Buying gifts for photographers can be tricky. Enthusiasts generally know their gear well, have a clear idea of what equipment they need to buy next, and when to upgrade their camera bodies.
So instead of spending hundreds on a new piece of glass you’re not sure about, play it safe with an accessory or gadget that will help them get more enjoyment out of their hobby.
Here are some ideas for great gifts for photographers, whether they’re enthusiastic amateurs or hardened professionals.
The problem with the camera straps that come with most cameras is that they feel cheap and are uncomfortable to wear. So why not give the gift of comfort this year? The BlackRapid Breathe Curve (and the Sport version) consistently top the recommendations for comfortable and functional camera straps.
This is a strap aimed at right-handed shooters since it fastens to the left shoulder. When not in use the camera is suspended upside down at the hip, with the strap attaching to the included BlackRapid fastener in the tripod mount. A moisture-wicking breathable shoulder pad helps the photographer carry their rig and stay cool at the same time.
Most photographs are captured on smartphones these days, and one company that’s making quality smartphone lenses is Moment. The Moment Superfish snap-on lens is the widest the company produces, offering a 170º angle of view with edge-to-edge clarity.
Remember: If you go for a Moment lens, make sure you also pick up the relevant Moment case so that you can attach it to your smartphone. Moment makes cases for common smartphones like the iPhone X/XS, Pixel 3 XL, and Galaxy S9.
Buying a memory card for a photographer can be tricky if you’re not sure what camera system they’re using. But if you know the recipient has purchased a camera within the last few years that uses SD cards, something like the SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB SDXC card is a safe bet.
Photographers can never have too many memory cards, whether for backing up on the move or shooting with dual card slots. This Class 10 UHS-I/U3 card has write speeds of up to 95MB/sec which should be enough for recording superior 4K video or shooting high-quality RAW photos.
Most photographers have a camera bag that can house all of their stuff, but what about a camera bag for travelling light? The Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home is a minimalist camera bag designed for day trips, rather than carting around everything you own.
The bag includes 1 external pocket and two internal side pockets, with an internal mesh zipper and Crumpler’s “Super Stealth” velcro designed to make opening your bag quiet. The shell is made from water resistant nylon with a ripstop lining, and the whole package is guaranteed for life.
GoPro cameras have many uses beyond the obvious “strap it to your head while you jump off a building” extreme sports applications. The GoPro HERO7 Black is the premium offering of the current generation camera, with standout features like HyperSmooth Video Stabilization to offer gimbal-like footage with no gimbal required.
The HERO7 is primarily a video tool, so if the person you’re buying for doesn’t care for video, you might want to give this a miss. But with features like stabilized time lapse videos, intelligent high dynamic range on stills, voice control, tons of GoPro accessories worth buying, and the 4K60p video and 12MP stills; it’s a wonderful gadget to have at your disposal.
Expensive photo gear needs protecting. The covers that come with most lenses often fall short, which is where the Altura Photo’s Protective Neoprene Pouch Set comes in. These pouches use a super soft interior lining with a 5mm padded base and water resistant neoprene to keep what’s inside dry.
They fasten snugly, with a clip for attaching to your camera bag (either inside or out). This set contains three covers in small, medium, and large which fit lenses up to 3″, 4.5″, and 7″ respectively.
Some find photo editing cathartic, while for others it’s a necessary evil. Almost all photographers would appreciate a smoother editing workflow, which is where the Loupedeck+ Plus Photo and Video Editing Console comes into play.
It works with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, Capture One, and Adobe Premiere Pro CC, allowing you to customize any of the dials, knobs, or buttons to control virtually any setting.
Portable photo printers are all the rage, and the HP Sprocket is one of the latest to hit the market. Like other models, it uses zero-ink “ZINK” paper refills, rather than toner or cartridges. Charge the printer via USB and print wirelessly anywhere you go.
At the core of the experience is printing and displaying your smartphone and social media images via the HP Sprocket app for Android and iOS. This isn’t a replacement for a full-blown photo printer, but a fun toy that photographers of all skill levels are bound to appreciate.
The Datacolor SpyderCube is a reference tool for photography enthusiasts who want to get their processing time down to a minimum. It allows the user to achieve accurate color without too much messing around in Lightroom or Photoshop.
Put the cube in your frame and you’ll get reference points for white balance, overexposed areas, absolute black, shadows, and highlights in one handy tool. Learn to use it and you’ll wonder how you functioned without it!
The Camera Lens Coffee Mug is the novelty gift that keeps on giving! With styling based on Canon’s 24-105mm EF lens, this one’s made from stainless steel with a thermos seal. It features two retractable lids and a spoon, plus insulation keeps your drinks hot or cold for longer.
It’s perfect for photographers who venture out early to capture landscape sunrises, who’ll appreciate 13.5oz of hot caffeinated creativity served in a vessel that resembles a beloved piece of glass.
What Great Gifts for Photographers Will You Buy?
If you don’t see anything on this list you fancy buying, it might be easier to ask the photographer in your life what they want for Christmas, their birthday, or whatever the occasion may be. Don’t forget that if you do order from Amazon but pick the wrong gift, returning items is usually a fairly straightforward process.
If photography gifts aren’t your thing, consider playing it safe with one of these perfect gift cards instead.