Is there a person in your life with a dSLR camera that is a photography enthusiast? Need a holiday gift idea for this person?
Here are a few gift ideas for varying budgets:
- Visible Dust Microfiber Cloth (~$10)
This is a pretty inexpensive gift, but extremely useful so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t get one of these for a photographer. I am a huge fan of the Visible Dust Microfiber Cloth because it is bigger than most microfiber cloths and leaves virtually no lint. The cloth is very durable and handles washes with no issue. Any photographer is well served by having multiples of the Visible Dust (e.g. one per photo bag).
- Think Tank Photo Pocket Rocket memory card wallet ($15 to $20)
TTP makes handy wallets to carry memory cards. They have three different versions. The Pixel Pocket Rocket (blue) is designed to carry ten (10) Compact Flash cards. The SD Pixel Pocket Rocket (orange) is designed to carry nine (9) SD/SDHC/SDXC style cards. The Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket (red) is designed to carry four (4) Compact Flash cards and three (3) SD/SDHC/SDXC style cards. Definitely handy for a shutterbug with a high megapixel camera.
- BlackRapid R-Strap camera strap (~$55 and up)
The R-Strap is a “single point sling” style strap in that you thread a fastener to the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera which then hooks up to the R-Strap and is then slung around the neck while placing the camera the opposite side of the body, much like carrying a shoulder bag.
What makes this so great is that it spreads the load of the camera across the body while keeping the camera in a position that it can be easily reached for and deployed. The BlackRapid R-Strap comes in many different styles starting at just over $50 for the RS-4. But all of the models follow the same fundamental design which minimizes stress and fatigue on the neck and shoulders that often accompanies carrying a camera on a traditional neck strap.
- Adobe Lightroom ($149 or under)
Adobe Lightroom is a great bang for the buck photo processing and organization application. It’s true power is management for RAW workflows (people who shoot in RAW and convert to JPG). Most people can use Lightroom for 99% of their work without the need for the more expensive Adobe Photoshop, since the current iteration of Lightroom has most of the common post-processing tools of Photoshop (including curves). Version 4 of Adobe Lightroom lists for $149, but can often be found for $99 for both Mac and Windows.
- Zenfolio account subscription ($30 to $250)
Zenfolio is a photo and video hosting service for photographers. The service is a packaged solution that handles all of the nitty gritty details (by giving unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth), while giving the user flexibility to customize the site with templates and themes. Zenfolio is a great way for photographers to display their work onlineBut for the aspiring professional (or those are already generating income from their photography), Zenfolio is also a solution for selling prints to clients. There are varying service tiers starting at $30 a year all the way up to $250 a year. Gifting a subscription to Zenfolio is a great way to help a photographer improve their online presence.
- 50mm f/1.8 prime lens (~$100 to $150)
If you know someone who just got an entry level dSLR, they most likely have a standard zoom lens. A ‘fast’ 50mm prime lens with a large aperture is a very common, but useful addition to their camera kit because it adds the capability to photograph in lower light conditions without flash. Large aperture lenses make for great, striking portraits, too. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II and the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF can be found for $150 or less.
- Think Tank Photo Airport roller bags ($250 and up)
The Airport series of roller bags by Think Tank Photo make a perfect gift for the traveling photographer in your life. These bags combine rugged durability, portability, usability, and reliability (read “Carrying My Gear With Think Tank Photo”). Starting at $250, there are several options in the Think Tank Photo Airport series of bags which can be tailored to the needs of the person you decide to buy one for.
- Small Flash ($250 to $325 and up)
Most first novice to intermediate dSLR owners eventually decide they need a flash unit for dark situations. While there are cheap third party alternatives, it’s usually a good idea to stick with a flash unit made by the company of the camera it is going to be used on. But Canon Speedlites and Nikon Speedlights can be quite expensive for their flagship models. Fortunately, Canon and Nikon have excellent mid-range models that pack enough flash power for most situations, yet still are still respectable in price point. Take a look at the 430 EX II for the Canon-ista or the SB-700 AF for the Nikon-ista in your life.
- Flagship dSLR ($6000+)
Canon EOS-1D X or Nikon D4. Enough said. ;-)