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Cameras to give a photography-loving dad

Show Dad you think he's a great photographer by stepping him up to a better camera.

Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
1 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Fujifilm X100F

One of the more expensive cameras on my list, the Fujifilm 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 street-shooting dad who likes physical manual controls -- and who you're willing to spend the bucks on -- this is a great choice.

DJI Spark
2 of 15 César Salza/CNET

DJI Spark

For the outdoorsy dad, this tiny and light drone shoots 1080p video, can fly up to 31mph, can be controlled by hand gestures and weighs under a pound.

3 of 15 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sony RX100 V

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

4 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic Lumix ZS100

One of my perennial general-purpose go-to recommendations, the Panasonic 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.

5 of 15 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.

6 of 15 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.

7 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

The FZ1000 is a good fit for people who want the look and feel of a dSLR, better image quality than a point-and-shoot and a long zoom lens they don't need to worry about changing whether they're shooting landscapes, portraits, birds or sports. 

8 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

A small dSLR alternative, one of the best things about an Micro Four Thirds interchangeable-lens camera 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. 

Nikon D5600
9 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nikon D5600

Nikon's D5600 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 gift a great general-purpose camera, with lens, for a great price. 

10 of 15 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.

11 of 15 Joshua Goldman/CNET

DJI Mavic Pro

For the backpacking dad type who wants to do drone photography, the foldable DJI Mavic Pro is the most travel-friendly of the more advanced bunch. It's not a cheap gift but it will surely be appreciated.

12 of 15 Dave Cheng/CNET

DJI Phantom 4 Pro

This is on the high side for our gift recommendations, but if you know someone serious about drone photography, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is the de facto standard -- and easier to fly than ever. 

13 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

Canon EOS 80D

You can find this excellent general-purpose dSLR reasonably priced for the body, which makes the Canon EOS 80D a nice gift for any dad who's done with his cheap dSLR and looking for faster focus and continuous shooting.

14 of 15 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 that enables better image quality and stabilization, plus another level of slow motion, a combo that makes it worth gifting the newest model. 

15 of 15 GoPro

GoPro Hero 2018

The new entry-level GoPro Hero 2018 strips out some of the frills from its upscale Hero siblings, providing all the basics for a more palatable price.

Read more of our Father's Day tech gift guide here.

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