Image Credit: Tom Merton via iStock
Even though we're still firmly in summer, it never hurts to start thinking about what the photographer in your life might like for the holidays this year.
And with a budget of $100, there's some pretty cool things you can get them, too. There's functional items as well!
You might not think that $100 can go very far when it comes to photography gear, but as our list of the best gifts for photographers shows, there's some great ideas that don't break the bank.
Let’s face it - photography gear can be expensive. Really expensive.
That’s a problem year-round, but when you’re holiday shopping and have tons of gifts to buy, it’s even more difficult to justify getting your loved one the $1,000 lens that they really want.
Fortunately, Lensfinder can help in more ways than one.
On the one hand, you can find great deals on pre-owned camera lenses at Lensfinder.
That means that you can get a truly top-notch lens for the photographer in your life but do so without busting your budget. It’s a win-win!
On the other hand, if you have some old lenses that you don’t use anymore, you can list them for sale on Lensfinder. When the lens sells, you can use it for holiday spending money for the photographer in your life.
Image Credit: xxmmxx via iStock
The best part? You can list your lenses for sale for free.
There’s only a transaction fee (just 3.99%) when the lens sells (with a maximum fee of $500). If your lens doesn’t sell, there’s no charge at all!
And for peace of mind, the Lensfinder platform has advanced fraud filtering for both buyers and sellers as well as mediation services in the event that there’s a problem.
Payments are made and received via PayPal, so you can rest easy knowing that the transaction is safe and secure.
In other words, Lensfinder is the ideal solution for your holiday shopping needs. Either use it to find a loved one a killer lens or use it to sell old gear to pad your pockets for holiday spending!
SANDMARC Telephoto Lens for iPhone XS Max
With Apple's new iPhone XS Max just hitting the market, an ideal gift for the photographer on your list is a high-quality aftermarket lens to extend the iPhone XS Max's capabilities even further.
And for that, SANDMARC offers a 60mm telephoto lens with 2x magnification.
This lens has multi-coated glass that minimizes aberrations. It attaches to the iPhone in two ways - either as a clip-on lens or with the included case, which is the world's thinnest lens case mount.
The construction of these lenses is impeccable - I know firsthand because I have a set of SANDMARC lenses for my iPhone X!
In fact, I've used a ton of lenses for my phones over the years, and I have to say that none have come close to the quality and performance of SANDMARC.
This packages includes the telephoto lens, lens cap, a clip-on mount, a lens case mount, and a carrying pouch.
Best of all, you get high-performance optics for less than $100. Just imagine the possibilities of pairing the best iPhone yet with the best lenses for iPhones that money can buy!
Marumi EXUS 55mm Circular Polarizer Filter
One of the best gift ideas for photographers is a good circular polarizing filter.
A polarizing filter can help a photographer create better photos in a variety of ways...
They reduce glare off non-metallic surfaces like water and also boost the contrast in the sky by making white clouds pop off the blue atmosphere.
Additionally, polarizing filters reduce haze so distant features in the landscape look crisper.
But not all filters are made alike, so be sure to give your favorite photographer the quality and durability of a Marumi polarizing filter.
Marumi has integrated anti-static and stain-resistant coatings to protect the filter and make it more user-friendly.
What's more, it's made from optical-grade glass to ensure photos are as clear and sharp as possible.
Add to that the fact that this filter has a thin profile with low reflectivity, and you have the makings of the perfect gift for photographers under $100!
PolarPro DJI Mavic Air Cinema Series Filter 3-Pack
As popular as drones are these days, it makes sense to include top-notch drone camera filters on our list of must-have gifts for photographers for the upcoming holiday season.
And as far as the best drone filters go, it’s hard to beat PolarPro’s DJI Mavic Air Cinema Series Filters.
Available in two variations - the Vivid Collection and the Shutter Collection - you can help your favorite drone pilot step up their aerial photography game with production-grade, multi-coated glass filters that have an airframe aluminum construction that won’t add undue weight to their drone.
In the Vivid Collection, you’ll find three neutral density/polarizer filter combinations that allow you to slow the shutter for gorgeous, cinematic videos while also reducing glare off of non-metallic surfaces and boosting the contrast of the sky.
In the Shutter Collection, you get three straight neutral density filters that allow you to extend the shutter speed for smooth video captures without changing the color profile of the footage you take.
In both cases, these collections come with other goodies, namely a hard case to safely store the filters and a lifetime warranty. They simply thread on in place of the stock lens bezel for easy installation, too. That makes these filter packs ideal holiday gifts for the drone enthusiasts in your life!
Marumi 77mm DHG ND-100000 Solid Neutral Density 5.0 Solar Eclipse Filter
We had an incredible solar eclipse here in the U.S. last year, and another one is on the way in 2024.
But there's solar eclipses all around the world quite often, so get the photographer on your list prepped and ready with a high-quality solar eclipse filter from Marumi.
This solid ND filter has a 92,000x filter factor that gives it a whopping 16.5-stops of exposure reduction.
The 5.0 density darkens the whole image, that way the sun can be photographed safely without damaging any of the delicate internal components of a camera.
But this isn't just for solar eclipses...
Because it's so dark, photographers can use it with a big aperture or slow shutter speed to have more control over depth of field and how movement appears in images.
In other words, this is the perfect gift idea for photographers that want to get more creative in the coming year!
Excire Search AI Plugin for Lightroom
The great thing about Lightroom - well, one of the many great things about it - is that you can use it for processing your images as well as organizing them into catalogs based on keywords so you can easily find the images you want later on.
The problem, though, is that most photographers (myself included) simply upload their images to Lightroom without taking advantage of its organizational capabilities because manually tagging every image takes tons of time. And even if you catalog every single shot you upload to Lightroom, at some point, you’ll have thousands and thousands of images which makes it hard to keep track of them all.
That’s why Excire Search is such a fantastic gift idea for photographers…
That’s because Excire Search takes all the time and effort out of tagging your photos in Lightroom by utilizing artificial intelligence to identify content in every single image in the Lightroom catalog. There’s 125 different keywords in Excire Search, so it makes tagging photos with common features a breeze.
That process not only results in the identification of objects in photos like “mountain,” “boat,” and “dog,” but it also identifies properties of each photo, like the predominant color.
Then, all you have to do is use Excire Search to find the images you need from the catalog whether you’re looking for something that’s blue or green, something with a beach or a desert, and so on.
Even better, the folks at Excire have a deep love of photography and a strong commitment to helping photographers further their education and give back to their communities. That’s why with every purchase of Excire Search, they set aside a small portion that goes into a special fund for supporting non-profits throughout the U.S.
In other words, for just $69.00, you can give the photographer on your list the ultimate gift of helping them organize all their photos while also helping give back to the community as well!
Sew Trendy Bean Bag and Wrap Set
If the photographer you’re shopping for photographs newborns, then this beautiful Bean Bag and Wrap Set is an ideal holiday gift idea.
Not only will an accessory like this help the photographer on your list elevate the quality of his or her work, but the soft, high-quality Jersey fabric is delicate on baby’s skin, too.
An absolute studio essential, a bean bag allows photographers to support a baby’s delicate head, neck, and spine while photos are being taken. What’s more, they provide a perfect backdrop for their photos.
And adding a wrap not only helps baby stay warm and comfortable, but it also helps photographers create the heartwarming, cuddly look you see in the photo above.
Better still, since the newborn set can be matched to a variety of Sew Trendy gowns, photographers can create a cohesive look in their photos of mom and baby.
Pacific Inkjet 11x14” Professional Luster Inkjet Photo Paper
When photographers print their images at home, they need the best equipment and supplies to get the best prints.
And for my money, it’s tough to beat the quality that Pacific Inkjet brings with their 11x14” Professional Luster Inkjet Photo Paper.
I know that inkjet printing might conjure up thoughts of paper that’s a curled mess, but Pacific Inkjet’s paper is a totally different story.
At 268gsm, it’s thicker than paper offered by many professional printing labs, which means you can help the photographer on your list print gorgeous photos right from home.
The semi-gloss texture adds depth to photos while the luster finish brings out all the beautiful details and colors in the image.
Images printed on this paper have fingerprint and scratch resistance, too, meaning photos last far longer.
In other words, for under $100, you can give your favorite photographer the gift of at-home, professional printing with this 100-sheet pack!
Peak Design SL-AS-3 Slide Camera Strap
One of the most important photography accessories money can buy is a good camera strap, and the Peak Design SL-AS-3 certainly fits the bill.
For under $70, you can give the photographer on your list a strap that's not just stylish, but also functional and comfortable, too.
The strap has strong, removable anchor connectors that attach to the eyelets of a camera, so it can easily support both DSLR and mirrorless systems.
Paired with the strap's adjustable length from 39 inches to 57 inches, it can work as a neck strap, shoulder strap, or sling strap to fit any photographer's preferred workflow.
At 1.8-inches in width, this strap is nice and wide to help distribute the weight of the load across more surface area. The internal padding helps in that department, too.
The two sides of the straps have different properties as well - one side is smooth for sliding your camera to your eye when using the strap as a sling, and the other has a grippy silicone finish that prevents slippage when using it as a neck or shoulder strap.
Having a multi-functional camera strap is one of the best things a photographer can have in his or her arsenal, and as far as multi-functional straps go, it's hard to beat this one!
FRDM Midweight Photography Gloves
The worst part of winter (if you ask me, anyway) is trying to stay warm when you’re out taking photos of winter’s beauty.
And the toughest part of your body to keep warm is your hands, because with traditional gloves, you have to take them off to operate your camera.
The FRDM Midweight Photography Gloves have a three-layer shell that’s breathable, water-resistant, and windproof. If that doesn’t keep your hands nice and warm, I don’t know what will…
But because these gloves were made with photographers in mind, the index fingers and thumbs on both gloves have magnetized caps that pull back, that way you can more effectively press the buttons on your camera and use touch-enabled screens. Not bad, right?
What’s more, there’s touchscreen conductive material on the index fingers and thumbs, so if you don’t want to unfurl the finger caps, you don’t have to!
These gloves also have a silicone screen-printed graphic on the palms that make them extra grippy so you can maintain a solid grip on your camera.
Bonus Gift Idea - Vanguard ALTA Rise 43 Sling Bag
For the photographer on your holiday shopping list that wants a versatile bag that can carry a ton of gear, the ALTA Rise 43 Sling Bag should be on your radar.
Built to hold a professional DSLR body, 4-5 lenses, a flash and other photography accessories as well as a tablet or small laptop, this bag has plenty of space for all of your favorite photographer’s necessities.
Carrying the bag is a breeze with its Air System back, padded sling strap, and securing strap to keep the load evenly distributed on the body. The bag is protected with padding all the way around, too, so gear will be safe from bumps and bruises along the way.
When it’s time to take a photo, this bag has quick access with side zippers that make reaching gear incredibly easy. The brightly colored interior further makes for ease of use, as your favorite photographer won’t have to dig around in a dark bag to find what they need. And since it’s a sling bag, it’s quick and easy to take on and off, too.
In short, this bag is feature-rich, comfortable to carry, and priced right at under $100!