Welcome to Day 1 of the 2013 Christmas Gadget Countdown. We thought we’d ease you into the gadget mood this year with a look at one of the most popular categories every year – cameras and photo gadgets.
You can’t get away from the fact that an increasing number of us rely on a smartphone as our day-to-day camera, so let’s start with a few stocking fillers for phone users.
Mobile phone camera lenses are a neat way of enhancing phone pics.
These are solid aluminium wide angle, telephoto, fisheye and polarizer lenses for iPhone and Android phones, with real glass optics. The telephoto lens give you a massive 12x optical magnification, which outperforms many digital cameras (although it looks pretty ridiculous stuck on the back of an iPhone). Stick the self-adhesive metal ring to your phone and snap on the inter-changeable lenses whenever you need to add some pizzazz to your photos.
Shaky hands? For ultimate stability at your fingertips, the Tiltpod mobile is a simple smartphone tripod/keyring that ensure you always have a stable base to take photos.
Or how about the bottle-top camera mount which turns any soft drink bottle into an instant tripod with a standard camera fitting.
If bigger is better in your book, you’ll probably be tempted by the Seitz D3 digital camera a 160-megapixel 6 x 17 inch camera that looks somewhat like a rocket launcher. Quite why you would need to take photos at 7,500 x 21,250 resolution we have no idea, but provided you have US$45,000 for the D3 you can have them!
If you hanker after the old days when camers were cameras, the 18-megapixel Leica M Monochrom is probably more up your street. It’s the first full-frame digital black and white camera. The manufacturer claims it “delivers 100% sharper images than with colour sensors”, which may be mathematically impossible, but it sounds impressive.
For the rest of us, maybe it’s time to step up from that clunky old compact or bridge-style digital camera to one of the new ‘compact system cameras’, which look something like a cross between a compact digital and an old-fashioned 35mm compact.
The attraction is that they can take interchangeable lenses, giving you superior optics for significantly less than an expensive digital SLR. Camera’s like the Canon EOS M Looks pretty good with its 18-55mm lens, yet weighs in at under £300.
As in previous years, if you have any better suggestions to add to our less than representative selection, feel free to add them in the comments section below. If you have suggestions for other categories, do also let us know. Keep an eye on this blog as it unfolds over the next couple of weeks - there's sure to be a page for you sooner or later! Happy shopping!
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I'm a partner with Burton Sweet, chartered accountants & business advisers, and run the Shepton Mallet office down in beautiful Somerset. Despite the name, Shepton Mallet is actually the home of Glastonbury Festival! I trained in audit and corporate tax with Grant Thornton and came to my current position in 1991 via small local practices...