With a budget of $500, there are a healthy number of excellent gift ideas for you or a loved one that enjoys photography. From post-processing tools and camera add-ons to camera bags and lenses, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of top-notch photography products that are sure to be a big hit this holiday season. If you need a gift idea for the one you love, look no further!
Datacolor Spyder5 Studio
With the Spyder5 Studio, you can capture images, edit them, and print them with incredible color accuracy. Spyder5 Studio optimizes your monitor so it displays true-to-life colors. Your photos will be captured accurately, and your prints will be spot on each and every time. Your workflow will be more colorful - and accurate - from start to finish!
Singh-Ray Mor-Slo 5, 10, 15 and 20-Stop Solid Neutral Density Filters
You get what you pay for when you buy a camera lens. The same holds true for lens filters. Singh-Ray has developed a reputation for manufacturing the best lens filters money can buy, and as a result, they have a dedicated following of professional and amateur photographers. Your special photographer will love the Mor-Slo 5, 10, 15 and 20-Stop Solid Neutral Density Filters because they allow for dramatic motion effects, even on the sunniest of days. These filters also give you the option of shooting with a wider aperture, thus minimizing diffraction and softening backgrounds without measurable color shift.
MyStudio MS32 Professional Tabletop Photo Studio Lightbox Kit
Photographers that take product shots can benefit from one of the best studio lightboxes around, the MyStudio MS32 Professional Tabletop Photo Studio Lightbox Kit. This kit is different than other photo studios in that it has a fixed radius and single piece cyclorama background. That means you get a high-quality, infinity background for perfect product shots that used to only be available in larger professional studios. With the MyStudio, however, you can turn any tabletop into your very own pro studio!
Sky-Watcher USA Star Adventurer Photo Package
Whether you’re buying for an amateur or a professional photographer, giving them the ability to precisely control camera movement and tracking will allow them to venture into time-lapse photography and wide-field astrophotography as well. The Star Adventurer Photo Package offers seven tracking modes for long exposure images, pre-programmed speeds for time-lapses, and an illuminated polar scope for easy alignment. And with a 72-hour runtime on four AA batteries, there will be no shortage of star-filled shots of the night sky!
Holdfast Gear Sightseer Camera and Lens Modular System
There’s camera bags, and then there’s Holdfast Gear camera bags. Holdfast’s Sightseer Camera and Lens Modular System is the ideal way for your favorite photographer to carry his or her gear safely, securely, and in style. Crafted of waxed canvas and American Bison leather, and lined with Aztec flannel fleece, the Sightseer impeccably constructed. Its modular design allows for adding or subtracting components as needed. Better still, the Sightseer is compatible with other Holdfast products, so you can build a personalized system that’s highly functional and allows for easy access to all your gear.
What better gift for a friend or family member that’s a freelance photographer than Cradoc’s fotoSoftware? With a suite of tools, including business management software, accelerated image keywording software, and easy pricing software for stock and assignment photography, fotoSoftware will make any freelancer’s life far easier. With all that extra time they’ll have from having an improved workflow, they’ll be able to go out and shoot more often!
Syrp Magic Carpet
Syrp has quickly become one of the top manufacturers for high-quality time lapse gear, and the Magic Carpet Carriage is no exception. The Carriage can be used with Syrp’s short and long tracks. It includes a bubble level, brake, and reversible 3/8"16 and 1/4"-20 threaded screw to attach to various devices, including a camera, ballhead or tripod head. The end caps have adjustable legs and include a Genie lock off so that a Genie Motion Control Device can be attached and locked off.
Sound Shark allows video production houses and wedding videographers to capture audio from greater distances than a shotgun microphone and with greater directionality. It also allows dialogue to be captured without having to mic up the speaker. Normal conversations can be recorded from up to 30 feet – more in quiet environments! A Sound Shark parabolic microphone 30 feet away from the source provides approximately the audio level as a standard microphone 5 feet from the same source. A Sound Shark located 6 feet from a speaker provides approximately the same audio as a lapel microphone worn by the speaker. All of this is accomplished using a standard lapel (lavaliere) microphone and can be used with any device that has a microphone input. The Sound Shark can be purchased alone or with pre-matched microphones.
One of the coolest gifts you can buy for an iPhone user has to be the DxO One. With a 20.2MP 1" CMOS-BSI sensor and f/1.8 prime lens, you can capture high-quality images, even in low-light situations. The DxO One has a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000s, a maximum ISO of 51200, and full HD video capabilities, which turn an already powerful iPhone or iPad into a full-fledged camera.
Sirui W-2204 Waterproof Carbon Fiber Tripod
For the adventurous photographer on your list, the W-2204 Waterproof 10-layer Carbon Fiber Tripod from Sirui couldn’t be a better gift idea! Its sealing system prevents water, dust, and other particulates from entering its leg tubes, ensuring that you’ve got a tripod that maintains smooth working order no matter the environmental conditions. Extended, the tripod reaches nearly 70 inches. It can easily hold 39.7 pounds, and does so weighing in at just 3.7 pounds. And when there is limited space, or tripods are not allowed, you can convert one leg into a waterproof monopod. When collapsed, it’s reverse-folding legs allow it to fold down to just 20.5 inches. Lightweight, easy to use, and it holds a huge amount of weight. That’s a great combination!