Buckle up folks—holiday season is upon us again! And while there are so many great things to look forward to, like endless amounts of salty/sugary snacks, there is also the not insignificant challenge of finding the perfect gift for all the beautiful people on your list.
Well today I’m going to do you a solid and help you make the photographer in your life very, very happy. Because there is nothing us photographers love more than new gear! So here goes—my top 8 accessories for the photographer in your life.
1. Camera bag
I have a bit of a weakness for well-designed camera bags that have lots of handy little storage compartments and nifty features. I’ve invested in various bags of different sizes over the years, but the one I use the most is actually my smallest which carries just one camera and lens and a few accessories like a spare battery and extra memory cards. Lowepro makes some great bags in all shapes and sizes so be sure to check out the whole range. Also, take a look at some of the hard shell cases from Pelican. These offer the safest and most durable way to transport your gear, although they’re not the best for carrying for long periods as they have a single, briefcase-style handle.
A tripod is one of the basic accessories that every photographer needs to own. If you plan to shoot long exposures, or group shots that you want to be in, a tripod is an absolute must-have. It’s also a necessity for some video shots too, like interviews, so if you fancy yourself a documentary filmmaker, you better have a tripod! Tripods can be bulky and cumbersome though, and a monopod can be a useful, lightweight alternative. A monopod is not a substitute for a tripod however, because you still need to use your hands to keep things upright. A monopod basically relieves you of the need to hold your camera and lens at eye-level for long periods, which can really tire your arms out! You’ll often see sports and action shooters and wildlife shooters using monopods because they use big, heavy telephoto lenses. Another cool option in the tripod department is the Joby Gorillapod range. They are small, compact and super versatile. You can actually mount them on things like poles or tree branches or whatever happens to be handy.
3. Camera strap
Many photographers (myself included if I’m being honest!) never bother to replace the camera strap that comes with their camera. This is a little bit of an oversight because manufacturers don’t tend to put much priority on the design of their camera straps—it’s really just an afterthought. There are lots of great third-party camera straps available at BestBuy.ca which are beautifully designed and wonderfully ergonomic. Whether you’re looking for something sleek and stealth, or something funky and bold, there are a tonne of great options to choose from, including some wicked straps from Tamrac, Black Rapid and Peak Design.
When it comes to enjoying our photographs nowadays we have one major blind spot—printing. Back in the days before digital you had no choice but to print your photographs if you wanted to enjoy them, and hence we used to have shoe boxes full of photos that would get pulled out from time to time and provide hours of nostalgic enjoyment. Nowadays we keep our precious photos on old laptops and hard drives! Did you know that there is now a whole bunch of small and affordable photo printers that would make a fantastic gift? Lots of them are wireless and can connect to your smartphone so you can bring back instant prints!
5. Memory card
A new memory card may not sound like the most exciting gift in the world, but hey, us photographers are practical people! Give us something that will improve our camera’s performance, and make our life a little easier, and we will be eternally grateful. A high quality memory card will save images faster, allowing the camera to shoot more images in burst mode. And with a bigger capacity card, we can shoot more images before we have to download them. And like all things memory related, the capacity keeps going up while the prices keep coming down! It really is kind of mind-blowing that we are now seeing memory cards capable of storing a terabyte worth of data. Which is not my way of saying you should rush out and buy one, but if you really want to impress that certain photographer in your life….
Video has become a standard feature on modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras, and many users are taking advantage of it to create short home videos. And while the quality of the video footage is really impressive, the quality of the audio is generally not great. If you want to take your videos to the next level, or even start to experiment with filmmaking on a budget, most videographers will tell you that good sound is incredibly important. In fact, they’ll probably tell you it’s more important to capture good sound than it is to capture good video. Because while we almost never comment on how good the audio is in a video, if it is bad we will immediately notice. The first step to good audio is an external microphone, which can be mounted on the camera’s hotshoe and plugged into the microphone jack. You might want to make sure that your photography enthusiast’s camera has a hotshoe and microphone jack first.
I hope I’ve been able to offer some inspiration to help you navigate the often dicey waters of gift buying—now get out there and shop like a champ!
Shop cameras and camera accessories and more online at Bestbuy.ca
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