artofseeing Photography Articles

Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000 - 2019 Edition

gifts for photographers under 5000photo by Hailshadow via iStock

There are TONS of possibilities for gift-giving this holiday season with a budget of $5,000.

In fact, the variety of gifts you could give the photographers on your list is quite great...

From a new computer to a new camera body, photography trips to a collection of large-format prints, this list has something for every photography enthusiast!

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: CanvasHQ Prints

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If you’re like me, sometimes finding the perfect gift for certain loved ones is a long, drawn-out process that causes tons of stress, and often you still don’t get something that totally blows them away.

I think a lot of photographers fall into this category. We have specific likes, and many of us already have most of what we want or need gear-wise, and what we don’t have is usually too expensive to put on a Christmas wish-list anyway.

But for all those hard-to-shop-for photographers on your 2019 holiday shopping list, I have the perfect solution - a canvas print.

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Think about it… 

A canvas print is a gift that keeps on giving.

Not only can you immortalize one of your favorite images from your favorite photographer, but you also give them a means to showcase their work in a format that’s drop-dead gorgeous.

I have tons of canvases in my home, the vast majority of which are from CanvasHQ.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking - canvas is old school.

Sure, maybe it is, but I’m telling you that these canvas prints from CanvasHQ are mind-bogglingly beautiful. In fact, they go head-to-head with any metal or acrylic print I have in my home.

The attention to detail is just amazing, and the materials they use are top-of-the-line. We’re talking archival-grade canvas, commercial-grade inks that are water and UV resistant, and kiln-dried pine frames to keep everything straight and true.

I love the personality that the canvas texture gives my images. That’s true whether it’s a portrait of my son or a landscape photo.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the customer service you get with CanvasHQ.

These guys are committed to getting it right, so if something doesn’t go as planned, you won’t be hung out to dry.

If you have questions, they’ll answer them. If you have a problem, they’ll fix it. If you need assistance with uploading your photo or even picking the best finishes for your canvas, they’ve got your back.

In the video above, I explain why I highly recommend a CanvasHQ canvas print as the ideal gift for the photographer on your holiday shopping list.

Start shopping for your favorite photographer today on CanvasHQ!

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: Colors of Costa Rica Photo Tour With ColorTexturePhotoTours

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From spectacular sunsets on the coast to breathtaking waterfalls, incredible diversity of wildlife (including dozens of species of frogs) to stunning flowers, Costa Rica has no shortage of subject matter for a photographer.

And as part of ColorTexturePhotoTour's Colors of Costa Rica photo tour, the photographer on your list can explore all that and much more as part of a luxurious, all-inclusive trip!

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This trip is the ideal length - six days and five nights - so it's easier to get away from work and other responsibilities to spend a relaxing time in one of the most beautiful locations on earth.

Over the course of the trip, the photographer on your list will join no more than three other participants to tour the landscapes of Costa Rica with workshop leader Scott Setterberg.

Those landscapes, which includes four national parks, will be fodder for some spectacular photography opportunities, as well as plenty of one-on-one instruction time with Scott.

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In this regard, this trip isn't just about seeing gorgeous places, but it's also about developing and improving photography skills.

With stops in Tenorio Volcano National Park, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Catarata La Fortuna, Lake Arenal, and Juan Castro Blanco National Park, the tour takes participants to varied locations, each of which offers unique beauty and challenges photographers to apply their skills to get the best shots.

Along the way, a licensed, English-speaking nature guide will offer insights into the biodiversity of Costa Rica, so tour-goers learn more about the beauty they see and photograph.

Each evening, the tour winds down and participants stay in luxurious, award-winning accommodations.

The photographer on your list can enjoy authentic Costa Rican cuisine, spa services, massages, and more.

What better way to celebrate the holidays than by giving your loved one the photography trip of a lifetime?!

Learn more about the Colors of Costa Rica Photography Tour by ColorTexturePhotoTours  

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: A Vietnam Photography Tour With The Art of Seeing Photography Adventures

Vietnam is a breathtaking country with countless opportunities to photograph landscapes, bustling cities, and incredible cultural and historical elements.

As part of a tour with The Art of Seeing Photography Adventures, your favorite photographer will get an immersive experience in which they will spend two weeks exploring popular as well as off-the-beaten-path locations throughout the country.

Among the highlights is an exploration of rice terraces that have been built into the steep topography of Vietnam's mountains. The trip, which is September 13-26, 2020, is timed perfectly to see the terraces in prime condition, just before harvest.

Another highlight of the trip is an overnight cruise through Halong Bay, a world-famous location that is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

By traveling via boat through the bay, you get a unique perspective on the area and have a chance to get away from the crowds that come to the Bay and explore lesser-known areas.

Another aspect of this trip that makes it such a spectacular photography outing is the exploration of the northern part of the country, where you can interact with ethnic minority groups, including the Black Tay, Flower Hmong, and Red Dao.

This interesting subcultures are welcoming to guests, willing to pose for photographs, and even welcome strangers into their homes for rural homestays.

Of course, the trip begins and ends in Hanoi, so the hustle and bustle of the big city is also on the agenda.

With the adventure limited to 10 people, the photographer on your list will get to enjoy small group experiences in the utmost comfort.

Priced at $4,800 for single occupancy, this is an ideal gift idea when you have a $5,000 budget for the photographer in your life!

Learn more about The Art of Seeing Photography Adventures Vietnam Backroads & Byways Photography Workshop & Tour

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: Pre-Owned Canon EOS R and Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

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If the photographer on your list needs an upgrade in the camera department, you might consider giving the gift of a Canon EOS R this year.

The EOS R was released in October of 2018, so there's been time for prices to fall and for a good selection of used cameras to develop.

With a like-new-condition EOS R, you can save yourself quite a bit of money while still giving your loved one a capable, reliable, and virtually new camera!

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The EOS R features a 30.3-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor paired with a DIGIC 8 image processor.

The result of this is superb performance, excellent image quality, and a bevy of secondary features that make it a fantastic camera for just about any photographer.

With a native ISO range up to 40,000, this camera is a good low-light performer, and with 8 fps continuous shooting, it can tackle subjects like wildlife and sports photography in which rapid movement needs to be captured.

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Additionally, the EOS R has a top-of-the-line autofocus system call Dual Pixel AF, which allows users to select from 5,655 AF points to quickly and accurately acquire focus.

Add to that 4K UHD video recording at 30p, and you have the makings of a fantastic holiday gift!

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Better still, since a like-new EOS R is barely more than $1,900, you can also give the photographer on your list a lens to go with it.

The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L USM is a great choice for an all-around lens that accommodates wide-angle, standard, and telephoto shooting. And since pre-owned versions in like-new are under $850, you're well under the $5,000 budget threshold!

Learn more about the Canon EOS R and the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: Pre-Owned Nikon Z6 and Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S

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If you're shopping for a Nikon enthusiast, why not give them the ultimate gift in the form of a pre-owned Nikon Z6 in like-new condition with a pre-owned Z-series lens to match?!

Like the EOS R described earlier, the Nikon Z6 is a feature-rich camera that any photographer would love to have in their camera bag.

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Armed with a 24.5-megapixel full frame back-illuminated sensor, this camera offers excellent resolution, and with an EXPEED 6 image processor, it operates lightning fast, too.

The Z6 has built-in 5-axis image stabilization that makes hand-held shooting an easier task, and its 273-point autofocus system helps shooters acquire subjects more quickly and track them with greater ease for improved photos.

This camera has a native ISO range of 100-51200, so low-light shooting isn't an issue, and a whopping 12 fps continuous shooting rating.

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The Z6 has developed a solid reputation as a great video camera as well.

It has full frame 4K UHD video recording capabilities at up to 30p, and with a 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD, videographers can get low-angle and high-angle footage more easily.

Add in a lightweight magnesium alloy body, full weather sealing, and a shutter life of 200,000 shots, and you have the makings of yet another excellent gift idea for the photographer on your list!

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Since like-new Z6's are barely more than $1,500, there's plenty of room in your $5,000 budget to add a nice lens to the package.

The Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S is a great choice, as it's a highly versatile focal length that can tackle portraits, landscapes and everything in between.

What's more, 50mm is an ideal focal length for video, so paired with the Z6, you can give a rock-solid video-making kit to your favorite photographer!

Learn more about the Nikon Z6 and the Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: Nevada Art Printers Lumachrome Acrylic Prints

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If you're shopping for a photographer that needs to have a lot of prints made, and who prefers acrylic prints over canvas, there's no better choice than a selection of large-format acrylic prints from Nevada Art Printers.

I was never a huge fan of acrylic prints until I decided to give Nevada Art Printers a try a few months ago.

I had gone to Norway and captured a pretty good shot (shown above) and wanted a print that would really elevate the quality of the shot.

So, I ordered an acrylic print from these guys, and it is honestly one of the most beautiful prints I have ever laid hands on. Truly - they perform magic!

Now, I have to say that the photo above of this print simply does not do it justice. My home studio has tons of lights everywhere and I just couldn't find an angle to take a photo that didn't have a glare.

The big draw of these acrylic prints is the Lumachrome finish (you see people talking about it all the time on Facebook).

In a nutshell, Lumachrome prints are ultra-high resolution with incredible vibrancy and clarity. It honestly gives the photo a 3-dimensional feel. That’s because Nevada Art Printers created custom ICC profiles that use a tweaked tone curve to maximize that 3-dimensional effect.

Honestly, it’s hard to describe, and even more difficult to believe if you can’t see it with your own eyes - like I said, photos online just do not do the quality of these prints justice!

What’s more, the folks at Nevada Art Printers are extremely helpful and work hard to help you get the best possible print. Their customer service is truly A+!

This combination of super-high-quality products and top-notch service before, during, and after the sale makes an acrylic print from Nevada Art Printers an ideal gift for the photographer on your list this holiday season. 

Learn more about Nevada Art Printers and their Lumachrome Acrylic Prints

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: Nikon Z7 with Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/4 S Lens

I shoot with a Nikon Z7 and I have this very lens as well. It's an ideal combination for everyday photo-taking.

What impresses me the most about this camera is its sensor - a 45.7-megapixel full frame behemoth that offers superb image quality.

The sensor is paired with a fast and accurate 493-point autofocus system that offers 90 percent coverage. Whether the photographer on your list photographs people, places, or things, this camera will be a great companion!

Other features of note include 9 fps shooting, 4K video up to 30p (up to 120 fps in HD), an ISO range of 63-25600, and built-in image stabilization.

Additionally, Nikon gave the Z& a beautifully resolute 3.69-million-dot electronic OLED viewfinder as well as a 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen display.

I really appreciate the design of the camera as well - it feelslike a Nikon with a deep grip and a familiar button layout.

On top of all that, the Z7 is fully weather sealed - I tested it out in Norway and can attest to its ability to stand up to really, really cold temperatures.

You get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB battery charging, and Nikon's SnapBridge functionality as well.

And in this case, the Z7 comes with a killer lens, the Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/4 S.

This lens is the ideal walk-around lens, with wide-angle to short telephoto capabilities that allows photographers to capture all kinds of subject matter without the need for lens changes.

What's more, this S-series lens is small and lightweight, making it an ideal alternative to bigger, heavier f/2.8 models.

It has an aspherical extra-low dispersion element, three aspherical elements, and Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coatings, all of which combine to reduce chromatic aberrations, distortions, ghosting, and flare.

The result is beautiful color rendering and improved contrast. In other words, it's a great camera-lens combination!

Learn more about he Nikon Z7 With Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/4 S Lens

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: Apple MacBook Pro

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Any photographer would appreciate a souped-up laptop to use to edit photos, and there's few that are better for that task than the Apple MacBook Pro.

This particular model has an Intel i9 8-core processor at 2.4 GHz, a 4 TB SSD drive, 32 GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics card.

In other words, this thing has all the hardware needed to power heavy-duty processing of photos and videos.

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Sure, this computer is barely under the $5,000 mark, but considering all the goodies it possesses, it is well worth the price.

The processor comes with Turbo Boost, which can speed up to 5 GHz when needed. Additionally, there is 16MB of shared L3 cache for speeding up processing.

The 32 GB of memory is lightning-fast at 2400 MHz while the aforementioned graphics card has 4GB of HBM 2 memory.

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The 15.4-inch retina display is LED backlit with IPS technology.

The result of that is a crystal-clear display with gorgeous colors and contrast. 

The backlit keyboard is full-sized, and with Apple's touchbar technology and Force Touch trackpad, getting work done is an easier task.

This is simply a killer laptop, and it's within budget too!

Learn more about the Apple MacBook Pro

Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000: Sony a7R IV

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The Sony a7R IV will be hot off the assembly line well in time for the holiday season, and it's a fantastic gift idea for the photographer in your life.

This camera is packed to the gills with modern features that will make any photographer smile from ear to ear.

The a7R IV has a 61-megapixel sensor that's unrivaled on the market at this point.

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Along with that crazy sensor is a laundry list of jaw-dropping specs:

  • a 5.76-million-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • 10fps burst shooting
  • 15 stops of dynamic range
  • A 567-point phase-detect autofocus system
  • Wireless tethering
  • Enhanced dust and moisture resistance.

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That's not even to mention Sony's impeccable Eye AF system which tracks human and animal eyes with extreme precision.

There's also Real-Time AF for video recording, 26-megapixel resolution in APS-C crop mode, and sensor-shift multi-shot mode that creates image files that are a whopping 240-megapixels in size.

And at less than $3,500, you can give the gift of the Sony a7R IV without breaking your budget!

Learn more about the Sony a7R IV

Amazon Gift Card

Totally stumped regarding gift ideas for photographers on your list?

Why not go the easy route and get them an Amazon gift card?

Though a gift card isn't exactly the sexiest gift, when the photographer in your family sees that you dropped $5,000 into a few gift cards (there's a $2,000 limit per card), they'll love it just the same.

With an Amazon gift card, they can buy whatever they want - a new lens, a second camera body, lighting gear, a laptop - you name it!

As far as flexibility goes, there's nothing better to give a photographer than a gift card with some serious money loaded onto it!

Learn more about Amazon gift cards


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