Buying gifts for photographers can be tough and sometimes expensive, but it doesn't need to be, and if you're unsure of what to buy, then our list of gift ideas is going to make your life a lot easier. Maybe you didn't realize this – but if there is a photographer on your shopping list – you have no shortage of gift options! This list of photography-themed presents contains something that every photographer friend will love.
We have approached our best gift-giving guide by breaking it down into four categories:
- Cheap gifts for photographers – less than $150 USD (And many less than $20)
- Mid-range photo gift excitement – $150 to $600
- Photographer hugs that might break your spine – $600 to $2000
- For the photographer who has just about everything – Over $2000
We also tried to make our selections in photography equipment in keeping with these general principles:
- We wanted to select extremely useful items but not the obvious. For that reason, we've left off camera bags and tripods.
- Photographers are a curious lot. They love experimenting and tend to be gadget hounds, so we ran each gift through the “how cool would it be to get this” filter.
Also, we wanted to keep these gift ideas simple.
We wanted everyone to be able to find the products listed. So, all our product suggestions came right from Amazon – including the pricing. Click the link, and you're there.
Secondly, we tried to find those special items (that everyone under the Sun isn't already talking about and everyone already doesn't own).
When your photographer friend receives one of these gifts, they'll stand out at the camera club, and most are also suitable for professional photographers.
Let's start our list with the least expensive gift ideas and work our way up to the colossal mega-gift.
Best Cheap Gifts For Photographers – Less Than $150 USD (And Many Less Than $20)
Last Minute Cheap Gift For Photographers
Why not buy, download and email some of our own Light Stalking Blueprints to your photographer friend, especially if they are starting out on photography? These blueprints will help them get out and start shooting straight away, getting shots that will be respected.
The blueprints contain the essential information you need for specific genres so that they can get started quickly. This can be a perfect last-minute gift for photographers as you can just send them the files (they are an electronic download, so you can even email them if you like!).
Anyone, who loves photography, could see this little baby sticking on the bumper of their car. This vinyl decal bumper sticker proclaims to the world who you are and what you love to do! Best of all, it's under $20.00 USD. Not a bad way to tell your photographer that you love them and still stay on budget!
Photography is an expression of one's self. Most photographers love to tell the world that this is their art. But maybe your chosen one doesn't have a car for a bumper sticker? Or they're more into a fashion statement?
How about a camera lens wristband for under $8.00 USD? These little honies come in black or white (Did you catch the pun there?) and present the lens barrel markings of several popular lenses. This particular gift option would really hit it off with the younger crowd.
The white balance card is a great gadget for the discerning photographer. It's lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to use. You simply hold it in front of your camera lens to take a custom light balance reading. No more photographs with a green, blue, or red tint! It's large enough that it will cover any lens and doesn't require attachment which makes it quick to use.
If your photographer friend is technically oriented, they will love this gift, and it's less than $15.00 USD.
The “Evolution of a Photographer” T-Shirt is a funny look at humanity and photography. It's guaranteed to bring some smiles. This unisex shirt comes in all sizes. It's made of pre-shrunk cotton and the graphic is a full-screen print – no cheap vinyl here! This t-shirt is about $20.00 USD depending on the size.
Not a great big builders spirit level but a small one that sits on the hot-shoe of your camera. Whilst most cameras now have a horizon indicator, a good photographer’s spirit level will allow you to check your levels in three planes. Perfect if you are shooting panoramic photos, architecture or even video. At about $9, this cheap piece of kit is great value.
The ‘Selfie has become an art all of its own. Photographers everywhere are clicking selfies in locations from birthday parties to the top of Mount Everest. The Extendable Stick can help your photographer take their Selfie images to an entirely new level. The Selfie Stick comes with a tripod stand and a wireless remote. It works with virtually every smartphone, although Android users will have to download an App.
This gadget is fun on the pocketbook too as it is only about $15.00 USD.
This gift idea has absolutely nothing to do with taking photographs. It's simply a statement about looking cool and letting the world know who we are. What photographer wouldn't want to walk into his/her office, or studio, gripping one of these awesome-looking cups? The lens cups can hold hot or cold liquids. They have models that look like Canon, or Nikon, lenses.
You can find these online for $15.00 USD, or less!
Experienced photographers will already know the value of having an electronic wireless camera release. But, if you have a budding photographer on your gift list, this is an inexpensive (and valuable) gadget to add to their camera bag. This device lets you fire your camera remotely. It comes in handy for low-light situations so that you don't jiggle the camera. It's also quite effective for child portraiture and animal photography, as it allows the photographer to remove themselves from behind the camera. You'll want to make sure you get the right model for your photographer's camera, as they have different configurations.
We've highlighted an inexpensive beginner's model. There are many brands of camera bags on the market that do a variety of functions, so you may want to do a little research before you buy. This particular model sells for less than $11.00 USD.
This little honey is a must-have for any photographer and comes at a cost of less than $15.00 USD. Keeping a lens clean is always a priority. However, sometimes it's inconvenient to pull out lens tissue and a liquid cleaner. Come on, admit it, who among us hasn't hesitantly cleaned our lens with our shirt?
The Lenspen is a fantastic tool. It's small and compact; it takes up no room in the camera bag. On one end of it, there is a retractable brush to remove the big chunks on the lens or dust the crevices of your camera body. The other end is a microfiber carbon tip. It cleans the lens the same way as a lens tissue: in a circular motion. But it requires no moisture to remove greasy fingerprints or nose smudges.
Having used this product for several years, we are amazed at how well it cleans and protects our valuable glass!
Until you try something different, you will not know how hard and unforgiving your default camera strap is. There are a number of companies out there that do know this and have spent the time designing camera straps that are comfortable, distribute the weight evenly and even look good. Once you have used a comfortable third-party camera strap, you will never go back. For those that need a little inspiration to carry a tripod, there are also very good straps for carrying your three-legged friend too.
This one is about $7.99.
Any photographer would appreciate this Hoodloupe as a gift, but a word of caution, make sure you get the right size for their camera model. This device is invaluable in outdoor photography or any work that needs critical focusing. It hangs around your neck by a lanyard. When checking your image, you place it against the LCD screen on the back of the camera. It helps to see the image by shielding the sun and provides a magnified view to check focus.
It's small, lightweight, and at $90.00 USD or less – we want one!
If you know someone who is interested in night photography or does photography outdoors in the cold, then these air-activated hand warmers will be a good gift for them. These provide heat for up to ten hours. These warmers can also be used to keep the lenses from fogging when using them outdoors in cold nights.
These warmers are priced at $18.81.
This is a handy gift for photographers who love to instantly make small prints and share them with friends and family. The Canon Selphy CP1300 printer is portable and can be connected to your smartphones or tablets easily so you can print and share your memories wherever you are.
At $129.00, this printer comes with a tilting 3.2 inches LCD screen, output tray capacity of 18 sheets with postcard size paper cassette and produces very high quality prints that can last a lifetime.
Most photographers tend to use their smartphones for photography these days, and in times when they do not feel like carrying a camera, they rely on their smartphones for photography. Smartphones come with brilliant camera technologies these days and using a macro attachment, one can go really close to some extreme macros, even with a smartphone.
The macro lens by Moment is priced at $109.99 and works with iPhone, Android phones, iPads, tablets and comes neatly packed with a camera lens cap and microfiber bag. It helps to capture tiny objects with high quality and the lens also comes with a removable light diffuser that helps to eliminate harsh shadows.
Priced at $151.50. this Lee 100mm ND filter is a 10-stop filter, otherwise called the Big Stopper and comes with a tin filter case. If you know someone who shoots long exposure images, then this is one of the best gifts they can have that can be used to get smooth water, and clouds.
This next gift idea for photographers comes in a small package but delivers big satisfaction. Photographers hate missing a shot because they're waiting on their memory card to write the previous shots. Check out the speed on this latest option for memory. That's right! It says 300 mb/sec, and it has a 260 mb/sec write speed. Only a few years ago you would have paid double the cost of this card for less than a quarter of the speed.
This Sandisk memory card comes in at around $55.00 USD.
We were truly impressed with this product after watching a nationally renowned wedding photographer work an entire wedding with this rig hanging from his hips. You can purchase this one or two camera options.
The cameras hang from your hips and what we really liked about this product is that it removes the weight and entanglement from your upper body: no straps slipping your shoulder and no harnesses that look like you're wearing a parachute. It's easy on the back and the neck because that weight is being carried by your largest muscle group.
The camera harness is a great gift for any photographer that carries one or two cameras over the course of a day, and at $90.00 USD, or less, it's a steal. You'll save more than that in chiropractor bills.
If your photographer already has every gadget ever made, we're willing to bet they missed this one. This suggestion definitely falls into our “out of the ordinary” category. What we like about this kit is that it comes with everything you need to get started for under $130.00 USD. A green screen allows the photographer to quickly and easily drop out backgrounds. This would make it easy for your teenage photographer to drop their buddy into a spaceship or put them on stage at a Rolling Stones concert.
This kit is definitely a beginner's setup. But it comes with a background, a background stand, and even some lights.
Mid-Range Photo Gift Excitement – $150 to $600
Instax cameras by Fujifilm are one of the most popular instant film cameras and they come in a variety of specifications, with each one having a particular type and size for instant film. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic camera comes in three colours (black, brown, and red) and is packed with features one would be happy with when travelling.
The minimum and maximum shutter speeds are 1.8 seconds and 1/400 seconds, and also comes with a bulb mode of 10 seconds maximum. There are also various modes, including the macro mode and there is a mirror next to the lens that is perfect for self-portraits. With Instax cameras, you get the prints in hand instantly, with them fully developed in a few minutes.
The film can be a bit expensive, and the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 costs $249.49. If you are looking for a slightly cheaper camera, you can look at the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 at $99.95, which is another great gift for photographers.
At $229.95 USD, the coolness factor totally makes it worth it. This kit is for the photographer who loves to play and experiment. Now, this requires instant film, and that is part of the vintage feel. Don't let all the plastic construction throw you off; this is a high-quality product. And it comes with enough settings, modes and filters to keep you fascinated for a long time!
With Instax photography, practice makes perfect, but a big part of the fun is how this kit entices a childlike attitude of playtime.
The Westcott Eyelighter is a great tool for any photographer at any level. Most beginners start their lighting techniques by bouncing flash. Unfortunately, this technique can still create harsh shadows in portraits.
The Eyelighter is designed to bounce light back up into the face- thus brightening those shadows. But it's the curved design that makes it so versatile. It envelopes a subject with light. Macro photographers would love this. So would product photographers.
The uses for this handy device are almost limitless and it cost $199.90!
The file sizes for digital photography just keep growing. Photographers need a reliable place to store all those images. The Sandisk 1 terabyte solid-state drive provides plenty of storage- along with the reliability of the Sandisk reputation. This drive reads and writes at a lightning-fast 2000 MB/s. It's ultralight, compact, and yet extremely durable. Any photographer would love to have this as a gift!
The Sandisk 1TB drive sells for around $179.99 USD.
This next gift idea will have the recipient ripping off the wrapping paper in great excitement. The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 HSS strobe provides the power and versatility of units costing 2 or 3 times as much. It's a great addition to the tool kit of the photographer who has everything, AND it's the perfect starter strobe for that new photographer who wants to elevate to the next level. It comes with a 8700mAh lithium battery pack and a standard reflector.
This unit sells for around $549.00 USD
Photographer Hugs That Might Break Your Spine – $600 to $2000
With all the video features now being packed into DSLR and mirrorless cameras, many photographers are trying their hands at video production. But here's a tidbit of information that most people don't know. How you support your camera when producing a video can make, or break, your production. Nobody likes to watch a shaky movie with abrupt starts and stops.
This gift is the ultimate support package for a budding videographer. The Manfrotto Nitrotech 608 Fluid Video Head will provide silky smooth pans and tilts. The carbon fiber legs are lightweight yet sturdy. The entire package comes with a nice carry case to make location changes easy peasy!
This combo prices out at around $1285.99.
This suggestion sends shivers just talking about it. It's guaranteed to bring shrieks of excitement from any photographic techno-geek. This present provides photographic fun along with the ability to FLY! Who wouldn't want that? The DJI Air 2S fly more combo includes everything a photographer needs to shoot images and videos from the air.
This awesome gift is priced at $1599.00.
If you've been involved with the photography world (at all) in the last few years- you've undoubtedly heard the term mirrorless, mirrorless, mirrorless. Yes, that's right. Mirrorless cameras are taking the photography world by storm, and Fujifilm has been (and continues to be) on the forefront of that evolution. So, what's the big deal?
Mirrorless cameras offer the image quality and versatility of the big DSLR cameras- without the weight and bulk. There's no breaking your back hauling this camera around Europe. The X-T4 offers a superb 26.1 megapixel sensor and interchangeable lenses. It's weather-resistant, dust-resistant and it can work consistently in temperatures as low as 14F / -10C. It also sports an eye-popping 3-inch LCD screen.
You can pick up this amazing camera body for $1699.00 USD.
The Best Gifts For Photographers Who Have Just About Everything – Over $2000.00
Every photographer fantasizes about having that BIG glass hanging around their neck. Most of us, however, don't want to take out a second mortgage to acquire one, which is why we're SO EXCITED to tell you about the Sigma 120mm – 300mm f/2.8 zoom lens.
That's right- a long telephoto zoom lens that has a FIXED maximum aperture of f/2.8. PLUS, it prices out at almost half of what an OEM 300mm f/2.8 lens would cost. This camera lens offers superb image definition, along with the convenience of a fast zoom lens. What else could you ask for?
The Sigma 120mm – 300mm f/2.8 lens prices out at $3,599.00.
We've saved this beauty for our finale! Not everyone will have the pocketbook to make this investment. But, there is nothing that says, “I love you,” like a Leica camera. Leica is the Rolls Royce of the photography world. Leica cameras are known for their superb optics and unparalleled construction.
This is a camera that your photographer friends will keep for the rest of their life. This model features a 40-megapixel full-frame sensor and a 3.0″ touchscreen LCD. It has a classic design, excellent dynamic range and sensitivity and can shoot up to 4.5 frames per second for a maximum of 10 frames – so you won't miss the shot. It has interchangeable lenses and features a virtually indestructible magnesium alloy body, and features an extended shutter speed range for making long exposures up to 16 minutes long.
This all comes with a price of $7795.00. But your photographer is worth it- Right? (wink)
We hope you found the best gifts for photographers you love in this great collection of camera gear useful!