It’s that time of year again, when, during the course of shopping for other people, we photographers see cool gadgets and accessories that we hope someone will throw in our stockings. It’s universal, so why fight it? I’m talking useful stuff here, not novelty gifts that get a laugh and then end up in the giveaway box a few weeks later, like the film canister toilet paper roll dispenser. C’mon, really?
Whether it’s for yourself, or if you’re buying for a fellow image maker, here are 10 great gift items that any photographer would probably like to receive.
Who doesn’t need more Eneloops! Arguably the best rechargeable NiMh battery around, these things are essential for flashes, headlamps, bike lights, GPS units and anything else that uses AA cells. Want highest capacity batteries? Then go for the new Eneloop Pro, or the Amazon Basics OEM version, which are essentially the same thing in a different wrapper.
You gotta carry memory cards, right? This cool little soft case holds nine SD cards, folds up tight with a velcro flap and has a short lanyard so you don’t lose it. The Think Tank Pixel Rocket has been my preferred card case for years.
A little shameless self promotion here, I wrote this book. Published by Backpacker Magazine and Falcon Guides, this is a useful little pocket field guide to outdoor photography that would make a great gift for any budding shooter. Someone in your life new to photography? This will get them started.
You might have a hard time getting one of these things delivered before Christmas. They’re in hot demand, and not just because it made this year’s “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list. The Fuji Instax WiFi Printer makes playing card size, Polaroid-style prints and is perfect for travel photographers and anyone who thinks it would be fun to have quick, tangible, real pictures on the go.
Outdoor Photo Mag played a huge role in my life during the early years of my photography, and I still enjoy reading it today. I always pull something useful out of each issue. A one-year subscription gets you a steady stream of inspiration, technical and creative tips and lots of pro insight in every single issue.
The Kingston G2 Mobile Companion is a nifty little device that offers useful solutions to the photographer who travels with only a phone or tablet. It lets you charge your device (2 full iPhone charges), extend storage of your device by up to 2TB, offload photos from your mobile device to a USB flash drive, backup SD cards directly to a USB drive, stream movies and music to your device, and lets you plug in a wired Wi-Fi connection and create a mobile hotspot for all your devices. It’s a pretty cool little gadget and not very expensive.
If you don’t have a camera with Wi-Fi capabilities, you need an easy way to get photos from your camera or SD card to your phone or tablet. With Apple iOS 9.2 update, you can now transfer directly from the camera to the phone and iPad, but you still need a camera connection kit cable. Depending on your device and needs, there are a few different models to choose from.
The classic lens cleaning device. Keep your expensive glass free of dust and grime. Everyone needs at least one Lens Pen kicking around in their camera bag or pocket. Great stocking stuffer.
The watch that only photographers will “get.” Tell time in style. Features a cool vintage look, f/stop numbers on the dial and quartz timepiece. Let’s see your friend’s Apple Watch do this!
Just kidding. The world doesn’t need any more of these. Want a picture of yourself? Ask a stranger to take it for you and intimate a personal connection with another human being. We need more of that.
Happy Holidays!! 🙂 🎄