The 12 Best Gifts For Photographers This Year
It's hard to buy gifts for photographers! They can get pretty picky, and only a fellow photographer could decipher all of those technical terms. Don't worry -- it's complicated stuff, and we're here to help you out. From lenses to tripods to software, these are our favorite photography gifts of the year.
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$10 - $120
Photography is a hobby that involves a lot of waiting - usually in the dark and the cold. As much as we photographers would like to bundle up, though, there are buttons to push and settings to change! The solution? Photography gloves.
Photography gloves feature removable fingertips that can be flipped back to allow for easy shooting in the cold. When it's time to photograph that icy December sunrise, they're an invaluable gift for any photographer.
Standard photo gloves, with only the most basic of features, start at around 10 dollars, while more advanced gloves range from 40 to 120 dollars.
$10 - $40
There's nothing that photographers detest more than a crooked horizon line in a photo - especially when the image is their own. That's why a perfect present for your favorite photographer is a hotshoe level.
This ingenious device -- a cousin of the bubble level used in construction and assembly -- attaches to the top of any camera. The alignment of the bubbles can be checked from normal shooting height, so any crooked photos can be quickly adjusted.
Hotshoe levels are broadly priced by number of axes. You can find the cheapest options if you look for just one bubble level, although pricier models have 2 or 3 levels.
$5 - $80+
Photographers always need more memory cards. It's a simple fact of life as a snapper - storage space counts. Personally, I can use almost half a memory card for every day of shooting, and many photographers are no different.
Though I won't dive into the technicalities here, cameras are gaining resolution with every new model. Bigger images mean more data - so modern cameras are practically vacuuming up SD cards, and the more images memory card can store, the better.
The amount of storage space on a memory card doesn't only correspond with a photographer's happiness -- it also has an impact on price. You can now get a standard 16GB card for around $5, but the norm in photography is a 32 or 64GB SD card, which are around 20 to 60 dollars. A midrange card is probably the best choice for your photographer, but you may want to make cuts in other areas (like card speed) to allow for more storage at a reasonable price.
$30 - $200
Many people think that photography is only about lenses and cameras. However, as any snapper could tell you, a photographer's kit is full to bursting with filters, cables, and other accessories, and storing so much gear is a real problem for photographers.
Thankfully, however, there's the photography vest. Most models feature between 4 and 20 pockets, for easy storage of gear and photo add-ons. Addittionally, items stored in the vest are quickly accessible, which makes it a good choice for an action photographer.
Standard vests are available from around $30, but branded and heated versions can reach into the hundreds. Stay in the lower end of the spectrum for the most reasonable options.
$70 - $450
A great gift for any video-obsessed photographer is a 360° camera. These ingenious pieces of photography tech can film wraparound video - similar to the technology used for street-view mapping - at the resolution of a normal video camera.
A 360° camera is perfect for any videographer who wants to capture their lives in a new and dynamic way - or just have a little fun!
Models from well-known brands, like GoPro, are priced up to around $450, but versions from other brands can be as cheap as $70. Consider shopping around for the best options and prices.
$50 - $200
The instant camera has been making a comeback in recent years, making it easy for photographers to fire away retro-style images with ease.
Instant cameras are available in countless colors and styles. Look for the model that suits your needs best -- there are even versions specifically oriented towards landscape photography.
A cheerful instant camera with only basic features will cost around $50 - $100, but if you want additional features (like the ability to change settings), you'll have to pay more.
$60 - $200
Photo editing is a difficult and delicate business, especially when using a laptop computer or mouse. For photographers who want to get around the hassle of using a computer and edit by touch, there's the pen tablet.
A pen tablet is a notebook-sized device that connects wirelessly to your computer and allows you to use a stylus or virtual "pen" to edit photos and draw. A perfect gift for any photographer!
Standard models are available from around 60 dollars. Though these have all the functionality needed for photo editing, more expensive versions have more shortcuts, features, and are often bigger.
$100 - $600+
Photography is being transformed by drone imaging. These pocket-sized flying machines allow any snapper to take incredible aerial images at relatively low cost.
Most drones require little more than a remote control, a phone to display the live drone feed, and a fully charged battery to fly. (Although in the US, models over 250 grams need a permit.) Many drones have high-quality cameras and 4K video.
Those higher-end models can stretch into the hundreds of dollars, but used versions or choices without the same specifications can be much cheaper.
50mm f/1.8 Lens
$125 - $200
The 50mm lens has been a staple of photography for most of the genre's history. These lenses are some of the smallest and most versatile photography gifts around.
The 50mm's medium focal length and wide aperture make it a perfect choice for low-light, portrait, and street photography, to name a few.
Price varies by brand. Canon's 50mm is $125, while Nikon's is around $180. Make sure you choose the right model!
35mm Film Camera
$50 - $500
35mm film cameras, not to be confused with instant cameras, offer incredible durability and build quality in a timeless frame. There's a reason why so many photographers love film - the images are high-quality, but with a touch of authenticity that digital cameras just can't deliver.
A film camera is also a perfect gift for a photography beginner - when you only have 24 or 36 photos on your roll of film, you learn to shoot selectively.
Modern reconstructions cost around $50, but original midrange film cameras can cost anything from $100 to $500.
$5 - $75
The perfect gift for any photographer who wants to shoot in style is a replacement camera strap. Replacing that ugly grey-black strap doesn't only give a camera kit a stylish flair - it will make shooting more comfortable, too.
There are also countless finishes available. From padded yellow straps to retro leather ones, if you shop around, you should be able to find the item that's right for you.
Small straps and hand grips start at around $5, with larger options from $20 to $75.
$50 - $200
An undisputed essential of photography is a solid tripod. A tripod is about far more than keeping your camera still - it allows for creative freedom when composing and photographing a scene.
Any good tripod should have the bulk needed for stable shooting, while remaining light enough to travel with.
Entry-level tripods range from $50 to $200, though tripods at the higher end of the price spectrum will generally be higher - quality. Look for tripods with movable heads built-in, so you don't have to buy one separately.
Hopefully, this list has helped you find the perfect gift for your favorite photographer. But don't stop there! Expand your photography knowledge with these great blog articles.