If you have a photographer in your family, or if your significant other is a photographer then in many ways, you have it made when it comes to holiday gifts. There are so many cool products out there that photographers will love.
Everything on this list is something the team at Photofocus use and can highly recommend. Companies can’t pay to get on this list. We’re suggesting things we would like to receive. Without further ado, here are our picks in no particular order:
Gifts Under $50
Get the Right White Balance (Pamela)
Pick up the Kodak 18% Grey card. This combo pack helps you manually white balance your camera. One side, is an 18% reflectance and the other is a white side with 90% reflectance. This is useful for determining exposure, adjusting lighting ratio and checking light distribution. Envelope contains two 8 x 10 cards and a pocketable 4 x 5 card.
Wear Your Favorite Lens (Mykii)
Check out the Lens Bracelet. We’ve featured the creator, photographer Adam Elmakias on our site before. These cool bracelets come in more than 25 styles. You can wear your favorite or use it as a way to stop a zoom lens from slipping (and creeping).
Take a Workshop with an eBook (Levi)
I recently read this terrific book by celebrated Photographer, Boleslaw Lutoslawski called “Workshop“. He’s been a photographer through a great generation of changes in Europe and England. This book offers simple, clear exercises that will have you creating more thoughtful portraiture in no time. Besides the exercises, he offers some powerful wisdom all photographers will appreciate.
Don’t Get Knocked Over (Pamela)
You don’t want a brisk breeze or a clumsy moment to knock your gear over. Sandbags are staples on set and help keep everything safe. The StudioFX Sandbags come ready to fill which makes them easy to pack and then fill on location.
Go Retro with Film! (Levi)
If you want to have some fun and get in touch with your photography roots, you should shoot some film. I’ve been shooting film a lot this year, and it’s affecting my digital photography for the better. I’m more contemplative about my images, and I’m paying more attention to making the picture perfect before I trip the shutter. I love the Kodak Professional films.
Use a Tripod and a Strap (Mark)
The SteadSnap is a cool gizmo that adds a small platform below your camera. You can easily attach a wide range of shoulder straps. You can now put the camera on the tripod while leaving the strap attached. A perfect gizmo for the photographer who’s on the go but still uses a set of sticks.
Control Your Camera in Creative Ways (Rob)
Whether you’re into time-lapse, long exposure, or other types of tethered photography, the TriggerTrap is an essential addition. You can connect most cameras to a smartphone or tablet and easily control a wide range of advanced features. Available for both Android and iOS.
You Can Never Have Enough Gaffer’s Tape (Nick)
A perfect stocking stuffer. The microGAFFER mini gaffer’s tape rolls are small enough to fit into a pocket and have all of the benefits of a roll of the tape. It’s easy to remove and reuse, plus great for holding down things on a shoot or to manipulate a model’s wardrobe.
Turn Your Fridge into a Digital Darkroom (Rob)
Let the geek out a bit and make over your fridge. This magnet set recreates a lot of the Photoshop toolset and turns them into magnets that you can use to make the photos you’ve put up a bit more interesting.
Control the Light (Levi)
The best tool you can get any photographer on your list is a 5-in1 reflector. I recommend one that is at least 43″ in diameter, but my favorite is the 40×60″ Oval style. Mastering this tool will give you great control of light in any circumstance.
Keep Your Cables Organizes (Vanelli)
I constantly have a bunch of cables floating around my camera bag… or at least I did until I added the Think Tank Cable Management Pouch. This is an easy way to keep track of all those little things in your camera bag.
Support Photofocus Authors and Read a Great Book (Rob)
Several of the Photofocus authors have contributed to the Snapshots to Great Shots book series. Learn specific skills or a new camera. Be sure to ceck the series out here.
Gifts Under $100
Need Some Extra Storage? (Rich)
The Transcend JetDrive Lite 128GB Storage Expansion Card is a great way to get extra capacity in your computer. It sits flush in your computer and adds near SSD speed. This makes a great scratch disk for Photoshop and a place to keep extra files. They also make them for other computer models too (be sure to order the right one as the depth of the card slots vary).
A Cheap Fisheye for Micro Four Thirds Shooters
The Olympus 9mm Fisheye Lens for Micro Four Thirds is a fun addition for Olympus, Panasonic, and Blackmagic Design shooters. With a fixed f/8 aperture and three manual focus settings make this lens super slim and super simple to use. It’s gotta be the lightest smallest lens on the market, and it’s really fun and remarkably good. I’m using it for landscapes, portraits, and commercial work, and it always encourages a fresh wave of creativity.
Dirty Sensor? (Kevin)
Visible Dust’s Zeeion Blower features filters that trap particles to insure the air cleaning a sensor is dust free. Additionally the Silicon-RX construction adds anti-static properties to air reaching the sensor. This is a great way to get your camera’s sensor clean and dust free.
Looking for Instant Film? (Mykii)
The instant camera has returned with the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8. Shoot and develop on the go with this fun camera. Retro and a chance to slow down your picture taking.
Diffuse Your Flash (Vanelli)
If you want to tweak your off-caner flash, I’m a fan of this cool modifier the ROGUEGRID 3-In-1 Stacking Honeycomb Grid System . Turn the honeycomb grids to spot the flash. This can be useful to further modify the light. The system is designed to with all Mount Flashes with Flash Units from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Metz, Nissin, Pentax, Olympus and Others
Gifts Over $100
Convert That Film to Digital (Mark)
Looking for an easy way to turn film into digital files? The Jumbl High Resolution Scanner/Digitizer for Slide and Film is a quick way to scan slides and negatives and convert them to a digital file (up to 22 megapixels). The device can scan right to a memory card and doesn’t need a computer.
Get the Best Adobe Software (Mykii)
What does nearly every photographer want? Photoshop and Lightroom of course. With 12 months of access, this prepaid card unlocks the latest version or adds on to an existing subscription plan.
A Fast and Sturdy Memory Card (Vanelli)
I’m a big fan of the memory cards from Hoodman. They are quite fast and feature SSD flash inside. This means that the card is very reliable and is designed to be completely filled and reformatted half a million times.
Keep Your Data Safe on the Road (Rich)
I take my Drobo Mini on every field shoot that involves overnight travel. By mirroring the data to multiple drives it dramatically improves my chances of getting home safely from the field with all my images intact. It also makes a huge drive to target so that I can fit everything onto one volume and not spread across multiple drives in my bag. I use them on both my Macs and PCs thanks to Thunderbolt and USB3 connections.
Long Lasting Flash (Pamela)
This power pack works with most professional flashes with a high voltage input. It makes it easy to quickly recharge and shoot up to 400 full power flashes. This is a great way to get consistent light and a lot of power in a small package.
A Lightweight Lens for Canon Crop-frame Cameras (Nicole)
The brand-new Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8mm pancake is the perfect walk-around lens for crop-sensor Canon cameras. This lens is lightweight and very small, in fact it’s less than 1-inch thick! And at a full-frame equivalent of 38mm it’s a great lens for any occasion.
A New Quick Access Backpack (Levi)
The Vanguard Sedona series of camera bags. This is the best backpack I’ve ever used. It’s incredibly lightweight and so comfortable to wear. I’ve got 10 MFT lens in mine, plus a Medium Format film body and two lenses.
The Ultimate Flash Modifier (Rich)
The SpinLight 360 Modular System offers precise controls and many option for modifying a flash. With several different options and kits, these tool works for just about any shooter who wants to refine the look of their flash. Be sure to look at options like grids, a snoot, and diffusion,
Get a Clearer View (Nick)
Easily block out stray light when reviewing the images on the back of your camera with the Hoodman Compact HoodLoupe Optical Viewfinder. This makes it much easier to see what you’ve shot and really judge the images on the back of the camera’s LCD screen.
The Ultimate GoPro Bag (Rich)
If youre looking for the ultimate GoPro bag this, the Tenba 632-451 ActionPack (for GoPro) has it all. Its a comfortable fit (even with broad shoulders). Inside are four removable smaller bags that offer divided compartments. Ive packed four cameras and a full suite of batteries and accessories for one trip. The bag also offers several large pockets and the ability to hold a CamelBak water bladder for the trip. There are also two small pouches to hold memory cards, thumbscrews, and small accessories. The side pockets are plenty big to hold a GorillaPod and other tripod accessories.