focused” brand and this lives on in their line of digital cameras.

Up to 15 modes give a rich variety of color temperatures and create the impression that you’re switching films on the fly.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-control settings
  • Fujifilm’s unique “film” modes
  • Excellent night time performance

Cons:

  • The price is quite an investment

Finding a Good Lens for Night Photography

The camera body is only half the battle; you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right lens too. The good news is that there’s plenty of choices available. Choosing the right model for your requirements means getting to grips with what makes a lens a good candidate for night time shooting.

Image Stabilization

When capturing images of the sky, the most common subject for night time shots, you’ll almost definitely be using a tripod, as astrophotography involves much longer exposures and wait times. For this reason, you don’t need to prioritise stabilization features.

That said, stabilization is useful for a huge list of other applications, so it’s worth keeping it in the back of your mind.

Wide Angle

To capture the heavens in all their glory, it’s best to use a wide angle lens. This will give you the space you need to get a fantastic shot of the sky.

Prime Lenses

As a general rule, prime lenses are an excellent choice for night photography. You won’t have to worry much about zooming in or out as your subject is vast. Manufacturers of prime lenses tend to double down on optical performance to compensate for the lack of zoom.

Our Top Pick

In our opinion, one of the best lenses for photography in this category is the Nikkor 50Mm Prime Lens. It’s packed full of anti-noise and high-ISO considerations that produce beautiful images in even the darkest settings.

A great budget lens with a strong wide angle and night time performance is this option from Rokinon. Another great choice is this behemoth from Zeiss.

Night Photography – The Fundamentals

If you’re new to astrophotography, a few things might be alien to you at first. This section will run through the absolute basics.

Sensor size

The sensor is the most critical part of taking low light photographs. Since the sensor is what actually captures the light, the larger your camera’s sensor is, the more light(and detai) it can capture.

For any decent night photography, you’ll want at least an APS-C sensor. If you’re really serious, don’t settle with anything less than a full-frame sensor.

Read more about APS-C and full frame sensors here.

High ISOs

ISO determines your camera’s sensitivity to light. For taking photos of the night sky, you’ll generally want to set the ISO on your camera quite high. 1600 tends to work well for your average camera.

If you’re using one of the options from this list with phenomenal performance even at a high ISO, you can afford to push that number much higher.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range describes the full spectrum of light present in a given scene. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to find a camera with a broader potential dynamic range. This will give you the flexibility you need to capture the stars effectively.

Exposure

Understanding how to set the right exposure for your image is key to getting a good night time image. Read up on the basics of exposure and then practice, practice and practice again. Our digital photography guide is a good place to start. This guide from Photo Genius is also a great resource.

Megapixels Aren’t Everything

It can be easy for newbies to get waylaid by the “bigger is better” mantra when it comes to picking up a new camera. In reality, a higher resolution can let you down when it comes to astrophotography.

It depends on the size of the sensor you’re using, but some high-megapixel options can make artefacts from the movement of stars far more noticeable. The frustrating thing is that some products that do have lots of megapixels can actually be great for night shoots.

The important thing to remember is that megapixels are just one small part of the picture. You also need to weight up things like sensor size, light performance and exposure options.

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Conclusion

The best cameras for night photography will produce our favorite kind of photos: images that truly create a lasting impression. The night sky is packed full of wonder for those with the patience to capture it. You just need the right kit and bit of know-how.

Whichever camera you choose, we hope you have fun using it!

Best Swirly Bokeh Lens: What they are and Top Picks

“Swirly bokeh” sounds more like a magic spell or complicated cocktail than it sounds like a photography characteristic. So what does the term actually mean and when is it useful in photography?

This page will answer all of your burning swirly-bokeh queries. We’ll explore the swirly bokeh effect, how to achieve it and when it’s most impactful in photography.

What Does Bokeh Mean?

The word bokeh comes from the Japanese word “ボケ”, or “boke”, meaning blurred. A bokeh effect is where the background of an image is soft and out-of-focus. It’s a benchmark for good photography when it comes to portrait shots and other professional contexts.

If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy way to make your images more visually appealing, a strong bokeh is a great way to go.

What’s a Swirly Bokeh?

swirly-bokeh-example

Technically speaking, a swirly bokeh is often the result of a defect or poor focusing on a particular lens. A swirly bokeh is an out-of-focus background with streaked and, well, swirly lines throughout.

In a world of modern photography that seems obsessed with ultra-sharp focus, this effect can be quite rare and pleasant. For a more dramatic, magical or movement-focused theme for your images, it can be fun to try out this bokeh effect when shooting.

How to Achieve Swirly Bokeh Effects

Not every portrait lens will be able to produce what you’re looking for. As a general rule of thumb, older lenses are the way to go. Vintage lenses can be even better, and more affordable, if you can get your hands on them.

The reason for this, is that the swirled effect is technically an error on the part of a lenses’ optics. Older devices typically don’t have the modern innovations that we’ve come to expect today.

It’s worth doing your research and making sure a particular lens will be able to blur your shots in the way you’d like it to. Bare in mind that with many of these lenses, manual settings may be your only option.

Temper Your Expectations

It’s worth noting at this point that even the most old-school, vintage, gem of a lens won’t just produce a swirly bokeh on everything you capture. You’ll need to choose the right subject and environment to get the effect you’re looking for.

As a general rule, backgrounds that are busier with lots going on lend themselves much better to a swirly effect. Less modern lenses struggle to process these backgrounds accurately and leave an interesting blur as a result.

Best Swirly Bokeh Lens – Our Top Picks

The list below contains our top picks for lenses that can produce interesting bokeh effects. Their strengths aren’t always quite so apparent in other areas but for interesting background blur, they’re some of the best.

1. Helios 44 2 58mm

This soviet-era lens comes with a lot of history attached to it. It’s compatible with Canon’s line of EOS cameras and produces some lovely photo results if you’re willing to play around with it. With a little patience and knowhow, this lens can produce some stunning shots.

The settings ring for aperture is reversed which you’ll need to get used to. Other aspects may be different to what you’re used to as well. If you’re willing to tolerate these quirks, the Helios 44 2 can create some truly unique photos.

Pros:

  • Compatible with Canon EOS cameras
  • Produces beautiful photos if you’re patient
  • Packed full of history

Cons:

  • The aperture ring and other settings don’t use modern layouts

2. Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster

This old-school lens is compatible with Sony E, Canon RF and Nikon Z-Mounts. It’s capable of some lovely bokeh results and is also remarkably fast for a lens this old. The 11-blade diaphragm for ultra-smooth bokeh effects.

The aperture range of f/0.95 to f/16 on the Speedmaster is comparatively huge; you’ll have more flexibility to work with than you might expect. The images this lens produces usually have fantastic colors that are wonderfully warm and soft.

If you have a compatible camera and are a bokeh fan, this one is well worth considering.

Pros:

  • Compatible with Sony E, Canon RF and Nikon Z-Mounts
  • Beautiful soft colors
  • Great for bokeh photos

3. Samyang F1.4/35mm

The bokeh results of this Samyang lens aren’t quite as pronounced as other options, but it can produce some stunning shots with the right background and subject. If you’re using a Canon M camera, this lens should fit just fine. It’s also compatible with some Nikon, Pentax, Sony A and Sony E cameras.

Check listings on Amazon, etc, to double check compatibility with your model. The anti-reflection coating on this lens goes a long way in keeping your shots crisp and clear. Some wonderful bokeh work can be achieved with lenses like this.

The removable petal-shaped hood on this model comes in handy surprisingly often. Overall, this is a great option for bokeh lovers.

Pros:

  • Decent compatibility with multiple brands
  • Anti-reflection coating
  • Great bokeh results

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

4. Carl Zeiss Biotar 58mm f 2

This funky option is a little slower than its modern counterparts, but it will reward you with some stunning bokeh if you have the patience. The manual focus is smooth and relatively precise, just don’t expect any autofocus conveniences with this lens.

The background blur results on this Carl Zeiss lens are really something quite special. It’s worth taking the time to get to grips with it if you’re looking for a photo that’s a little more unique.

Pros:

  • Produces very unique photos
  • Smooth manual focus

Cons:

  • Fewer modern conveniences like autofocus

5. Lensbay Twist 60 EF Lens

Sharpness is far from this lens’ forte, but that’s actually a good thing in the world of bokeh. The soft, muted tones of this accessory lend themselves very well to this type of photography. As with most of the options on this page, manual settings are your only option.

Don’t worry though, the focus settings work very well and are nice and smooth. You’ll need to use something else if you’re shooting moving subjects or rapidly refocusing on the fly though. Expect the edges of your frame to be quite blurred when using the Lensbay Twist.

This won’t be an issue if your subject is framed bang in the center, but will be disappointing if your photography needs something a bit sharper. Overall, this lens can capture some gorgeous shots if you know what you’re doing; it’s something of a tinkerer’s dream!

Pros:

  • Stunning results if you have the patience
  • Responsive focus
  • Compatible with Sony E, Nikon F and Canon EF

Cons:

  • Not one of the sharpest lenses in the world

6. MC-Zenitar 50mm

This one might be last on our list, but don’t let this fool you. The MC-Zenitar can take a phenomenal photo if you have the skills. This is a relatively modern lens, meaning you’ll have some of the contemporary conveniences that modern photographers enjoy.

It’s compatible with Canon EF mountings, so be sure to double-check your own camera before purchase to avoid disappointment. In terms of bokeh and unique effects for your photo, this is a great choice.

The two things that stand out with this lens are the soft, out-of-focus effect and the comparative speed of the unit. Both of these features make good bokeh photography much easier to master. The price point on this accessory is quite reasonable considering the results it can achieve.

Pros:

  • Relatively modern lens
  • Comparatively speed with a wonderful out-of-focus effect
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Not great for sharp images

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Final Thoughts

As this is a pretty niche pocket of photography, the chances are that the person reading this is something of a hobbyist. This likely means you’re willing to splash out on less “useful” and more “special” lenses.

Having said this, it’s still worth considering what you expect out of a new lens. If you’re only interested in something that can produce unique bokeh, one of the cheaper vintage options on this list will serve you well. If you need a bit more versatility, though, it’s worth considering a more modern lens from this page.

A more modern lens can still achieve the out-of-focus result you’re aiming for while staying useful in a broader range of applications. Whichever lenses you choose, we hope you have fun using them!