Holiday Gift Guide 2014

This is a list of suggested accessories, ideas and services. If you are looking for cameras see my recommended cameras/gear as of November 2014. If you want to see all current deals and Black Friday Deals on cameras and accessories.My Holiday Gift Guide - Compiled with the help of Roy McKee - Here is Roy's complete list of suggested gear and accessories.  Christina has her own guide this year.

Lenses - Prime and Macro

Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.37.21 A prime lens - If you don't have one you need one. I have 6 reasons you should get a prime lens this holiday season. If you are a Canon shooter I suggest the Canon 24mm (more here) in short it is a lovely focal length on your APS-C sensor Canons providing excellent quality and low light performance in a tiny package.  Want a different focal length, maybe one better for portraits? I have a Canon Prime Lens Guide.   The EFS 24mm is just $149 Buy from Amazon or B&H Photo Video
Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.36.56 Nikon Photographers I suggest you start with the 35mm f/1.8 as your first prime.  A lovely focal length on a crop sensor camera, small, lightweight but provides excellent quality and very good low light capabilities with that f/1.8 maximum aperture. Just $196. Buy from Amazon or B&H Photo Video
Screenshot 2014-11-26 09.25.42 Feeling stuck in a photographic rut or maybe you feel like the area you live isn't particularly photogenic - a macro lens is a nice escape- turn the hum drum world around you into something amazing. Macro lenses start affordable and quickly climb from there.  For the cheapest option see the extension tubes I recommend next but for a dedicated lens Canon photographers can pick up the Canon EFS 60mm f/2.8 for just over $400 (with rebates).  Buy from Amazon or B&H PHoto Video.Nikon Photographers can start with the 40mm DX lens for $275. Buy from Amazon or B&H Photo Video.Want something more serious? The Canon 100mm F/2.8 L IS is fantastic. With current rebates it is selling from $899. Buy from Amazon or B&H Photo VideoNikon photographers pick up the 90mm Tamron VC for $749 - Offering 4 stops of VC and excellent sharpness. Buy from Amazon or B&H PHoto VideoAs discussed in my macro video - many lenses are marked or sold as Macros but the only a true macro can reach 1:1 magnification and the ones I list above are true macros.
Screenshot 2014-11-26 09.22.06 Macro Extension tubes - Earlier this year I released a longer video detailing several of your macro photography options including extension tubes. This set is an affordable way to get started with Macro photography using your existing lenses. Watch my video on Macro Options. Buy the Extension Tubes from B&H Photo Video (Nikon and Canon mounts available) | Amazon



Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.42.02 LITTLE - Joby Tripod for GoPros and other small cameras (I successfully used mine with a Sony a5100)  The feet have strong magnets making this tiny tripod much larger if you have something metal to stick it on. Railings, lampposts, cars all make good surfaces. $12.99 Buy from Amazon Buy from B&H Photo video for $10.99.
Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.43.13 A tripod is extremely useful and the Dolica is an affordable entry level tripod that offers pro level features - I have a review and side by side comparison with the MeFoto below. $48.95 Buy from Amazon
Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.43.44 MeFoto Travel Tripod - There are taller tripods, smaller tripods, lighter tripods but for me the MeFoto Travel Tripod and it's slight bigger brother the RoadTrip($189) hit the sweet spot of price, portability and performance. My Travel Tripod has always been tall enough for me and more importantly fits in my camera bag and consequently is with me when needed - one of the most important features of a tripod.  $139.00 Buy from Amazon or B&H Photo Video.
TriggerTrap You have a tripod - Now give yourself an additional reason to use it and pick up the Triggertrap mobile dongle system- This little connector and cord allows you to turn your smartphone into a computer capable of triggering your camera in a variety of ways. I have a recent review of Triggertrap here. $24-34.Buy direct from Triggertrap


Simple little gifts to make life easier / cleaner

Screenshot 2014-11-25 17.23.10 Carson Cleaning cloth - Clean lenses, LCD Screens with this soft pouch handy cleaning cloth. $5.92 Buy from Amazon
Screenshot 2014-11-25 17.31.47 Giottos cleaning solution - If you can't clean it with the cloth add a little of this solution. $5.99 Buy from Amazon
Screenshot 2014-11-25 17.34.33 Giottos rocket - Blow the dust away. $8.95 Buy from Amazon


Upgrade your strap

Screenshot 2014-11-25 17.40.30 I love Black Rapid straps- A really nice alternative to the standard strap that always seems to be in my way and causing the camera to bounce around uncomfortably.  Lots more about Black Rapids here and Roy's post on DYI to use the straps with a Manfrotto Tripod plate. $40 - $75 Buy on Amazon
Screenshot 2014-11-25 17.50.06 Need to carry two cameras at the same time or one camera and a lens pouch?  The Holdfast system will do it and you will look sharp too. $200 and up. Buy direct from Holdfast. or B&H Photo Video



Screenshot 2014-11-26 08.38.43 DJI has released a new drone, just in time for the Holidays and I want one! Ready to fly out of the box - these things are amazingly stable, smart(I love watching the copters hold position or come in for a landing on their own) and offer some awesome opportunities for aerial footage. $2,899 Buy from B&H
Screenshot 2014-11-26 08.49.37 5K imac - Want to speed through photo and video editing? I do and the newest imac offering a gorgeous display is one of the fastest computers you can plop on your desk today, the fact that it comes with a gorgeous 5k display makes it extra sweet.  Base models start at $2,399. Buy from B&H
Screenshot 2014-11-26 09.03.19 For video work or time lapse photography a slider can take ho-hum footage- I am eagerly waiting for my Nebo motion slider that you can preoder. If you are in a hurry pick up the Cinetics Axis360 Pro Motorized Motion Control System and Slider. Buy from B&H


Home/Mobile Office

Screenshot 2014-12-22 23.03.35 TaoTronic Lamp - It is important to have consistent lighting in your workspace and the TT-DL01 LED Desk Lamp provides good clean light with multiple brightness and temperature settings. USB Charging port is an added bonus. $52 Buy from Amazon
Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.11.22 Cocoon GRID-IT! Organizer Case - Keep all those little bits and extra wires organized. $7 - $15. Buy from Amazon or B&H Photo Video.
Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.26.28 Think Tank SD Pixel Pocket Rocket, Holds 9 SD Memory Cards - Keep those little cards full of your precious memories safe and organized. $16.75 Buy from Amazon or B&H PHoto Video
Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.24.47 A good camera bag - ThinkTank makes a variety of styles and models and although they aren't cheap they are some of the best on the planet and they last. Treat yourself and treat your gear. Buy direct from ThinkTank


Just Fun

Screenshot 2014-11-26 08.36.10 I stuck the Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Portable Printer SP-1 in the just fun section but it can be quite a serious little addition to your camera bag, providing you with a way to immediately print photos and share something tangible with friends. $177.99 Buy from Amazon Buy from B&H Photo Video.
Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.00.48 Bokeh Kit - Honestly you could make this on your own but the set is affordable and gives you a wide range of options. $24.95 Buy from Amazon
Screenshot 2014-11-25 18.01.00 If you are the type of person that loves to apply a ton of filters to your images you might love the Holga lenses for your camera, available in Nikon or Canon mounts you slap this puppy on your camera and suddenly turn your expensive DSLR into an ancient crappy camera that can be lots of fun to use :)  $24.95 Additional Filters available Canon - Nikon -
Screenshot 2014-11-26 10.34.25 Thermo Lens Mug - These have been around for a few years, my mom gave me mine last year and everyone LOVES It - fun to prank people with too ;) Pretend to drop an expensive lens or pour coffee into an expensive lens or. . you get the idea. $12.99 Buy from Amazon
Screenshot 2014-11-27 23.51.48 I was one of those people that wasn't sure I needed a GoPro and a year after buying one I can't believe the amount of use I have gotten out of mine. Bike rides, zip lines, paragliding, underwater at the salmon hatchery, skiing, timelapse along california coast, playing with kids in the pool and much more. The Hero 3+ Silver offers all the features I have used at a great price - Wifi, 60FPS at full 1080 and 12MP resolution that is so impressive for such a little camera. B&H is currently offering some freebies including a spare battery and 32GB MicroSD card. Grab one quick - limited quantities. Buy from B&H

Gift Cards

Screenshot 2014-11-25 21.58.43 Amazon Gift Card - All but one of the items on this guide can be purchased on Amazon. If you're not ready to commit to gifting any one of these things, why not just nudge them in the right direction with an Amazon gift card?  Amazon is offering $25 towards a digital camera if you buy someone a $100 Gift Card.
Screenshot 2014-11-25 21.59.13 BH Photo Video Gift Card - Almost all of the items on this guide can also be purchased at B&H. You'll also get brownie points for it being a photography-specific gift card from one of the biggest camera stores in the world. Seriously, you can find just about anything at that store.
Screenshot 2014-11-25 22.00.04 Artifact Uprising Gift Card - Few things are more rewarding to a photographer than seeing their images in print. Artifact Uprising offers a range of really beautiful and simple products to help bring photos from the digital world into the tangible world easily. Better yet - why not make your loved ones a photo book from one of your adventures with them? That's a gift they'll love forever

 My Holiday Gift Guide - Compiled with the help of Roy McKee - Here is Roy's complete list of suggested gear and accessories.  Christina has her own guide this year.