By Marc Rapport
With gift-buying season upon us, the world of digital photography offers plenty of interesting gadgets to help the camera buffs on your list snap, record and share their favorite images.
NEW TWISTS ON OLD CONCEPTS
It’s a Snap
Polaroid cameras were revolutionary, offering the instant gratification of photo prints right out of the camera. The Polaroid Snap recaptures those moments with digital technology that lets you snap, print and share on the spot. $100.
Need a hands-free — or surreptitious — way to record up to an hour of outdoor video footage? Brickhouse Security SpyShades Hidden Cam Glasses let you record on the go by pushing a frame-mounted button. Savor and save the view, with no bulky equipment. $80.
Pairing two key functions, you can clearly see and shoot photos of distant subjects with what Hammacher Schlemmer labels The Best Digital Camera Binoculars. With 8X magnification, users can read lines of text from 100 feet away and capture images visible on a mounted preview screen. $200.
Your smartphone controls this personal drone that shoots professional-quality aerial video with a first-person view. The Ghostdrone 2.0 VR from EHang mimics the movements of your phone, and a smart app helps reduce human error. Wearable gear makes it controllable, too, by simple head movements. (That’s the VR, or virtual reality, part.) If accidents happen, EHang will cover up to three crashes in the first year, no questions asked. $900.
Add a Clip
Channel your inner artist on the cheap with the Insignia Phone Camera 3 Lens Kit. Wide-angle, fisheye and macro lenses clip on to nearly any smartphone to capture the world—or at least the kids—with more creativity. A soft pouch stores lenses, caps and clip. $25.
PLAY THE ANGLES
Easy-to-use robotics let you be your own cameraman with the Soloshot 3. Just carry the tag device, and the camera base will follow your every action, automatically panning, tilting and zooming, so you’re the star of every scene. Its editing software even helps you find and share your best clips. $809.
Gamble on a Gimbal
Serious videographers may want to go the gimbal route. Like it’s balanced by a gyroscope, the DJI Osmo Handheld 4K Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal stabilizes your video recording, while joystick controls let you scan, pan and tilt to your heart’s content. Attach any smartphone to serve as your monitor via Wi-Fi. $569.
Marc Rapport is a freelance writer from Columbia, South Carolina. His monthly column also appears in South Carolina Living, the statewide electric co-op magazine of the Palmetto State. Product inclusion on this page does not imply endorsement; product availability and prices are subject to change.