Take the Picture, Mom!

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How does your mom prefer to display photos around her home? Has she lovingly turned her refrigerator door into a collage, or does she have a set of frames on the wall going up the stairs? She might even be the high-tech type who has a tablet propped up in the kitchen with a constant slideshow of family memories.

While women have different styles of taking and displaying pictures, most moms cherish their loved ones through some form of photography. A camera can make a great Mother’s Day gift. Since your mom’s personality and taste can inform photography style, we’ve researched the best cameras for all types of moms.

Best Camera for Moms on the Go
If your mom is the active type, always chasing pets or grandchildren around, the best camera is the one she’ll use, and that probably needs to fit in her pocket! Our top pick for her is the iPhone 12 Pro. This is, of course, also a phone, but its onboard cameras (yes, that’s plural: it has wide, ultrawide and telephoto cameras) rival many separate digital cameras. It is also ultra-portable and easy to use; for example, unlike a traditional digital camera, it will automatically upload her photos to the cloud so she never has to worry about losing them. All three cameras have 12-megapixel sensors, which means they will produce even higher quality than what is needed to print perfect 8”x10” photos. The iPhone 12 Pro runs around $1,000 depending on how much memory you need.

Best Camera for Fun-Loving and Independent Moms
For moms who want hard copies of their pictures, the super-simple Polaroid Originals OneStep+ is a great option. It cuts out the steps of uploading photos and ordering prints (because how many of us have taken great pictures, only to dump them in cyberspace and never look at them again?) and allows Mom to skip straight to the printout, right from the camera. This isn’t the grainy, retro polaroid she’s familiar with, either. This new camera includes a lens for crisp portraits, and it can be used with black and white or color film. The Polaroid can optionally be used with an app on Mom’s phone that will let her set up a self-timer or even make noise to trigger the shutter for hands-free selfies with groups. Make sure you purchase Polaroid film with the camera so you can start printing fun photos right away at your Mother’s Day gathering. The Polaroid Originals OneStep+ is available for less than $150.

Best Camera for Center-of-Attention Moms
Some moms always seem to have a small crowd of grandkids, friends or neighbors following them around. For these extroverted women who love to be in the middle of it all, our top pick is the DJI Mini 2 drone. You may never have considered using a drone to take your group photos, but in a season of social distancing and outdoor activities, this is the perfect option for capturing large group shots from a distance. It may seem intimidating to fly a drone at first, but this one is built for beginners. It has its own controller with auto takeoff, a button to bring the drone automatically back to the controller, and auto landing. It also comes with all kinds of helpful features such as stabilization, wind resistance and automatic obstacle avoidance. Like the iPhone 12, it has a built-in 12-megapixel camera and it can automatically take photos or video footage. It can even fly itself on autopilot mode to take photos, so Mom can relax and pose with the group. The DJI Mini 2 is available for approximately $450 online.

Best Camera for Nature-Loving Moms
If Mom just wants a sturdy camera to take with her on hikes and trips to the beach, the Olympus Tough TG-6 is the best option for her. It has a 12-megapixel camera for detailed shots or videos. This camera is intended for close-up shots of nature, so it comes with a microscope mode. It also has features like automatic image tracking for turbulent conditions and an extreme digital zoom, so Mom can use it for birdwatching even from the car. It is built to withstand drops and bumps, and it even performs underwater. Best of all, it can connect to WIFI at home so Mom can drop her photos on the computer or send them to a printer without needing to keep track of tangled cords or SD cards. The Olympus Tough TG-6 is available for about $450.

No matter what kind of photographer your mom may be, there is a camera to suit her lifestyle. Now it’s time to find one that works for her and start making memories. ■

Sources: apple.com, polaroid.com, nytimes.com and getolympus.com.