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Cameras to give a shutterbug mom

Want to upgrade mom from her phone camera? One of these should do the trick.

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Lori Grunin
Nikon D5600
1 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nikon D5600

This model might be a little old on the inside -- it's 99 percent the same camera as the D5500 -- but that just means you can give a great general-purpose camera, with a lens, for a great price. Plus it's pretty compact for an SLR.

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2 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Fujifilm X100F

One of the more expensive cameras on my list, the X100F is the best model yet of the popular series of fixed-lens cameras with APS-C-size sensors. It's got a wide-angle lens and a relatively compact design, and if you need a gift for a mom who likes physical manual controls -- and who you're willing to spend the bucks on -- this is a great choice.

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DJI Spark
3 of 14 César Salza/CNET

DJI Spark

Help mom break into drone photography with this tiny, light drone. The Spark shoots 1080p video, can fly up to 31 mph, can be controlled by hand gestures and weighs under a pound.

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4 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sony RX100 V

The Sony RX100 V makes my list now that its price has been reduced. If you want to give the most feature-packed compact available today to someone who wants to carry a camera all the time, this is the one.

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5 of 14 Fujifilm

Fujifilm Instax SQ10

For a mom who looks likes retro photography with a pinch of digital, the Instax SQ10, with its ability to print on square instant film, makes a neat choice.

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6 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic Lumix ZS100

One of my perennial general-purpose go-to recommendations. The ZS100 delivers the upgrade in image quality afforded by a 1-inch sensor with enough of a zoom lens for a lot of framing flexibility. And it's sufficiently fast to capture life in action. Plus, it supports 4K video for the sharpest capture possible. And it's cheaper than the RX100 V. There's a newer model with a longer zoom lens, the ZS200, but it's more expensive and the lens has a more limited aperture range.

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7 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic Lumix LX100

This older compact, with a large-ish Four Thirds size sensor, is still one of the best you can get without breaking the bank.

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8 of 14 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sony A6000

Any newbie downsizing from a DSLR or upgrading from a compact will find this a great interchangeable-lens model. With the image quality and performance of a DSLR, the A6000 is a few generations old, but that just means it's inexpensive enough to make an affordable yet terrific gift. If you can spend more, the latest successor A6500 is better, but it's also a budget-buster with a basic kit lens.

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9 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

The FZ1000 is a good fit for a mom who wants the look and feel of a DSLR, better image quality than a point-and-shoot, and a long zoom lens so she doesn't have to schlep lenses everywhere.

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10 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

A small DSLR alternative, one of the best things about the Micro Four Thirds interchangeable-lens cameras is that the lenses are tiny -- you can throw five in your bag and barely feel them. The E-M10 Mark II is fast, with solid photo quality and a useful feature set, plus Olympus' policy of adding features via firmware upgrades makes this one a long-term choice. The company recently rolled out the Mark III, but most of the changes were in the interface, so performance and photo quality should be identical if you want something newer. 

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11 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Canon EOS Rebel T7i

A nice general-purpose camera that's a step up from a phone or compact -- not to mention much improved over its predecessor for the same price -- the T7i is sure to please the DSLR newbie.

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12 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Canon EOS 80D

You can find this excellent general-purpose DSLR reasonably priced for the body. That makes it a nice gift for a mom who's done with her cheap DSLR and looking for faster focus and continuous shooting.

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13 of 14 Joshua Goldman/CNET

GoPro Hero 6 Black

It may look like the Hero 5, but GoPro's Hero 6 Black update to the most popular action camera has a new processor. It enables better image quality and stabilization, plus another level of slow motion, which make it worth gifting the newest model. 

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14 of 14 GoPro

GoPro Hero 2018

The new entry-level model strips out some of the frills from its upscale sibling, providing all the basics for a more palatable price.

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