Good gadgets for everyone on your holiday gift list
As much as people talk about the joy and cheer of the holidays, it’s also a stressful time. Make a list of the people you need to shop for, and you’ll realize you have no idea what to get some of them.
But have no fear—the Georgia Straight is here with another helpful holiday gift guide for the techies in your life. Or, truthfully, any of your friends, family members, or colleagues with access to electricity. There’s something for everyone, from amateur photographers to those who just want to be left alone with a good book.
Canon EOS M
($799.99 for body only, $829.99 with an EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens and a Speedlite 90EX flash; Best Buy, Future Shop, Kerrisdale Cameras, Lens & Shutter, London Drugs)
Help lift the weight off the shoulders of the photographer in your life with the Canon EOS M mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. While mirrorless digital cameras aren’t anything new, this is Canon’s first entry into the market. The best part is that, if your photographer already has a collection of Canon lenses, all she’ll need is an adapter (purchased separately) to be able to use them with the much smaller EOS M. It’s perfect for travelling or anytime a big DSLR camera is too cumbersome.
They say the best camera is the one you have with you. These days we’re more likely to have an iPhone in our pocket than a fancy DSLR in our bags, so why not get photo enthusiasts something to enhance their smartphone photography? The Olloclip, an accessory that slides over the iPhone 4 and 4S camera, gives people more control over their pictures by allowing them to take advantage of fisheye, wide-angle, and macro lenses while instagramming.
GoPro HD Hero3
($349.99; Best Buy, Caya, Future Shop)
The camera for the action junkie, the GoPro is a small video camera that can be attached to almost anything, even a snowboard helmet or bike handlebars. The daredevils on your holiday list can use it to capture their dangerous exploits, whether they be on the slopes of Whistler or in the alleyways of Hell’s Kitchen. It also takes decent still photos, if there’s any downtime between adventures.
($329 and up; Apple Store, Best Buy, Future Shop, Simply Computing)
Everyone’s trying to sell tablet computers these days, from Google to Carl in the lane behind my apartment, who previously tried to get me to buy used Playboys. The fact is that Apple is still the only company to get the tablet right, though I’ve gotta say the device Carl is building looks interesting. The iPad Mini shouldn’t work since it lacks the power and Retina display of Apple’s top-of-the-line iPads, but once you hold it in your hands it just feels right. It’s a great fit for a first-time tablet owner.
($129.99; Best Buy, Chapters, Future Shop, Indigo)
A device that does one thing well can be a beautiful thing, especially if the one thing it does is something someone you know loves. While it’s possible to read books on a tablet or any type of computer, those experiences don’t come close to reading a printed page. With the Kobo Glo, it feels like you’re reading off paper. This makes the Glo suitable for the bibliophiles in your life, especially those who’ve forced you to help them move their print libraries from one home to another. The only caveat is that, if the recipient already has an e-reader, his digital library may be in a format that doesn’t work with the Kobo.
($59.95; Apple Store, Fitbit.com)
Got someone on your list whose New Year’s resolution is to be fitter, happier, and more productive? This year, get them the Fitbit Zip, a little bit of tech that rides around on a belt, in a pocket, or clipped anywhere else on their person. The Zip tracks their movement, acting as a pedometer and, with the help of Fitbit’s software, allowing them to record calories burned and consumed. The Zip syncs with Macs, PCs, newer iPhones, and Android devices.
Nokia Lumia 920
($99.99 with a three-year contract, $549.99 with no contract; Rogers)
Nokia has always produced well-designed and well-made hardware. While Microsoft may be falling behind in the desktop OS race, it’s been making a beautiful mobile OS for a few years now. The marriage of Nokia’s exceptional physical design and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 is best expressed in the Lumia 920. Boasting LTE network speed, a gorgeous screen, and an eight-megapixel camera, this smartphone is appropriate for anyone who wants to make calls on something that’s a little different from what their friends have.