- Reduced glare off of non-metallic surfaces like water
- Enhanced contrast in the sky with a deeper blue atmosphere and brighter white clouds
- Minimize atmospheric haze, so objects far away appear crisper and more defined
photo bySolStockvia iStock
While you might think that $100 isn’t much of a budget to buy photography gear for your loved one, think again…
As the products on this list clearly show, there is no shortage of awesome photography gift possibilities with $100 in your hand!
From software to keep their photos organized to camera bags that are comfortable and functional, this list has a wide variety of ideas to help you check off the photography lovers on your holiday shopping list.
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: 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.
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 $100: Holdfast Bolo Strap
The Holdfast Bolo Strap looks like a million bucks, but in actuality, it’s well under the $100 budget limit ($45 in fact!).
What’s so great about the Bolo Strap is that it’s specifically designed for photographers to use with a small camera, like a point-and-shoot. In that regard, this strap is all about streamlined, off-the-cuff shooting to capture candid moments.
Keep your camera safe and sound around your neck, at-the-ready for taking quick photos.
Additionally, this strap pulls triple duty because it can be used as a wallet chain or as a lanyard for your keys.
That makes this little guy well worth the price tag because that functionality makes it well worth more than its price!
You will need a Camera HoldFast for this to be compatible for use with a tripod, but other than that, this sucker is ready to use right out of the box.
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: LitraTorch 2.0
I know what you might be thinking - this tiny light is worth $100??
Well, I’ve used the LitraTorch 2.0 for a few months now, and I can tell you it’s worth well more than $100…
Though it weighs just over three ounces, and is about 1.5 inches square, Litra packed 16 LEDs into it, so it has some serious light output!
In fact, you can adjust the output from 100 to 450 to 800 lumens depending on what you’re doing.
Better yet, this little light puts out beautiful light that’s clean and crisp and flicker-free, too. It has a wide 70-degree beam angle to illuminate your subject and offers a color temperature of 5700K - right in the sweet spot of natural-looking light.
On its low setting, the LitraTorch 2.0 will give you four hours of illumination while you get 35 minutes of light on full power. That’s a 10 percent improvement over the original LitraTorch.
It’s also waterproof up to 60 feet, has a magnet for easily attaching it to metal surfaces, and it’s built like a tank, so it’ll withstand some use and abuse.
This is simply a versatile, go-anywhere, do-anything light!
Gifts for Photographers Under $100:Hex Ranger DSLR Sling Bag
I recently had an opportunity to head up to Los Angeles and meet the masterminds behind HEX.
Aside from having a great time getting to know the folks responsible for this bag, I also got to see it first-hand (and bring one home with me to test out as well).
First impressions are good, to say the least!
Honestly, I’m a bit of a camera bag snob, so I look for things that others might skim over.
For instance, I check the stitching inside and out to see how well put together it is, and with this bag, it’s very well put together.
It’s part of thoughtful construction and design processes that also make this bag an excellent choice for a gift for the photographer on your holiday shopping list.
One of the things I like most about the bag is the collapsible interior dividers - including the bottom divider. This gives you a bag that can not only be customized to your gear for each photoshoot, but you can also fold up or remove the dividers to allow the bag to be packed totally flat for travel inside another bag.
Speaking of customizations, this bag has side adjustable load straps and adjustable bottom carry straps so you can carry even more gear when needed.
This bag is also packed full of pockets to help you keep track of your stuff. There’s a front access organizer for small items, a faux fur lined pocket on the front for your phone or a pair of shades, a faux fur lined pocket for your table, and multiple hidden velcro stash pockets. And the bag sits very well when worn. It’s comfortable and easy to access your gear and really hugs your body.
With genuine Cordura material and YKK zippers with metal pulls, this bag will stand up to use and abuse, too. And since it’s so compact (just 1.3 pounds and 14.5"L x 7.25"W x 4.75"H), you can rock it in the urban jungle without worrying that it’ll be knocking into people as you move from shot to shot.
Something that really stood out to me was that, although the bag is listed at 8 liters, there is no wasted or negative space. In fact, I easily transferred all the gear I would normally carry in my Peak Design 10L Sling into the HEX Ranger Sling. I have to say that I am a big fan of the efficient use of space in this bag and the collapsible potential of the HEX bag certainly gives it a leg up.
With eight liters of storage space, a streamlined design, and looks that don’t quit, this is definitely a gift for photographers that will put a smile on their face! I have to say that I was skeptical on my drive up there, but, man, HEX definitely impressed!
Top Gifts for Photographers Under $100: Luminar 3 & 4 Bundle
If the photographer on your list is like me, the last thing they want to do is engage in a laborious process of editing their photos.
While many photographers enjoy the creative process of taking and editing photos, it’s a process that can certainly be streamlined and improved. Doing so allows photographers to be more productive and creative.
Fortunately, the mad scientists at Skylum have made this achievable with Luminar 3 (and the upcoming Luminar 4) to reduce the time spent on editing without reducing the quality and beauty of the final product.
I’ve used Luminar 3 since its release in December 2018, and I can tell you first-hand that Skylum’s claim that you can “transform your photos into masterpieces, in no time” is one-hundred percent true.
That’s because Luminar 3 is one of the most intuitive photo editors you’ll find.
It’s loaded for bear with tons of tools and features, yet, as you can see above, the layout of the editor organizes everything into a format that makes sense and gives you quick access to the things you need.
Additionally, Luminar has advanced features that take the guesswork out of editing and make it a much simpler process.
For example, the Accent AI 2.0 filter allows you to make dozens of adjustments using a single slider, such as fixing detail and exposure, depth and color, tone and much more.
This technology is so advanced (thanks to its “human-aware” technology) that it recognizes people and applies adjustments selectively for results that are more realistic.
If the photographer you’re shopping for this holiday season specializes in landscapes, they’ll love Luminar 3’s AI Sky Enhancer, which analyzes the photo to detect the sky (no matter how large or small, bright or dark the sky might be) and applies an invisible mask to the sky to enhance it based on its colors, texture, size and more.
And like the Accent AI 2.0 filter, this is all done by manipulating a single slider. It couldn’t get any easier!
Add to that more than 70 professionally crafted looks (with hundreds more available to download) and you have the makings of an editor that your favorite photographer will absolutely love.
Best of all, Skylum is offering Luminar 3, a set of Inspiration Looks, and Luminar 4 in one awesome bundle for $99.
With Luminar 4, photographers will get even more incredible tools to edit their photos, like the AI Skin Enhancer, which uses human-aware technology to locate any skin in the picture (not just the face), smooth it out, and remove blemishes all the while preserving pores, texture, and hair.
Better still, this is done in one click, gives you the ability to adjust its strength, and it works for any age and skin type.
Luminar 4 will also introduce the AI Portrait Enhancer, which has 12 tools that allow you to make picture-perfect changes to the face, eyes, and mouth with the utmost precision and control.
Not only that, but presets that you create will automatically adjust to each new photo, that way you can batch edit your images for a lightning-fast workflow.
Luminar 4 has goodies for landscape photographers too.
As you can see in the video above, with the AI Sky Replacement tool, you can automatically change the sky in any photo without making selections or creating masks.
Better still, the AI Sky Replacement tool relights the entire image so the colors and lighting match that of the sky.
These are just a few examples of the exciting new tools coming in Luminar 4, and with this package from Skylum, you can give the gift of Luminar 3, a set of Inspiration Looks, and Luminar 4 for under $100!
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: Snaptiles
These are not your ordinary Photo Tiles! One of the challenges with traditional photo tiles is that you need to level and space every single one that you hang up. Then they say that you can mix the tiles around but after a few times the adhesive wears out and they just don’t hold up well.
Not so with Snaptiles…
These 8x8” magnetic photo tiles can be hung on the wall in a matter of seconds! You hang the first time (anchor tile) and level it with the built-in level, then all the other tiles snap onto the first!
Just peel the backing off the adhesive strips, place the wall mount where you want it, level it up using the built-in level, and PRESS FIRMLY against all four strips for 10 seconds. That’s it!
You can snap up to 12 photo tiles on one anchor tile and add additional anchor tiles along your wall.. Or you can push in the 4 thumbtacks included for additional support and mount up to 30 tiles onto the first. This way gives you way more options and only puts 4 small pin holes in your wall which let’s you hang 30 prints!
Next, you just place the anchor tile on the mount and slide it down to lock in place. Then you can begin to place tiles to the left, right, top, or bottom of the anchor tile, which snap together with magnets. The result? A beautiful array of mixed tiles.
You can create all kinds of designs with your tiles, too, so it truly gives you the freedom to display your images in the way you want, and when you want to change up the design or swap out tiles, you can do so quickly and easily while having a blast.
Giving prints to someone for the holidays is a special way to help them look back on fond memories. With Snaptiles, you can do that in a completely new, unique, and fun way with this innovative photo tiles!
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: Photomatix Pro 6
Whether the photographer on your shopping list is a newbie or a pro, they will probably tell you that one of the hardest parts of photography is getting the exposure right.
What makes it so complicated to perfect is that there are so many variables involved, one of which is dynamic range.
When dynamic range, or the values of light tones in the shot, is too much, the camera can’t accommodate it. That means that highlights might be blown out or shadows might be too dark.
But by bracketing exposures, merging them together, and using HDR software, photographers can overcome this difficulty.
For less than $100, you can give the gift of gorgeous exposures by putting Photomatix Pro 6 in your loved one’s stocking.
Since 2003, Photomatix has enabled photographers to easily create HDR images.
Over the years, the software has changed and added tons of new features, including built-in presets, dozens of HDR settings, tools like selective ghost removal, and batch processing in Photomatix Pro 6. And that’s just the start!
There’s also multiple HDR styles so no matter if the photos are landscapes, portraits, real estate, or something in between, you can customize how they look with Photomatix.
That’s why HDR software like Photomatix Pro 6 is such a valuable tool for photographers!
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: Excire Search Pro
Lightroom is a fantastic tool for processing and organizing your images. But as good as it is on its own, it can be made much better.
That’s because many photographers like yours truly just upload photos without taking the time to tag them. And since Lightroom doesn’t do that for you, the photos become a jumbled, hard-to-search mess. That’s where Excire Search Pro comes in…
Excire Search Pro is a Lightroom plugin that makes tagging photos in Lightroom a breeze.
That’s because it uses AI to identify specific objects and features in your photos. Exire then tags and organizes your photos for you. Not bad, right?!
Excire Search Pro has 500 different keywords, so no matter if you’re looking for a photo with a sunset, a little girl, or a boat, it’ll find it for you.
It’ll even identify photos based on certain criteria, like the predominant color in the shot. It even recognizes faces and can categorize images based on gender and age.
I’ve used Excire Search Pro for awhile now, and I can tell you firsthand that it has been a Godsend in terms of streamlining my workflow.
Now instead of taking hours to tag everything myself and even more time trying to find what I need, I let Excire do all the heavy lifting!
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: Camera Canopy
If you want a unique, yet functional gift for the photographer in your life, the Camera Canopy is an ideal choice.
Photographers that spend any time outdoors understand that when it rains, it can really put a damper on their ability to get the photos they want. That’s because even weather-sealed gear isn’t completely water-tight.
And trying to manipulate camera controls with a traditional bag-like rain cover for a camera is a huge pain in the rear. That’s why Camera Canopy is a much better alternative.
Camera canopy attaches to a camera via its hot-shoe mount, and then acts like a roof to protect the camera and lens from rain. It even protects the from glass of the lens so there’s no water droplets messing up the shot.
Better still, it’s adjustable for lenses up to 500mm in length, and there’s even a smaller version for mirrorless setups (shown above). Add in a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you’ve got the perfect gift for this holiday season!
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: Kenko Puro Slim Circular Polarizing Filter
By far, one of the most valuable camera accessories a landscape photographer can have is a circular polarizing filter.
That’s because in a single filter, you get all of these benefits:
But like lenses, not all filters are made alike, so buying a cheap one won't do you any favors.
That doesn't mean that all high-quality filters are expensive - just consider Kenko Puro Slim Circular Polarizing Filters as a prime example.
These Japanese-made filters have an exclusively formulated multi-coating that resists water, dust, and oils. Not only does that mean a cleaner shot, but it also means less damage over time to the filter itself. That’s a great benefit when you’re giving one to a photographer for the holidays!
The filter shown above also has a SLIM ring for mounting to the lens, which has a minimized profile to prevent vignetting, even on wide-angle lenses.
As far as improving your favorite photographer’s ability to get a better shot in short order, it's tough to top what a good polarizer can do!
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: Pre-Owned Lens From Lensfinder
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!
Gifts for Photographers Under $100: RODE VideoMicro
This tiny shotgun microphone is perfect for a GoPro.
It's compact and lightweight, but audio quality isn't sacrificed. In fact, it has a high-quality cardioid condenser mic capsule so you can get clear, crisp audio.
And since it's a directional mic, it minimizes sounds from the periphery so your video has focused audio from the subject.
Add to that a thermoplastic suspension structure for minimizing vibrations as you adventure around with your GoPro, and you have the ideal audio companion for the best adventura camera on the market!
If the photographer on your list is an adventurer and utilizes a GoPro, this is the perfect gift idea!