10 Last Minute Christmas Gifts for Filmmakers and Photographers

It’s this time of the year again – five days before Christmas and you still haven’t decided what to get your avid enthusiast photographer brother, we have the gift guide for you. For those of you super-organized, non-procrastinators (I hate you) gear heads out there, who’ve already done your Christmas shopping well in advance and are probably already planning Christmas 2017, the holiday downtime is great time to put your cameras away and spend some quality time with the family and close friends. And in the meantime, browse through some Holiday deals to augment your image creators toolkit.

Holiday shopping can get quite overwhelming with the staggering amount of choice out there, and I hope this gift guide takes some of the hassle out of the process for you. If you have a filmmaker/photographer in your family, or if you are one, in this post I’ll summarise some gift ideas I think may make things a bit easier for you when choosing the right gift.

Let’s start with the cheap, but cheerful stuff!

Gifts for $50 or less

  • Manfrotto PIXI Art Limited Edition Mini Tripod$24.99 Amazon US; this looks great for mounting small cameras, or microphones or other accessories – when folded can be used as a vlogging tripod too.
  • Samsung 64GB PRO+ UHS-I microSDXC U3 Memory Card – $49.99 at B&H; a reliable media card for any filmmaker or photographer using a GoPro Hero5 or Hero4 or example to capture their adventures or behind the scenes. Good for 4K recording and all resolutions below. One can never have enough of these, it comes with an SDXC adapter so you can easily pop it into the computer to copy your footage.
  • Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit$28 at B&H – yeah, pretty much anyone shooting stills or video needs at least one of these.

  • Peak Design Field Pouch for Lens and Camera accessories$39.95 Amazon US; weather-proof, compact and versatile – holds extra batteries, external hard drives, lens cleaning paraphernalia and pretty much all other small bits photographers often resort to holding in their pockets or worse – forget at home.

Gifts from $50 to $250

This mic is a really nice companion to any compact camera with a 3.5 inch input and it doesn’t require an additional battery; it is powered from the camera. The mic is compact, but built to last, and is also capable of producing much better sound than your in-camera audio. Great for vloggers, short-form content creators, photographers who love to create behind the scenes videos for their photo shoots. I own one, and I find it very useful.

  • X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Video$99 on Amazon – this is the perfect companion to a filmmaker/content creator, who is either getting started or trying to up their game. An indispensable part of the kit of any self-respecting video professional, the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport for Video ensures truthful colours and is not just a gift, it’s an investment in the craft of moving images, that will pay off greatly in the future.
  • FilmConvert Film Simulations & Stand-alone plugins – $149 (FilmConvert) – an easy an intuitive way to bring some excellent colour and film simulations to your footage and make it even more cinematic.

Gifts from $250 and upwards! For when you want to splurge, impress or just want to make this Christmas special for someone then check these gift ideas out

  • DJI Osmo Mobile – $299 (Amazon, B&H, Adorama) – give your smartphone the gift of smooth video footage! Perfect for vloggers, YouTubers and all kinds of content creators. Active Track technology helps you track objects and is great for vlogging when the camera is facing you; the gimbal smooths and even cancels out the movements you make, stopping camera shake and turning every shot into cinematic video.

  • Sony a6000 + 16-50mm – $548 (Amazon/B&H/Adorama) – this is a fab stills camera for any photographer starting out. You get a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor, 11fps continuous shooting, Hybrid Auto-Focus with 179-point focal plane phase-detection and 25 contrast detect points all in a super compact package that fits in your pocket. 

  • GoPro Hero5 Black with $60 Amazon Gift Card ($399.99); or alternatively get the Hero5 Black from B&H with a $60 gift card from them for $399. If you want the more streamlined press-a-button-and-go GoPro Hero5 Session, then you can save $100 as it is $299 on Amazon and B&H. The Hero5 allows you to use voice commands for basic camera operation freeing you up to enjoy your adventure.

Capture stunning 4K video and 12MP photos in Single, Burst and Time Lapse modes, and have peace of mind thanks to the durable design, and the fact that the new HERO5 Black is waterproof up to 33 feet/10 meters without an additional housing.

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