Christmas is a gift for keen photographers. Between snow-blanketed landscapes and candid portraits of relatives catching 40 winks, there’s no end of inspiring subject matter to capture over the festive period.
Great if you’re in charge of the camera, not so much if you’re the focus of the soporific shot.
Eager to avoid the attention of the lens? From superzoom compacts to smartphone stabilisers to wireless instant printers, gift your darling snapper something from this list and they might show their gratitude by respecting your right to rest in peace. Might.
DJI Osmo Mobile 3 (£99)
From wine mulling to cracker pulling, there’s plenty about Christmas worth capturing with your smartphone. Thing is, with all the Santa excitement, it can be tricky to keep your paws steady. Enter the Osmo Mobile 3: designed by drone experts DJI and equipped with a 3-axis gimbal, the folding holder is the ultimate tool for festive filmmaking.
Stick your smartphone in the mount to unlock target tracking, gesture controls, one-tap shot templates and footage smoother than your mum’s garlic butter. Flick from portrait to landscape, before deploying the Dolly Zoom effect for holiday shots à la Hitchcock.
Canon EOS M200 (£485)
However many lenses your smartphone has, it’ll never trump the sizeable sensor and bigger barrel of a dedicated snapper. Need proof? Canon’s latest entry-level mirrorless camera will take your shooting game from good to great.
By the numbers, it packs a 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus and can capture 4K footage at 24p. More than the figures, though, the M200’s Creative Assist mode makes top shots a cinch even for the inexperienced, while a tilting touchscreen and interchangeable lenses offer limitless options for the creative.
Magnum Streetwise: The Ultimate Collection of Street Photography (£28)
Shoot from the hip. Use a prime lens. Always tell a story. Every street photographer has their own approach, but sometimes it pays to inspect the best. This riveting hardback contains an unrivalled collection of arresting street shots that span all manner of subjects, places and concepts – from fast and loose framing to sharp monochrome portraits.
Exploring the wisdom and work of some of Magnum’s greatest names, the compendium is at once archive, instruction book and inspiration. The hardest part will be putting it down to pick up your camera.
Kodak Smile Classic Instant Camera (£150)
Saying cheese might make you smile, but seeing cheese is better by miles. Capture the dairy delight on paper this Christmas with Kodak’s latest photographic throwback.
A stylish wedge with a Seventies aesthetic, the Classic is no old-school snapper. Peek through the pop-up viewfinder, hit the shutter and – with a flash of the automatic strobe – you’ll have a 16MP shot to share in a jiffy. Print it zippy and big on the largest Zink sheets yet or grab your phone to get creative: paired via Bluetooth, the partner app unlocks remote control, photo editing and even augmented reality.
Peak Design Slide (£56)
On the longest shoots, even the finest straps can start to hurt. Spread the load with Peak Design’s switchable sling. Affix the four anchors to your camera’s mounting points and, thanks to a quick clip system, you can switch your strap setup from sling to neck to shoulder in a snap. Smooth moving buckles ensure quick length adjustment, while twin textures mean you can take the rough or the smooth, just by flipping the material.
DJI Mavic Mini (from £369)
Sending a video message from a snow-capped Scafell Pike is sure to impress your mates down the hiking club. Sending one captured by DJI’s smallest drone to date? Even more so. Folded up and stashed in your pack, the Mavic Mini hits the scales at just 249g, but that doesn’t mean it’s light on shooting smarts.
Good for up to 30 minutes of air time, the featherweight flyer is fronted by a 2.7K camera on a three-axis gimbal, while app templates make cinematic shots a cinch. And, thanks to the Mini’s diminutive form, most regulations don’t affect it.
Polaroid Lab (€130)
Thought your smartphone’s camera was the only way to make a picture? Turns out the screen can do it too. Pop your blower atop the Polaroid Lab, hit the little red button and, by the power of light alone, the image from your device’s display will appear on the paper that emerges from the bottom.
There’s no scanner or printer inside, just three lenses and a clever chemical reaction that turns pixels into print. A smart hybrid of analogue and digital, it’s a new way to share memories from your mobile – or, you know, cover your fridge in meme screenshots.
Lowepro Photo Active BP200 (£150)
Capturing a sharp shot of a charging elephant at 80mm while sprinting towards the nearest tree was the easy part. Making sure all of your gear went with you in one piece? Much trickier. Mercifully, you stashed your lenses, filters and photographic miscellany in this rugged rucksack from Lowepro.
Light enough to hike with, the backpack is divided inside for easy access and better tech protection, while a bundled waterproof cover means even unexpected rain on the plains won’t be a problem. There’s space for a laptop or a water bladder, too – depending on your savanna plans.