Advertisement
Engadget
Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

The best photography gifts for dads

Great options for vlogging, family photos, travel and more.

Engadget

Cameras are great gifts for dads, both as a way to capture special moments and a great hobby. And if he already has one, accessories like bags, memory cards and tripods will always be welcome. To help with your shopping and provide the best recommendations, we’ve researched the best products across multiple categories and prices. No matter your budget, you’ll be sure to please your camera-bug father with any of these gifts.

If you want to be a hero for Father’s Day, just get Dad the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ40 instant camera and thank me later. It lets you take real, physical photos (3.39 x 2.83-inch Instax Square prints) that friends and family can see, touch and enjoy immediately – a far different experience than digital photos on a screen. It’s stylish and comes with a flash, selfie mirror, front front shutter release and hand strap, and it’s relatively light and easy to carry around. The camera alone is priced at $150, but you’ll need to budget for film as well, which costs about $33 for 40 prints.

$170 at Amazon
Explore More Buying Options
$140 at Abt Electronics

GoPro’s Hero 12 Black is a relatively mild update over the Hero 11, but it was launched at a lower price and is often available for only a tad bit more than the Hero 11 Black — so it’s easy to recommend. It can record videos at up to 5.3K at 60fps in 10-bit color with high data rates, and 8:7 capture that uses the entire sensor now works in all modes. The battery lasts around 10-15 percent longer than before, and it has a new quarter-inch tripod mount. Otherwise, the Hero 12 still has the best digital stabilization (aka Hypersmooth) of any action camera, a full-color front screen and the best image quality, overall, of any cam in its class.

$299 at Adorama
Explore More Buying Options
$299 at Amazon

DJI’s Osmo Pocket 3 has become a mini-phenomenon, with the tiny gimbal cameras being snapped up in large numbers by creators, travelers and others. The new model has a big 1-inch sensor that improves image quality and low-light capability over the past model. It also offers a nice flip screen that automatically changes video from 16:9 to TikTok-style vertical video when you flip it sideways. The updated ActiveTrack feature is better than ever, making vlogging nearly automatic as the camera follows the subject around and keeps it in focus. Along with 4K 60p regular video, it adds 4K 120p slow-mo. The main drawback is the reduced resolution that makes it worse for taking photos.

$519 at Amazon
Explore More Buying Options
$520 at Best Buy

With its rugged, practical design, Peak Design’s Everyday Messenger Bag is an ideal gift for adventurous or photo-shooting dads. It’s built with a lightweight yet durable 100-percent waterproof recycled 400D shell with the ingenious Flexfold dividers in the main storage area. It also offers a pair of zipped pockets, two elastic side pockets and a compartment big enough for a 13- to 15-inch laptop. I own one myself and find it practical both for work and daily activities, letting me fit a camera, lens and laptop along with my wallet and keys. At $230, it’s not the cheapest bag out there, but your dad won’t have to buy another one for a good while.

$230 at Peak Design

The most useful accessories out there for vlogging dads are Joby’s famous mini-tripods, and the best one for the money is the GorillaPod 3K. Attaching your camera couldn’t be easier thanks to the secure clip-in mounting plate with a built-in level. The flexibility also lets you set your camera anywhere to shoot, or even wrap it around a tree or other object. And, of course, you can bend them out for the ideal vlogging angle and steady out your shooting, to boot.

$38 at B&H Photo
Explore More Buying Options
$84 at Amazon$85 at Moment, Inc.

If you’re planning to splurge or pool your money for a serious Father’s Day gift, my pick would be the 24.2-megapixel Canon R50 — a great model for both photographers and content creators. It can shoot bursts at up to 15 fps in electronic shutter mode, and offers 4K 10-bit video at up to 30p with supersampling and no crop. It has a fully articulating display, and unlike other cameras in this price range, an electronic viewfinder. It uses Canon’s Dual Pixel AF with subject recognition mode, and even has a popup flash.

$649 at Amazon
Explore More Buying Options
$649 at Walmart$799 at Macy's

For dads who shoot video and take photos, the Magnus VT 4000 is the best budget tripod option, offering more reliability and better functionality than other models in this price range. It’s stout enough to handle a mirrorless camera and accessories weighing up to 8.8 pounds, more than the eight-pound weight of the tripod itself. That lack of heft makes it practical for travel, while the fluid head helps you tilt and pan smoothly. Other features include a middle spreader to keep things steady and legs that extend up to 64 inches so you can match the eyeline of your subjects. All of these features come for $199, a relative steal considering the quality.

$198 at Amazon

This popular tool will help keep your Dad’s camera gear in pristine condition. Each squeeze gives a powerful but steady stream of cleaning air, and the elongated shape makes it easy to reach into tight spaces without damaging fragile parts. It’s well-built and looks cool, with the rocket-like feet letting you set it down anywhere.

$18 at Amazon

If your father has trouble keeping track of memory cards, get the SmallRig SD memory card holder case. It includes 15 slots (6 for SD cards, 6 for microSD cards, 2 CFexpress Type A, and 1 CFexpress Type B). It’s relatively lightweight, but also water and shock resistant, with the interior using soft silicone – all for just $17.

$17 at B&H Photo

Photographers always appreciate the gift of storage, particularly fast storage. Western Digital’s 1TB My Passport SSD fits the bill with fast NVMe speeds of 1,050MB/s read and 1,000Mb/s write speeds, fast enough to back up the entire drive in around 20 minutes. It’s drop resistant up to 6.5 feet, offers USB-C connectivity, supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption and can often be found on sale for less than $100.

$105 at Adorama
Explore More Buying Options
$105 at Amazon$238 at Staples

Camera-loving dads can never get enough memory cards, but they can be pretty pricey. One of the best budget options is Lexar’s V60 UHS-II SD cards, which offer a good balance between speed and value. The 120MB/s write speeds are enough for most H.264/H.265 4K video modes, and you can then transfer files to your computer at up to 250MB/s. If that’s not fast enough, Lexar’s new 1800X V60 II cards offer 270/170MB/s read/write speeds at good prices, and for the best performance, check out their V90 UHS-II cards, which deliver read/write speeds of 300/260MB/s.

$37 at B&H Photo
Explore More Buying Options
$39 at Amazon