The Photographer
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The Best Gifts for Photographers (As of the 2022 Holiday Season!)

Photographers aren’t all the time straightforward individuals to buy for. And it doesn’t assist that the majority on-line reward guides are generic copy-pastes from Amazon written by non-photographers. My objective with this information was the reverse – I solely added gear that I personally use as knowledgeable photographer. I hope it’s useful!

I don’t intend to hate on “images impressed” items like lens mugs or shirts on this reward information, however honest warning, you received’t discover something like that beneath. Merely put, many photographers favor gear that they’ll put to make use of. Additionally, I attempted so as to add some much less widespread images gear, so that you just don’t duplicate one thing you (or the photographer in your life) would have already got.

The worth classes beneath are underneath $20, underneath $50, underneath $100, and over $100. I’ve zero associations with the producers of these merchandise, they’re simply what I personally use.

Below $20

Apps – The Photographer’s Ephemeris, PhotoPills, and Firstlight ($7.99-9.99)

A straightforward, sudden reward for photographers who have already got all the gear in the world is a smartphone app. One of the greatest is The Photographer’s Ephemeris ($9.99), supreme for panorama photographers who need to plan their shot. There’s additionally PhotoPills ($9.99) which has a number of completely different instruments, together with a Milky Manner tracker and timelapse calculator. And Filmic Firstlight ($7.99) for maximizing the picture high quality of the telephone itself, because of its spectacular ProRAW seize. The first two are already pretty common apps, although, so ensure you’re gifting them to somebody who hasn’t already downloaded them. (Here’s a guide I found that explains the right way to ship an app as a present on iPhone. Android customers might have to ship a present card as an alternative.)

The Photographer's Ephemeris
The Photographer’s Ephemeris

Raya 5-in-1 Reflector Disc – $19.95

A reflector is one of the best methods so as to add nice mild to portrait or studio photographs. This 32″ version from Raya is $20, and it has 5 completely different panels you should utilize for completely different ranges of reflection or different results. There are a selection of comparable merchandise on the market (the one I’ve is a barely bigger model from Raya), they usually just about all work nice, so be on the lookout for a great deal. Anybody who shoots portraits ought to have a pop-up reflector of their bag, and it by no means hurts to have a couple of.

Ruggard Rain Cowl – $4.75

In wet environments, particularly whenever you’re standing in entrance of a tripod for lengthy intervals of time, it’s greatest that you just maintain your camera dry. One reward I like to recommend for this function is the Ruggard Rain Cover. It is available in two varieties for completely different lens sizes – 8 inch and 18 inch. (For many lenses, the 8 inch is greatest; solely get the 18 inch for large telephoto lenses.) There are additionally specialised variations for protecting an on-camera flash.

Vello Mini Softbox – $7.50

A must have for portrait photographers (and others) is a flash diffuser. At the higher finish of the spectrum are giant softboxes and umbrellas, however these will be unwieldy and often keep in the studio. For faster discipline work, a smaller flash diffuser is right. The Vello Mini Softbox is simply $7.50. It matches most flash heads, other than built-in pop-up flashes. I exploit mine for macro images. A fair lighter possibility is the Angler portable flash diffuser for $8.99.

NIKON D7000 + 105mm f/2.8 @ 105mm, ISO 800, 1/250, f/8.0

Injinji Liner Crew Toesocks – $12

If the photographer in your life does loads of mountain climbing in search of the good panorama, level them to the off-beat Injinji toe sock liners. I’ll be the first to confess that they appear creepy, however I’ll even be the first to say that I’ve by no means as soon as gotten a blister whereas sporting these sock liners (in tandem with a pair of Darn Powerful wool mountain climbing socks). This held true even throughout a nine-day hike in Iceland with two 17+ mile days (27 km).

Photography Multi-Software – $12.99

I not too long ago acquired a Leofoto tripod that included an awesome multi-tool. Then I spotted the tool was also available separately! It combines three hex key sizes, a flat coin-style driver, a bottle opener, and a carabiner clip right into a slim package deal. You don’t want a Leofoto tripod to search out it helpful – it really works for virtually any tripod. Falling simply outdoors the $20 restrict, the firm Smallrig makes a similar line of tools with a extra conventional multi-tool type issue. These pack in just a few extra kinds of hex keys, which can assist in case your reward recipient has video gear.

Tripod MultiTool

Delta 1 Microfiber Material – $12.95

I’ve used a ton of microfiber cloths over the years, and chances are high that you’ve, too (or the photographer you’re buying for has). The Delta 1 stands out as a result of it’s far more absorbent than some other. It’s basically a mixture between a towel and a daily lens material – and for images in wet areas, it’s a lifesaver. I’ve used mine in Olympic Nationwide Park, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and lots of different locations the place rain and waterfalls soak via a daily lens material earlier than lengthy. It’s way more helpful than the common microfiber material.

Watson 4-Hour Charger and Rechargeable AA Batteries – $17.95

Studio photographers chew up AA batteries quickly, so a quick charger and set of rechargeables is important. The Watson 4-Hour Charger comes with 4 rechargeable AAs. Additionally take into account getting a separate AA pack caddy to move them extra simply. This has been an enormous assist whereas I movie Photography Life’s YouTube movies or simply take product photographs of the gear I’m reviewing.

Titanium Spork with Bottle Opener – $11.99

Purchasing for a hardcore outside photographer and hiker? In the event that they’re already used to consuming boil-in-the-bag meals, get them a spork with a built-in bottle opener. It’s to not open bottles (properly, it does that too) – it’s to hook the spork on the boil-in-the-bag so it doesn’t fall in. It seems like a small factor, however whenever you’re miles away from civilization, the small issues matter. Get a pair of freeze-dried meals as an related reward, and also you’ll be a hero.

Spork Gift Idea for Photographers

Below $50

The Artwork of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum – $31.49

Simply over a 3rd of The Art of Photography is about movie images and printing methods – and regardless of that it’s nonetheless my high suggestion for a guide digital photographers. That is the greatest guide on images I’ve ever learn, and only some others are even shut behind.

It’s all all the way down to the means Bruce Barnbaum explains composition. Composition is a tough, typically imprecise matter, however he manages to pin it all the way down to extra concrete element than you’ll often see, and never with easy generalizations like the rule of thirds. If you wish to give a present that basically helps a photographer enhance their artistic expertise, that is the solution to go.

Most of the different objects on this checklist are items of gear or images software program, however, to me, that is actually the most necessary. Get it at Amazon for $31.49 or at your native bookstore. In the event you’re giving it as a present, you might need to maintain the receipt, solely as a result of it’s a well-liked guide that your reward recipient might have already got. (I guarantee you they received’t return it for some other cause; it’s simply too good.)

FastRawViewer – $23.99

In the event you’re open to giving a software program package deal as a present, that is one I extremely suggest. FastRawViewer is a large timesaver for culling via giant batches of pictures at a time. For wedding ceremony, occasion, and sports activities photographers (amongst others), it makes a giant distinction. Additionally see our evaluate.

FastRawViewer Highlights Inspection

Smallrig Vlog Tripod – $22.99

Don’t let the identify deceive you – you don’t should be into vlogging to understand a small and versatile tripod. The Smallrig VK-19 has versatile, foam legs that may be twisted onto railings, mild stands, or simply about any fixture, whereas the small ballhead helps a variety of equipment with the 1/4″-20 commonplace mount. Which means that it may be used to mount a small mild or maintain a camera in a variety of positions. Whereas it received’t be supporting heavy camera rigs, I’ve made intensive use of these mini tripods for telephone videography and to carry lights whereas I’m filming our YouTube movies outside. They’re surprisingly helpful.

Mountain Gentle by Galen Rowell – Costs Differ

I simply learn Mountain Gentle for the first time this year, and I completely cherished it. For panorama photographers, Galen Rowell’s photographs can be a giant inspiration, and his behind-the-scenes philosophy and course of provide loads to consider. This guide is out of print, however you’ll be able to often discover used copies obtainable in good situation underneath $50. Right here’s the guide’s page on Amazon.

Outside Analysis Rocky Mountain Excessive Gaiters – $49

For mountain climbing, a great pair of gaiters is important if you wish to maintain your ft dry. I made a giant mistake on my first journey to Iceland by leaving these at residence for a snowy hike, and my ft emerged at the finish drenched. I introduced this pair subsequent time and located them to carry out admirably. Men’s and women’s each promote for $49 at the time of publication.

Rogue Gels Common Lighting Package – $29.95

With flash images, the colour of your flash usually ought to complement the colour of ambient mild, or your outcomes received’t look proper. Typically, the greatest solution to make this occur is to make use of coloured gels in entrance of your flash, and the ones from Rogue Gels are nice choices for the worth. I’ve used this set for ages, and I’ve even made use of the extra uncommon colours for attention-grabbing results (like the icicle picture beneath).

Icicle with Flash Gels
NIKON D7000 + 105mm f/2.8 @ 105mm, ISO 100, 2 seconds, f/3.2

Watson USB Digicam Battery Charger – $25

One of the greatest offers in the images world is the Watson camera battery USB charger. It’s a giant deal to cost your camera batteries over USB, but that’s not possible with the native charger for most cameras. This specific mannequin is sadly nonetheless on micro USB, as an alternative of the newer USB-C commonplace. However the sheer vary of supported batteries throughout the completely different fashions makes it straightforward to suggest. (It will probably additionally cost two at a time, which is nice whereas touring.) Be certain that to search out out the mannequin of camera that your recipient makes use of, although! Then, you’ll be able to Google their camera mannequin + “battery”, and you must have the ability to discover the particular mannequin of battery it takes, pointing you towards the proper model of this charger.

Fenix LD12 LED Flashlight- $44.99

An under-appreciated half of a photographer’s package, particularly for panorama images, is an effective flashlight. Photographers usually need a mild with a flexible beam, in addition to variable brightness. I’ve tried a number of, and my favourite thus far has been the Fenix LD12. With assist for each AA batteries and rechargeable 14500 cells, photographers with this flashlight will all the time have energy.

Lumenzia – $39

In the world of images software program, one of the greatest merchandise is Greg Benz’s Lumenzia plugin for Photoshop. This device makes luminosity masking – basically, a greater solution to mix bracketed exposures in comparison with HDR – all however seamless. I extremely suggest it for panorama photographers and anybody who shoots in high-contrast environments from a tripod.

A Lengthy Energy Strip- $29.99

An extended length power strip is usually a surprisingly helpful bit of package. In case your photographer is like me, they’ve acquired about 10 completely different gadgets to cost, starting from a telephone and laptop computer via a camera and drone. Having sufficient area to unfold out the numerous chargers makes it loads simpler to maintain monitor of cables and cost standing. This strip, at 48 inches lengthy, has loads of area, plus surge safety. Best of all, as a consequence of the unusual form, it will likely be an not possible reward to guess when it’s wrapped 🙂

Starry Panorama Stacker – $39.99

One other sub-$50 software program possibility I extremely suggest is Starry Panorama Stacker. If you wish to take high-quality Milky Manner photographs, one of the greatest methods to get past your camera’s regular picture high quality limits is to stack a collection of photographs to cut back picture noise. It does such a great job that it’s completely possible to make use of an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera with an odd 18-55mm lens and seize insanely detailed Milky Manner pictures. As a result of of it, I’ve totally changed my heavy f/2.8 wide-angle zoom with a a lot lighter f/4 lens. Observe that Starry Landscape Stacker is Mac-only (for PC customers, I like to recommend Sequator, which is free).

Star Stacking Final Image
NIKON Z 6 + NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S @ 17.5mm, ISO 6400, 10/seconds, f/4.0, 14-image stack

Below $100

Rode VideoMicro Shotgun Mic – $49

Even stills-based photographers are capturing loads of video lately. One of the issues, nevertheless, is that the built-in microphone is terrible on nearly each camera. An affordable different with significantly better sound high quality is Rode’s VideoMicro shotgun mic. This microphone is so simple as it will get; it attaches to your camera’s hotshoe, has zero exterior controls, and runs with the camera’s on-board energy. For $49, it’s a great gift and one thing I extremely suggest. (Greater high quality shotgun mics exist at a spread of costs, relying in your price range, however this one is sweet for most makes use of.)

RNI Aerochrome – $96

Whereas I’m not usually a proponent of post-processing presets, RNI’s Aerochrome presets are fairly a bit completely different from the generic orange and teal appears to be like offered by others. Aerochrome was a really uncommon infrared movie inventory, discontinued years in the past. The inventory had an extremely distinctive crimson, pink, and blue palette. Really replicating it could require costly camera modifications, however this Lightroom/Photoshop preset will get surprisingly shut. At $96, RNI Aerochrome isn’t low cost, however in comparison with the a whole lot of {dollars} for a single roll of actual Aerochrome movie, it’s a cut price.

NIKON D810 + 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62mm, ISO 90, 1/125, f/8.0

Manfrotto Monopod – $49 and up

Many individuals who shoot sports activities and wildlife photographs discover that holding their camera is a weary job after an extended sufficient interval of time. The identical goes for video shooters. A monopod is the good answer, and even a comparatively low cost possibility – one thing in the $50-100 vary – will do an awesome job. There are such a lot of monopods on the market proper now that it could be troublesome to decide on the greatest one to provide as a present. An organization I like to recommend based mostly on previous expertise is Manfrotto, whose monopods are here. About half of them are underneath $100, and that’s sufficient to get a great one.

On Green
Nikon D7000 + 105mm f/2.8 @ 105mm, ISO 1250, 1/100, f/3.5

Angler Port-a-Dice Gentle Tent – $74.95

Anybody who desires to do fast product photographs on the go, even for taking photos of gear they’re promoting on eBay, can be thrilled to get a conveyable studio. The Angler Port-a-Cube has a built-in LED mild at the high, and it’s 17″ throughout (43 cm), so it really works even with comparatively giant objects. There are different fashions on the market with extra options for more cash, however this can be a nice worth for a high-quality transportable studio.

Noise cancelling headphones – $50 and up

For journey photographers, particularly those that have to fly to completely different areas, one of the greatest items you can provide is an effective pair of noise cancelling headphones or earbuds. They make any flight extra pleasurable. I put this in the sub-$100 class, however the actuality is that you would be able to purchase noise cancelling headphones at any worth from about $50 to a whole lot of {dollars}. The full page at B&H offers you a way of the common choices and the place to start out.

Datacolor SpyderLensCal Autofocus Calibrator – $69

In the event you’re giving a present to a photographer with a DSLR (moderately than a mirrorless or compact camera), there’s a great probability that they haven’t but calibrated their lenses for most autofocus accuracy. Though it’s potential to calibrate autofocus utilizing some DIY strategies, a device like Datacolor’s SpyderLensCal makes the course of a lot simpler. Our article on lens calibration explains extra about the course of.

Anker 347 Transportable Charger 40K – $99.99

There are a whole lot of battery financial institution merchandise on the market, however I’ve been very impressed by the constant high quality of Anker’s lineup. Anker’s 347 Power Bank is hefty, however with a capability of 40,000mAh, it could cost an iPhone 13 almost 9 occasions, or a MacBook Air twice. 30W USB-C output and a complete of 4 USB ports makes this a very versatile possibility.

Zhiyun M40 Pocket Gentle – $89

Whereas most photographers could have their very own most well-liked lighting setup, nearly anybody can use a strong, constant fill mild. The Zhiyun M40 is 40 watts of white light, with an adjustable colour temperature and nice construct high quality. In contrast to lesser fill lights, which drain shortly or ramp down as a consequence of warmth, the Zhiyun makes use of a mixture of USB-C PD circuitry and lively (however quiet) fan cooling to keep up the brightness for the total life of the battery. Good for livestreaming, video work, or as a fill mild in studio, the mild’s versatile and sufficiently small to earn an area in my bag.


1TB Exterior Onerous Drive Backup – $79.99

Each photographer ought to have a great backup system. It’s rule one. The supreme backup system features a copy of each picture in at the least three areas, one of which is offsite. There are tons of arduous drives on the market, however take into account getting the LaCie 1TB Rugged Drive, which is extra protected towards bumps and falls than others. This mannequin has the higher USB-C commonplace, and whereas it received’t make a giant distinction in switch speeds, it’ll in all probability simplify the cable state of affairs now and in the future. Though the 1TB possibility is $80, it’s additionally supplied as much as 5TB at surprisingly little extra price.

Over $100

DxO Nik Software program – $149

One of the greatest images software program add-ons right now is the Nik assortment, discovered at DxO’s web site here. That is one of the solely third-party software program choices I exploit continuously, and it’s vital for any photographer who enjoys post-processing. In the previous, each bit of the Nik assortment offered for greater than $100. Now that DxO purchased the firm, all of them mixed are $149.

X-Ceremony ColorChecker Passport – $119.99

This can be a bit of a particular case merchandise, however for portrait and promoting photographers who need constant colour, the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport checker is a really great tool for coping with tough lighting circumstances. Past that, you should utilize the ColorChecker to create a customized colour profile for your camera, which is a complicated however doubtlessly worthwhile course of for photographers who need the most correct colour.

Smallrig Wi-fi Microphone – $199

Whereas a shotgun mic, like the previously-mentioned Rode VideoMicro, is a superb improve over the inventory microphone in your telephone or camera, the subsequent step up is a wi-fi lavalier package. Whereas there are various nice choices in the area, I used to be impressed with the worth supplied by Smallrig’s Forevala system at $199 and typically use it for our YouTube movies. With two separate transmitters, it’s a cheap setup for vlogs, interviews, and even voiceovers. The field consists of all the cables and equipment like windshields you’d want to start out recording.

Gregory Baltoro 65 Liter Backpack – $225 to $300 (relying on colour and sizing)

I’ve tried loads of backpacks over the years, and the greatest, by far, is the Gregory Baltoro 65. This pack is famous in mountain climbing circles, and it doesn’t disappoint for panorama images, both. I’ve since purchased two extra of them at barely completely different sizes. For images, you’ll need to mix it with an insert like the Wandrd Camera Cube for straightforward storage of cameras and lenses. If the photographer in query does any quantity of mountain climbing and remains to be utilizing a generic camera backpack, get this yesterday!

Best Photography Gifts

Godox Flash and Set off – $129

Each flash photographer, eventually, wants a solution to set off a flash off-camera. It’s merely the greatest solution to get good mild. My suggestion is to get the Godox TT685N flash and trigger, which works flawlessly on virtually any camera on the market. (Be sure you choose the proper camera model for compatibility when you’re shopping for as a present for another person.) It’s $129 for the flash, whereas the XPro trigger is available separately for $69

DJI Osmo Cellular 6 – $139

The first time I noticed footage from an iPhone and the DJI Osmo 6 stabilized gimbal, I used to be amazed at the cinematic look – way over I had anticipated from a telephone. In brief, high-quality video has loads to do with clean camera motion, and the Osmo does an awesome job of stabilizing your camera (telephone). I’ve even used it on a bumpy highway in the again of a pickup truck (driving via the gorgeous Wadi Rum on our yearly workshop to Jordan) and the outcomes had been remarkably clean. Extremely advisable. In the event you’re wanting for a less expensive possibility, earlier generations are nonetheless obtainable, like the Osmo 4 SE at just $99.

Sky-Watcher Motorized Star Tracker – $319

One of the coolest devices I’ve began utilizing is the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer tracker. At $319, it’s a bit dearer than some objects on this checklist, but it surely actually can open up new potentialities for astrophotography. Put it in your present tripod and ballhead precisely as-is, level it at the North Star (or equal in the Southern Hemisphere), and sit again. You’ll find yourself with tack-sharp photographs at evening, even with a telephoto.

Sample photo from Nikon Z7
Foreground: NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S @ 68mm, ISO 400, 294 seconds, f/4.0
Milky Manner: Star Tracker, NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S @ 24mm, ISO 64, 860 seconds, f/4.0

DJI Mini 2 – $449

Drones can unlock a complete new viewpoint for each images and videography, and their usability has come such a good distance from early fashions. DJI’s Mini 2, at $449, is a superb entry into the world of drones. It’s compact, foldable, and underneath 250 grams, which helps loads in relation to registration and rule-compliance. In contrast to low cost, toy drones, the Mini 2 is completely steady, with a great high quality camera. Pricier fashions have larger camera sensors, however the Mini 2 is a fairly reasonably priced solution to discover new compositions, and particularly movie artistic movies.

A Carbon Fiber Tripod and High quality Ballhead – $359

In case your photographer remains to be utilizing an aluminum tripod, or doesn’t have a tripod in any respect, take into account splurging on a brand new pair of legs for them. One package that punches above its weight is the Leofoto LS-324C and LH-30 ballhead, at $399 (typically on sale for much less). The construct high quality is impeccable, and the worth in comparison with different names in the area is unreal. With full 360 diploma panning, drop notches for vertical pictures, and adjustable pressure, the ballhead is an ideal match for a variety of topics. The legs can attain a cushty peak, splay out to allow low to the floor pictures, and are nonetheless compact sufficient to suit on a backpack.


Calibrite ColorChecker Show Professional – $279

Photographers have to know that they’re enhancing colours precisely in post-production. The greatest means to do this is to make use of a tool like the Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro to calibrate and profile a monitor for correct colour. This one is a little more costly than different choices on the market, however we’ve discovered it to be the most constant and correct obtainable at this worth vary. A observe to photographers who don’t but have a tool like this: you’re hurting your self in the future, as a result of the colours you’re enhancing may very well be wildly inaccurate. Likelihood is good you’ll have to re-edit many of your photographs from scratch. Nonetheless, there are cheaper choices when you’re on a price range, like the Datacolor SpyderX Pro.


There isn’t any scarcity of choices when you’re looking for a present for the the photographer in your life (or for your self). These concepts simply. scratch the floor, however I take into account them some of the greatest combos of worth, uniqueness, and usefulness on the market right now. And when you don’t like the objects on this checklist, there’s all the time the possibility for a B&H reward card!

Hopefully, the concepts above supplied some inspiration for your reward lists. You probably have any questions on these suggestions or any reward ideas of your personal, please be happy to go away a remark beneath so different readers hear about it. I’ll do my greatest to reply each remark beneath.

#Gifts #Photographers #Holiday #Season

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