While that ugly sweater might make a great wardrobe choice for the first victim in your next horror movie and the fruit cake might make a great weapon to kill your first victim with, chances are the gift giver might notice your creative use of their holidays gifts and not share your same sense of humor!
Even if you're buying yourself the new Blackmagic Ursa Mini or a new editing laptop this holiday season, chances are there’s still a family member or friend looking for a gift idea for you.
Even if you're buying yourself the new Blackmagic Ursa Mini or a new editing laptop this holiday season, chances are there’s still a family member or friend looking for a gift idea for you. They may not have access to your Amazon Wish List so be sure to share with them your holiday gift ideas.
Practical Gifts For the Beginner to the Pro
Whether you’re a professional or hobbyist, an occasional or full time shooter, it's hard to argue about these gift ideas.
GoPro 3 Way Mount
It seems like there's always another Go Pro accessory you really need. The GoPro 3 Way Mount definitely makes that list since it's incredibly versatile. The mount can be used as a camera grip, as an extension arm and selfie stick, or as a mini-tripod. Lightweight and waterproof, it can expand up to 20” and it collapses to 7.5”. Available from the GoPro store for $69.99, you can sometimes find it a few bucks cheaper at other online retailers.
Manfrotto's LBAG90 is a carrying bag designed to hold 3 small light stands. Featuring an easy to grip handle as well as a sling style shoulder strap, the bag internally measures 34.65” (L) X 6.3” (W) X 4.33” (H). It's available online and from most of your local Manfrotto dealers; it retails for $45.99.
Lowepro Toploader Pro 70 AW II
If you remember my holiday gift buying list from last year, you probably have figured out that I love top loading camera bags. While bags do occasionally wear out, finding a bag that fits your shooting style also can merit a replacement. Lowepro's Toploader Pro features two straps to allow four different ways to wear the bag: over the shoulder, holster style, attached to your belt or as a chest harness. This camera bag is great for the active shooter featuring a quick release for one handed openings. It also features Lowepro's All Weather AW Cover which completely wraps 360-degrees around the bag. Available online from Lowpro as well your other favorite online or big box retailers, this great bag retails for $89.95.
Pelican Products 0940-015-110 Micro Memory Card Case
For those shooting with compact flash (CF) cards, you know they're still expensive. If you don't have a good, protective waterproof case to hold them in, you'll definitely want to consider this one. Bearing a name you can trust, this micro Pelican case holds up to 6 CF cards snugly in a removable shock absorbing liner. While it retails from $27.95, you can often find it on sale from online retailers like Amazon for $17.49.
Night Ize Gear Tie ProPack
Night Ize's Gear Ties are reusable twist ties that have a tough rubber shell that provides an excellent grip with a strong wire inside that holds its shape. Available in a range of sizes from 3” to 32” and in various colors, the Gear Tie ProPacks feature larger bundles (6, 12, or 24) of Gear Ties that are perfect for big jobs or the videographer that just likes to have all his gear organized. Ranging in price from $13.49 – $24.99, you can purchase these online directly from Night Ize or other online retailers.
Davis & Sanford Monoped 64
This heavy duty, all aluminum pro 4-section, flip lock monopod with a folding base works great for photos or videos especially when a tripod is not practical. The folding base has built-in ball pivoting for support and maneuverability. The base can be detached from the monopod and used as a table top tripod. It folds to 24” but has an extended height of 64” and weighs only 2.6 lbs. While it retails for $90, you can often find it on sale at retailers like Amazon for $67.95.
Video Blocks Membership
Need B-roll for a commercial or an establishing shot for your short? For $99, you have access to Video Blocks' library of more than 115,000 video clips, After Effects templates, motion backgrounds and more. Everything you download is royalty free content with no restrictions on commercial use. Once you download the content, the license and the content is yours even after your membership expires. There's a 7 day free trial if you want to check it out before you put it on your wish list.
Storage Always Makes a Great Gift!
You never have enough storage – ever! Whether it's upgrading your old external drives to USB 3 or Thunderbolt or going with a new external SSD or just finding a way to store all of your loose drives, here's some wonderful gift ideas.
SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 120GB
With transfer rates up to 4X faster than an external hard drive, the SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD is great for rapidly transferring hi res photos and videos. It's compact and shock resistant and features no moving parts so it's also useful when working in extreme conditions. It comes in two different sizes 120GB and 240GB. The SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 120GB retails for $100, but you can often find it on sale at retailers like Amazon for $79.99.
Transcend 1TB StoreJet 25M3 External Hard Drive
The Transcend 1TB StoreJet 25M3 External Hard Drive is military drop tested making it very durable. The drive is covered in an anti-shock outer rubber case. Although I would not recommend throwing this out of a helicopter, it's tough so you can toss it in a backpack or camera bag to ensure you always have storage on hand. A 2 TB version is also available. You can buy both from retailers online with B&H currently running the 1TB at $54.95 and the 2TB at $94.95
iDsonix 5-Bay 3.5 inch Hard Drive Storage Box
Sorting through endless anti-static bags stored in a cardboard box is incredibly inconvenient and definitely not the safest or most organized ways to store your loose hard drives. iDsonix’s 5-Bay 3.5 inch Hard Disk Drive Storage Box provides a protective, anti-static case to store your drives. Easy to open and access, it will save you time when you need to spinor search through those backup and archived drives. It retails from Amazon for $21.99.
Have Fun With Your Phone With Some New Accessories
If you're using a Samsung Galaxy S5 or S6 or the latest iPhone, you've got a nice 4K camera attached. Why not take advantage of it? Accessories really can make the difference in turning your phone into a fun new toy.
The ?lloClip 4-in-1Lens is model-specific for various iPhones and the Galaxy S5 and 6. It includes wide angle, fisheye, 10X and 15X macro lenses. It's compact and snaps onto your phone for a small convenient form factor. It retails for $69.99 and is available online from ?lloClip as well as other online retailers.
Luxi For All Light Meter
Using the Luxi Mobile App for iOS or Android, the diffusion dome for front facing cameras clips onto surfaces 1/2” thick. It retails for $29.95 from online retailers such as B&H and will help you get the most from your camera on your tablet or phone.
Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone
Using the MOTIV iOS or Android app, the Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone plugs into the headphone jack of your phone or tablet and utilizes your device's recording abilities to provide a quality, affordable lavalier. It retails for $69 and is available from most online retailers including Sweetwater and B&H.
Feel Like a Kid Again
This toy will have you believing in Santa once again.
HUBSAN X4 H107C-HD Quadcopter with 2MP Video Camera
It fits in the palm of your hand and has a 720p video camera for the incredible price of $54.95! It's a great way to test out a drone and learn how to fly without the expense of crashing a $1000 rig. Available from B&H and other online retailers, it's on the top of my holiday wish list.
The holidays are all about giving. In the same way you love to give to those near and dear, allow them to give back to you by providing them with your holiday wish list this year. Remember, friends don’t give friends fruit cakes and ugly sweaters unless they’re prepping to shoot a holiday horror film.
Side Bar: Great Stuff To Fill Those Stockings
Expendables such as gaff tape, lens wipes, and velcro cable ties make great stocking stuffers and can usually be purchased for under $20. There are also items that you tend to lose, wear over time or break such as SD or micro SD cards, lens pens, and microfiber cloths. These are also inexpensive and are great to give as well as receive.
W. H. Bourne is an award winning filmmaker who also loves to shop!