Top Ten Holiday Photography Gifts for 2013–The Best Big-Sensor Cameras for Budding Photographers

By Matthew Bamberg / Dec 4, 2013
It’s the season to be jolly and to look for that special camera gift. The top ten holiday gifts list  for 2013 for travel and street photographers from Matthew Bamberg’s Digital Traveler Blog.

Why another list when there are dozens on the Internet? This list is unique in that it’s for people who want to buy a camera for someone who is interested in selling their photography on the Internet. For this reason, all types of cameras with large sensors are included in the list, cameras that will ensure that image quality is acceptable to microstock and fine art photography websites such as Dreamstime and Fine Art America.

This year several new cameras appear on the list. Some are mirrorless and others are smaller dSLRs with full-frame sensors. In top ten holiday gifts list for travel and street photographers, the rankings are based on cost (on Amazon), resolution and sensor size.

Note, here, at this time you get what you pay for. Most mirrorless cameras aren’t as up-to-speed as dSLR cameras when focusing on moving objects (those moving toward or away from you) and don’t auto-focus well in low-light because they have contrast detection instead of the dSLR’s phase detection. No improvement here since 2012, but the technology is moving forward with Sony’s NEX-5TL, which reportedly has a fairly decent auto-focus.
The focus for 2014 is to assist you in making a decision between the two kinds of cameras to get the best value for your buck.  

The list includes only camera bodies. For best image results pick up a good telephoto lens. I use a Canon L-Series 24-105 mm lens and find that very adequate for street photography while traveling. 

Here’s the list:

1.Canon EOS 5D Mark III

  • $3,300
  • 22 mp
  • full size (35 x 24 mm)

2. Sony DSC-RX1/B Cyber-shot Full-frame Digital Camera

  • $2,800
  • 24 mp
  • full size (35 x 24 mm)

3. Canon EOS 6D

  • $1800
  • 20 mp
  • full size (35 x 24 mm)

4. Sony NEX-5TL

    • $800
    • 16 mp
    • APS-C (23.5 X 15.6 mm)

    5.Olympus Evolt E620 

    • $1,500
    • 12 mp
    • 13.0 x 17.3 mm

    6.Nikon D800 

    • $2,800
    • 36 MP
    • full size (35 x 24 mm)

    7. Canon EOS REBEL T4i

    • $800
    • 18 mp
    • 22.3 x 14.9 mm 

    8. Nikon D3200 24.2 

    • $600
    • 24 mp
    • 23.2 x 15.4 mm

      9. Sony A65

      • $700
      • 24 mp
      • 23.5 × 15.7mm

      10.  Pentax K-r

      • $400
      • 12 mp
      • 15.8 x 23.6
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      About the author

      Matthew Bamberg

      Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).