Photography / Buying Guide

50 Under $50: Gifts for Photographers

         

All photographers know that with the holiday season comes the hope of new gear! If you’re looking to get the photographers in your life something special, we’ve compiled a list of great add-ons and accessories that will put a smile on their faces and make their holiday even more special.

1. It’s often said that the best camera is the one you have with you, which is why the KLYP+ Case, Kickstand, and Fisheye Lens for iPhone 6 from Manfrotto is a great gift for any mobile photographer. The Klyp case includes a stabilizing kickstand for low-light shots and a fun fisheye lens for unique photo effects.

2. Already know a Manfrotto KLYP Case user? Just want to add some extra lenses to a KLYP kit? In that case, check out the KLYP+ Wide-Angle/Macro and Telephoto 1.5x Lenses for iPhone 6/6 Plus. These additional lenses offer a KLYP user three new functions: a macro lens for close-ups, a wide angle for landscapes, and a telephoto for distance shots and portraits.

3. Every photographer can make use of a compact white balance and metering accessory like the Photovision 14" Pocket One Shot Digital Target. This foldable, pocket-sized companion provides photographers with three neutral tones for calibration, and a silver reflector on the opposite side.  

4. A staple cleaning accessory in the photographic world is the Giottos Rocket Blaster Dust-Removal Tool, which provides a safe and effective method for cleaning sensor dust and lens elements.

5. Both experienced and beginner photographers can enhance their creativity with the Vello Shutterboss Version II Timer Remote Switch. Available for most Nikon and Canon DSLRs, this remote can be programmed for automatic timer delays, interval photography, and long exposure times up to 99 hours, making it ideal for a variety of uses including night photography and time lapse.

6. An invaluable tool for any photographer is the Vello Wired Remote Switch for Select Cameras, which is available for most DSLR and mirrorless camera models. This remote is inexpensive, easy to use, and operates without battery power, making it an ideal everyday accessory for any camera bag. It can be used to prevent camera shake or lock a camera shutter for long exposures.

7. Featuring a 5.5-lb weight capacity, the Manfrotto PIXI EVO Mini Tripod is one of the few compact tripods that can support compact cameras, mirrorless systems, and entry-level DSLRs. It can also function as a handheld grip for video recording and features adjustable legs for varying angles and heights.

8. A favorite of many photographers, the Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom Flexible Mini Tripod can support up to 6.6 lb and can be twisted and wrapped around an array of objects, allowing for new creative angles in anyone’s photography.

9. With HD video in almost every camera, the Sunpak VL-LED-96 Compact Video Light is a great way to light any scene or subject. This light features 96 dimmable LEDs and runs on standard AA batteries.

10. Keeping your lenses clean is essential maintenance for any photographer, making the Zeiss Lens Care Kit Tube a great gift. This kit includes lens cleaning spray, a microfiber cloth, and single-use pre-moistened wipes in a compact tube case.

11. For cleaning on the fly, choose the Lenspen DSLR Pro Kit, this compact, fluid-less kit includes three anti-static specialized pens for cleaning lenses, filters, and viewfinders.

12. Every photographer can use a reliable case to carry their gear, making the Ruggard Commando 25 DSLR Shoulder Bag a versatile choice. This water-repellent case can accommodate a small mirrorless or DSLR system with added accessories, ideal for a day-trip or vacation bag. For those requiring additional space, the Commando line also features advanced models for larger cameras and additional lenses.

13. Designed for mirrorless camera users, the Ruggard STREAK 15 Shoulder Bag is a slim and sleek case for small mirrorless cameras and accessories. For those requiring additional space, the STREAK line also features advanced models for larger cameras and additional lenses.

14. Protecting one’s photos means protecting one’s memory cards, which is exactly what the Gepe All-in-One Card Safe Extreme was designed to do. This case can hold Compact Flash, SD, and microSD cards in a watertight, static-protective enclosure that floats.

15. When your DSLR’s built-in flash just isn’t enough, consider a simple hot-shoe flash like the Bower SFD450S Illuminator Dedicated Flash. Available in Canon and Sony/Minolta mounts, this flash features automatic TTL exposure and a 90-degree tilt to create softer, more ambient light.

16. Help the photographer on your list protect their gear with the Domke 15 x 15" Color Coded Protective Wrap. Available in numerous colors and sizes, these nylon wraps can be used to protect camera bodies and lenses when stored in any bag or case.

17. A card reader is a safer and more power-efficient way to transfer photos and video to a Mac or PC. The Lexar Multi-Card 25-in-1 USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader can support most common memory card formats and utilizes the high-speed USB 3.0 interface.

18. No film photographer can turn down a few rolls of Kodak Professional Tri-X 400 Black-and-White Negative Film. As the most popular black-and-white film, it provides reliable exposure, high-quality images and, with the right tools, easy at-home developing.

19. Does a photographer on your list own a Fujifilm Instax camera or printer? Then pick them up some Fujifilm instax Wide Instant Film or Fujifilm instax mini Instant Color Film!

20. In the world of digital photography, one can never have enough memory cards, so pick up a SanDisk 32GB Extreme UHS-I U3 SDHC Memory Card and it won’t go to waste! Ideal in both capacity and speed for most photo and video applications, these popular SanDisk cards are available in SD (above) or Compact Flash formats.

       

21. Equally as important as memory cards are batteries and with a spare, like the Watson EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, the photographer on your list won’t run out of power when they need it most. Watson batteries are camera specific but are available for most common camera models.

22. Just as a camera needs batteries, so do most photographic accessories, the Watson 4-Hour Rapid Charger with 4 AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries can be an invaluable accessory to power flashes, remotes, and wireless transmitters. 

23. Help a photographer stay organized with a Dot Line AA Battery Case for loose AA batteries. With an eight-battery capacity, it’s a great tool for any event, studio, or wedding photographer.

24. No portrait or event photographer should ever be without a solid flash bracket, and Custom Brackets CB Digital-S Flash Rotating Camera Bracket is perfect for the job. Built from solid aluminum and featuring a spring-loaded pivoting arm, this bracket is ideal for the experienced and beginner photographer.

25. Where there’s a flash there must surely be modifiers, so help your flash photographer build their kit with the Vello Cinch Strap for Portable Flashes. This universal strap allows the user to attach a variety of accessories to their flash, such as Vello Universal Softbox for Portable Flash (Medium) FD-310 or Vello 5" Snoot/Reflector for Portable Flash FD-400, among many others. 

  

26. A great “never leave home without it” accessory is the OP/TECH USA 18" Rainsleeve (Set of 2) which offers instant, disposable rain protection for most DSLRs—the perfect thing to keep in your gear bag for a rainy day.

27. Keep almost any camera batteries organized with the Think Tank Photo DSLR Battery Holder 2, which can hold two DSLR or mirrorless lithium-ion batteries.

28. A successor to the strap that started it all, the BlackRapid RS-7 Curve Camera Strap is a welcome gift for any photographer on your list. This innovative cross-body camera strap attaches to nearly any camera with a standard tripod mount and allows for swift, unencumbered camera movement so you're always at the ready. 

29. For those who want the BlackRapid functionality but less bulk, the BlackRapid Metro Sling Camera Strap was designed to be a thinner, lighter alternative for those using smaller cameras.

30. Every flash photographer can make use of a simple bounce card, and the Vello Light Shapers for Portable Flash FD-700 is a great place to start. The dual-sided card fits most portable flashes and can be used as either a light bounce or flag. 

31. Don’t have room to bring along a tripod? Then bring along The Pod The Green Pod Camera Platform instead! The Pod is designed for most mid-sized DSLRs and can be used to stabilize a camera on virtually any surface.

32. With HDSLR video must come HD sound, so upgrade to an advanced onboard microphone, with the Polsen VM-101 Video/DSLR Camera Mounted Microphone. This directional microphone will isolate voices and instruments, while filtering out ambient noise, for a more pleasant listening experience.

33. Thick gloves and electronics don’t often get along, but as the temperatures drop, anyone can turn to Freehands Men's Unlined Fleece Gloves and Freehands Women's Stretch Gloves to make the transition a little easier. These gloves keep your hands warm while still giving you the dexterity you need to press all the dials and switches that keep your photo adventures going.

34. The most diehard photographers love their gear so much they might even drink coffee out of it, so pick them up the FotodioX LenZcup Replica Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Lens Thermo Cup for those winter outings.

35. A soft release for the digital generation, the Custom SLR ProDot Shutter Button Upgrade (Black, 2-Pack) can improve most cameras’ shutter buttons by providing extra grip and tactility.

36. For mobile-phone photographers looking for an easy way to change their lenses, look no further than the Mobi-Lens Fisheye Lens. This easy to use clip-on lens provides a 180-degree field of view and adds some extra creativity to any image. 

37. Want the look of film without all the film-related fuss? Try giving the retro photographer on your list the DxO FilmPack 5 Essential Edition. This software can simulate 44 distinct film looks and features a variety of tonal settings and film-like renderings. 

38. For those looking to soften the harsh “deer in the headlights” look commonly associated with built-in DSLR flashes, look no further than the Gary Fong Puffer Plus Flash Diffuser. This hot-shoe diffuser can be used to soften the pop-up flash, creating a more pleasant, softer look. A Canon version: Gary Fong Puffer Plus Flash Diffuser for Canon and Micro 4/3 version: Gary Fong Puffer Flash Diffuser for Micro 4/3 Cameras, are also available.

39. No photographer should leave their camera’s LCD screen unprotected, making the Vello LCD Screen Protector Ultra an invaluable accessory. This static adhesion LCD cover is available for most DSLR models, leaves no residue, and is easy to remove and clean.

40. For those using cameras that may not accept a hard LCD cover, you can turn to the Sensei Cut-to-Fit Soft LCD Screen Protector (6 Pack) instead. These soft LCD protectors can be easily applied and replaced, and ensure scratch protection while reducing coating loss.

41. The Vello Universal White Balance Handheld Disc is a simple, portable accessory that can help any digital photographer achieve accurate in-camera color reproduction. Originally intended for use with still photography, this tool is also well suited to video applications and post production. 

42. No photographer’s kit should be without a multi-tool for those tricky situations. The Gerber Dime Multi-Tool is a compact, always-handy tool for which any photographer will eventually find a use. 

43. In the digital world, extra portable storage is always a welcome addition. The Lexar 128GB JumpDrive S35 USB 3.0 Flash Drive is an inexpensive, high-speed option that’s also available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB options. 

44. A UV Filter and Circular Polarizer are the most important filters in any photographer’s kit. The Tiffen Photo Filter Twin Pack features both, and is available is most common sizes.  

45. Camera bags can be a messy, jumbled place but, with caps like the LenzBuddy 50mm Rear Lens Cap, it can be a little easier to navigate. These caps, available in numerous types for both Nikon and Canon, can be used to label the lenses in any bag easily, making quick lens changes easier than ever.

46. A little basic photographic education can go a long way in making unique, interesting shots. Give the photographer on your list a copy of the Peachpit Press Book Composition: From Snapshots. It can be used as a great primer for beginning photographers or as a reference for the most experienced veteran shooter.

47. Is the photographer you know using their camera on a tripod? Then why not put their Phone on it, as well? The MeFOTO SideKick360 Smartphone Tripod Adapter can accommodate most cell phones and features an Acra-type and ¼"-20 mount for mounting on most tripod heads.

48. For the image printer on your list, pick them up a pack of the ever-popular Ilford Galerie Prestige Smooth Pearl paper. Its mild sheen and accurate color reproduction bring prints to life—perfect for those holiday photos.

49. Every photographer wants to protect their investment, and there’s no better way to do it than with the easyCover Silicone Protection Cover. Made for most current DSLRs, these covers not only protect the camera but also provide a secure grip for the user.

50. In the field, anything can happen, so keep your electronics protected by keeping them in an OverBoard Waterproof Dry Tube Bag when not in use. This roll-top waterproof bag can be used to store cameras, batteries, lenses, and cell phones—everything a photographer wants kept away from excess moisture.

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