- HSI mode for adjusting hue, saturation, and light intensity with ultra-fine accuracy
- Gel color paper mode, which gives you access to ROSCO and LEE paper libraries
- Eight white light effects, including breathing light, CCT cycle, and candle
- 8-bit and 16-bit DMX control
- Active cooling system featuring dual fans
- 12 lighting scenes - like candle, TV, and strobe - for producing visually stimulating results
- 12 light source matching modes to minimize lighting adjustment time
- Thousand-step dimming accuracy from 1-100 percent
- CCT Mode for adjusting white light color temperature
- HSI Mode for adjusting hue, saturation, and light intensity for output of up to 36 million colors
- RGB Mode for adjusting red, green, and blue light for a combination of 1.6 x 1010 colors
- Gel Color Paper Mode, which includes ROSCO and LEE profiles with 30 numbered color paper libraries each
- Light Matching Mode for matching the light output to any of 12 light source types
- White Light Mode for choosing between eight white light effects, including TV, explosion, and CCT cycle, among others
- Color Light Mode for choosing between four color effects, including police car, di bar, party, and color cycle
- PureShot HDR for wider dynamic range
- FlowState Stabilization for beautifully smooth images and videos
- 360 Horizon lock to ensure images and videos are level
- A 26.2-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor
- A DIGIC 8 image processor
- Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus
- A built-in EVF boasting 2.36 million dots of resolution and touch capabilities
Photo by July Ko via iStock
Getting a head start on your holiday shopping is helpful, especially if the photographer on your list is hard to shop for. With a little more time (and lists like this) to find a great gift, you can give them something awesome, fun, useful, or all of the above!
We've curated this list in large part by including products we've tested ourselves. With this real-world experience, we can speak to the quality of these items and their usability for photographers of all strips.
So, without further ado, let's get to the list of the best gifts for photographers under $1,000 for 2023!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Shiny Prints Metal Print
While some gifts for photographers focus on enabling better results with a camera, others allow you to enjoy your favorite images over and over again. Of course, being the holiday season, you can also give the gift of a large-format print to someone on your shopping list.
I'm a big fan of metal prints - I love how modern and sleek they look. And when you get a metal print from a high-quality printer like Shiny Prints, the images you have printed stand out even more. But why?
Well, it's simple - Shiny Prints specializes in metal prints, so they know precisely what they're doing! Evidence of this fact is presented in my review video below:
Not only does Shiny Prints specialize in using metal, but they also use the finest products to ensure the metal print you order is of second-to-none quality.
This quality also stems from the company's extensive experience with photo printing and working with metal. Beyond that, the Shiny Prints commitment to quality over quantity further ensures that the print you get in the mail knocks your socks off.
Additionally, Shiny Prints gives you all sorts of customization options....
For example, you can choose from dozens of sizes ranging from 8x10 to 48x96, or you can order a custom-sized print (or custom shape!) if you really want to impress your loved one this holiday season. Likewise, you can choose from various mounting styles, from a simple box mount to a luxurious tuxedo mount and other options in between. What's more, there are multiple surface options, including matte and gloss in either white or silver.
Heck, there's even a white gloss EXT option specifically formulated for outdoor use.
So, whether you need a big print or a small one or a print for indoors or out, Shiny Prints has exactly what you need.
As I noted earlier, I've been blown away by the quality of the Shiny Prints metal prints I've gotten this far. With this kind of quality and customer service, you are in for a gift-giving treat this holiday season!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Hobolite Avant
When shopping for a holiday gift for a photographer, there are a few things to keep in mind…
The gift should be extremely functional. It should also be easy to use. Versatility and portability are features any photographer or videographer will appreciate, too. You can find all of these benefits (and more!) in the Hobolite Avant.
Sure, you can give your loved one a traditional lighting setup for the holidays, but why not give them something far more advanced in a much more portable package? The Avant 3.29”x4.63”x4.91” and weighs less than three pounds, making it the height of portability whether your loved one needs beautiful lighting for product photography, portraiture, or something in between.
And no matter where they go, they can rely on a light that’s built using aircraft-grade aluminum, which not only makes the Avant lightweight, but also incredibly durable. Photography and videography can be tough work, and this little light is ready to rock no matter the circumstances.
Of course, the most important feature of a light for photo or video work is the quality of the light produced, and the Avant delivers on that front, too. With a CRI and TLCI of 96+, you can rely on the Avant to provide beautiful, accurate, and consistent light. What’s more, the Avant is adjustable from 2700 to 6500K, allowing you to fine-tune the color temperature to the specific needs of the photo or video shoot.
What’s more, the Avant’s internal dual drivers offer 100W output throughout its color spectrum and produce excellent luminous flux from 6000 to 8500 lm. Not bad, right?!
But the Avant takes it a step further - with exceptional color consistency, you can use multiple lights for the same shoot and have matching colors across each one. And since the Avant can be controlled via a companion app, you can quickly and easily make adjustments to individual lights or lighting groups with a few taps.
Hobolite has also incorporated a fantastic onboard UI system that gives you a secondary means of controlling and adjusting these lights. Large knurled knobs and four buttons make fine-tuning the light output a breeze, while the bright LED display lets you quickly check settings to create the perfect lighting setup in no time flat.
Aiding in the ease of use is the integrated V-mount, which allows for quick setup and takedown. Furthermore, you can rely on a host of accessories for the detachable lens to customize the light output. For example, you can incorporate a soft box, a lantern, or a Bowen’s Mount Adapter as needed.
Beyond that, the Avant Standard Kit comes with barn doors with colored filters, a V-mount clamp, a V-mount handle, a D-tap cable, and a power supply. Many other Bowen’s mount accessories are compatible with the lighting system as well. Plus, the kit is available in AC or DC formats.
So, to recap, the Hobolite Avant is a professional lighting solution that’s portable, easy to use, and produces clean, accurate lighting. It’s beautifully designed, superbly made, and is ready for use in just about any photography or videography setting.
With professional-grade lighting output, the Avant is an ideal option to give your photography-loving loved one this holiday season!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Goal Zero Yeti 500X & Solar Panel
When you or your loved one is on location for a photo shoot and need power to charge camera batteries, your phone, and other devices, lugging around a huge generator just isn't the solution.
Instead, something like the Goal Zero Yeti 500X power station is ideal!
Lightweight and compact, this power station comes with multiple ports to charge various devices: AC, 12V, and 60W USB-C among them.
Better still, the Yeti 500X offers high-speed delivery of power so you can juice up your devices without waiting all day. On top of that, this Yeti 500X package comes with a Goal Zero solar panel for charging the power station (or you can charge it from home before you head out or in the car using a 12V outlet).
And at 12.4 pounds, the 500X won't break your back, either - just what you want when you're heading out with a ton of photography gear to begin with!
Of course, this unit is compatible with plenty of other Goal Zero products, so you can develop an entire ecosystem of power collection and distribution for yourself or your favorite photographer this holiday season!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: RØDECaster Pro II
If you're shopping for a videography enthusiast this holiday season, giving them high-quality audio production capabilities will be a welcome gift. The RØDECaster Pro II is what I use in my studio for audio production, and I couldn't be happier with its ease of use, features, and functionality.
This bad boy is a versatile and powerful audio production console. It emerges as an exceptional gift option for those looking to elevate their audio quality, simplify their workflow, and unlock creative possibilities within a reasonable budget - just as it's done for me! Whether you're shopping for a photographer who occasionally dabbles in video or a seasoned videographer, this compact powerhouse can drastically improve their production quality.
The RØDECaster Pro II has been meticulously designed to cater to the diverse needs of content creators, streamers, podcasters, musicians, and more. It combines a host of revolutionary features with superior sound quality, intuitive usability, and endless customization options, making it a one-stop solution for anyone looking to record exceptional audio content effortlessly.
One of the standout features of the RØDECaster Pro II is its ability to consolidate all the essential elements of a professional audio setup into a single, user-friendly console. This means that photographers and videographers can set up and record high-quality audio content within seconds. The 5.5-inch high-definition touchscreen, complete with haptic feedback, tactile rotary encoder, and bright RGB color-coding, simplifies the navigation process, ensuring that even newcomers to audio production can get started quickly.
The RØDECaster Pro II also comes pre-loaded with useful presets and an intuitive VoxLab processing editor, making it effortless to capture professional-grade audio. From configuring microphone channels to programming SMART pads, every feature is designed to enhance creativity. This ease of use ensures that you can focus on your content, not the technicalities.
With four studio-grade Neutrik combo inputs and ultra-low-noise, high-gain Revolution Preamps, the RØDECaster Pro II delivers unparalleled clarity and transparency, regardless of the microphone or instrument you're using. These preamps eliminate the need for external boosters or processors, even for demanding dynamic microphones. The RØDECaster Pro II certainly provides a clean and transparent audio canvas that allows you to shape and enhance your sound with onboard processing and effects.
To further enhance audio quality, the RØDECaster Pro II features studio-quality signal processing powered by APHEX, a respected name in pro audio. The onboard suite includes emulations of classic hardware units, such as the Aural Exciter for adding brilliance, Big Bottom for depth, and the legendary Compellor master compressor/leveler for that final touch. Additional features like a de-esser, noise gate, high-pass filter, and equalizer offer comprehensive sound-shaping tools to refine your recordings.
The RØDECaster Pro II offers extensive connectivity options, too, expanding creative horizons and streamlining the workflow for your loved one. Four Neutrik combo inputs can accommodate microphones, line-level sources, and instruments, allowing you to record anything from a single microphone to complex multitracked audio. Advanced Bluetooth capabilities enable high-quality phone call integration, audio streaming, and wireless monitoring.
Moreover, dual USB-C interfaces support two simultaneous computer or mobile device connections, perfect for remote podcasting or intricate streaming setups. You can record in stereo or multitrack to various storage options, including microSD cards, USB devices, or directly to a computer. Additionally, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections facilitate firmware updates, software integrations, and hardware connectivity.
Whether your loved one is recording interviews, podcasts, or video content, the RØDECaster Pro II will undoubtedly take their production quality to the next level, making it a gift that keeps on giving!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: GVM YU150R PRO LED Video Light Board RGB & Bi-Color Studio Light
If the photographer on your holiday shopping list wants to really improve their lighting situation, the industrial-grade GVM YU150R full-color panel light is precisely what they need to do so.
This five-color light source (RGB+WY) offers a CRI and TLCI of 97+ with beautifully accurate colors, natural-looking lighting, and impressive shooting effects that result in a higher level of production value for photography and videography.
This light has a variety of features that give it professional-level performance. For example, it has four selectable dimming curves - exponential, S-curve, linear, and logarithmic - that allow you to meet specific technical requirements of applications like entertainment production or TV news.
Moreover, the GVM YU150R offers a brightness range from 0.1-100 percent that’s adjustable within 0.1 percent accuracy. This fine level of control results in the light offering ultra-smooth dimming and more accurate colors during the dimming process.
Speaking of fine levels of control, this light is equipped with smartphone compatibility. On the one hand, you can use the accompanying app to make adjustments to color temperature and intensity. On the other hand, you can control this light and any other GVM products that are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 mesh networking.
In other words, this light makes it as easy as possible to get the precise look and feel that’s needed for a photo or video shoot - all from the palm of your hand!
An intriguing feature of the GVM YU150R is that it offers a unique way of adjusting color temperature and brightness. Unlike conventional bi-color panel lights that use many different lamp beads for these processes, the YU150R uses an algorithm to make these adjustments. The result of this is that you get more consistent and accurate colors and constant brightness. With a maximum output of 150 watts, it also offers plenty of brightness!
Other features of this light include:
This panel light offers far more amenities and features, too. For example, you can use CT mode for making accurate color adjustments from 2000-10000K. You can also use RGB color more to dial in a specific color - one of millions available - and use the light matching mode to choose from 12 light source types for the perfect look for photos and videos.
Truly, this panel light is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s lightweight and portable, ruggedly built, easy to use, and offers a host of features that will help improve the quality of photos and videos your loved one creates. What better gift can you give than that?!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: f-stop Shinn Adventure and Cine Backpack
F-stop certainly excels in crafting exceptional bags - that's undeniable. While a camera backpack priced at $700 may initially strike you as exorbitant, this is one of those situations where your investment truly matches the quality you receive.
Furthermore, when you're entrusted with safeguarding thousands of dollars worth of photography equipment, a robust and protective bag becomes a necessity. The f-stop Shinn unquestionably fulfills this requirement!
At an enormous 80 liters, this bag offers an abundance of space, allowing you to accommodate an extensive camera setup or a cine rig. Alternatively, it offers the flexibility to carry multiple DSLR or mirrorless systems simultaneously.
The bag's exterior is constructed from f-stop's own DuraDiamond material, renowned for its remarkable strength, featherlight weight, and resistance to adverse weather conditions.
Given the substantial weight you may be carrying, it's imperative to have a dependable weight distribution system, and the Shinn delivers on this front with its BLOOM foam shoulder straps and hip belt. Personally, I can attest to the exceptional comfort provided by these shoulder straps and hip belts as my f-stop Tilopa employs a similar setup, making it one of the most comfortable configurations I've ever encountered.
In addition to the BLOOM foam straps and belt, the Shinn incorporates an aluminum frame that effectively transfers the bag's weight to your hips - precisely where you want it. A combination of plastic and T6 aluminum hardware further reinforces critical components of the suspension system.
Inside, the bag is generously equipped with organizational and storage features, ensuring that small items such as cords, memory cards, and batteries remain neatly organized and secure.
To keep your camera gear in order, you can opt for a Cine Master Camera Bag Insert or a Pro XL camera insert. These inserts play a pivotal role in safeguarding your equipment, keeping it snugly nestled in a cushioned compartment to prevent any potential damage. Should you venture on a trip sans your camera gear, simply remove the inserts, and you'll have a spacious bag ready to accommodate all your adventure essentials.
Over the years, I've had the pleasure of using several f-stop bags, each one seemingly surpassing the previous in quality and functionality. These experts truly understand the art of crafting a bag, from utilizing weather-resistant zippers to offering multiple access points and developing the finest carrying system available.
If you're eager to impress the photographer in your life, the f-stop Shinn unquestionably stands out as the perfect gift choice!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: GVM PRO-SD650B 650W Bi-Color Monolight
A bi-color monolight is a standard piece of lighting gear for photographers and videographers alike. Whether you’re shopping for someone that needs to upgrade their existing lighting equipment or needs their first monolight, the GVM PRO-SD650B is a fantastic option!
With 650 watts of output, this light will shed beautiful light on virtually any scene. In fact, the PRO-SD650B is an industrial-grade film and television light that will support all sorts of photography and videography endeavors for beginners, enthusiasts, and professionals alike.
As you’d expect from GVM, this light offers clean, crisp, accurate lighting with a CRI and TLCI of 97+. The light can be adjusted from a warm-toned 2700K up to a cool 6800K to suit specific lighting needs. Speaking of which, GVM has incorporated several other features that allow for quick, simple lighting adjustments to tailor the light output:
The dimming accuracy of this light is especially impressive. Not only does it provide full dimming capabilities, but it’s also extremely accurate - to one percent! With such fine control over the dimming process, your loved one can reap the benefits of more accurate color and improved light intensity.
This GVM light has another handy feature up its sleeve - smartphone control. By using the accompanying smartphone app, your loved one can turn their iOS or Android device into a light-controlling machine. The app offers basic features like turning the light on and off, as well as advanced controls like adjusting the color temperature, dimming curve, and lighting effects.
Additionally, this light has Bluetooth mesh networking support, meaning that when it’s used with other GVM lights with mesh support, your loved one can control them all from their phone. In terms of convenience and functionality, it doesn’t get any better than that!
The build quality of this light is next level as well…
The light is made from aluminum alloy, which is durable yet lightweight. On the one hand, the light will stand up to the rigors of use in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. On the other hand, the aluminum construction, rear handle, and bottom legs make the light easy to maneuver from one location to the next.
And when your loved one is on location, they can trust this light to perform, even for long periods of time, thanks to its built-in active cooling system. Lights like this can put out a tremendous amount of heat, so built-in fans help the PRO-SD650B stay cool to prevent overheating.
With additional features like DMX control, a Bowens mount, and a V-mount that can be used with an external supply box and V-mount battery, this light offers everything your loved one needs to improve the quality of illumination for their projects.
Best of all, when you give this light as a gift, you give something that your loved one can use and enjoy for years and years to come!
Vanguard Alta Fly 58T Backpack & Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 Tripod
Every photographer has to hit the road now and again, so a high-quality backpack and a capable tripod are two things that are likely on your loved one's holiday wish list.
I've used Vanguard products for years, and appreciate their build quality, durability, and innovation. The low price point of Vanguard gear is a nice touch, too. That's why you can give TWO gifts for the price of one!
First up is the Alta Fly 58T bag...
With an overall size of 13.6" x 11" x 23.25", the Alta Fly 58T is just the right size to use as a carry-on bag. And at 10.5 pounds (with 27 liters of space that can fit 33 pounds of gear), you can still carry all the necessities and do so in a compact bag.
The bag has a four-wheel trolley system for making your trips from one concourse to the next a breeze. Of course, there are tuck-away backpack straps as well, so you can carry it as a backpack, if desired.
Vanguard has incorporated plenty of protection for your gear, too - double security buckles, a three-point security system, loads of padding, and a total rain coverage cover as well.
Add in numerous pockets, connectors, and organizers, and you have the makings of a bag that will get your gear from Point A to Point B safely!
The other component of this holiday gift idea is the Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 Tripod...
This particular version is aluminum and comes with the Vanguard BH-100 ball head. The ball head offers ergonomic friction control, a quick-release arca-type system, and dual bubble levels. It also offers fluid 360-degree panning for those occasions when you want to photograph moving subjects.
The tripod is further equipped with a canopy suspension loop, which allows you to add a counterbalance weight for improved stability, and Alta Link, a 3/8 thread connection that accommodates accessories like arms and reflectors.
One of the best features of this tripod, though, is the multi-angle center column or MACC. The MACC allows you to frame up shots quickly and easily, from low-angle to high-angle and points in between.
When folded down, the tripod is about 29 inches long, but it extends to more than 68 inches for snapping photos of all kinds. The tripod weighs about five pounds but accommodates more than 15 pounds of gear. It's an ideal companion for the photographer on your holiday shopping list!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Pre-Owned Sony Alpha a6300
An excellent holiday gift suggestion for the photographer you have in mind is a Sony camera. Opting for a previously owned camera allows you to enjoy significant cost savings while still presenting an impressive gift this festive season.
The Sony a6300 boasts a plethora of features, such as a 24.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor, a BIONZ X image processor, 4K video recording at 30p, HD video at 1080p/120, and a rapid continuous shooting capability at 11fps.
To enhance its allure, the a6300 boasts a remarkable 425-point autofocus system with tracking AF, delivering exceptional image quality. All of this is packaged in a compact, lightweight body, making it an ideal gift for photographers seeking a capable yet highly portable camera.
Moreover, with the a6300, you're bestowing a gift that combines a small yet powerful camera with outstanding photographic and video capabilities, effortlessly fitting into a camera bag with plenty of space to spare.
It's worth noting that this camera is compatible with a wide range of lenses, providing an opportunity to expand your gift-giving. You could potentially discover a high-quality pre-owned E-mount lens to complement the package.
Whether the photographer on your list specializes in capturing people, architecture, landscapes, wildlife, or anything in between, this camera is sure to be a valued addition to their camera gear collection!
GIfts for Photographers Under $1,000: GVM YU200R Led Video Lights Panel RGB and Bi-Color Studio Light
When buying lighting for the photographer or videographer on your holiday shopping list, you want to give them something that’s highly functional, easy to use, and puts out beautiful light.
And while you’d think most lights fall into these categories, nothing could be further from the truth! Not all lights are all that user-friendly or functional, and not all lights match the same level of lighting quality.
Make things easy on yourself this holiday season by investing in the GVM YU200R studio light for your loved one!
What’s so nice about this light is its versatility. Your loved one can use it indoors and out, for portrait or landscape photography, video work, streaming videos, and much more.
The compact design of the light - it’s just 14.6 x 11.6 inches in size - makes it easily portable from one location to the next. Moreover, its compact design won’t overtake the shoot. Instead, your loved one can quickly set up the light, get reliable performance, and do so without worrying about lugging around a big, heavy, bulky light.
The quality of light from the YU200R is top-notch, with a CRI and TLCI of 97+. Additionally, it offers stepless RGB color control from 0 to 360 degrees, consistent brightness throughout its color temperature range (2700-7500K), and a wide beam angle of 180 degrees.
Beyond that, GVM has incorporated seven lighting modes that enable quick and easy customization. These modes include the following:
Additionally, this light offers a beautifully smooth and even beam field thanks to its true-tone, wide-beam SMD LED and diffuser plates. This type of lighting is a perfect addition to many kinds of photo and video shoots.
The built-in DMX-512 interface is another noteworthy feature that enables 8-bit and 16-bit control and integration into complex studio installations. The built-in support for Bluetooth 5.0 mesh networking and an accompanying smartphone app for iOS and Android devices give your loved one further capabilities for controlling this and other GVM lights quickly and conveniently from their device.
Of course, the precise dimming control of the YU200R is a prime feature, too. You can adjust the brightness from 0.1 percent to 100 percent and do so with 0.1 percent accuracy. As a result, this light offers an incredibly smooth dimming process while also ensuring more accurate colors.
This light also includes four individual dimming curves (logarithmic, S-curves, linear, and exponential) that allows photographers and videographers to precisely meet the technical requirements of other studio devices.
Add in an active cooling system to improve performance, an ultra-quiet design, and a robust all-aluminum build, and you have the makings of an impressive light - and an impressive holiday gift!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Insta360 ONE RS 1-Inch 360 Edition
Add a little fun to your favorite photographer's photoshoots with the Insta360 ONE RS!
This little camera offers gorgeous 6K 360-degree video capabilities as well as 21-megapixel 360-degree photos. The camera seamlessly stitches the 360 stills together for a breathtaking view of the subject that's impossible to get with a traditional camera.
These 360-degree images and videos are possible due to the dual one-inch sensors. Both sensors provide unparalleled dynamic range and excellent low-light performance, too.
Other features include:
The camera comes with a mounting bracket, a vertical battery case, a lens cap, and more!
Gifts for Photographers Under $1,000: Pre-Owned Canon EOS RP
Full frame cameras need not be bulky, and they need not break the bank either! The Canon EOS RP emerges as an ideal holiday season gift choice due to its remarkable performance packed into a compact form. Furthermore, opting for a pre-owned camera opens up budgetary flexibility, allowing you to allocate additional gifts for the photographer on your list.
The EOS RP may be an entry-level full frame camera, but it certainly doesn't skimp on features. It comes equipped with:
Being a full frame camera, it excels in low-light shooting scenarios. What sets it apart is its status as one of the most compact and lightweight full frame mirrorless cameras available, occupying minimal space in your bag and ensuring effortless portability.
As mentioned earlier, choosing a pre-owned Canon EOS RP grants you financial flexibility for purchasing supplementary items. When shopping at MPB, you can rest easy knowing that you're acquiring a quality used camera, too.
MPB conducts thorough inspections and assigns grades to each camera in their inventory, providing transparent information about the item's condition on the listing page. This ensures you know exactly what to anticipate when the camera arrives at your doorstep. In the rare event that you change your mind about the camera, you can easily return it within the seven-day return window.
Moreover, MPB offers long-term support, with most of their cameras backed by a six-month warranty, offering peace of mind for your investment. Not bad, right?!