Father's Day Gift Guide: The best digital cameras, from compact point-and-shoot models to digital SLRs

If your dad is a photography nut, one of these digital cameras is sure to make a great gift for him

It doesn't matter if your dad is a photography nut — or if he has no idea how to take a decent photo — either way he'll want a camera with good features. This is the type of gift that you can add to as well: once he gets the photography bug he'll upgrade with tonnes of accessories.

If you’re buying a digital camera this Father’s Day your best bet is to buy your dad a camera that packs plenty of features, yet is easy enough for him to actually use whenever the mood arises. Choose a camera that he will find fun to use — and make sure it has enough advanced and automated features to make him look like a pro when he starts snapping.

We've selected our top 5 recommended digital cameras in this gift guide — from compact point-and-shoot models to prosumer level digital SLRs. There’s something for any photo buff dad in here.

1. Canon PowerShot D10 (RRP: $599) This is a ruggedised point-and-shoot digital camera that any dad who loves the great outdoors will appreciate. It's waterproof, drop-proof and dust-proof. Put it this way: you could kick this thing around like a football, or pass it around like a basketball, and it will survive the hard knocks. Whether your dad's a keen bushwalker, camping man or a beach dweller, this is the camera for him.

2. Nikon D3000 (RRP: $799) If your dad wants to take his photography to the next level, then he’ll want to invest in a digital SLR camera. The D3000 is Nikon's latest and it is very easy to use. The camera has built-in guides to walk you through all the steps to help you create perfect portraits, luscious landscapes and awesome action shots. Plus it also has built-in editing features and filters. The camera’s $799 price only covers the body — the lenses are extra. But you can buy this camera in a single or twin lens kit for $999 and $1299, respectively.

3. Panasonic DMC-FS7 (RRP: $389) Compact cameras are a great choice if your dad is new to photography. They are ideal for use in most social situations, they are easy to carry and they don't require a lot of knowledge to operate. The Panasonic DMC-FS7 is a perfect compact camera, featuring a 10-megapixel sensor and 4x zoom lens. It focuses quickly, has in-built scene modes that make it easy to operate the camera, and, most importantly, it takes clear and crisp pictures. It's a camera for the dad who wants something that’s easy to use and will fit in his pocket or backpack.

4. Canon PowerShot SX200 IS (RRP: $649) This is the ideal digital camera if your dad wants a compact model with a big zoom. It has a 12x zoom and built-in optical stabilisation to help you take clear shots at maximum zoom, and you also get nifty features like face recognition and motion tracking autofocus functions.

5. Ricoh GR Digital III (RRP: $999) If your dad’s a keen photographer and knows his way around a camera then the Ricoh GR Digital III will be the perfect gift. It's been called the professional's compact camera, and for good reason. It has a 28mm prime lens (that is, a lens that doesn’t zoom) and is capable of taking very crisp, clear shots. There are plenty of dials and buttons that allow you to play with its exposure settings, and it has a rubberised grip, which makes it very comfortable to use. It's definitely one of our favourite cameras from the recent ones we’ve tested.

Tags nikonRicohCanonPanasonicphotographydigital cameras

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Elias Plastiras

Elias Plastiras

Good Gear Guide

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