Our annual guide is a much anticipated event in the world of gift giving. What will we suggest this year? Will it be big and expensive, or will it be practical and affordable? The tension is palpable! Without further ado allow me to present our LPS 2021 Photographer’s Gift Guide!
Looking for the worlds most compact tripod to make travelling with photography gear that much easier for your Photographer friends and loved ones? Look no further than the Peak Design Travel Tripod. It is one of the most compact and lightweight on the market. I have carried tripods to the tops of mountains before, it’s not easy, oh how I wish I had something like this with me on my last 11 hr hike to the top of a mountain… It’s great for a myriad of uses, whether you’re shooting long exposures of waterfalls, taking panoramas of sweeping natural scenery, or doing a little birding, this tripod is the perfect size and weight to stick in a camera or sling bag. And unlike many tripods this one will fit easily in just about any carry on baggage.
One of those things that photographer’s seem to always overlook is rain covers for their cameras. I’ve never seen another photographer use one and I’ve shot weddings with many different people. Every time it rains they end up sticking their cameras inside their coats or running for cover. Well, here is the solution for your photographer friends who have trouble planning ahead, the Think Tank Emergency Rain Cover. This rain cover is 100% professional and is suitable for full size DSLR’s with up to a 600mm lens, the largest commonly available telephoto lens focal length. For smaller lenses, simply roll up the rain cover or purchase one of their smaller models. Of course, when you’re sitting in the rain for hours with a $10,000 lens on your camera, $59 for a well made rain cover seems like a minor investment.
Finally, actual lenses being recommended? Well, a big part of this list is trying to find things that many photographers don’t have but might want, which is where unique products like the LensBaby Twist 60 come into play. The Twist 60 uses an old lens design that produces a unique “swirl” effect to the images that is especially pronounced in the background. This effect naturally works well for portraits where the subject is near the center of the frame. A truly unique product that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. If you opt for this one, make sure you get one that will work on the right camera system… Available for Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony E mounts. Since it is manual focus and has no electronics, any basic adapter can be used to make the Nikon or Canon version work on just about any mirrorless camera.
DJI makes some of the best drones around and until now you could expect to pay a pretty penny for one. But now that DJI has released one of its newest models, the Mini SE, the cost of owning an authentic DJI drone has never been lower. At only $299 the DJI Mini SE packs a lot of professional features and excellent image quality that puts most of its competition in this price range to shame. Since the Mini SE is so small it is not subject to FAA regulation and can be flown without getting a Drone License. Overall the Mini SE is an amazingly great drone for the money with features like a full 30-minutes of flight time and Scale 5 wind resistance. Until now a drone with these features would have cost around $1,000.
The Canon IVY mobile printer connects to your phone to print out a picture in just a few seconds. This is actually a really cool way to make a connection with people on photo shoots or even with friends and family. Simply transfer the photos to your phone and then print them on the Canon IVY Mini via Bluetooth. Hand the photos out as souvenirs or as a fun way to say hello or goodbye to someone! Actually having a real picture is like a luxury these days and is much more memorable than another random text message photo.
Most photographers, myself included, are pretty dead set on using flash for their photography needs. The main reason for that in the past was simply power usage, there was no good way to make a 100W lightbulb run on batteries. But with today’s LED lights it’s now possible to make tiny portable lights that can be used for a variety of photo and video uses. Enter the Lume Cube 2.0, a tiny cube with a light in it that can be placed virtually anywhere and produces a surprisingly powerful light. It’s USB chargeable and waterproof. The nice thing about these kinds of lights is the ease of use, simply turn it on and point it at something, voila, easy, simple, pocketable lighting. Add a highlight to a portrait subject or even a glint in their eyes with this nifty little light.
What is the one thing 99% of photographers don’t do with their images these days? If your answer is “print them out” you guessed right. Despite this, prints remain the best way to get the full impression of a photo. Monitor’s and tiny phone screens just don’t do most photos justice. So if your photographer friend or loved one is putting out some high quality work, treat them to a printer so they can start making good use of all that talent. The Pixma PRO-200 prints at a maximum of 13″x19″ which is a great print size for photographers who are still learning the ins and outs of photography.
And that is it! That’s the LPS 2021 Holiday Gift Guide in all it’s glory. No matter what you choose to buy, remember to give from the heart, that’s the most important thing of all.
Take care and Happy Holidays!