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- Photography can be an expensive hobby or profession, but there are plenty of necessities and toys that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
- Whether you’re shopping for a full-time pro or a brand-new enthusiast, this gift guide has the perfect option.
Photography is a fantastic hobby or profession, and despite many changes to the scene as smartphone cameras have proliferated, there is still plenty of useful gear out there.
If you’re shopping for a photographer on your list, whether a professional, an enthusiast, or someone who’s looking to get started, this list has the perfect gift. From entry-level cameras to novelty gifts, and from advanced photo drones to inspirational ideas, you’re sure to find something perfect.
Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
A top-of-the-line entry-level advanced camera
The Nikon D3500 is the perfect camera for someone getting started with photography and looking to advance past iPhone photos. It shoots great photos on automatic mode, and offers full manual control and advanced features. The less-expensive model comes with an 18-55mm kit lens, but it’s also worth considering the two-lens bundle, which includes a 70-300mm lens for just $US100 more.
A stylish pair of cufflinks
These iconic cufflinks look just like an actual camera dial.
An entry-level drone that can fly and take photos and shoot video outdoors
The DJI Spark is one of the best all-purpose devices for someone getting into drone photography. It has a stabilised camera capable of taking 12 MP photos and 1080p video.
A GoPro harness for pets
This harness makes it easy to strap a GoPro to a dog to see the world from its perspective.
A portable, flexible, powerful tripod
Joby’s GorillaPods are ultra-portable and flexible, making it easy to set up anywhere. The 3K version can hold 6.6 pounds, which is enough for most standard DSLR and lens combos. The 5K version can hold up to 11 pounds, making it a better fit for professional kits.
You might also consider throwing in an affordable shutter release, to avoid any blur from camera shake when using the tripod to take long exposure photos.
An advanced instant camera
The Instax Mini 90 has a sleek retro style and offers advanced controls like flash metering, double exposure mode, and much more. For a more affordable, but less advanced version, check out the popular Instax Mini 9.
The best camera bag you can buy
Peak Design Everyday Backpack, available at Peak Design, $US259.95 and up (also available at Amazon)
Peak Design’s line of Everyday bags are easy to reconfigure on the go, making them perfect as camera bags and regular everyday carry bags. You can read our full review here.
A beautiful framed print of a favourite original photo
Keepsake is a new startup that offers photo printing and framing for a fraction of the price you’d find elsewhere. Read our full review here.
Cookie cutters shaped like cameras
These are perfect for any photographer who also loves to bake.
A multitool to fix almost anything
A multitool can be helpful for setting up during shoots and fixing almost anything that goes wrong.
A lens-shaped coffee mug
This novelty mug is as fun as it is functional.
The ultimate travel backpack for photographers
Peak Design’s Travel Backpack uses a unique system of packing cubes to help you optimise the bag for every trip, keeping your camera protected while storing plenty of clothes. The bag even shrinks to serve as a daypack.
The bag is currently available for pre-order, but a representative from Peak assures Business Insider that preorders will ship in time for Christmas. You can read our full review of the Peak Design Travel Backpack here.
A photography book for inspiration
Inspiration is crucial to any photographer, which means looking at other works can be incredibly valuable. You can look through other photography books here, including by subcategory such as photojournalism, architecture, and travel.
A small, super-bright light for photos and videos.
Lume Cube offers 10 levels of on- or off-camera light and can fit just about anywhere. There’s also a smartphone-compatible mount kit available exclusively at the Apple Store.
A down-filled camera cover
The base layer protects from minor bumps and scratches and can be carried on its own, or used to protect a camera in a regular bag.
A reinvented camera strap
The Peak Slide Lite is easy to attach and remove, to adjust, and to reposition. For the heaviest DSLRs, consider the regular Slide, and for ultra-light DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, you may want to look at the Leash. However, the Slide Lite is an ideal “Goldilocks” strap – it’s just right for just about any scenario.
A specialised grip and controls for smartphone cameras
By using the grip with the compatible app, you can unlock the advanced power of your smartphone’s camera.
Online courses to help build photography skills
Udemy courses are an easy, cost-effective way to learn new skills and improve old techniques. Find a course you want to give, and click “Gift This Course” toward the upper-right corner.
A small, convenient cleaning cloth
This cloth is designed for camera lenses and features a clip-on case, so it’s never far from your camera bag.
A limited-edition collectible pin set for the ultimate gear junkie
Nikon’s centennial was in 2017, but it isn’t too late to get some awesome collectibles, like this pin set featuring both classic and current cameras in a shadowbox display case.
A tabletop photo studio
A tabletop pop-up photo studio makes it easy to take professional photos of products and smaller objects. The AmazonBasics version is a little pricier than some alternatives, but it’s universally the best reviewed.
Interchangeable lenses for a smartphone camera
Olloclip makes wide-angle, macro, fish-eye, and telephoto lenses compatible with a wide range of smartphones. Be sure to select the right phone model.
A more advanced drone that shoots 4K video
The ANAFI is a more advanced “prosumer” drone, which shoots 4K video and takes 21 megapixel photos.
Something to help take better portraits of kids
These cute stuffed animals fit around the outside of a camera lens, making it easier to hold a kids’ attention for photos.
Indestructible memory cards
These memory cards are a must-have for any adventure photographer – they can withstand water, dust, magnetic energy, static electricity, and more.
A smartphone tripod mount
This universal smartphone tripod mount can rotate to hold a phone in landscape or portrait mode, and holds a phone more securely than many similar mounts that just rely on a spring.