Photography is a big tent with many different areas, so finding a gift for the photographer in your life – or even yourself – can be challenging.
Fortunately, we’re here to help and recommend keeping it simple. Rather than seek out something too specialised, look instead for top-quality versions of the essential items that every dedicated photographer should have in their kit bag.
And don’t worry about which camera your loved one or yourself uses. The fantastic gifts we’ve sourced below will work for pretty much every brand in the market.
So here are a dozen fabulous photography gifts guaranteed to bring a big grin to the face of any photography obsessive on Christmas morning…
1. LensPen NLP-1
The basic LensPen design has been around for many years and now comes in various sizes to suit lenses from large DSLR optics down to tiny phone camera hardware. We like the original design, the NLP-1 variant, which is suitable for larger lenses. Its standout feature is its 12mm diameter tip. This has a slightly concave surface to follow the curvature of your lens’s front element, and is coated in carbon to enable it to remove grease and fingerprints without resorting to a liquid cleaner. Amazingly, the system works. Lenses with lots of fingerprints will require around 10 seconds of wiping with the carbon tip to achieve a perfect finish, but more typically marked optics come up gleaming in moments.
2. BlackRapid Breathe Binocular Strap
While it’s billed as a strap for binoculars, this neck strap will attach to a camera equally easily. Its unique feature is a breathable, stretchy and very flexible neck pad. It also folds small and can be detached quickly. Its price might be a little high for some, but you do get an impressive amount of engineering for your money here. Plus, black never goes out of fashion.
3. SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro 300MB/s UHS-II SDXC
Price: £54.99/$44.99 /AU$129
Memory cards aren’t the most exciting of camera accessories, but if you want to get the best out of your device, they are essential. Not only does this 32GB SanDisk card provide enough capacity for over 4,000 22MP JPEGs (enough room for keeping you shooting all day without changing cards), but with shot speeds of up to 260MB/s, and transfer speeds up to 300MB/s, it’s easily fast enough to cope with 4K video recording and fast continuous stills shooting too. Put this SD card into your camera, and make card buffering a thing of the past.
4. Digital Camera magazine subscription
Price: £49.99/from $114 for 13 issues
Digital Camera is the world’s favourite digital photography magazine. Aiming to help photographers of all skill levels to improve their images, every issue is packed with the latest news, reviews, tutorials, expert buying advice, tips and inspiring images.
Each month, Digital Camera also comes with a selection of free gifts, including a cover-mount disc featuring video lessons, photo technique tips cards, and much more.
Subscribe to Digital Camera today with our latest amazing deal – save one third on the cover price and never miss an issue!
5. Hahnel ProCube II
Never be left without power again. Hahnel’s ProCube II is able to quickly and simultaneously charge a pair of batteries (individual models are dedicated to Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony batteries) or four rechargeable AAs in only 90 minutes, with their current power level clearly indicated on its LCD display. ProCube II also has an output for a USB-charged device like a smartphone or compact camera, and comes complete with adaptors for UK, European and US plugs, making it an all-in-one charging solution. With a 12V car lead included, you can even recharge your equipment en route to locations, something that could save the day if you forget that vital charging session the night before a big shoot.
6. WD Elements SE 2TB SSD
For backups when you’re working in the field, you need a compact, reliable and efficient storage solution. Look no further than the WD Elements SE portable hard drive. Available in a 2TB capacity, it will suit many different kinds of photographer, from low-volume landscape shooters to a burst mode fanatic out capturing action, wildlife or location portraits. With a form factor that will easily fit in a camera bag (L x W: 11 x 8cm or 4.3 x 3.2in) and read speeds of up to 400MB/s when using the supplied USB 3.0 cable, the WD Elements SE will make the perfect Christmas gift.
7. Manfrotto Ezybox Speed-Lite 2
The Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 has the power to dramatically improve the lighting in your images. A compact softbox that can be attached directly onto your flashgun on or off camera, it softens the previously harsh direct light of the flash for a much more flattering illumination. Compatible with a variety of flashguns, the Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 attaches firmly with a silicone strap and a tensioning dial straight to its head. With an inner and outer diffuser, which can be combined or used independently of each other, the intensity of its effect can be customized.
8. Lee Filters Big Stopper
If there’s one landscape photography look that’s been on-trend in the last few years, it’s those streaky skies and ethereal misty water shots produced by ten-stop ND filters. Placed in front of the lens, these filters restrict the light that reaches the sensor, forcing the use of much longer exposure times than would normally be required. One of the most popular filters of this type is the Lee Filters Big Stopper, a pro-standard glass filter available in a range of sizes for use with the company’s various filter systems. Lee Filters even provides a free mobile app to calculate the exposure times required when using a Big Stopper and other filters provided by the brand.
9. Digital Photographer magazine subscription
Price: £51/from $114 for 13 issues
Digital Photographer is the magazine for photographers looking to elevate their careers, or boost their income from professional photography. Every issue features practical guides and tutorials to help you get the most from your images – whatever camera or system you shoot on.
The magazine is a great source of expert advice and tips from leading pro photographers, who share their insights in every issue, plus the go-to place for reviews of the latest cameras, lenses and accessories.
Make sure you never miss a copy – subscribe today and get the magazine delivered to your door!
10. Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap
An elegant and unobtrusive way to protect your camera from drops, the Cuff is a stylish wrist strap available in a range of different colour options. Cords rated to hold up to 90kg are fitted through a camera’s strap eyelets, before then being clipped securely into the Cuff’s unique Anchor Lock housing. The magnetic wrist loop of the strap is then threaded over the hand, where it can then either be fixed in the open position, or comfortably cinched down for added security. For those with compact cameras, it’s an ideal way to protect and carry your setup without adding bulk.
11. Manfrotto Pixi Evo mini tripod
Manfrotto’s Pixi mini tripods have been around for several years now, but this Evo version steps things up – literally – thanks to its extendable two-section legs. These can lock into six different extension points using an ergonomic push-button release on each leg. At full stretch there’s some flex when you mount a heavier DSLR, but Manfrotto’s 2.5kg load rating is reasonable. Keep the legs retracted to their shortest setting and the Evo feels much more stout, though this reduces the shooting height from 19cm to 15.5cm. Alternatively, if you want to sink lower, the legs have a secondary angle setting selected using a simple but effective switch on the side of the ball head. This lets the head down to around 10cm off the deck. The ball head itself is of a usefully large size for a mini tripod and it clamps securely. It can also tilt through 90-degrees into portrait orientation, and a convenient wheel locks the ¼”-20 thread to your camera, so you don’t need to rotate the whole tripod.
12. Spudz microfibre cleaning cloth
A microfibre cloth that tucks away inside a neoprene sleeve, Spudz cloths are tried and tested and come in an array of different colours. As the 10 x 10in cloth never detaches from the sleeve, this product is a true all-in-one solution for keeping your lenses and LCD screens free of dust or streaks. Simply attach the Spudz to your camera with the clip on the sleeve and you'll never have to reach very far for a cloth to clean your glass or screen. And as different and fun sleeve finishes are available, you'll easily be able to match one to the personality of the photographer in your life.
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