10 perfect Christmas presents for...photographers
Welcome and merry Christmas, in that November kind of way, to the first of our Pocket-lint guides on the perfect presents to buy this year. Yesterday we started the ball rolling with our 101 superb online stores but if that didn't cause any inspiration, or if you just don't have the time to go digging, then today is the day we start to get specific.
The idea of this series is to come up with the best suggestions from our team on what you can buy the people in your lives who already have everything. If you happen to know a keen photographer, you might not fancy buying them a camera. Firstly, they'll already have one; secondly, they'll have a better idea of which they want next and, thirdly, cameras are really expensive. So, instead here are 10 ideas for gifts or camera accessories for them to enjoy.
The Eye-Fi card allow users to wirelessly upload photos and videos to their computer and the web when in range of a Wi-Fi network. They work with any camera that takes an SD card and require no extra software or anything more complicated. In the States, where the cards debuted in 2007, the range is larger and includes a geo-tagging option as well as access to hotpsots where you can upload too. Fingers crossed that'll come to our shores eventually but, for now, the Eye-Fi is still a good tool if you're takng a lot of shots in a studio or any kind of venue with a wireless network.
The 4GB Eye-Fi cards range between £49.99 to £119.00 depending upon how generous you're feeling and are either the Eye-Fi Home Video, the Eye-Fi Share Video and the Eye-Fi Pro each with slightly more functionality. As it happens we're all also running a competition to win one of 10 Eye-Fi Shares, so you've also got the chance of getting hold of them for free.
Camera cuff links
Sadly only really for the male photographer but these camera cuff links will make you the beau of the shutter bug ball. They're made of highly polished rhodium plate and come with a bullet-back toggle for on/off ease. They're a fairly reasonable £40 and you can get them shipped from the US without a hitch. Do make sure your donee has an appropriate shirt or perhaps you could bu him one for next year.
Many of us spend so much taking snapping away and uploading that we never actually get round to printing our photos out. The sad truth of it is that it's all to easy for digital shots to get lost if not backed up orsimply forgotten about. So, one easy gift is to buy someone credit with one of the many online printing services. They can then choose to have individual prints in all sorts of sizes, buy frames or even have albums made up. Try any of Photobox, Snapfish, Kodak or even Cafe Press or Photo-Canvas for something a little different. Digital is great but hard copies look even better.
They may not sound like the world's most fascinating gift but they're cheap and they make excellent stocking fillers. You'd also be surprised how many keen DSLR owners don't actually have them. UV filters can be excellent for adding sharpness to shots by eliminating that part of the spectrum and you can also get filters to add warmth, blur, colour or even star effects too. You'll need to take a sneak at the giftee's camera to find out what size you need but once you've got that, head over to somewhere like PicStop and Bob's your auntie's live in lover.
Constantly taking that are a little skewy without intending to, and then being forced to blame it on artistic license? We've got a nifty solution for you. The Camera Cube snaps into your flash mount and contains a pair of spirit levels, which you can line up to make sure that you're on the same plane as the rest of the world. It's best for when you're using a tripod or your shaky hands will neutralize any of the good it's doing. It also relies on whatever you're taking a photo of being straight in the first place. Great for landscapes but not necessarily wall hangings. It's $15 in the US only but look into postal forwarding services if you're interested.
Roll Film Clock
The last of the Kodak Gold may have gone out of production but you can still enjoy the 35mm format and look like you was there back in the 80s with the Roll Film Clock. It measures 208 x 172 x 96mm, weighs 390g, props itself up on a table and is powered by an AC adaptor. It looks rather good and will tell you the date and time - down to the second - on a very fitting red digital read-out. You can pick on up for $62 and worldwide shipping is available.
Pet's Eye View
For a slightly different methodology of capturing those magic moments, how about the Pet's Eye View camera? It's an automatic snapper that has enoughonboard memory for 40 shots at 640 x 480 resolution. The idea is that you strap it onto your pet's collar and set it to go off at either 1, 5 or 15 minutes intervals and you can see what your fury friend gets up to while your out. It's USB connected, has a rechargeable battery and an LED light to make sure that the shots come out even in dark conditions. Just make sure you don't get upset when your dog takes better photos than you do. £39.95 from Firebox.
T-shirts & badges
Not for everyone but definitely worth a look over at Zazzle's selection of photography inspired t-shirts, badges and the odd bag as well. It's up to you as to which you think your loved one would appreciate most butsome of the highlights for us were t-shirt prints that included phrases "Kiss me I'm a photographer" and "Can I shoot you with my Canon?" amongst some retro look mugs andkey-rings with pictures of Polaroids, Bolex cameras and the odd Rollei too. They start anywhere from a couple of pounds and will ship to the UK and Europe for free with orders over £25.
Seattle Solo Bag
If you're going to buy someone a camera bag - you'll know they need one by the tell tale cursing when they're trying to change lenses - then you may as well get them all protecting waterproof one. Photography equipment is expensive, after all. The Seattle Solo from Camera Armour provides watertight transport for your DSLR camera body with the lens attached, and will protect against dirt, dust, sand and water. Its adjustable shoulder strap is padded for comfort as is the back of the bag to ensure comfortable hip carrying, but there is also a carrying handle if you prefer. Your to give away with a smile from a very reasonable £46.
Whichever you go for both of these portable tripod solutions are a real winner. The provide sturdy grips on random objects while out and about and offer structures that you can literally bend to your will. They'll take any weight of camera from compact to DSLR and mean that you can grab steady or hard to reach shots wherever you are without either the hassle of having to carry around something bigger or the need of a flat surface to shoot from. They start at around £25 - Gorillapod; Smartpod.