Sharing the Moment
Raise the Bar With Digital Camera Incentives
These days, most of us have a smartphone (even me, and I was a late holdout). These ubiquitous multi-taskers give us an unprecedented ability to connect and share information—and sharing images is a huge part of that equation.
Of course, smartphones make it easy by incorporating cameras, and their capabilities have improved dramatically over the years. However, if you want to take your image-capturing ability to a new level, you'll quickly find the smartphone inadequate to your needs.
That's one of the reasons why digital cameras—whose manufacturers have adapted to the smartphone's impact on the market by developing products with ever-greater capabilities—still make powerful incentives and rewards. Sure, most of us can snap a quick pic any time with our phones, but who'd turn down a superior tool for getting the job done?
"People just love taking photos and capturing that special moment to share with friends and family," said Larry Rougas, national sales manager, Photo Specialty, Nikon. "The reach of social media continues to grow, and people look forward to sharing their content with others as quickly as possible. People are reaching the boundaries of smartphones and are looking for better images and flexibility to get more creative with their photos. A digital camera is a reward that will stay with the recipient and their family for years, allowing them to capture, save and share memories and adventures."
A digital camera is a reward that will stay with the recipient and their family for years, allowing them to capture, save and share memories and adventures.
Carey Berg, vice president, Special Markets, Vivitar Sakar, added, "Incentives are always emphasizing the experiential factor, and cameras fit right into that, with the ability to capture experiences—especially at a meeting or event. Any venue where the employees have to travel to is a natural, so they can capture the sights of that new place, and also take pictures with colleagues."
Camera manufacturers have had to change as the market has changed, adding new features and capabilities, from rugged weatherproof bodies to long zooms and more. They also have added connectivity, making it as simple to share images as with a smartphone.
"Connectivity and sharing continues to be one of the most sought-out features," Rougas said. "More people are taking and sharing photos than ever before. We recognize that it is critical for new products to fit within a consumer's ecosystem of devices. Nikon continues to embrace this environment by creating connectivity options that allow for photos to be sent automatically from a Nikon camera directly to a paired phone for easy sharing.
"Nikon's entry-level DSLR cameras, D3400 and D5600, offer connectivity to share images easily," he added, "but they also offer an extensive list of user-friendly features and controls to help those stepping up to a DSLR from a phone."
The Nikon D3400 is the perfect upgrade for people who've been shooting on their smartphones. The compact, lightweight D3400 captures breathtaking, high-quality images regardless of skill level. This super easy-to-use DSLR has guide mode, which actually helps teach you photography. And with Nikon's SnapBridge App, you can automatically transfer photos to a compatible smartphone for easy sharing.
Goes Where Your Smartphone Won't
People are reaching the boundaries of smartphones and are looking for better images and flexibility to get more creative with their photos.
Asked about what cameras can do that smartphones can't, Carey said, "To me, the big differentiation is waterproof and ruggedness." He added. "We are all so dependent on our phones. Who wants to risk it breaking due to water or maybe a rugged sports activity where you can have an accident—especially if you're traveling? Also, if you're on vacation, a camera lets you do something you rarely have the opportunity to do: cut the cord with your phone—go sightseeing, snorkeling, mountain biking, etc., and leave the phone behind."
Available through Sakar, the Polaroid 18.1-megapixel Water-proof/Shockproof Dual LCD Digital Camera is the ultimate for taking pictures anywhere. Polaroid gives you an amazing combination of beautiful image clarity, ease of use and durability, which together with crystal clear dual screens, give you the ultimate camera, no matter where the world takes you. Waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, sand-proof and freeze-proof, you can take it anywhere. Features include a 2.7-inch jumbo rear LCD display and 1.8-inch front LCD so you can get in the action, 4X digital zoom, two-in-one digital photo and video capability and more.
Does What Your Smartphone Can't
"Smartphones and social media have taken image-taking to a new level of popularity—people just love to capture and share moments like never before," Rougas said. "Smartphones have come a long way and continue to improve. However, when it comes time to capture special moments, people tend to migrate to more advanced cameras and lenses to make sure they capture the best image possible.
"Nikon digital cameras continue to offer large images sensors, incredible low-light performance, zoom lens capabilities, fast performance and, most importantly, outstanding image quality. These are only a few of the many features that truly separate Nikon digital cameras from smartphone cameras."
The Nikon D5600 is perfect for people who want to get more creative. This high-speed, lightweight DSLR has a touch LCD screen that allows you to swipe, pinch, zoom and even set focus with your fingertips. Right out of the box, you can start taking great photos and videos. As your skills develop, the D5600 gives you room to grow with exceptional image quality, intuitive controls and powerful tools for pushing your creativity. With 5 frames-per-second continuous shooting, 24.2 megapixels and a long-life battery, you can shoot to your heart's content.
Whether you're snapping an unforgettable moment on the go or recording an epic video with friends, the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II camera combines an ultra-slim design with high-performing features for incredible image quality and easy portability. With the PowerShot G9 Mark II, it's easy to capture the precious times of your life in a stylishly stunning way.
The Sony a7 III has been refined for extraordinary image capture control and quality, from the next-generation 24.2-megapixel full-frame BSI image sensor and latest BIONZ X image processor, down to the smallest operational detail. Featuring 693 phase AF points with up to 10 frames-per-second continuous shooting, 4K HDR video and the longest battery life of any mirrorless camera to date, the a7 III has everything you need.
With many features typically found in an interchangeable lens camera, as well as performance and image quality to match, Canon's PowerShot G1 X Mark III breaks new ground as the first Canon compact digital camera to feature a large 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor for detailed images and Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast autofocus. Whatever you need, the PowerShot G1 X Mark III camera delivers outstanding results.
Discussing other differentiators for cameras vs. smartphones, Berg said, "For us, it's been the expansion of the Optical Zoom. We started at 30x, and then expanded to 40x and that was a big deal. Now we have 30x, 40x, 50x, 60x and just introduced a 72x zoom."
The Polaroid Bridge Camera (IE 7276W) holds powerful SLR style features in an everyday portable design. The 18.1 megapixels ensure crisp, colorful shots, and powerful 72x optical zoom lets you bring distant images up close with ultimate clarity. The jumbo 3-inch LCD color screen lets you easily frame your shots, review your work and watch your videos. Pop-up flash lets you shoot in low light or at night, and built-in Wi-Fi will transmit photos from wherever you are so you never miss another moment. High-definition resolution ensures professional pictures that will be stunning. When you're done, you can print your crisp photos or share videos, which are stored on SD memory cards.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 is the camera for the person who wants it all—ease of use, but major zoom capability—40x, to be exact. Though compact and easy to handle, it captures brilliant photos and videos, whether you're zooming in with its super-telephoto NIKKOR glass lens or recording Full HD video using the flip-up LCD. And it takes all of the work out of shooting with its 16-megapixel low-light sensor, easy menus and controls, fun creative effects and outstanding automatic operation.
DSLR cameras already offer the ability to take your photography skills as far as you'd like to go, but that doesn't mean they aren't also adapting to fit consumers' needs and expectations.
"Nikon is always thinking of innovative features that would benefit the consumer, such as built-in Wi-Fi for connectivity and easy sharing," Rougas said. "DSLRs are also becoming easier to use, smaller and more portable."
In August 2017, Nikon introduced the D850, Rougas added, "a powerful full-frame DSLR camera that provides photography enthusiasts and multimedia creators with an impressive combination of resolution and high-speed performance. The 45.7-megapixel D850 is Nikon's first DSLR with an FX-format, back-side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor for image quality, allowing photographers to create stunning, high-resolution still images and full-frame 4K UHD video. The technical innovation in this camera provides a halo for what consumers can look forward to in future Nikon products."
Moving Pictures, Prints, Security & More
Of course, cameras that are designed primarily for still photos and video aren't the only option your program participants might aspire to earn. Adventurers will enjoy video cameras that can catch them in action. And when you're hosting an event, the ability to print instantly will add to the fun.
You can start snapping and printing in real time with the Polaroid Snap Touch Instant Print Camera. With Bluetooth connectivity, the camera delivers the option of sharing photos instantly through the Polaroid app. Available through Rymax, the Polaroid Snap Touch can make lasting memories in an instant.
Available through Premco, GoPro HERO5 Black is a balance of performance and convenience, thanks to its 4K video, voice control, easy-to-use touch display and waterproof design. Now with QuikStories, HERO5 Black automatically sends your footage to your phone, where it transforms into an awesome edited video.
Also available through Premco, the GoPro HERO6 Black transforms your adventures into incredible QuikStories right on your phone. With its all-new GP1 chip, next-level video stabilization and two times the performance, looking good has never been so easy. Add voice control and a durable waterproof design, and HERO6 Black is the ultimate GoPro for sharing life as you live it.
Another new area to explore includes tiny photo printers, easily portable so you can print photos wherever you go.
The Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer is small enough to fit in your pocket so you can take it anywhere. Easily connect your smartphone to the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer app, choose a photo from your smartphone or social media and print fun 2-by-3 photos with a peel and stick back. With the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer app, you can customize photos before you print them by adding frames, emojis, stickers, filters, text, tile print, collage print and more.
Available through Links Unlimited, Lifeprint is a Bluetooth photo and video printer for iPhone and Android that allows you to print and share photos with friends and family all over the world. Named "Best ZINK Printer" by Digital Trends, Lifeprint uses Augmented Reality to make your photos come to life like magic in your hands. We call this "Hyperphoto." Lifeprint film requires no ink and is powered by ZINK Technology.
Get the Picture?
Now that you know all the latest, what should you know about incorporating cameras into your incentives and rewards program?
If you are rewarding someone who is active on social media, enjoys capturing and sharing memories, has a family, loves to travel, is active and/or has passions, a camera is the perfect gift!
"Long-zoom cameras and rugged cameras continue to be popular and in high demand, as they are great options for frequent travelers or those taking a special family vacation," Rougas said. "People who are passionate about photography and looking to step up from a smartphone tend to gravitate to our consumer-level DSLR cameras, like the D3400 and D5600. They offer user-friendly features and controls, ultra-portability, stunning image quality, as well as the ability to share images directly from camera to phone."
Berg said your reward mix should include bridge cameras, sports action cameras and waterproof cameras. "What makes ours appealing is that we give a complete bundle with case, tripod and memory card."
Rougas agreed that providing accessories is a good idea. "It is always nice to provide a camera bag, as it ensures that the camera will be protected during travels; plus, makes it easy to carry on the go," he said. "A Nikon/NIKKOR lens would be a great addition to a DSLR camera, providing even more fun shooting options and creative freedom. Nikon makes it easy for consumers, as our entry-level DSLR cameras are available as two-lens kits, helping to expand one's photographic capabilities. Lastly, it is always great to provide an extra battery and a memory card."
Berg agreed. "Offer a complete kit so the recipient does not have to then go out and buy the accessories," he said. "A memory card is a must. A cast makes it easy, especially for travel."
"If you are rewarding someone who is active on social media, enjoys capturing and sharing memories, has a family, loves to travel, is active and/or has passions, a camera is the perfect gift!" Rougas concluded. "Many people want a dedicated camera but are hesitant to spend the money to purchase for themselves—it would be an exciting gift to receive, and a gift that they will use to expand their passion."