It is easy to spend a lot on photographers during the holiday season. Everyone can make room in their gadget bag for the shiniest new camera, or the most sought-after lens. But what if you are doing your shopping on a strict budget, or looking for some great last-minute Christmas stocking filler ideas?
With days for Christmas shopping fast running out and the last online order dates coming up even faster – this selection of low-cost ideas may help you out.
We have rounded up a miscellany of fantastic ideas to entertain, educate or amuse the photo enthusiast in your life, and most of these stocking stuffers for photographers cost less than 15 bucks (or around a British tenner).
1. Hotshoe spirit level
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This is the old-school way of ensuring that your horizons are straight and your buildings don't seem to lean like the Tower of Pisa. Slot it into the hot shoe of your DSLR or mirrorless camera (opens in new tab), and let the bubble guide you to get your verticals upright and your horizontals dead straight.
2. Camera-shaped tin of fudge
This is a 2-in-1 present. It offers a retro-styled camera look and is packed with enjoyable 100g of vanilla fudge inside.
3. Mixbook's personalized photobooks(opens in new tab)
Give the gift of personalization this year to your photographer friends and family with a personal photobook of their work, it will not only be a great gift, but can also work as a great coffee book once the festivities are over.
4. Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod(opens in new tab)
Don't expect this to carry a heavy full frame DSLR however, this dinky tripod could be just the thing you need to accurately position a camera phone (opens in new tab) or compact camera (opens in new tab). This Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod comes with a single-action adjustable ball head with a thread and weighs just 190g.
5. Photography magazine subscriptions
Digital Camera (opens in new tab) is the definitive guide to digital photography. Every issue comes packed with expert advice, in-depth tutorials, free gifts and inspirational images. Digital Camera has the sole aim of helping you become a better photographer. Use code SAVE12
PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab) is the world's only monthly newsstand title that's 100% devoted to Canon, so you can be sure the magazine is completely relevant to your system. Every issue comes with a disc of video tutorials too. Use code SAVE12
N-Photo (opens in new tab) is 100% Nikon-devoted, and 100% editorially independent. If you're a Nikon owner and want to improve your images, get the best buying advice and reviews, see some of the world's best Nikon photography, N-Photo is the title for you. Use code SAVE12
Whether you're a part-time amateur or a full-time professional, Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) aims to challenge and motivate you to take your best shots. Our in-depth features are designed to take your photography to the next level - and this is a great gift for anyone who wants more inspiration for their picture-taking. Use code SAVE12
6. Sandisk Extreme 64GB SDXC memory card(opens in new tab)
Photographers can never have enough memory card (opens in new tab)s, so this is a present that they will definitely thank you for. The SD format is the most popular on today's cameras, so this is the safest option if are not quite sure what camera they use. This High Capacity SDXC card is from leading manufacturer Sandisk and offers a very useful capacity of 64GB and offers quick transfer speeds of 150MB/s.
7. Hama LensPen
A two-in-one cleaning implement that looks like a pen. A retractable lens brush at one end is suitable for getting off dust of the front of your zooms and primes. And at the other end there is a velvet surface, underneath a protective cap, which is capable of removing grease and fingerprints.
8. AmazonBasics wireless remote control(opens in new tab)
A wireless remote is a great present for a new DSLR user - it is not just good for selfies, but for use with long exposures where you need to minimise any camera movement. This Amazon own-brand remote is great value and works with a wide range of Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
Compatible Nikon models are: D3000, D3200, D3300, P6000, P7000, D40, D40x, D50, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D60, D70, D7000, D70s, D750, D80, and D90. Compatible Canon models are: T4i, T3i, T2i, T1i, XT, XTi, 5D Mark II, 7D, 650D, 600D, 550D, 500D, 400D, and 350D.
9. ProOptic Lens Wrap(opens in new tab)
Lens wraps are great and cheap way of protecting lenses, cameras and other delicate accessories. This Adorama version is a 19-inch square of neoprene, which you can wrap around your kit and keeps tucked away and secure with the built-in Velcro strips.
10. $10 gift voucher(opens in new tab)
If you really don't know what to buy the photographer in your life, then this is definitely the solution for extreme last-minute shopping or if you are worried you will buy the wrong thing. Most retailers offer gift voucher options, just choose an electronic voucher or a physical card.
• Check out the best online gifts to buy a photographer (opens in new tab)
11. AmazonBasics lens pouches(opens in new tab)
These cylindrical neoprene pouches are designed to give weather protection and shockproofing to your lenses whilst in transport. This is a set of four pouches, in four different sizes – and at $11.26 / £10.88 is a small price to pay for a bit of optical protection.
12. K&F Concept Blue Multi-Coated 43mm UV Filter(opens in new tab)
Filters are always a good option to give as a gift to a photographer, they come in various sizes to suit all lens types - so make sure you get the right diameter fitting.
13. Spare batteries(opens in new tab)
Now AA batteries might see a weird gift however, for photographers, AAs are still essential items for powering flashguns, which you may well need to have powered up ready to capture the festive celebrations.
14. A roll of Kodak black & white film
a lot of photographers are recently rediscovering 35mm film and this present may just encourage a photo enthusiast to dig out their old SLR or point and shoot to see if they can still take decent pictures without all the advantages of modern digital cameras. There are still plenty of films stocks to choose however, black and white is a great place to rekindle a passion for analog photography, and this Kodak Tri-X (opens in new tab)is as about as classic as they come.
15. Lastolite 30cm reflector
Reflectors are one of the most useful pieces of kit a portrait or still life photographer can carry - and the diminutive size of this reflector means you can store it safely away in your pocket. While it may be small, the respectively silver and gold surfaces of this product make its light-reflecting power mighty.
16. LCD Viewfinder 3x Loupe
Convert your LCD screen into a viewfinder! if your camera doesn't have a dedicated viewfinder, or you just prefer not to use it, the LCD Viewfinder 3x Loupe attached to a 3-inch LCD screen and magnifies it so you can use it as a makeshift viewfinder. It's especially useful when a camera is mounted on a tripod, and is a great choice for cheaper cameras that may not have a dedicated viewfinder. Other sizes are also available if you have a camera with an LCD larger than 3 inches.
17. Mixbook Custom Photo Calendars(opens in new tab)
One of the most unexpected and touching gifts you can get the photographer in your life is a collection of their best work produced as a calendar that they'll look at every day. Mixbook offer lots of different designs to suit your images, and your budget.
18. Magnum Photos: Field Notebook(opens in new tab)
• Magnum Photos: Street Photography Notecards (opens in new tab)
Magnum Photos is widely considered the industry’s gold standard. The legendary agency, whose co-founders include Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, is arguably the most prestigious in the world. For the vast majority of photographers, though, no amount of from-the-hip street images or 4 am golden hour shoots are going to be enough to receive a membership invitation.
You can still send a taste of the high life to photographer friends, with this set of 16 Magnum notecards and envelopes, each featuring an image by a Magnum photographer.
More gift ideas:
Christmas gifts for photographers (opens in new tab)
Best photo gifts (opens in new tab) - give a personalized present
The photography books I want to get for Christmas (opens in new tab)
50 best camera accessories (opens in new tab)
The best GoPro accessories (opens in new tab)