Whether she's an enthusiast or full-auto photographer, the ZS100 delivers the upgrade in image quality a 1-inch sensor affords with enough of a zoom lens for a lot of framing flexibility and sufficiently fast to capture kids and pets in action. Plus it supports 4K video for the sharpest capture possible.
Is Mom looking to downsize from a dSLR or upgrade from a compact? A great interchangeable-lens model with the image quality and performance of a dSLR, the A6000 is a generation old, but that just means it's inexpensive enough to make an affordable yet terrific gift.
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.
Nikon's current just-above-entry dSLR is great for everything the family photographer wants; the only significant downside is that it's got a smaller grip than many other dSLRs. But where Mom's concerned, that may be a plus.
A mash-up between a small-format instant printer and a digital camera, the Snap works pretty much like an old-school Polaroid camera. Pop-up the viewfinder, take a shot and out comes a 2x3-inch print to share with friends and family. Unlike the instant cameras of yore, though, you also get a digital version of your photos stored a microSD card.
It's the snapshot camera of the future, but available right now. With a single button press the Theta S instantly captures a spherical photo that you can send to your phone and upload to Facebook or Twitter to for the ultimate 360-degree selfie. Oh, and it captures video, too, if you want to really capture your surrounding for people to explore.