Desktops, Laptops, Raid Drives, 4K Monitors- Gift Guide 2017

Let's talk about pro level gear for your office - the stuff that makes editing photos and video a painless experience - from fast computers and huge raid drives to beautiful 4k monitors in this episode of the 2017 Holiday Gift Guide.

5K iMac


Specs -4.2 GHz Intel Core i7 Quad-Core8GB of DDR4 RAM | 512GB SSD (Buy Additional RAM)27" 5120 x 2880 IPS Retina 5K DisplayAMD Radeon Pro 580 Graphics Card (8GB)UHS-II SDXC Card ReaderThunderbolt 3 | USB 3.0 Type-AI have an older version of this iMac and love it - a beautiful screen that needs no calibration and performance that easily handles editing photos and 4k video. I recommend you buy with just 8GB of RAM and buy separately, it is VERY easy to install and saves you almost $400.Buy from B&H Photo: Recommended 5k iMac

15" MacBook Pro

Specs -2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 Quad-Core16GB of 2133 MHz RAM | 512GB SSD15.4" 2880 x 1800 Retina DisplayAMD Radeon Pro 560 Graphics (4GB GGDR5)An updated version of my trusty MacBook Pro - this will handle all your editing needs. While I would love to save a few pounds and go with the 13 the truth is you save less than 2lbs and give up significant screen real estate.  For photo editing that doesn't feel cramped, I need 15" screen.Buy from B&H Photo: Recommended Laptop 15" Macbook Pro

Lacie 6Big -36TB Thunderbolt Raid Drive

Lacie 6Big

Lacie 6Big

Lacie 6Big

Lacie 6Big

Talking backup drives is never very exciting but this raid drive is ridiculously fast and comes in a variety of sizes. I am currently running the 6Big with 6, 6TB drives giving me 30TB of space and peace of mind with the raid system protecting me from drive failure.Specs-6 x 6TB Enterprise-Class 3.5" HDDsSix Hot-Swappable Drive Bays2 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB 3.10/1/5/6/10/50 RAID SupportBuy from B&H Photo: Lacie 6Big

BenQ SW271 27" 16:9 4K IPS Monitor

Specs -27" In-Plane Switching (IPS) MonitorUSB Type-C / HDMI / DP Inputs3840 x 2160 Resolution1000:1 Contrast RatioI have been using this monitor for a few weeks now and the resolution and color is lovely - this is a fantastic monitor for editing with easy custom setup, a removable shade/glare hood and a nice matte finish to the screen.Buy from B&H Photo: Beautiful 4K Monitor

The Gift Guide: Mobile Photography

It's time for the holidays and we're here with the gear you need. If you're traveling a lot, on the go, or just prefer shooting with a phone we've got some great options:

Google Pixel 2

Google Pixel 2

Google Pixel 2

Mefoto Sidekick

Mefoto Sidekick

Zhiyun-Tech Smooth-Q Smartphone Gimbal

Zhiyun-Tech Smooth-Q Smartphone Gimbal

Holiday Gift Guide for the Crafty Photographer

Holiday Gift Guide for the Crafty Photographer | http://photorec.tvThe holiday gift guide for the crafty photographer is near and dear to my heart because I am a crafty photographer. I own more craft supplies than I care to admit and love experimenting with all different types of creative projects. Instead of researching great holiday deals or talking to everyone I know about what they would buy for the crafty photographer in their life, I'm simply sharing the items I own and use all the time for my creative photography.

50mm f/1.8

I feel like a broken record talking about the 50mm f/1.8 lens. But it really is such a great tool for creative photography and beyond. 50mm is an ideal focal length for portraits, street photography, and much more. I use it far more often than any other lens for my blog photography and creative shooting. The focal length is extremely versatile, and the wide 1.8 aperture lets you play around with shooting in virtually any light level. The possibilities are endless.


The Lensbaby is actually the only item in this holiday gift guide I don't own myself. Lensbaby produces simple prime lenses that allow you to experiment with bokeh and other fun photography techniques without breaking the bank. They offer prime lenses at varying focal lengths, all for under $500. My friend Natasha has a couple of fantastic examples of images she's created with her Lensbaby as well as inspiration and suggestions for other creative possibilities with Lensbaby images. Check them out here: Seaside Sunset Bokeh Freebie Pack | In-Camera Bokeh Overlay Freebies.

Printed paper and vinyl backdrops

Patterned paper and vinyl backdrops allow you to create staged or styled photography setups quickly and easily. Having a backdrop eliminates distraction and creates a professional, cohesive aesthetic for your images. If you're taking portraits or experimenting with creative techniques that may be messy, such as freezing water drops with a flash, vinyl is a great option because it's simple to clean and reuse. My favorite Etsy shops for vinyl backdrops are InkandElm and MyBackdropShop.I also love to use patterned paper for creative photography because there are so many designs available. As patterned paper is cheaper, I don't worry too much about keeping it in great condition. When you've trashed it, simply throw it out and roll out some new paper. My favorite online source for patterned paper is Pacon's Ella Bella line. I also recommend browsing the large paper rolls as well as smaller scrapbook paper options at Michaels.

Fun dishes, silverware, and other kitchen items

Adding a few carefully selected props to a styled shoot helps tell a story, creating a stronger image. I share some of my best examples of styled food shots in 10 Steps to Improve Your Food Photography. Think about gifting the crafty photographer in your life fun dishes, silverware, or other kitchen gear that they might not purchase for themselves. Hit your favorite thrift or secondhand shop, and keep an eye out for holiday deals from popular kitchen retailers, such as Crate and Barrel.

Seasonal props and other decor items

DIY Heart Shaped Bokeh How to for Valentine's Day is a perfect example of how you can create fun holiday images without breaking the bank. I love to hit the dollar store and the dollar section at Target and other big box stores for seasonal and holiday props and other decor items. I also keep a handful of versatile photography props on hand, such as Scrabble tiles and blue Ball jars, which are easy to mix and match for an extensive range of shots.

Christmas lights and fairy lights

I'm a huge sucker for Christmas lights and have been known to dig through the Christmas decorations, so I can pull out the lights for a photo shoot. I also own a few dedicated solid color light strands I use solely for photography (luckily, they're cheap and don't take up a lot of space). In addition to potential for creative bokeh, Christmas lights make for a great prop or add a fun pop of color to creative shoots. The holidays are a perfect time to splurge on a few strands for a crafty photographer, as you'll find a wide range of colors and styles at every big box and home improvement store. You can also shop for lights online at Amazon all year round.I also love using fairy lights in my photography for a lighter touch. Jessica of How Sweet Eats has some fantastic styled photos with fairy lights in her espresso martinis recipe. Fairy lights are fun for a whimsical photo shoot, too.

Creative photography course

My favorite source for creative classes is Alisa Burke. I'm not sponsored to promote her classes, nor do I receive any compensation if you sign up for or gift one of her classes. I've just been a huge Alisa fan for years now and absolutely love the online classes I've taken with her. Currently, she offers two photography classes: Snapshot Delight and Photo Play. Honestly, I think any of her classes will enhance your creative photography skills, so don't be afraid to think out of the box for gift giving this season.

What camera gear is on your holiday wish list this year?Is there anything else you’d like to see in this holiday gift guide for the crafty photographer?

Feel free to share links in the comments!

Holiday Photographer's Gift Guide, $500 or Less

Holiday Photographer's Gift Guide $500 or Less | http://photorec.tvPut together a wish list of fantastic photography gear for the upcoming holidays that won't break the bank for your family and friends! 

Prime lenses

Prime lenses are a fantastic value for any photographer, regardless of your budget. If you're brand new to shooting with prime lenses, the 50mm f/1.8 (Canon | Nikon) is a terrific place to start. 50mm is a versatile focal length for portraits, street photography, styled shoots, and much more. If you already own the 50mm 1/.8 or are more interested in other focal lengths, the 40mm f/2.8, 60mm f/2.8, and 85mm f/1.8 are also great options for Canon shooters. Nikon has the 35mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8. For Sony shooters, Sigma offers a selection of prime lenses for under $500, including the 19mm f/2.8, 30mm f/1.4, and 60mm f/2.8.


Many photographers are intimated to purchase filters. High-end filters are expensive, and numerous professionals bash budget filters, discouraging photographers from using them. While you can skip the cheap UV filters, budget CPL and neutral density filters are quality products. Purchasing budget filters also allows you to test the gear at a low price point. You can always upgrade later. Tiffen and Altura are both great budget filter brands for CPL filters. I own the Altura neutral density filter set, which is an ideal starter set for experimenting with different filter numbers.


The holidays are the perfect opportunity to ask for smaller camera gear, such as speedlites, tripods, and straps, to fill out your photography gear without asking for items that are too expensive. When you're in the market for a budget flash, your best place to start is YONGNUO. The YN-560 IV is just $65 and has an impressive range of features including supporting wireless master and slave functioning and multiple trigger synchronous mode.


There are a wide range of sturdy tripods that will keep your equipment safe without breaking the bank. When in doubt, choose a well-known tripod manufacturer, such as Dolica, Benro, or Mefoto, and then browse their budget or travel tripods. I use the Dolica TX570B150SL Ultra Compact Tripod, which currently retails for under $70. I purchased it for travel but love the convenient, compact design so much that it's become my standard tripod. When purchasing a tripod, don't skimp on durability just to save a few bucks. The tripod you purchase should be sturdy and well-equipped for your photography needs.PhotoRec tripod reviews: Dolica TRX570 vs Mefoto Travel Tripod, Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod, and Ball Head, Benro Aero 2 & 4, Feisol CT-3442 Tripod, and Mefoto Globetrotter Air.


A strap is a must-have for every photographer. Ditch the uncomfortable, awkward strap that comes with your camera, and invest in a better strap. My go-to recommendation for hobbyist and professional photographers alike is the Altura Photo Rapid Fire Camera Neck Strap. I've been using a similar BlackRapid model for several years, and the Altura is just as durable and considerably cheaper. Short of shooting weddings full-time, the Altura is ideal for all of your photography needs.If you're looking for a more stylish strap, check out Envy Scarf Straps, which are extremely versatile and come in a wide range of styles. You can also find a wealth of camera straps on Etsy. Check out ten8e, theBLUEcoopDOOR, and LiVeCameraStraps.


Personally, I'm a huge fan of ThinkTank camera bags. Most recently, I purchased the SubUrban Disguise 10, which is a great bag for traveling with a lightweight system or taking day trips (full review). I also highly recommend the SubUrban Disguise 20 and the Urban Disguise 40 Classic, both of which are very similar to the now discounted CityWalker 20, which I've been using as my main camera bag for several years. Tenba is another fantastic camera bag company with a wide range of products for $200 or less (full review: Tenba 14L ActionPack Camera Bag).I also cannot say enough good things about the LowePro Fastpack 250 DSLR Camera Backpack. It is one of the first items I ever purchased for my DSLR and has held up beautifully through numerous travel. For less than $100, you'll be hard pressed to find a DSLR backpack that holds as much gear and is versatile enough to serve as a primary carry-on travel bag as well.Are you looking for a stylish camera bag on a budget? Consider Jo Totes or Grafea.

Fun items

I couldn't write a holiday gift guide without including a few purely fun camera items. Camera lens cups are always a popular choice. If you have a lot of social gatherings at home or love to take candid pictures of your family and friends, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is the best polaroid or instant camera on the market right now. Finally, add a couple of nerdy photography shirts to your wish list.

What budget camera gear is on your holiday wish list this year?Is there anything else you'd like to see in this holiday gift guide?

Feel free to share links in the comments!


Photographer's Gift Guide: Beginner Photographers♦♦ Link to ALL items mentioned ♦♦Bryan Peterson: Book: Maier: Perfect Practice: Prime LensesCanon 50mm f/1.8 STM: 35mm f/1.8: 4/3: E-mount: FE Mount: for Beginners: Christina---Instagram:

Photographer's Gift Guide: Gadget Loving Photographers

We have put together 12 lists of recommended holiday gifts for the photographer in your life. Today's list is gifts for the gadget loving photographer. Check back each day for the next list.♦♦ Link to ALL items mentioned:TriggerTrap: Battery: Cable Management: Organizer: Air -  

Photographer's Gift Guide: Adventure/Travel Photographers

We have put together 12 lists of recommended holiday gifts for the photographer in your life. Today's list is gifts for the adventure or travel photographer. Check back each day for the next list. Gear FirstLight 20LJoby SLR Zoom:   I do suggest you buy the ball head too unless you have one you can borrow from a different tripod. Joby Ball Head Abisko Lite Trousers 

Photography Gifts for the Stylish Photographer

Day Three of our Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers!

Ona Bags

Ona Bag BrixtonThe beautiful antique cognac Brixton Camera/Laptop Messenger Bag from ONA is designed to hold your DSLR with three lenses, a 13" laptop, and accessories. In addition, there's a rear open slip-pocket that's large enough for a 10" tablet. Movable interior dividers allow you to configure the bag to accommodate your gear. Dual front accessory pockets fit small, quick-access items such as lens caps, batteries, and a smartphone.Buy from B&H Photo $439  Shop all Ona Products from Ona 

Cecilia Gallery Straps

Cecilia Gallery Baby Alpaca Wool Camera StrapHand-woven from Peruvian wool and featuring full-grain Argentinian cowhide, the charcoal Baby Alpaca Wool Camera Strap from Cecilia Gallery features a wide 1.5" neck to comfortably hold a DSLR with an attached lens on adjustable black leather strap ends. Attaching to the side camera lugs, the durable strap ends are comprised of a triple layer build and are rated for a 250 pound resistance, allowing this strap to accommodate bigger and heavier lenses. This 52" long designer strap features Zamac hardware, which is a zinc-alloy held to higher industry standards.Buy from B&H Photo $90 

HoldFast Gear Money Maker Two-Camera Harness

HoldFast Gear Money Maker Two-Camera Harness (English Bridle, Chestnut, Small)The Money Maker Two-Camera Harness by HoldFast Gear is made of chestnut English Bridle leather and holds two cameras comfortably at your hips. The straps of the harness lie in an "X" pattern across your back for added support. The Speed Clutch mechanism allows the camera to slide along the harness to eye level easily.Buy from B&H Photo $215


Photography Gifts under $75

Day Two of our Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers!

Keyboard covers

kbcovers lightroom shortcutsThe KB Covers' Photoshop & Lightroom Keyboard Covers for MacBook, Air & Pro (Unibody, Black Keys) is a durable, ultra-thin silicone keyboard cover with custom editing buttons for a default keyboard layout in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom. The cover allows you to improve your workflow by spending more time working on your project and less time memorizing the program shortcut keys.Buy from B&H Photo or direct from


triggertrap connection diagramCreate advanced triggering setups all from your smartphone or tablet with this Triggertrap Mobile Kit, Triggertrap allows users to quickly and easily connect their cameras to their smart phones or tables and via the FREE triggertrap app offers a variety of different sensor triggering options, such as sound and vibration, time lapse modes, HDR imaging capabilities, and standard cable release settings.Buy from B&H Photo $37

Ona Insert

Ona Bag Roma InsertThe Roma Camera Insert and Bag Organizer from Ona is a unique approach to organizing and carrying your gear. It fits inside many of today's medium-sized non-camera style bags. Designed to hold your DSLR with a lens and a few accessories like batteries, it's also made with five exterior pockets that will hold everything from pens, cell phone, wallet and passport.Buy from B&H Photo $69

Print gift certificates

Gift Cards for AdoramapixSpend any sum of money for a gift certificate to print products at Adoramapix and the photographer in your life will be happy - it is special to have your own photos on the wall and a gift certificate can be a big nudge in that direction. We love the quality, consistency and diversity of products at Adoramapix.Buy from Adoramapix $10-150

Peak Design Field Pouch

Peak Design Field PouchStore your small camera accessories or smaller Micro 4/3 camera systems in the Field Pouch from Peak Design. Further organize your gear by utilizing the interior slip pockets and take advantage of the attachment point for Peak Design's Capture Clip. Keep your pouch in your bigger bag, or use the seatbelt style belt loops to wear on your belt. You can also attach the pouch to any Peak Design strap (sold separately) turning it into a lightweight sling bag. The felt padding provides light protection from everyday use, while the weather-resistant waxed 500D Kodra shell helps safeguard your gear from a sudden change in weather.Buy from B&H PhotoLexar 64GB Professional 1000x UHS-II SDXC Memory Card Photographers can always use more space and this two pack of FAST cards from Lexar will satisfy nicely. Fast enough to handle higher bit rate 4K and nicelyBuy from B&H Photo $74.75

JOBY Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom Flexible Mini TripodUltralight but ultra useful  - the Gorillapod is a Flexible joint tripod you can wrap around fences, tree branches, etc.  This allows you to carry an extremely small tripod capable of any height you want- I recommend buying with the small ball head as this does give you additional flexibility in setup and use.Buy from B&H Photo

Westcott 5-in-1 Reflector Disc

Westcott 5-in-1 Reflector DiscThe Westcott 40.5" 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector is versatile in the field and in the studio, providing shadow-lightening detail in your subject, using available, or studio lighting. It starts out as a translucent white disc -- perfect for softening direct sun, or lights without diffusion. Use the removable, reversible zippered slipcover to reflect light into shadow areas of your subject. Your choice of color -- silver, gold, white, black mix -- will be determined by the lighting conditions, and your personal preference.Buy from B&H Photo $39.90

Photography Gifts Under $150

We have put together 12 lists of recommended holiday gifts for the photographer in your life.   Today's list is gifts under $150.   Check back each day for the next list. 

Spider Camera Holster SpiderPro Hand Strap

Screenshot 2015-12-07 13.17.49 Screenshot 2015-12-07 13.17.55Extremely comfortable, form fitting and adds a bit of security to the gripBuy from B&H Photo $65.00 

Lume cube

Screenshot 2015-12-07 13.30.17 Really tiny cubes (about the size of a GoPro Session) that allows you to produce a constant beam of light or use as a flash/strobe.  Adjust the settings via the app or manual control on the light and waterproof to 100'Preorder from B&H Photo $79.99 

A Prime Lens

Almost every manufacturer offers a prime lens under $150.  If the photographer in your life doesn't have a prime lens this is a great gift that can help them get more creative and explore low light photography in a way not possible with slower kit lenses.Buy your prime lens from B&H Photo 

One year of Creative Cloud

Screenshot 2015-12-07 13.46.40A one year subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop is always a useful present- this always updated package provides all the software and power a photographer needs to post process their images.Buy Direct / Download Card from B&H Photo

External Drives from WD

Keep your photos safe and backed up - external storage is cheap! We love these smaller, travel friendly drives or the larger 4TB desktop drive- all for under $150WD 2TB Elements Portable Hard Drive WD 2TB Elements Portable Hard Drive $76.99WD 4TB Elements External Desktop Hard Disk DriveWD 4TB Elements External Desktop Hard Disk Drive $109.99 

Fujifilm instax 210 Instant Film Camera

Fujifilm instax 210 Instant Film Camera If you got a friend who's not super serious about photography but still enjoy taking pictures or casually taking pictures, the Fujifilm instax cameras are a great choice.  The Instax 210 is great for general photography and includes a close-up attachment.Buy from B&H Photo $72.85

MeFOTO BackPacker Travel Tripod

we travel often and the very portable MeFoto BackPacker Travel tripod has done everywhere with.  Folding down to just 12.6" and weighing only 2.2lbs - small enough to be tossed into all of our camera bags.  I first reviewed this tripod in 2013 and despite my rough handling- and an unfortunate canoe incident where it spent 3 days under water - it continues to work well!MeFOTO BackPacker Travel TripodBuy from B&H Photo $144.99 We will be back tomorrow with our next gift list and for the next 11 days!  Stay tuned.