Great Christmas gifts for photographers

Buying gifts for the lens-lover in your life can be a daunting (and often expensive) task. With so many variants of just about every photographic accessory you can think of on the market, choosing the best one to suit the recipient's needs – and your budget – can be a bit of a minefield.

With this in mind, we've done the hard work for you, cherry-picking a selection of the best photographic products and accessories around, with a range of options to suit just about anyone.

So, whether you're after a few extra photo-themed stocking fillers or a slightly pricier sleigh-stuffer for your loved one (or just a little treat for yourself) you should find plenty of inspiration here.

Manfrotto Digital Director for iPad Mini

Whether you’re shooting stills or video, this great piece of kit lets you use your iPad Mini to take control of your camera. Set a host of key exposure settings through the interface, mirror your camera’s Live View display on a much bigger screen, while you can download and review images, plus much more.

Sennheiser MKE 400

If you’ve started to shoot your own videos, you’ll need a dedicated microphone – your camera’s built-in microphone just isn’t up to the job. A shotgun microphone sits on the top of your camera and Sennheiser’s MKE 400 is a great option for the beginner.

Lowepro Pro Runner RL X450 AW II

If you’re travelling with a lot of camera gear, then this is the bag – it can be used as a backpack or pop it on the deck and the rollers will take the strain with an extendable handle. It’s also carry-on compatible too.

Domke F-803

This lovely shoulder bag is made from a weather-resistant durable cotton canvas that can hold a decent amount of kit – perfect for pounding the streets if you don’t want to call attention to yourself.

Manfrotto 190 Go!

A decent set of legs are a great photography investment; look after them well and they’ll easily outlast your camera kit and Manfrotto’s 190 Go! aluminum tripod is a great option – there's an even a lighter carbon fibre also available.

Manfrotto XPRO ball head with 200PL

If you’re a landscape photographer looking for a compact but durable ball head, then Manfrotto’s XPRO ball head is a great choice, complete with a 200PL quick release plate so you can attach or detach your gear quickly.

Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-U3 – 64GB

If you’ve got a new camera that can rattle through a burst of pics in a blink of an eye or shoot beautiful 4K video, then you’re going to need a decent memory card otherwise you risk video cutting out or missing a shot. This UHS-U3 rated card has rapid read and write speeds to make sure it can keep up with your camera.

Metz Mecablitz 64 AF-1

While many DSLRs and mirrorless cameras feature built-in or small hotshoe flashes, they just don’t have the power for more serious photography. The Metz Mecablitz 64 AF-1 packs quite a bit more power, while the head can be positioned for more flattering lighting. That’s before you starting thinking about shooting off-camera.

Cactus V6 Transceiver

If you want to shoot off-camera flash images, then the Cactus V6 Transceiver makes life so much easier, allowing off-camera flash triggering with almost any flashgun. Easy to use, you’ll be sculpting light like a pro in no time.

Lastolite Ezybox Speed-Lite 2

A naked flashgun can deliver some unflattering light, so this mini flat-pack softbox from Lastolite fits on the front of you flash to soften the light nicely, before easily collapsing down to pack away into your camera bag.

Fujifilm Instax SP-2

Bring your smartphone images to life with this great little printer. Transfer images wirelessly from your phone to the Instax Share SP-2, which will produce a credit card sized instant print for you. There’s a handy reprint button, allowing you to share the same print with friends multiple times, while your pics on Facebook and Instagram can also be transferred to the SP-2. 

Epson Expression Photo XP-960

If you’re looking for a printer that can handle a range of prints, including large A3 photos that can adorn your walls, then the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 could be just the answer. Featuring six inks to produce images with smooth graduations and faithful tones, image quality is excellent, while it can also scan and copy as well. 

Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G

If you’re still making do with your 18-55mm kit lens with your Nikon DSLR, then you need to get one of these. This compact little prime lens has a much faster maximum aperture, so you can really get creative with a host of subjects.

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple may have dropped the SD card slot from its latest premium laptop, but that’s the only real downside – this is one powerful piece of kit for the demanding photographer.

Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD – 120GB

Don’t risk losing your images on the move – this ultra-compact SSD drive means you can quickly transfer images, while it hardly takes up any space at all.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 15

Adobe’s Photoshop CC subscription is perfect for those wanting a host of high-end features, but Elements still packs a punch and is perfect for the enthusiast photographer looking for a versatile photo editing program.

Wacom Intuos Photo CTH490PK

If you’re going to be using Photoshop regularly, making tricky selections and modifying parts of your images – dodging and burning for instance, or some precise retouching, then a graphics tablet can transform the way you work. While using a mouse or a trackpad does the job, a graphics tablet like this one from Wacom delivers much more precision and control.

G-Technology G-Drive USB – 3TB 

Don’t risk leaving all your images in one place on your computer – hard drives can and do fail. Get yourself a decent back-up drive that you can store all your precious photos on. G-Technology’s G-Drive is a brilliant drive that’ll tuck away neatly on your desk. Get two for extra protection.

DJI Mavic Pro

When most people think of drones they usually imagine a big, scary, four-armed miniature helicopter. The Mavic Pro is DJI’s smallest, smartest and most approachable drone yet. With the ability to fold up into a water bottle-sized package, it has a 12MP camera and can shoot 4K video. Controls are easy to get to grips with, while there’s a brilliant homing instruction to boot.

GoPro Hero5 Black

GoPro ups the ante with its latest 4K action camera, with more straightforward menus on a 2.0-inch touchscreen and out-of-the-box water resistance. If you want an action camera, then the Hero5 Black ticks all the boxes.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8

Fuji’s Instax Mini 8 instant camera is great fun and perfect for capturing the fun over the festive period. 

TechRadar: Photography & video capture news

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