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Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500 - 2019 Edition

Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under 2500 2019 Edition

photo bykrystiannawrocki via iStock

I think we can all agree that photography gear is expensive, but with a $2,500 budget, you can get some pretty incredible stuff for the photographer on your holiday shopping list.

Whether your favorite photographer needs a new desk, an awesome large-format photo print, a new portrait lighting setup or something in between, we’ve got all kinds of suggestions that will satisfy their needs!

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: CanvasHQ Print 

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. Or, with a $2,500 budget, you could get them a ton of prints!

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.

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.

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 $2,500: iMovR Lander Desk 

I can personally attest to the awesomeness of the iMovR Lander Desk as I have one in my home office. In short, it completely changed how I work.

You can read all about it in my iMovR Lander Desk review, but the short version is that this a desk of the highest quality that’s durable, made in the USA, highly customizable, and easy to assemble to boot!

The photographer on your list will appreciate all of these features, but if you’re going to help them assemble their new desk, you’ll both appreciate the fact that it will only take a few minutes. I set mine up by myself in less than 20 minutes, which is a far cry from the entire afternoon I spent years ago putting together my first sit-stand desk.

This sucker is super well made, too. There’s not cheap parts, no corners cut. This is truly a desk that is an investment for the long term.

It’s also worth noting how customizable the Lander desk is. There are literally hundreds of different combinations of sizes, shapes, and finishes, so your favorite photographer can pick and choose precisely what they want for a desk that not only maximizes their workflow but also looks like a million bucks.

This sucker is super well made, too. There’s not cheap parts, no corners cut. This is truly a desk that is an investment for the long term.

It’s also worth noting how customizable the Lander desk is. There are literally hundreds of different combinations of sizes, shapes, and finishes, so your favorite photographer can pick and choose precisely what they want for a desk that not only maximizes their workflow but also looks like a million bucks.

Having a desk that transitions from a sitting to a standing desk will change any photographer’s life - sitting for hours hunched over a desk while editing photos is certainly no way to work in comfort.

And with the iMovR Lander desk, making the move from sitting to standing takes just seconds - the Bluetooth-enabled height-control paddle with high-resolution LCD requires a single double-tap to raise or lower the desk. You can even raise it or lower it by using an app on your phone! 

This is truly the nicest desk I’ve ever owned, and I cannot recommend it highly enough for other professionals in the photography industry!

Learn more about the iMovR Lander desk

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Pre-Owned Canon EOS R  

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The EOS R is Canon's very first mirrorless camera, and if the photographer on your holiday list is a Canon shooter, there are few better gifts to give this holiday season!

The EOS R offers a bevy of features that starts with an ultra-resolute 30.3-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor.

Paired with a DIGIC 8 image processor, this camera is capable of shooting at 8fps and up to a native ISO range of 40000.

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What's more, Canon gave the EOS R excellent video capabilities with UHD 4K video recording at 30fps.

One of this camera's best features, though, is the Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system.

All told, it has 5,655 selectable autofocus points that allow photographers to quickly and accurately select where the focus of the image will be.

With a small, lightweight body, excellent build quality, great handling, and an increasingly large selection of lenses, the EOS R is definitely a fantastic gift idea this Christmas!

Learn more about the Canon EOS R

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Aputure Light Storm LC 120d II Daylight LED 2-Light Kit With Case 

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I have an Aputure 120d II in my home studio, and as I explain in my review of this light, it is absolutely fantastic.

Each light has pretty incredible specs:

  • 1000-watt Tungsten equivalent
  • Integrated power and control box
  • CRI & TLCI 97+
  • Dimmable from 100 percent to just 1 percent
  • Built-in lighting effects, including fireworks, fire, lightning, paparazzi, and TV flicker
  • 18 dB quiet fan
  • DMX Capability
  • Wireless remote (328-foot range) 

Not bad right?

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This kit gives you two of these lights, each of which has a set of four-way barn doors to customize how the light interacts with the subject.

Each light also has a controller with 100-240 VAC power, a wireless remote, and a 7.5-foot light stand. Aputure even throws in a padded SKB case with a custom Think Tank interior so the photographer on your list can easily and safely transport their new lighting kit from Point A to Point B. 

Photography is all about good lighting, and Aputure certainly delivers on that front!

Learn more about the Aputure Light Storm LC 120d II Daylight LED 2-Light Kit With Case

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Nevada Art Printers Acrylic Print 

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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 $2,500: Syrp Genie II Pan Tilt 

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If the photographer on your list is a video enthusiast as well, the Syrp Genie II Pan Tilt is an ideal gift for them.

Not only is this rig ultra-portable, but it gives you complete pan and tilt motion control that adds smooth, cinematic motion to your videos with 180-degree tilting motion and 360-degree panning motion.

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The Genie II Pan Tilt offers options for real-time and timelapse videos, key-framing, panoramas, and much more. And since it has removable batteries, you can easily head off the beaten path with spare batteries in hand to shoot long and beautiful cinematic sequences.

The unit has a built-in screen for checking settings and starting quick motion sequences, but it also has a companion app that allows you to control the unit from your smartphone.

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Whether the photographer on your list wants a motion control device for documentary work, interviews, timelapses, panoramas, or something in between, the Genie II Pan Tilt is the device to get. 

Plus, it’s easily combined with Syrp’s Genie II Linear to get three-axis motion control in a super small and portable device. Nice, right?!

Learn more about the Syrp Genie II Pan Tilt

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: ProMediaGear Pro-Stix TR424L Carbon Fiber Tripod 

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ProMediaGear tripods are among the best on the market. And that’s not just lip-service, either.

I’ve used ProMediaGear tripods, including the TR424L, for quite some time, and I can assure you that they are well-made, durable, and extremely functional.

These are professional-grade tripods, without a doubt. It can hold up to 125 pounds of gear thanks to its 42mm-thick carbon tripod legs.

Even when I’m out shooting video and I have a ton of accessories, it still doesn’t come close to that 125-pound mark!

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From a functionality standpoint, the legs have three-position angle locks so you can adjust the tripod to be perfectly level, no matter how uneven the terrain. The built-in bubble level helps in that regard as well.

Deploying the legs is simple, too - just a quarter-turn locks them in place.

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This tripod also has huge rubber feet, which as a landscape photographer is a favorite feature. The tripod doesn’t sink into soft soil and it doesn’t slip when things are wet or frozen. The metal spikes in the bottoms of each leg offer even more stability for truly rough shooting conditions.

You get all this in a tripod that folds down to just 26.3-inches tall, which can easily fit into a camera bag.

This isn’t a lightweight tripod by any means, but if the photographer on your list needs a go-anywhere, do-anything tripod, this is definitely it! 

Learn more about the ProMediaGear TR424L Carbon Fiber Tripod

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: Pre-Owned Nikon Z6

nikon z6

Like the EOS R I mentioned earlier, the Nikon Z6 is a fantastic mirrorless camera.

If your loved one is a Nikon shooter or if they just want to switch to Nikon, this is a great camera to entice them to do so.

The Z6 has a 24.5-megapixel full frame back-illuminated sensor that offers superb image quality with excellent detail, clarity, and sharpness.

The 12fps burst shooting speed is ideal for action photography while the 273-point autofocus system helps you keep track of moving targets.

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On the back is a large 3.2-inch variable-angle touchscreen LCD with 2.1 million dots of resolution, so you can easily see the camera's menu system and take a peek at images you've shot.

The Z6 has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, shoots 4K video, and has a battery life of 310 shots.

This camera is an excellent option for photographers that want a solid rig that can tackle still photos and videos all in one package!

Learn more about the Nikon Z6

Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500: iMovR Lander L-Desk

Like their traditional sit-stand desk I mentioned earlier, iMovR’s Lander L-Desk is a well-built, feature-rich desk that has the capability of completely changing how the photographer on your list goes about their workday. 

With the same array of options regarding colors and materials, your loved one can fully customize how their desk looks to suit their specific tastes.

In fact, it’s not just the looks of these desks that are a great selling point - it’s their durability. 

iMovR uses 3D laminated desktops that are just about bulletproof. They’re hermetically sealed to protect against damage and they resist moisture, so those pesky sweat rings from your water bottle won’t bother the desktop a bit.

There’s no exposed glue seams, either, so dust, dirt, and bacteria have nowhere to hide!

You can choose to have the side table on the left or right side of the main desk and you can choose between a 24-inch or 30-inch depth side table as well.

There’s even different options for the shapes of the side table, from peninsula-shaped to half-circle. 

These desks offer tons of space, the health benefits of being convertible from sitting to standing, and they are 100 percent custom made to your specifications. Talk about a fantastic gift!

Learn more about the iMovR Lander L-Desk

Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens

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Designed specifically for Sony E-mount cameras, the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 is a killer portrait lens for Sony shooters. If your favorite photographer has a Sony E-mount camera (i.e., the a6400), this is a must-have lens!

This lens is supremely sharp, super lightweight, and easy to handle.

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I personally like how the lens feels in the hand - it has a nice, big rubber ring that aids in gripping the camera as you move around your subject.

If the photographer on your list is in a situation in which they need to be quiet, like a recital, they'll appreciate the fact that this lens has an ultra-quiet autofocus system that's also incredibly fast and accurate.

The 29-degree angle of view is ideal for portraits, and with a maximum aperture of f/1.8, it can collect tons of light while also minimizing the depth of field. The result is a nice, blurry background for portraits.

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As I mentioned above, this lens is lightweight at just over one pound, and it also has a small form factor - just 3.19 x 3.62 inches.

This lens is also dust and weather-resistant for the adventurous photographer on your holiday shopping list.

Best of all, the price on this lens has dropped - it was once over $1,100, but is now a shade under $900. That's not bad if you have a $2,500 budget!

Learn more about the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Lens



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