Still stumped as to what to ask for? Or still looking for that special something for the wildlife and nature photographer in your life? Here are a few cool things that should be on every outdoor photographer's wishlist.
Three Compact Cameras to Consider
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3(street: $299)
This compact 7.2-megapixel camera manages to pack an optically stabilized 10x zoom Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 28-280mm (35mm equivalent) lens with exceptional wide angle distortion control into a pocketable package that's solid and stylish at the same time. Also cool: Long exposures up to 60 seconds in starry sky mode, voice annotation, and the ability to adjust the time for home and vacations.
Pentax Optio W30(Street: $250)
When it comes to waterproof digital cameras, we love the 7.1-megapixel Pentax Optio W30. Waterproof to 10 feet, it's the perfect amphibian for snorkeling adventures or even in the backyard swimming pool. A centered lens and rubberized controls make for easy in-the-water operations. It's also super-easy and fun on dry land, too.
Olympus Stylus 790SW(street: $250)
Like the Pentax Optio W30, the 7.1-megapixel Olympus Stylus 790SW is waterproof to 10 feet. But it is a little more challenging to use in the water than the Pentax. Where this camera really shines is in the snow, on the mountains, and on kayak and rafting expeditions. It's waterproof, can handle a five-foot drop, has a built-in flashlight, and can operate down to minus 10 Celsius (that's 14 degrees!) for all but the most frigid ski and snow adventures.
A Mentor Series Trip
Surprise your special photographer with the photo trip of a lifetime with our Mentor Series treks. A great student-to-mentor ratio combined with exotic and inspiring destinations make for the learning vacation of a lifetime! For 2008, there are trips to Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and Norway... just to name a few! Mentors include Mark Alberhasky, Rob Van Petten and Reed Hoffman. Your photographer will surely never forget the experience or the lessons.
Lensbaby 3G (direct: $250)
This fun little lens, available for many camera systems, is decidedly low-tech. It's got push-pull coarse focusing and two methods of fine focusing for complete control of dreamy visions. Sure, it's low-tech, but the images it creates can be fantastic. And if your photographer already happens to have a Lensbaby, there's a whole host of add-ons including wide or telephoto adapters, and macro lenses to expand their 'baby visions.