Great gifts for your stocking, or for your video-club friends can be purchased on even the tightest of budgets.
Nite Ize DoohicKey
The DoohicKey is a small multi-tool that can attach to your key-ring. For less than $6, you can clip the carabiner to your keychain and ensure that you will always have a flathead to screw the base plate of your tripod to your camera with.
Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras and Sensitive Electronics Bundle
The bundle includes a lens cleaning pen, a lens brush, an air blower cleaner, 50 sheets of lens tissue paper, a small spray bottle and three microfiber cleaning cloths for $9 from Amazon.
Goja Lens Caps
How many times have you lost or misplaced a lens cap for your DSLR camera? Aftermarket lens cap bundles by companies like Goja are an easy find on Amazon. For $7 you can get a set of 5 lens caps. As an added bonus, you also get 5 lens leashes and a microfiber cleaning cloth.
XCSOURCE Neoprene Lens Pouches
At Amazon, you can get pouches to protect your DSLR lenses for less than $7. With four different sizes to fit a wide variety and length of lenses, you might find the 4-pack your best bet, which includes small, medium, large and extra-large pouches for $11.
Many families and employee functions set Kris Kringle gift exchanges at a $25 limit. If you want to keep it really simple, many retailers such as B&H, Adorama, Best Buy and Amazon all sell giftcards at this price range: however, half the fun of having a Kris Kringle is figuring out what that person wants most. Dropping lots of hints — or leaving this magazine lying around — can make the task easier for them.
Manfrotto Monopod Belt Pouch
If you don’t own a Steadicam and you do own a monopod, then you’ll definitely want this Manfrotto monopod belt pouch. For shooters who want both stability and movement, especially for run and gun situations, you just slip the base of the monopod into the pouch which is worn on the belt. Priced at $17 and sold by retailers such as B&H, it’s the perfect item to list for any Kris Kringle or family gift exchange.
SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive
SanDisk has an Ultra USB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive for almost every budget. Ranging in size from 16GB to 64GB and priced from $8 to less than $20 at Amazon, there’s bound to be an S drive that will fit your gift giver’s target price. What’s great about this drive is that in addition to its USB3 connector, it has a micro USB connector for Android mobile devices.
Fotosay Lens Adapters
Still hanging onto your 35mm still film camera lenses? Lens adapters can greatly expand the versatility of your glass. Fotosay has a diverse selection of connectors that range in price from $12 – $25. I use Fotosay adapters for my mirrorless micro 4/3 DSLR and my old vintage glass.
Looking for some stability for your GoPro? Steadicam just dropped the price of the Curve to $20. This is a great price for a mechanical gimbal designed to fully isolate the GoPro from handshake and vibration.
Holga 60mm f/8 Manual Focus Lens for Canon DSLR
Holga’s lens allows your camera to get the Holga “Lo-Fi” look with corner vignetting and soft focus without any software for just $25. Have fun taking photos with a nostalgic look.
As the price point increases, so does the intimacy between you and the gift giver. Chances are these friends and family members really want to surprise you with something you’ll love, so don’t leave them in the dark and force them to give you another tie!
Priced at about $40, Benro’s aluminum monopod features four sections that can achieve a maximum height of 5 feet. Weighing in at 1.1 lbs with a capacity to hold 13.2 lbs and topped with a ball head, this is great for the shooter on the go.
Nanuk Waterproof Cases
For the shooter who braves the elements, ask for a Nanuk waterproof case this holiday season to store your favorite DSLR or action camera during transport. Starting at $35 from Adorama, you can get an impact and water resistant case at an affordable price. Prices increase with size and depending on the interior materials of the case.
Recently discounted in price, Blue’s Snowflake is a compact, portable, USB microphone that can get you great sound with your laptop or tablet for $49. Suitable for Windows 8.1 or higher or iOS, the Snowflake is great for ADR, podcasting or great sounding Skype.
These are some gifts to put on a wish list for those who know that shooting is your real passion.
American Cinematographer Manual
Learn cinematography from the pros. The new 10th Edition of the American Cinematographer Manual was just released. Covering everything from pre-vis to lighting to lenses to green screens to the Academy’s new ACES color encoding system, the reference book is well worth its $55 price tag.
Movo Photo SCG-30 Universal Aluminum DSLR Camera Cage
The camera cage’s foam padded handle has an integrated accessory shoe, removable 15mm rods for follow focus/matte box and multiple 1/4" and 3/8" threads for plenty of mounting options. For $65 (or less) at retailers like Amazon, you’ll question why you didn’t get a cage sooner!
Neewer DSLR Movie Video Making Rig Set System
Pimp out your camcorder or DSLR with Neewer’s DSLR Movie Video Making Rig Set System Kit for just $70. The kit includes a shoulder mount, a 15mm rail rod system, and a matte box. It easily assembles and enables mounting to a tripod with 1/4" or 3/8" screw threads.
Do you really want an ugly sweater that costs $100? Avoid the situation completely by letting your loved ones know you really want.
Lume Cube’s 1500 Lumen Light is great for folks needing a powerful light in a small form factor. Featuring 6000K color temperature, the unit's output is dimmable from 0 to 1500 lumens. It can be used as either a video light or a still photo strobe and has a rechargeable battery. For action camera lovers, it can be controlled via Wi-Fi and is waterproof down to 100 feet. Priced at $80, its brightness and versatility makes it well worth the price.
Kensington SD1500 USB-C Universal Mobile Docking Station
Also priced at $80 is Kensington’s USB-C Universal Mobile Docking Station with HDMI/VGA, USB 3.0 and Gigabit ethernet. Great for shooters and editors alike, it’s designed for mobile professionals and is ideal for when you’re traveling and need a productive desktop environment. Compatible with Windows, Mac or Chrome, it allows your USB-C laptop to display video out to a 4K or 1080p HD monitor or projector, connect via Ethernet to a wired network. It also offers USB port expansion for a mouse, keyboard or memory device as well as Thunderbolt 3 ports. When your work is over, the USB-C cable can be stowed in the dock when it’s not in use, providing better mobility.
Case Logic KDB-101 Kontrast Pro-DSLR Backpack
The backpack retails for less than $90 and provides a great water-resistant design that can hold everything including your tablet, your laptop, your DSLR with an attached lens plus four to eight additional lenses or accessories. Top-loading camera cases are a must if you’re shooting on the go; with top load access to your camera and two accessories, this one should definitely be on your list.
Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder
Tascam just released a new version of their bestselling DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder. If you’re shooting video with a DSLR and not using a digital recorder, you’d be surprised by the difference. The DR-05 records WAV or MP3 files at rates up to 24-bit/96 kHz onto microSD or MicroSDHC cards. While it has built in microphones to capture stereo audio, you can also connect external mics and sound sources with the 3.5mm stereo mic/line input. You can pick up the DR-05 for just under $100 but for $20 more, you can get the recorder with the deluxe accessory bundle that includes a windscreen and a wired lavalier.
Fancierstudio JS40 Camera Track Slider
This slider is 40" long and has a 20 lb. load capacity. It weighs just under 5 lbs. and has a tension adjustable ball-bearing slide mechanism, two removable legs, a stop break and a bubble level, as well as a carrying case. You can use it on a table, or you can mount it on your tripod. Priced at $90, it’s well worth the price for smooth tracking shots.
Dracast DR-CAML-MaB Max Bi-Color On-Camera LED Light
This light has 280 LED bulbs with a remarkable high Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 96+ out of 100. It has a dimmable Bi-Color 3200-5600K color temperatures with a natural color output of up to 2240 lux/m. One of the biggest advantages of Dracast’s On-Camera LED Light is that it is powered by either one Sony rechargeable NP-F lithium ion battery or a DC power adapter. Note: the battery and adapter not included. It does include a hot shoe mount, swivel head adapter, and D-Tap cable. It retails from B&H for $98.
There’s Nothing Like a Sale
All of the above listed prices are based on the manufacturer’s MSRP; however, during the holiday season, you might find these items on sale for a much better price. Even if you’re shopping for yourself this holiday season, a well defined list can help you find the best deals on exactly what you want. So don’t wait; make your wish list today!
Sidebar: VR Toys for Good Girls and Boys
There’s nothing like a new camera for the holidays. Get a gift that will allow you to give your family and friends a VR holiday with photos and videos from this new camera.
Samsung Gear 360
If you have a Samsung Galaxy 6 or 7, consider the Gear 360. This camera is the easiest and quickest way to create VR content. You just shoot, stitch and edit, upload to your phone and publish. With dual CMOS 15MP sensors, resolution is impressive with the dual cam movie recording mode at 3840 x 1920 at 30fps and still capturing at 7776 x 3888. Available from a wide variety of retailers for $349, it’s a must have for those wanting to create VR content.
W. H. Bourne is an award-winning filmmaker who also loves to shop. She has a very long holiday wishlist this season.