The Photography Gift Guide 2011

Here we are again! It’s the time of year friends coming out of the woodwork asking what to get for their photography-loving husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/sister/brother etc…  So I have put together the ultimate 2011 photography gadget gift guide for your very own photo geek.

- ONA Waxed Canvas “Camps Bay” Laptop & Camera Bag: I mentioned ONA products last year because their bags are not only highly fashionable, but they are low key and don’t SCREAM photo gear. They just announced their awesome new laptop/camera backpack. It has room for an SLR, up to 7 lenses, and space for a laptop up to 17″ long. I have one of these bags myself and it is fantastic and really gets loads of compliments. Since when have you gotten compliments for how attractive a camera bag is? I will be posting a video review of the Camps Bay soon. Make sure to check out their other bags for man and woman photographers. Check the bag out here!

- Nik Software Photoshop Plug-ins: Sure, you may have heard of Photoshop and how it is THE answer for photo editing, but did you now that companies offered plug-in software that expanded Photoshop’s abilities? Cue Nik Software, makers of some of my favorite photography software plug-ins. Now if you want to buy the complete collection for your favorite photographer, I don’t blame you. Although, if you are on a budget and can only buy one or two I personally think Color Efex Pro is the best all around bang for the buck offering a wide variety of filters and effects. My second suggestion would be Silver Efex, which is my favorite software to create black and white images from your color photos. I mean the results are stunning! Head on over to the NikSoftware website to check out their products here.


– Online Photography Classes: “The world’s top pro photographers and Adobe Photoshop experts” teach your favorite shooter amazing tips and tricks and techniques with new fantastically-produced videos out every week. I also happen to be an instructor on there (see the trailer for one of my classes below). They even have an iPad/iPhone app so subscribers can view videos on the go. I’ll be honest, I do watch the videos myself and have learned a lot of great tips. A great gift for a photographer or photoshopper at any level. “The Content: Clear, concise, and real-world. That’s what our courses deliver. And once you’ve got the best teachers in the world, that content comes naturally. See, our instructors aren’t just the best at what they do in the field. They’re also the best at teaching it to you in an accessible way.” Check out the site here.

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- The iPhone 4 SLR Mount: It is truly ridiculous, but even I want this one. Mount any of your Canon or Nikon lenses to your iPhone 4 or 4s. Check it out here.


- Do It Yourself – Build Your Own Twin Lens Camera For Only $20: For only $20, a great gift idea, especially for shooters that want to learn about how cameras work. Not a bad alternative to getting someone the latest Star Wars lego kit haha. Besides, they are way more than $20. Take a peek here

- Vintage Polaroid 600 Camera Kit by Impossible Project: Didn’t you hear that polaroid was dead? Fear not! The folks over at Imposible Project have resurrected it! Buy your very own restored Polaroid 600 camera and select from a wide variety of cool unique film types that Impossible Project makes and sells. You can pick up a camera and film kit from Urban Outfitters here.

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- Canon Rebel T3i, Ultimate Value In Entry-Level DSLR For Under $750: An answer to the ago-old question… “My son/daughter/husband/wife is getting into photography and I want to get them a DSLR. What is a nice camera that costs less than $1000 and they will not grow out of too quickly?” Well, the answer is here. It’s the Rebel T3i and it costs less than $750 with a starter lens! It has a respectable 18 megapixel sensor that also shoots 1080p HD video. It’s lightweight and compact and has a cool 3″ swivel screen. It has full automatic settings with a built-in pop-up flash for the amateurs out there, but can also go completely manual and has the ability to take Canon’s full line of pro lenses and flashes so your growing shooter, weekend warrior, or photo student won’t get bored quickly. Make sure to pick up an extra memory card. 16 gigs is a good size to get them started. Pick one up here at Amazon with free shipping.

- Canon Powershot 300 HS, Ultimate Value Point-And-Shoot Camera For Under $150: It’s true, improved camera technology on cell phones has eaten into the point and shoot camera market, which has led to a huge discount in the price of these compact cameras. One of my favorite values on the market is the Canon 300 HS. It is 12 megapixels, has a beautiful low light lens that goes as wide as 24mm, which is wide for a compact camera, and even shoots 1080p HD video all for under $150 bucks! Incredible. You couldn’t have purchased a camera with those features for twice that nearly a year ago. I haven’t wanted a new point and shoot for awhile, but with features like these at such a low price, I may have to change my mind! Pick one up over at Amazon with free shipping here. Comes in several colors, but you have to admit, this red is quite festive.

- iPhone Steadicam For Smooth Filming: You may laugh, but in case you haven’t heard, the new iPhone 4s shoots 1080p video. People are shooting ads and music videos with these phones! Crazy where technology is going! Steadicam now offers a product that allows you to film with the iPhone 4 and 4s with a smooth “steadi” motion called the Smoothee, which is on sale for under $150. Check it here.

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The Camera Cookie Cutter Set: Another great stocking stuffer for under $20. Make some camera-shaped cookies. Click here.

Lost Luggage iPad Portfolio Case: Many of us photographers are using iPads as our mobile portfolios to present to clients. Here is one of the most attractive ways to have them showcase their work in iPad form. It is even customizable so you can etch their name or logo onto the case itself. You can have them do it after the fact, of course. Link.

Camera Dial Laptop or iPad Decal: A decal that looks like the control dial from a Canon or Nikon for your mobile device. It’s cool enough that I think I am going to order one for myself. Only $18! Link.


– The EtchASketch iPad Case: Functional and durable for your nostalgia-loving techno geek, like myself. A unique iPad case that turns heads at every networking event. Trust me, I put this case on before going to networking events and everyone always asks about it, which of course leads me to showing my work on my iPad. It also comes in an iPhone variation and all the cases come with their own stands. They are 25% off for the holidays as well! Use the coupon code “HOLIDAY” Link to their page.

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– The Ultimate Camera “Split Strap”: This is a really cool piece of camera technology. It improves on the age old camera strap design and improves upon it. “The Camera Split Strap is a direct replacement for camera straps. The ends are fully adjustable in length and complements the Custom SLR C-Loop and works with traditional camera strap mounting points. Comes with 2 pair of adjustable length ends.” It also has a wide split design with silicone print on one side that not only sits on your shoulder comfortably, evenly distributing the heavy camera weight, but keeps it from slipping off of your shoulder, which happens to me all the time. This is another gift that starts under $50 that truly any shooter can appreciate. Link to the product here.

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