Not all fathers are photographers, but for those who are, I’d argue that a point-and-shoot camera is essential tech for the dads in the world. Even for those with the latest smartphone, point-and-shoots are dedicated, purpose-built tools that excel in areas where phones can’t quite keep up. And, besides, dads love tools, right?
The Ricoh G900 is a unique and very specialized camera, one I’d say would appeal to techie dads more than any other demographic—at least to those dads who love the hardware store and building things. See, the G900 is a camera “optimized for use on work sites,” and as such offers tough, rugged construction and a wealth of dedicated modes and features for the construction and building industries. Even if he’s using this one outside of its commercial and industry-intended applications, it would be a great companion for the father looking for a durable camera to document his projects.
A bit toned-down, dare I say a bit more practical, is the Ricoh GR III. This hip camera could be perfect for your dad, but maybe hold back on telling him how much his cool factor will increase just by owning it. It’s a camera I had a chance to review (and I loved it) and is a prime example of a simple idea with near-perfect execution. There’s not much frivolity with the GR III—it has a large 24.2MP APS-C sensor, a great wide-angle 28mm equivalent prime lens (as in no optical zoom), and a compact, pocketable design. I’m projecting a bit, but in my mind, I see this being the perfect camera for the dad who owns, or at least always wanted to own, a motorcycle; it’s freeing, simple, and just plain cool.
Appealing to the techier dads, Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII contains one of the best mixtures of performance and features. It’s the latest of the venerable RX100 series, which blends a sleek size, relatively large 20.1MP 1"-type sensor, and exceptionally fast performance. And with the last two generations of this camera, a longer 24-200mm-equivalent zoom range makes it that much more versatile for photographing in various situations. Objectively, the RX100 VII is one of the most well-rounded cameras available today—point-and-shoot or otherwise—and it certainly appeals to those with a penchant for gadgets and the latest tech, as well as those just looking for a very solid camera.
At the opposite end of the point-and-shoot spectrum would be the super zoom. Trading in portability and sleekness for reach, something like the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 is just what is needed for those dads who are into birding and wildlife shooting, into photographing sports, and even into photographing distant celestial objects. With an enormous 125x optical zoom, which covers a 24-3000mm equivalent focal-length range, dad should be able to get the framing he needs in almost any situation. This is definitely that camera for the dads who already own a telescope or a pair of binoculars; it’s for the observing dad who is content with just sitting back and watching.
From the dad who likes to sit back to the dad who likes to be right in the action, the DJI Osmo Action is one of those “bring everywhere, do anything” types of cameras. It’s supremely durable since, after all, it’s really more of an action cam than a point-and-shoot in the traditional sense. It’s the perfect compact companion for adventure-junkie fathers: the ones who ski in the winter, cycle in the summer, and like to ride wave runners on their holiday vacations in the Caribbean. It can shoot up to 12MP raw photos or record HDR video at up to 4K60, and DJI’s RockSteady Electronic Image Stabilization helps to smooth out all the footage so dad can brag about his skills when sharing the footage with everyone.
For the father who is already a seasoned photographer, or for the dad who simply expects luxury, there is the Leica Q2. It’s a Leica, so it’s inherently got that “wow factor” that will make his friends “ooh” and “ahh” when he's out and about, taking pictures. In all seriousness, though, the Q2 is a serious camera—and an incredibly capable and contemporary camera, at that. Leica will always have its luxurious façade that stirs up some controversy and gains attention with each new camera, but the fact is that when you make a sleek point-and-shoot with a full-frame 47.3MP sensor, built-in Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens, one of the best electronic viewfinders around, and ultra-quick focusing and operation, any snickering is out of jealousy. The Q2 is a unique camera that’s perfect for the dad with discerning taste for objects and image quality.
Then there is the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II—the straightforward camera for the dad who “just wants a camera.” Sure, there are special features and unique capabilities that this camera brings to the table, but we don’t have to tell dad about these vlogging assets, the 180-degree tilting screen, the fast lens, or the optical image stabilization. We can just say, “Here, dad, here’s a nice camera for you that will take nice pictures,” and he’ll never know otherwise. But if your dad is a bit more tech savvy, then he’ll definitely appreciate the 20.1MP 1"-type sensor, 5x optical zoom, UHD 4K30 video, pop-up viewfinder, tilting touchscreen LCD, 20 fps shooting, and so on. It’s a capable camera with a humble aura.
Finally, we’ll close with the FUJIFILM X100V. Admittedly, it’s a camera that doesn’t scream “Father’s Day” the same way a super zoom or a camera purpose-built for use on construction sites might, but that’s okay. The X100V is also one of the hippest, trendiest cameras available—not necessarily something that would matter much to most fathers. But once you scrape away its cool facade and street-photography-inspired design, you’re left with one of the most pleasant and fun cameras around today. This is the camera you give to the father whom you want to become as enamored with photography as you already are. It’s also the perfect camera to give to your father when you know in advance that you’ll be able to borrow dad’s camera for long periods of time.
I’m sure I left some perfect point-and-shoots for pops off the list, so let me know what you think is the perfect camera to gift for Father’s Day in the Comments section, below.