Irresistible Photo Gifts for Dads and Grads
It's the time of year when dads expect to get a new tie, while the younger set clutch their diplomas and hope they get something better than a pen set in recognition for all of their hard work in school. This year, you can do better than a tie or a pen set: How about a new camera or a useful photographic gadget? I've collected some of the coolest, ranging in price from $29 to $600.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10
A lightweight point-and-shoot camera makes a great gift--it's the sweet spot between lugging around a digital SLR and settling for the 2-megapixel snapshots on a camera phone. Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 (about $280) is no bigger than a stack of business cards, but it captures 3D images and high-def video, and it can take impressively high quality handheld photos at night without a flash.
Epson Perfection V600 Photo
You know how Dad is always saying he wishes he could scan all those old photos and negatives before they completely fade away? Give him the tool he needs to finally preserve all those old memories with the Epson Perfection V600 Photo, available online for under $200. This high-quality flatbed scanner handles photos, film, slides, and other documents with a top resolution of 6400 by 9600 dpi, and includes dust and noise elimination software to clean up photos as they're scanned.
Thanks to Facebook and Flickr, your family may not print photos as much as it used to--but perhaps that's also because your old printer is no longer up to the task. The Lexmark Genesis (around $230 online) is a stylish upright multifunction printer that barely looks like a printer at all--it would look awesome either on Dad's desk or in a dorm room. A 4.3-inch touchscreen on the front of the printer works with Lexmark's family of apps that automate scanning and printing or access Web services.
Eye-Fi Wireless SD Card
We're taking more photos than ever, and the free space on your memory cards can barely keep up. To capture those summer BBQs and college memories, wouldn't it be great to have one card with infinite capacity? You can get close with an Eye-Fi wireless SD card. Eye-Fi cards come in 4GB and 8GB capacity, and you can use the built-in Wi-Fi to automatically transfer photos to a PC whenever the camera is in range of your Wi-Fi network. That's not all: You can also configure the software to automatically post photos online to a service like Facebook or Flickr. Prices range from $49 for 4GB to $99 for 8GB with support for RAW transfers and geotagging.
Apple iPad 2
Starting at $600, the Apple iPad 2 is about a dozen gifts in one. It's not inexpensive, but at the same time, it's an e-book reader, Internet device, game console, and a handful of other gadgets all crammed into a 1.33-pound device that's less than a half inch thick. Dads will love lounging on the hammock while playing Tower Madness, and kids headed off to college will relish reading homework assignments and updating their Facebook page without a laptop. But for the photographically inclined, the real magic here is how elegantly the iPad becomes a photo editing tool--Adobe has released a handful of touch-optimized Photoshop utilities that make the iPad a near-essential photo editing gadget.
iPad Camera Connection Kit
Perhaps your dad or grad already has an iPad. In that case, they'll love Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit, which does exactly what it sounds like--it transfers photos from a camera (via USB or directly from a Secure Digital card) to the iPad. The Connection Kit supports all of the major photo and video formats, including RAW, making it a snap to back up, view, and even edit photos on the iPad's roomy display--and it costs just $29.
A Flickr Pro Subscription
As your new grad heads off to a new life at college or work in a new city, you'll want to stay in touch. There's no better hint you can drop to keep those photos coming than giving your kid a place to post those pictures online. You can give a year of Flickr's Pro account for $25 (or two years for $48), which lets your new grad upload and display an unlimited number of photos, display HD video, and archive their original high-res images.
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