If you have a photographer in your life, you may have a tough time finding the perfect gift for him or her for the holidays. Never fear, we have a useful list to help in your search and help them enjoy photography and take it to the next level.
We’ve been playing with these, and they are AMAZING. The cheapest one is $40, offers 4GB of storage and BUILT-IN Wi-Fi. Yes, that’s right, inside the card, there’s a wireless transmitter. And what can you do with it? It allows you to have photos transfer to your computer instantly as you shoot. Or your Android or iPhone or iPad. It can also upload them, all or ones of your choosing, instantly to Facebook or Flickr. The pro version of the card, around $85, can also handle raw files and movies, and can shoot ad hoc into the computer (no network required).
They are all class 6, which means that they’ll handle fast transfers and HD movies of all flavors. It makes shooting SO MUCH FUN! Seriously, great for pros, amateurs or even snapshooters. They’re VERY easy to set up, even the smartphone/tablet apps. You can just pull it out of one camera and put it in any other camera that takes SDHC cards and it just simply works.
For more information or to purchase an Eye-Fi 4GB Connect X2 SDHC card, visit Amazon.com.
For information or to purchase an Eye-Fi 8GB Pro X2 SDHC card, visit Amazon.com.
We recently used one of these sets (review coming soon) on a shoot, and it’s the easiest way to carry your gear on location. If your photographer shoots weddings, birds, outdoor portraits, landscapes, or anything else outside, this system is an incredible choice. The belt is to the person’s waist size, padded and comfortable, with positive locking loops that allow the components to be attached in the most comfortable and convenient way. They’re on there solidly, too. A padded case for long zooms even expands to fit longer ones by just unzipping it. The padding is fantastic and confidence-inspiring, build quality is among the best of any camera bag, and they use YKK zippers for performance and wear. Many of the components are water resistant AND have an attached, hidden rain cover for heavy rain just in case.
The full set covered most of my own camera bag and allowed me to shoot jobs with ease and speed without lugging a large bag with me everywhere. Kept the weight off my back completely. If your photographer has valuable and expensive cameras, shouldn’t he have the best protection and easiest kit possible?
3. Dedicated Flash
We all have to shoot with flash sometimes. Modern DSLR cameras have amazing flash capabilities. If your photographer is using the one that pops up on the camera and not one that mounts on the hot shoe, there are a lot of situations where that bigger flash will make all the difference in the quality of the image. Get the one made for her camera, so a Nikon SB900for Nikon or a Canon 580ex for Canon, or whatever brand she uses. And if she already has one, a second one will talk to the first one and create lighting possibilities she’ll love.
If she shoots outdoors, sooner or later it will have to be in the rain. Especially true for sports and nature. A good, inexpensive all-weather cover like the Vortex will protect her investment and allow her to keep shooting. And The Photo Buddy makes a camouflage rain cover that will even cover the flash to keep the camera dry and invisible to wildlife.
Photography is nothing without lenses. If your photographer has a DSLR or one of the new compact mirrorless cameras, expand his horizons with a new lens. Popular ones for Nikon include the 17-35mm and 28-300mm.
Popular lenses for Canon include the 16-35mm and 18-200mm. Other systems have other lenses, make sure you know which one to look for. If you’re going to buy him a really long, really expensive lens, like a Nikon 600mm f/4, make sure you buy two and send one to yours truly!
Oh, there’s more… Check out page two!
6. Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly
If your photographer has a camera with interchangeable lenses, chances are she deals with dust on her sensor. Imagine a few specs of dust that are in the same place, magnified several times on prints, on every single picture you take. Cleaning a camera’s sensor is simple and quick with the right tools. We’ve used Visible Dust brushes for years, and swear by them. The Arctic Butterfly does the job simply and quickly and will be useable for many, many years, saving a lot of money and time instead of sending the camera out to have it cleaned.
7. A Good Image Editing Program
Your photographer has to be able to do something with his pictures after he shoots them to keep going with his creative vision. It’s like when we made prints back in the film days, spending days in the darkroom to make the perfect print. Only now it’s done in any room, with a computer, and your significant other won’t smell like glacial acetic acid for days afterward.
Yes, this is the least expensive thing on the list, but if she loves her camera and her lenses, she needs the right thing to take care of them. A good microfiber cloth will safely clean lenses and filters without scratching them or just moving dirt around. Works great even on point-and-shoot lenses, takes smudges right off the front of the lens or that nose print or fingerprints she keeps putting on the LCD.
9. A Spare Battery
There’s nothing worse than running out of batteries just when the shooting gets good. Make sure your photographer has a spare battery (most all are camera-specific) to keep the shoot going. They run from $20-120 depending on make and model. Err on the side of the manufacturer’s own batteries, some of the cheap third-party ones don’t last very long and aren’t well made.
10. A Gift Card
If you don’t know nearly as much about cameras and photography as your photographer, don’t worry. If you check out and hear static the second he starts talking about f-stops and specular highlights, a gift card will allow him to get what he’s really been wanting.
Have a very happy holiday and enjoy shopping, you’ll get a happy photographer and photographic memories to last a long time in return.