After a tumultuous 2020, the holidays will be here before you know it! As we gear up for the biggest shopping season of the year, we’re presenting our favorite gifts for photographers this holiday season. Below are a few of our favorites that are valued under $500.
LEE Filters 100mm System Kit
Recommended by Sara Kempner | $278.95; available via B&H
This neutral density filter kit works to extend your exposures by 10 stops, giving you the ability to take longer exposures at wider apertures. Great for creative long exposures that convey movement or mood, this filter allows you to get artistic or shoot longer exposures in broad daylight. It is my personal favorite tool for getting unique shots at any location! This product is perfect for the outdoor photographers on your Christmas list.
X-Rite i1 Studio Spectrophotometer
Recommended by Bryan Esler | $449; available via B&H
When it comes to calibrating my monitors, I’ve had the best experience with X-Rite products. They’re true to color, providing the accuracy I need for my corporate clients. Plus, the i1 Studio can also calibrate projectors, scanners, mobile devices and printers!
Godox AD200Pro TTL Pocket Flash Kit
Recommended by Julie Powell | $269; available via B&H
Small, lightweight and can pack a punch, the AD200Pro is great for studio or on the go. It comes with standard flash head and a strobe attachment. Brilliant for those starting out or those who want a bit more flexibility.
Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 Optic
Recommended by Ken Lee | $359.96; available via B&H
I just purchased this and I’m already in love with it. This allows you to control a slice of focus, creating exquisite blur intuitively. You simply move the lens and you can instantly see the effects of the blur. You have further control over the effect by adjusting the aperture manually.
I love how this unleashes my creativity. I can create images of mundane things and have them look fantastic, and take fantastic things and take them to another level.
DJI Mini 2
Recommended by Lauri Novak | $449; available via B&H
Different perspectives come easy with a DJI Mini 2. Perfect for any photographer who is looking to expand their horizons.
Arcatech GP Ballhead
Recommended by Rick Friedman | $399.75; available via B&H
The best ball head I have ever worked with — and I have worked with a lot of them. It also functions as a gimbal head for shooting with telephoto lenses, and can be used upside down as a leveling base for stitched panoramic images.
Falcon Eyes F7 Fold
Recommended by Bob Coates | $229; available via B&H
Versatile portable LED lighting. You can use this as a main light, quick fill or special effects light. For color geeks it has a 96 CRI! Has LOTS of features, and each half of the Fold can be controlled individually or in tandem from the smartphone app.
Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro
Recommended by Bryan Esler | $299.99; available via B&H
Mac users, if you’re looking to clean up and tidy up all your cables and adapters, look no further! The Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro by Belkin features USB-A, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, audio, Ethernet, DisplayPor and SD card support to fit your needs.
Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI
Recommended by Jemma Pollari | $279; available via B&H
I’m really excited about this new AI addition to the Canon Speedlite flash family. It’s designed to be used on-camera and has automatic bounce technology, working out the best direction to bounce the flash for even, diffused light. If you’re new to flash, then this AI Speedlite will take the guesswork out!
Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet (Medium)
The Intuos Pro has been my go-to drawing tablet since I was first able to review it. It makes fine-tuning your photographs super easy, with pressure sensitivity across apps. Plus, you can customize the buttons on the table and pen to fit your editing needs!
Manfrotto Befree GT Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod with 496 Ballhead
Recommended by Sara Kempner | $320; available via B&H
Weighing in at only 3.4lbs, this tripod is the perfect companion for any photographers looking to travel or carry their gear over long distances. Able to hold up to 22lbs, it will reach 62.8” when fully extended. Lightweight and compact, you can’t go wrong with this tripod!
X-Rite ColorChecker Video and ColorChecker Passport Video Kit
Recommended by the Photofocus team | $277.99; available via B&H
When it comes to getting accurate color on-set, the ColorChecker Video is the industry standard for setting your color balance. And if you just photograph stills, there’s a ColorChecker Photo, too.
WANDRD PRVKE 31L Photo Bundle with Essential+ Camera Cube
The PRVKE has been my backpack of choice for almost two years now, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s comfortable and holds all my gear, and the camera cube system is completely customizable to fit your camera, lenses and accessories.