Photography is often said to be an expensive hobby. Although it is true that You can spend a lot of money on expensive cameras or lenses or all the other sweet stuff that You believe makes Your life easier as a Photographer, there are also a lot of nice little gadgets that can come in handy too. Gifts for photographers don’t need to be of the expensive category, some small gifts can go a long way as well.
Whether it is the birthday of Your friend, husband, or girlfriend and You want to make them a nice surprise, I have compiled a very comprehensive list of gifts for photographers. The gifts are pretty versatile, so if You are no expert Yourself and don’t know exactly what camera the presentee has or what specific genre the interest lies in, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The presents should be compatible with most camera systems and if limited, it is noted.
List of Gifts for Photographers
The categories range from physical books to sparkle the inner photographer to electronic gear like tripods or memory cards that are nice to have and backpacks or clothes, that can be helpful for the next photography trip.
Hopefully, this list of gifts for photographers can help You out, when You are searching for a neat little present that some can add to his travel photography gear.
When it comes to the cleanliness of lenses or cameras, I guess every photographer has its quirks and carries one or more tissues with him.
Unfortunately, those tissues and cloth quickly lose their magic power and need to be replaced, at best before the camera has to be send in for some professional cleaning.
The Altura Professional Photo Cleaning Kit offers a lot of different cleaning tools that help every photographer to keep his equipment clean and photographs free of dust spots.
Including in the kit are different sized cloth, 50 sheets Cleaning Tissue Paper, a Lens Cleaning Pen, a Brush, Air Blower Cleaner, and the Lens Cleaner Bottle.
With this kit, You can get rid of any kind of dirt or dust on Your equipment. It is suitable for any kinds of lenses or cameras and should be part of every good photo trip and is a great gift for photographers.
Available for under $15 the kit is also pretty much a steal and it doesn’t hurt to replace used cleaning kits from time to time.
Fuji Instax Mini 9
You might probably think that a camera may be a little over the top as a gift for a photographer and that he is probably already happy with his current gear.
Well, the Fuji Instax Mini is not just another camera.
It is the continuation of old Polaroid cameras and serves a very different purpose.
Similar to the Polaroid pictures, the photographs from the Instax Mini are produced immediately.
With a price far below $100, the camera is also very affordable.
The camera is the perfect gift for photographers, because it is usable instantly, saving the great party moments. Taking pictures with this camera revives the old Polaroid emotions. Posing in front of the camera, waiting a few moments and holden the picture in Your hand makes this little camera the perfect present.
New Cameras can be really expensive and they come with a lot of useful equipment. What they are usually lacking though are comfortable camera straps.
Most of the time, the manufacturer just includes his own camera strap with its brand in big letters.
Those are not very aesthetic, but moreover really uncomfortable.
The very cheap polyester mix grinds on the neck or the wrist and leaves irritated skin and sore spots.
Especially for longer walks, the original camera straps are not fun to deal with.
On the other hand, there are great alternatives on the market that are good as gifts for photographers.
There are two basic ways to carry a camera.
Either by the neck or the wrist. Here are two straps to cover both options.
Although I have titled it a neck strap, it is more a shoulder strap in reality, which is the healthier option anyway.
The strap from Altura is compatible with most modern DSLRs. Please check if it is also compatible with Your mirrorless camera before buying the strap.Check the compatibility
The wrist strap by VKO is pretty simple but does its job very well.
The strap is big and doesn’t slip easily from the wrist. It is designed for modern mirrorless cameras.
Check The Price
Are You traveling a lot and want to save Your photographs or even edit them on the fly?
The Gnarbox is a portable backup & edit system for 4K videos or photographs.
Basically, it is a mini-computer with 256GB space of storage and an Intel Quad-Core.
You can connect this device via WiFi with Your smartphone and through the app, edit Your pictures using the power of the Gnarbox.
It works with modern DSLRs, mirrorless cameras or even action cameras like a GoPro.
Don’t worry about losing Your data anymore and save them while traveling on the Gnarbox.
The era of film photography is mostly gone. Now, photographers save their data not on film, but on SD-cards. As we are taking a lot of pictures, SD-Cards can always come in handy.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro is more than a simple storage space.
Taking pictures of the highest quality means, that there is also a huge amount of data. Not only does that mean, that the total space of the memory card is important, but also the speed of which we can transfer them.
Nothing is more frustrating than coming home after a long day of taking pictures, only to find out that it takes one or two hours to transfer all the images.
With the SanDisk Extreme Pro, we can not only store a lot of pictures on one card, which avoids nasty replacements of SD-Cards while shooting, it is also one of the fastest memory cards available now.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro is a micro-SD card that should be compatible with all modern cameras whether it is a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera.
Tripods are normally known as those big bulky devices that are difficult to transport and can sometimes do more harm than good.
Gorilla Tripods are different and the JOBY Gorilla Tripod is very flexible.
Therefore it can be set up in many different ways and can get carried with ease.
Due to the flexible legs, it is ideal for nature photography and rough grounds. The tripod is not very high from the ground up but can carry up to 3kg, which is more than the usual DSLR + lens combination for landscape photography weighs.
It is suitable for mirrorless cameras as well as DSLRs, as they feature the same connector. For even more easier handling, You attach the camera to the ball head and thanks to the quick release, You can take off the camera very fast and change the position of the tripod.
This tripod is an ideal photography gift for every landscape or architecture photographer as it becomes very easy to shoot from very low angles.
The photography gear has also to be transported in a comfortable and safe way. Carrying the camera and lenses in normal bags can be dangerous and lose You money very quickly.
Even if it is “just” a camera and one or two lenses, a backpack can still be useful and is advisable for the longevity of the gear and makes a good gift for a photographer.
Having an organized backpack makes it also a lot more fun to photograph, as is reduces a lot of time spend for gear.
A modern photography backpack has also space for more than just photography gear, for example, a small notebook or tablet and the inner compartments are customizable as well.
The USA Gear S17 backpack offers all of that.
It can fit multiple lenses, or cameras, a 15,6″ laptop, and has 8 accessory pockets.
With padded shoulder straps, the backpack is also comfortable to wear and a waist strap distributes the weight more evenly, reducing the strain on the back.
The backpack is also fit for rainy weather, as it features some additional rain cover.
When I started this list of gifts for photographers, I didn’t want to include only technical gear and also provide some inspiration.
Books are usually a great present and which photographer doesn’t love to add some nice looking photography books to his own collection?
Either for inspiration or to learn something new books are always welcomed by my experience.
If You want to dig deeper into book recommendations You should have a look at my list of photography books which features more than 15 books from different genres.
For now, I want to present three classic books that should belong in every collection.
Vivian Maier – Street Photography
A must-have for every Street Photographer and anyone who wants to have a closer look at the 1950s in Chicago.
The original, instant classic which set the world afire. The first book to introduce the phenomenon that is the life story and work of Vivian Maier.
A good street photographer must be possessed of many talents: an eye for detail, light, and composition; impeccable timing; a populist or humanitarian outlook; and a tireless ability to constantly shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot and never miss a moment. It is hard enough to find these
qualities in trained photographers with the benefit of schooling and mentors and a community of fellow artists and aficionados supporting and rewarding their efforts. It is incredibly rare to find it in someone with no formal training and no network of peers.
Stephen Shore – Uncommon Places
Stephen Shore has a special aesthetic eye than can even gas stations look magnificent in his own way. In his book Uncommon Places, he shows the American culture and its places from his unique point of view.
Published by Aperture in 1982 and long unavailable, Stephen Shore’s legendary Uncommon Places has influenced a generation of photographers. Among the first artists to take color beyond advertising and fashion photography, Shore’s large-format color work on the American vernacular landscape stands at the root of what has become a vital photographic tradition. Uncommon Places: The Complete Works presents a definitive collection of the original series, much of it never before published or exhibited. Like Robert Frank and Walker Evans before him, Shore discovered a hitherto unarticulated version of America via highway and camera.
Approaching his subjects with cool objectivity, Shore’s images retain precise internal systems of gestures in composition and light through which the objects before his lens assume both an archetypal aura and an ambiguously personal importance. In contrast to Shore’s signature landscapes with which Un-common Places is often associated, this expanded survey reveals equally remarkable collections of interiors and portraits.
Scott Kelby – The Digital Photography Book
Photography does look easy, especially in this day and age with modern cameras we can just let them do all the work, can we?
There is a lot more to photography that has to be mastered, to create masterpieces ourselves and this book is one step in the right direction.
This updated, second edition of the bestselling digital photography book of all time includes many new images; up-to-date information on gear, pricing, and links; and a new chapter from the author on the “Ten Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was First Starting Out in Photography.”
Here’s how Scott describes this book’s brilliant premise: “If you and I were out on a shoot, and you asked me, ‘Hey, how do I get this flower to be in focus, with the background out of focus?,’ I wouldn’t stand there and give you a photography lecture. In real life, I’d just say, ‘Put on your zoom lens, set your f-stop to f/2.8, focus on the flower, and fire away.’ That’s what this book is all about: you and I out shooting where I answer questions, give you advice, and share the secrets I’ve learned just like I would with a friend—without all the technical explanations and techie photo speak.”
UV – Filter
Cleaning kits are great to remove any dust or dirt that happens to be on the lens, but there are ways to prevent that the lens gets dirty in the first place.
A better way to keep the lens clean is to put a UV-filter in front of the lens to protect it from dust or any dirt coming directly onto the lens.
UV-Filters cost only a few dollars but can be extremely important when taking pictures of nature, or other environments where the lens could be affected by dirt.
The selection of UV-filters can be a little more complicated as there are different sizes depending on the lenses that are being used
You should be able to find the diameter of the lens either on the front of the lens itself or on the lens cap.
This should make it easy for You to find the right UV-Filter even when You are not very proficient with the technical details of cameras Yourself.
49mm – UV Filter by Tiffen
52mm – UV Filter by Sigma
67mm – UV Filter by Tiffen
77mm – UV Filter by Tiffen
Unfortunately, mirrorless cameras are quite energy consuming and one battery doesn’t last a very long time. To stay on the safe side of things it is advisable to keep at least a few batteries in the camera backpack to be able to change them when needed.
From my own experience, the “original” brand batteries didn’t last longer than 3rd party batteries although they sometimes cost even 3x the price.
Therefore I want to present a collection of 3rd party batteries that are of good quality but cost only a fraction of the original manufacturer’s batteries.
This has the advantage, that You can buy a few inexpensive batteries so that there will be never a shortage of energy anymore.
Fujifilm X – Series
This kit by Wasabi includes two Batteries and the charger.
The original Fujifilm battery costs more than 3x times compared to the Wasabi ones, while not having better specifications.
Chech The Price
Sony – Batteries
Suitable for most of the Sony mirrorless camera series from a3000 to the a7R, the battery pack by BM premium comes with two chargers. This setup can be useful when traveling and be lacking the time to re-charge the batteries one by one.
Check The Price
For Olympus Mirrorless Cameras, Wasabi also has batteries fitting for the popular OMD and PEN series.
You can choose between buying just the battery, or also the charger.
Check The Price
Nikon has different sets of batteries that are compatible with different model series.
The batteries presented by RAVpower here are for the modern DSLRs starting as low as D600 and includes even newer Full-Frame cameras like the D750.Check The Price
Similar to Nikon, Canon has different battery models depending on the camera series. The batteries presented here are for the Canon 5D, 6D,7D,…,60D.
For a full list have a look at RAVpower.
Check The Battery Price
Not only cameras need energy and batteries to operate. There are a lot of other devices that need batteries too.
Those can be external flashes or other light sources that operate with normal AA batteries.
To save the hassle to buy new batteries for every photo trip and being more environmentally friendly, rechargeable batteries are very useful.
It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, the Amazon Basic batteries do a very good job.
A plus is, that these batteries can be charged via USB, so they are ideal for traveling.
I have presented a full backpack before. A backpack is definitely the right choice when traveling or going out of town for a longer photo tour.
In the city, a simple photography bag is more useful. With a bag around Your waste, You can change batteries on the fly, try another lens, or grab the water bottle.
The Bagsmart is a very clever camera bag, which lets You transport Your valuable camera gear through the city safely.
You are able to either take a camera and a lens with You or pack even three lenses for the next city tour. It also offers enough pockets and space for batteries and other little equipment.
What is a really neat feature of this bag is, that You can easily attach it to a suitcase.
It is also weather resistant and has padded shoulder straps for a maximum of comfort.