It’s that time of year again! Almost 1 year after we did our original top gifts for photographers list, it’s time to do another. With new gift ideas and a sneak peek into my gadget stack for the last year, I’m quite excited! Although a Sigma ART 105 1.4 would be amazing as a gift, for most of us, it’s completely unrealistic and with photography being a SUPER expensive hobby, I thought I’d think practical rather than theoretical. Heres my run down:
[This post contains links that may give me some pennies if you buy a gift through them – this helps to keep me creating, but if you’d prefer you can just google the products to avoid helping me out. Your call my friend!]
Gift 1a & 1b: Desk Lamps | from £119
1a – Screenbar Plus from BenQ | Buy Worldwide
Most of you have seen this light in every single video throughout the main bulk of 2021. It was mentioned doing what I think it does best in the video on printing what you see on your screen video, and I have used it, without fail, every single day since I got it. It automatically adjusts the brightness and colour temperature to the room light around you, and it doesn’t glare on your screen or in your eyes. Awesome.
I know this is a lot of hype for a light, but I wouldn’t be without it now unless I upgraded it to…
1b – WiT e-reading lamp | Hard to find, but start here
This is Dan’s desk light and yes, I am jealous. Although it looks like something out of a futuristic movie, this light is designed so damn well I can’t fault it at all, anywhere. The curved bulb area gives the most amazing even light all over your desk and the automatic colour and brightness modes for screen reading and document reading never have to be tweaked. Also, it’s touch-activated which always makes me happy.
Gift 2: Phone Lens | £85
SANDMARC Phone Lens | Buy Worldwide
A nifty little accessory for your phone this one. Sandmarc creates a wide array of phone lenses that augment and alter what your existing phone camera can do. In this case, we tried the wide-angle lens on an iPhone XS Max, which made the default camera 2x wider yet retained the image quality throughout.
The lens comes with a clip for fast application and a case for perfect positioning. I would recommend using the latter to ensure you have everything set up correctly to go ahead and shoot. Awesome for BTS shots and social content!
Gift 3: Camera Bag | £195
This bag is awesome. A super comfy backpack and ideal for hiking, it has ample space inside accessed via a large, easy opening zipped pocket on the side. The bag has outer quick access pockets for drinks and tennis balls, so it gets a solid 10/10 from Alfie. What fits in it though I hear you ask? Well, it fits an ungripped DSLR, 3–5 lenses including a 70–200mm f2.8 attached and up to a 15” laptop.
Examples of kit inside:
- Sony A7RII with 24–70mm f/2.8 attached (hood extended), 70–200mm f/2.8 (hood reversed), 16–35mm f/2.8 and a flash
- Canon 5D with 24–70mm f/2.8 attached (hood extended), 70–200mm f/2.8 (hood reversed), 16–35mm f/2.8 and a flash
- Nikon D810 with 70–200mm f/2.8 attached, 24–70mm f/2.8 attached, 14–24mm f/2.8 and a flash (hoods reversed)
- Sony A7RII with 70-200mm f/2.8 attached, a flash and personal gear
For me, it fits my A7r iii with a 27-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8, 105 1.5 Sigma Art, my white balance card, 16-inch Macbook pro, cables, batteries, memory cards, water bottle, dog treats and a tennis ball. Winner winner chicken dinner.
Gift 4: Phone Hotshoe Adapter | £6
Hotshoe Phone Mount | Buy Worldwide
I know, I know, another odd one! This is something that I think a lot of photographers could get great use out of for BTS clips of their photographs ACTUALLY BEING TAKEN instead of just having scenery shots. Mixing the two together to create short reels or stories gives you oodles of social content.
This is a super inexpensive accessory and it’s really simple to use. I would use it more if I didn’t have the recorder sat on my hotshoe!
Gift 5: Waterproof Coat | OURS!
That Photography Spot x Regatta Coat | Buy Now
You’ve also seen this a lot throughout the year – my coat! I wear this when shooting and when doing anything else outside. When we knew we needed to get some branded “uniforms” here, I didn’t want to skimp on any of it because I’d be the one caught in a hailstorm needing warmth and waterproofing before anyone else. Therefore, I wanted a jacket that was suitable for year-round wear, and I personally prefer 3-in-1 coats anyway, hence my choice!
This jacket can either be:
- A softshell inner jacket OR
- A waterproof light coat OR
- Both together for warmth and waterproofing
Gift 6: Digital Gloves | from £6
Waterproof Touchscreen Cycling Gloves from [insert any retail outlet] | View my search
Frozen hands but touching screens? Yeah me three. This is the simplest but best thing I’ve probably bought this year and I always have a pair in the car, in my camera bag and on the yard too. Best of both worlds!
Gift 7: Software Curveball | $79.99
DeNoise AI by Topaz Labs | Buy Now
I know this doesn’t technically exist in real life but honestly, I use it ALL the time and it is a super awesome little piece of software that directly works with Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. Yes, I used it on the image that won the 2021 ND Panoramic Photographer of the Year title. Yes, it is worth the hype.
I did do a review of this, that lives here.
Gift 8: Wacom Intuos Pro Medium | £330
Intuos Pro Medium by Wacom | Buy Worldwide
Available now on a Black Friday deal for £259, this is my editing tablet of choice. The Intuos Pro Medium is the right size for me and my desk and it is perfect for fine detailed work, pressure-sensitive flow control in Photoshop and it truly excels in fine art retouching.
It was used for the finishing touches in the Lost Souls piece, available as an online video walkthrough over here.
That’s it guys, that’s the top gifts for photographers list this year!
Think I’ve missed something mega that should’ve been in here? Drop it into the comments below!