I am often asked for camera buying advice, especially this time of year. I'm in love with my Canon 5D Mark II which I bought back in February, upgrading from a 5D, which I had simply out-grown. You can now get pretty good deals on both of these excellent SLR's since Canon recently released a Mark III. However unless you are a full time Pro, I highly recommend saving your pennies and buying used or getting a slightly older camera body, or opt for one of the lower level models such as a 7D, Rebel or 70D, all of which perform well. It is the lenses that you want to invest your real money in. This is what will really determine the quality of your images, well that and an understanding of light, composition and some innate talent & technical ability.
Avoid those "kits" that include a lens, they're usually not a great quality lens and will eventually just gather dust in your camera bag. Canon's best lenses are their "L" series and part of what makes a good lens is the maximum aperture opening, the lower the number, the better the lens. My favorite, used on this photo above is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L the "1.2L" being key in knowing this is a quality lens by the letter L and 1.2 is what allows me to open up the lens and get a beautiful shallow depth of field.
On the top of my wish list is their 85mm 1.2L lens. Fixed lenses (rather than zooms with multiple focal lengths) also tend to produce less distortion and are my personal preference. Though, I do have a good 24-70, I often use. One great lens is of far more value than 10 great high end bodies, it really is all about the "glass".
I am also always on the hunt for a good camera bag that is also, dare I say, stylish! I just discovered some fantastic options by Kelly Moore. I especially love this one called the Libby with a built in memory card wallet and space enough for your gear and a laptop. If you travel a lot with your gear as I do, you might also like this excellent option by Think Tank.
If you're not quite ready for an SLR or just want something more portable, then I highly recommend Leica's d-Lux 6 a super compact point & shoot with the heart of an SLR. I was able to test the previous model a while back and just loved this top of the line point & shoot.
Groovy Gadgetry Gift Ideals
Here are some other great techalious gift ideals; 1. Orla Kiely Phone Case fits iPhone 4 or 5 2. Very cool little retro alarm clock by Kikkerland 3. An extra fun iPhone 5 case from Trina Turk 4. Pelle Switcheasy iPad Cover 5. Coach leather iPad sleeve 6. A groovy collectible Diana F+ film camera 7. A Roku, allows you to stream movies directly to your TV 8. This little Sony-Cybershot point & shoot takes big pictures with 16 mega pixels & full HD 1080/60i for video.
Find more fun tech acessories and gadgets on my Techalious pin board.
top two & Leica photos, montage & content © Lara Rossignol