The holiday season is just around the corner and those distant sleigh bells are jingling, ring ting tingling ever closer. Whether you're a Scrooge-and-proud, or you're excitedly waiting for the festive period to get into full swing, but don't know what to get the photographer in your life, then these eight quirky gifts could make you the star of the holiday.
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, a quirky lens, or even a tiny vlogging setup to get them started on the YouTube channel they always talk to about starting, we've got the best quirky and unusual gifts for you to peruse right here.
If your looking for something a bit safer then why not also check out our best Christmas gifts for photographers (opens in new tab)
Best unusual festive gifts
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For just over £30, as the model name suggests, the appeal here is being able to build your own camera utilizing 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.
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. It’s very charming 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.
Having used the Moment Wide 18mm lens (opens in new tab) for photo taking and YouTube content I would recommend it for anyone seeking a lightweight setup to start their vlogging career – or vloggers looking for a more compact solution over their traditional compact cameras.
Everything provided within the box gives off a premium feel and certainly makes you want to look after it. The lens is strongly built and provides crisp and sharp images that any vlogger or content creator would be proud to show off.
Another one for those who aren’t fussed about waterproofing – the DJI Pocket 2 (opens in new tab) fits a similar vlogging niche to GoPro cameras. Indeed, it can be bought as part of an excellent Creator Combo pack, including a Mini Control Stick, a case, tripod mount, wrist strap, wireless microphone, a dead-cat windshield, a wide-angle lens, and a Do-It-All Handle with a mic-input jack.
This, plus the class-leading stabilization and pocketable form factor, makes the Pocket 2 one of the most potent little cameras for vloggers. It struggles a little with noise issues in low light, so that’s something to be mindful of, but otherwise it does a really impressive job in most conditions.
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 setup.
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.
We didn't think smartphone stabilizers could get any better than the DJI OM 5 but the DJI Osmo Mobile 6 (opens in new tab) goes to show they can. We're still not convinced by the fiddly folding mechanism but other than that it's an extremely robust, professional selfie stick/gimbal that has a lot of advanced features such as motion timelapse, subject tracking, and an analog zoom/focus wheel for easy control.
This certainly isn't a budget option but it's by far one of the best selfie sticks you can buy if stabilization is your main game. We tested it using the iPhone 14 Pro Max and despite it being one of the heavier smartphones now available it was able to keep up with some aggressive movements from us and still maintain incredibly smooth footage. It's an excellent selfie stick/gimbal but you will have to pay a hefty chunk more.
The Polaroid Go (opens in new tab) is a palm-sized camera that kids will fall in love with faster than it takes a photo to develop. Bigger instant cameras balance exposures better, and rival Instax Mini cameras deliver slightly better image quality indoors – but neither are as fun to use as the Go, which still produces pleasing pics.
A consideration is that Instax Mini film works out cheaper than Polaroid Go film, but then you'll also need to replace those AA batteries on the Mini whereas the Go just needs USB to top up the power. And the Go boasts double exposures, which you won't get unless you opt for pricier options like the Instax Mini 90. A fun and funky little camera, the Polaroid Go is ideal for little hands to get started with.
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.
If your gift budget knows no bounds, check out the best cameras for photography (opens in new tab): find the best camera for you, and the best price too!