The 16 best Christmas gifts for photographers

14. Nikon D3400 and AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens

Light, cheap and wirelessly connected - meet Nikon's popular entry-level DSLR

Highlight specs: 24.2MP APS-C sensor, Nikon F lens mount, Full HD video, 3in LCD screen, 5fps burst shooting, Snapbridge

Great image quality
Lots of high-quality Nikkor lenses
Snapbridge isn't ideal
No touchscreen

Is there an entry-level DSLR more popular than the D3400 right now? It's certainly hard to think of one. 

Blending a 24.2MP APS-C sensor with Nikon's longstanding F-mount, and a battery with a staggering 1,200 shots per charge, the D3400 has a strong core that's bolstered by 5fps burst shooting and Full HD video recording up to 50/60p.

Don't know where to start? The Guide mode will take your hand and help you get the best out of the camera, while the Effects will let you instantly treat your images with a range of looks, making image-editing software unnecessary.

The fact that it's now fairly well established means it offers excellent value against the newer Canon EOS 200D. Top tip: make sure you get the kit with the 'VR' lens included, as the cheaper non-VR kit isn't really worth the small saving you make. Read our full review here.

15. Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D

This upper-entry-level Canon EOS model packs a punch

Highlight specs: 24.2MP APS-C sensor, Canon EF-S lens mount, Full HD video recording, 19-point AF system, 3in vari-angle touchscreen, Wi-Fi and NFC

Vari-angle touchscreen
Strong video specs
No 4K video
New models have Dual Pixel AF

Want to put a massive smile on the face of the budding photographer this Christmas? A fully-featured Canon EOS DSLR will do just that.

Don't let the fact that it was released two years ago put you off: there's a serious set of specs lurking inside that familiar EOS shell. You get a 24.2MP APS-C sensor, a 19-point phase-detect AF system, 5fps burst shooting and both Wi-Fi and NFC to get your creations out easily. 

Full HD video recording is also available, and Canon has even thought to fit the model with a port for external microphones to help boost audio quality. Turn the body around and you'll find an LCD that flips away from the camera and turns to a range of angles – even all the way around to face to front – and it's even fully responsive to touch.

The kit includes an 18-55mm lens so the photographer can get shooting right away – just make sure they have an SDHC or SDXC memory card – but the EF-S lens mount provides access to a exhaustive range of optics that stretch back to 1987. As with the Nikon D3400, skip the 18-55mm DC kit and make sure you get the kit with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens to benefit from image stabilisation.

16. Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro

With great image quality and image stabilisation built in, this macro lens is a smasher for the money

Compatible with: Canon EF, Nikon F and Sigma SA mounts

Superb features-to-price ratio
Great image quality
Not the smallest macro lens
Somewhat unrefined finish

Budget macro lenses tend to have a couple of shortcomings to be able to be priced so attractively. Typically it's a lack of internal focus, or a noisy AF motor, but neither of these are the case with this Sigma optic.

With great image quality, an effective image stabilisation system, internal focusing, a focus-limit switch and a splash-proof design, it easily competes with the very best macro lenses out there. 

Being picky, it's matte finish may not be to everyone's taste, and you'll want to keep your vignetting correction on at wider apertures, but this a small price to pay when you consider that rival macro lenses typically command around double this price.
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