December is just around the corner, and those distant sleigh bells are jingling, ring tingle tingling ever closer. Whether you're a Scrooge-and-proud, or you're excitedly waiting to open the first door on your advent calendar, the simple fact is that Christmas is just around the corner. If you've got a camera-obsessed friend or relative that you don't know how to buy for, you're in luck - we've collected the best photography lover gifts for Christmas right here. These quirky and unusual Christmas camera gifts are perfect for the loved one who seemingly has everything.
Whether you're in the market for a DIY film camera you can construct yourself, or a quirky Lomography lens, or even an outdoor camera that doesn't even have a viewfinder, we've got the best unusual Christmas gifts for you to peruse right here.
• Read more: Best Christmas gifts for photographers
Best unusual Christmas camera gifts
For just over £30, as the model name suggests, the appeal here is being able to build your own camera utilising the plastic kit shell provided. The upgraded version of the Konstruktor even comes with a PC socket for flash photography, though you’ll need the hot shoe adaptor in the optional accessory kit (another £17). However, we found there were a lot of plastic panels, parts, screws and springs to put together so this is one that will reward those with a degree of patience as well as constructing dexterity. Unsurprisingly, like the camera body itself, the lens here is plastic and we get another fixed focal length 50mm lens boasting an f/10 aperture. On a positive note we enjoyed using the waist level viewfinder and the through-the-lens viewing that comes courtesy of the spring loaded mirror level. Very Heath Robinson it may be, but it’s not without charm if you don’t mind putting the initial work in.
This is one of the most affordable Lensbaby special effects lenses, and it's great fun to play with. This lens creates a selective focus effect that you can control through squeezing and tilting the lens to move the 'sweet spot' of focus around your potential image. It might take a little practice to finetune the effect, but it's easy to pick up. The plastic build might feel a little cheap to some, but this super light lens is virtually unbreakable. The Lensbaby Spark is mostly marketed as a portrait lens, but it can add an extra bit of flavor to any genre of photography.
The grand adventure of medium format photography is permanently etched on many photographers' wishlist. Even if you've already accepted that a £5,000 / $5,000 digital medium format camera is a little out of your reach, vintage medium format film cameras aren't exactly covered by warranty and can sometimes be a bit hit or miss. However, you can pick up the Lomography medium format camera for just £200. Able to shoot in 6 x 12 panoramic format, as well as square 6 x 6 and regular 6 x 9 formats, this is a great quirky medium format camera to experiment with.
Sometimes one of the best ways to experiment with your photography gear isn't about what's behind your lens, but rather what's in front of it. The Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System is designed to add a splash of color to your images through this unusual set-up. All you need to do is screw one of the filter rings onto your lens and then use one of the magnetic Effects Wands to help distort the light as it enters the lens. This is actually pretty similar to the common DIY hack of holding transparent sweet wrappers over the end of your lens to cast a colorful hue. However, this filter system helps make the creative process as easy as possible.
The Osmo Pocket is essentially an action cam, but it is not designed to look or function quite like any action camera we have seen before. The stick like device combines a miniature video camera with a motorized gimbal stabilizer, so that you get extraordinarily smooth shots when shooting handheld action sequences. And the stick-like design not only makes this a joy to hold, it also helps ensure this is, as its name suggests, a really pocketable device.
If we were going to rank these products by their oddness levels, this Lomography product would be number one with a bullet. Simply put, this strange little device allows you to shoot 360 degree panoramic shots on 35mm film by using the pull cord. One of the coolest aspects of this product is that the entirety of the film is exposed, which means you can see the sprocket holes in the final image. With a standard 36 exposure film roll, you can shoot up to eight panoramic photos. We have to be honest, we're pretty tempted by this unusual photographic trinket!
This is probably about as basic as a digital camera can get. Think of it as a stripped down action camera, that's had its viewfinder taken away. It shoots HD video and can take 13 megapixel stills using a fixed lens that offers a wide-angle of view that is equivalent to a 25mm. Its most unusual feature is the analog 'viewfinder', which also doubles up as a built-in clip that can easily attached to clothing and backpacks.
Like many of Lomography's unusual products, this lens is inspired by 1800s inventor and physicist Joseph Petzval. The Lomography Twist lens separates subjects from their background by creating beautifully swirly bokeh. It's important to note that this lens should only be used on full frame cameras, as APS-C sensors will significantly reduce the swirly bokeh effect.