Looking for a gift to buy for a photographer in your life? Check out our guide for a range of suggestions
Buying gifts for people who are passionate about photography can be tough: there are many options out there and a lot of the latest attention-grabbing products can be pricey. To help, we’ve provided a list that includes some affordable kit-bag essentials, as well as some top deals at various price points.
Gifts £200 and under
This is not a mistake: the Interfit F5 two head kit with double sided background (plus support) and 5-in-1 82cm reflector is available as a complete bundle for under £200.
Ideal for anyone who is just starting out and keen to explore studio photography, the Interfit F5 heads run at a relatively cool temperature, which is great when you have a subject sitting for portraits as continuous studio lighting can sometimes generate a lot of heat.
Running cool also means that these lights can be packed away almost immediately after turning them off, whereas hot heads need to be left out too cool down for several minutes. It’s portable, it’s flexible and it’s affordable.
- 32W fluorescent bulbs (x 10)
- 1600W equivalent combined output
- Stays cool
- Includes two (20×28″) soft boxes and lights stands
The Manfrotto XPRO A3 monopod paired with the 234RC is a great piece of kit for photographers who require a portable/compact setup. This tilt head can support up to 2.5kg in weight, which is enough to handle most medium-to-large camera/lens combinations, while the monopod on its own can support up to 10kg, ideal for use with long telephoto lenses. The head of the 234RC will allow the camera to be turned 90°, making it easy to switch from landscape to portrait orientation. The monopod uses a quick clip-lock leg system for extending it up to its maximum 160cm height.
- Payload: 10kg
- 3 leg sections
- Max length: 160cm/63inches
- Very light: 0.7kg
- 90° angle provides you with wide ranging flexibility (head)
- Vertical and horizontal formats so you have versatility (head)
Aimed at enthusiast photographers, the Lensbaby Spark is a lightweight, all-plastic-bodied 50mm selective focus lens with an f/5.6 fixed aperture, designed to offer a fun way to capture selective focus images with a DSLR. The Lensbaby Spark features a unique focusing optic and a tilting lens body, allowing photographers to capture creative images in-camera that have a sweet spot of focus, surrounded by blur.
The .06x Wide Angle/Macro Kit is also included in the bundle and it’s an accessory that screws onto the front of the Spark and changes the focal length from the regular 50mm focal length to 30mm. It has a macro filter that you can unscrew and use separately for close-up macro work, allowing you to focus from 2-3″ away.
As well as the lenses, the book Lensbaby: Bending your Perspective (2nd edition) is the third piece in the bundle, and it’s a great source of inspiration, loaded with imaginative tips and tricks. With beautiful portfolio galleries that inspire – plus resourceful perspectives on creating wonder with every shot – this book gives you everything you need to explore with Lensbaby.
- Get creative blur effects in camera
- 30-50mm focal length with accessory attachment
- f/5.6 fixed aperture
- Free book for inspiration
Aimed at wildlife astro spotters, Celestron’s SkyMaster series of large-aperture binoculars represents a great balance between value for money and performance, especially over long distances.
Each SkyMaster model features high-quality BAK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics for enhanced contrast. Celestron has designed and engineered the larger SkyMaster models to meet the special demands of extended astronomical viewing sessions: large objective lenses, high magnification, in a reasonably lightweight configuration.
- 25x magnification porro prism binocular
- Large 70mm objective lens offers maximum image brightness in low-light and long-range conditions
- Ultra-sharp focus across the field of view
- Multi-coated optics for sharp, clear views
- Suitable for terrestrial or astronomical viewing
- Protective rubber covering for ultra-firm grip
- Large center focus knob for easy focusing
- Tripod adapter included for use on tripod or monopod – essential for prolonged viewing (25x is too high a magnification to handhold)
- Long eye relief ideal for eyeglass wearers
- Carrying case included for travel and safe storage
Designed for photographers who are often on the move, the Manfrotto Advanced Travel Backpack – in attractive “Wex Grey” – has a some smart features to help you keep your kit organised, safe and comfortable on your back. The main body of the bag is separated into two compartments with velcro dividers that can be adapted to fit your setup. There’s enough room for a camera body with an attached medium-telephoto lens, plus an additional 2-3 small-to-medium sized lenses or one 70-200mm-sized zoom, as well as a flashgun and accessories.
There are some neat zip pockets inside the bag and three on the outside – useful for storing memory cards, batteries and travel documents – and space for a 13-15″ laptop in a dedicated secure section. Manfrotto’s BeFree travel tripod can also be slipped into the extendable tripod pocket on the right-hand side of the bag, while larger tripods can be strapped to the back of the bag.
What do you get for a photographer with seemingly everything? A great bag to carry it all in.
- Holds a DSLR with attached lens, two additional lenses, flash and accessories. Additionally a 13″ laptop can be stored in the dedicated compartment on the back. Plus an extendable side padded pocket for BeFree travel tripod.
- This bag comes with the option and proper connections to attach your tripod externally. (Check carrying solution chart for recommended tripods).
- Included fold-out protector which when installed creates a barrier between the wet outside and dry inside of your bag.
- Interchangeable dividers – both modular and easy to use, these dividers allow you to custom fit the inside of your bag around your gear by creating the exact size compartment for your gear.
One of the most popular tripods in our range, the Manfrotto MT055 XPRO 3 Tripod is available bundled with the XPRO Ball Head, and MBAG75N Tripod Bag during this promotional period.
The 3-section MT055XPRO3 tripod can support up to 9kg and has a maximum height of 170cm. It also features a 90° centre column mechanism, which allows the column to be extended vertically or horizontally, opening up a wide range of creative options for photography and video work.
- Payload: 9kg
- Closes down to 61cm
- 90° centre column mechanism – folds horizontally and vertically
- Max height: 170cm
- The MHXPRO-BHQ2 (Head) features two levelling bubbles
Gifts £200 and over
This camera is a strong option for advanced enthusiast photographers who may have previously owned an entry-level DSLR or compact camera and want to take their skills to the next level.
With quick hybrid autofocusing, the Canon 80D offers a great combination of high image quality and practically professional standard HD video. A free bag and a £60 Photobook Voucher and Cashback is included in this bundle, making it a nice Xmas deal, with the Photobook voucher giving you the flexibility to put the money towards the photobook of your choice.
- 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
- DIGIC 6 Image Processor
- 45 point all cross-type AF system
- 7 fps continuous shooting (5 fps in Live View CAF)
- 7,560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
- ISO sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000 (exp. to 25,000)
- Shoot Full HD 60p movies
- Create smooth action sequences or slow motion effects in MP4 format
- Intelligent Viewfinder with 100% frame coverage
- 3.0″ Vari-Angle LCD touch screen
- Timelapse Movie, HDR and Creative Filters
- NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity
There are times when you need to throw light at a subject in a way that typical studio or flash-gun lighting can’t deliver, and that’s where the Ice Light 2 comes in.
The Ice Light 2 is a versatile and portable lighting solution that can help get the shot where other lights may struggle. Whether you’re buying for somebody with video or stills requirements, this piece of lighting will quickly become an essential piece of kit in their setup.
This second iteration of the Wescott Ice Light carries a number of significant specification and usability improvements. It has a 96 CRI light, making it 50% brighter, it has a removable battery, and better controls which offer 18-steps of brightness level adjustment.
Wescott also does a great range of Ice Light accessories to help owners get even more out of their kit, and while stocks last the Ice Light 2 will come with the Westcott Ice Pack Accessory Kit for Ice Light, worth £149.00, for free.
- 1740 Lumen output with 96 CRI
- 5500K daylight-balanced output
- Lightweight and portable
- 1-hour battery life with 2.5 hour recharge time
- Looks like a lightsaber
This is one of the best selling cameras in its category, due to its size, zoom capabilities and image quality. The Sony HX90V is a perfect pocket camera that makes a great companion for day trips or longer travel.
Its 30x optical zoom allows photographers to get up close to distant details and its 180-degree tiltable LCD screen is ideal for self-portraits and recording video blogs.
This bundle provides everything needed to get started, including a leather body case, a 16GB memory card and an additional spare battery.
- ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 30x optical zoom lens for extra-clear pictures
- 18.27 MP Exmor R CMOS sensor for higher image quality even when dark
- BIONZ X image processing engine delivers more detail with less noise
- Retractable OLED Tru-Finder for clearer viewing, greater operability
- Full HD movie recording with support for XAVC S or AVCHD format
- 180-degree tiltable LCD for easy framing of selfies/low-position shots
- Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi with NFC
Sony’s full-frame Alpha A7R is a compact system camera able to capture images with an exceedingly high level of detail and colour depth. This model has won many awards since its release, and still holds its own among many of the latest cameras. It’s also fully compatible with the wide range of lenses available for the Sony E-mount system. The A7R features an intuitive layout, ergonomic design, powerful BIONZ X image processor, and responsive autofocus system to ensure sharp, accurate results for stills and videos.
- Full-frame compact system camera
- 36.4MP CMOS sensor
- Contrast-detect AF system
- 2.4-million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder
- Dust/moisture-resistant magnesium-alloy body
- Full HD (1920×1080) video, 60p with audio level & clean HDMI output
- 4K photo output and support for TRILUMINOS display
- 3.0″ tiltable LCD, 1.23 million dots
- NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity
- ISO 100-25,600
- Professional choice for landscape photographers
Hopefully we’ve provided some inspiration if you were struggling for gift ideas, either for yourself or for a loved one. Perhaps you’ve already purchased some winning gifts for a photographer in the past. If you have some gift suggestions of your own, please feel free to share them with other readers via the comments section.