Best cool Christmas gifts for photographers
23rd Nov 2011 | 17:52
Christmas presents every snapper will love
Best Christmas gifts for photographers
Photographers can be a fussy lot, so whether you're looking to put a smile on the face of a shooter you know, or perhaps you're just struggling for ideas to put on your own wishlist, take a look at this list of cool gifts that every camera afficianado will love.
Some of these gifts will need to be ordered early for UK buyers as they're coming from the US, so make sure you bear that in mind.
Since some of these gifts range in price from the bargain basement to re-mortgage territory, we've also included a handy guide as to how good you'll have to have been this year to be in with a chance of receiving each gift.
Ah Leica, what else could be top of the cool photographers wishlist? Channel the early days of 1950s street photography with the M9, just don't expect much change from £5,000. If you're feeling ultra generous you could also chuck in a spare lens, as this is the world's smallest interchangeable lens full-frame camera.
Read our Leica M9 Review
Likelihood rating: 10% - unless perhaps you've given a large portion of income to charity this year...
Giottos Vitruvian Tripod
Every serious photographer needs a tripod, and the Giottos range of Vitruvian tripods are some of the most versatile you can have the pleasure of owning. Extremely light and portable thanks to their carbon fibre construction, the 180 degree angle lens means the tripods can easily be folded away when not in use too.
Likelihood rating: 30% - While it's so small it could probably fit in your stocking this year, at £300 it's likely you'll have to have been rather saintly this year to be in with a chance of getting one.
Glow graffiti light can
If there's nothing you like more than hanging around disused warehouses in the middle of the night to create light paintings then good news, PhotoJojo has introduced a light paint can. Shaped like a spray can it can, but cleverly concealing a blue LCD light, and what's more it also includes letter stencils.
Likelihood rating: 75% - It's fairly cheap, yes, but you can also get the same effect from a cheap torch from the garage, so it probably depends more on the humour of the person buying this gift.
Holga iPhone lens
As everyone knows, the best camera is the one you have with you, and, for an awful lot of people that will be the built-in one on board the iPhone 4/4S. But there are also ways to jazz up what you have, and the Holga iPhone lens filter kit is a great way to have some fun with your iPhone photography and includes coloured filters, a macro lens, a triple image lens and more.
Likelihood rating: 80% It's silly, it's slightly ridiculous looking... but it is cheap... Santa would have to be feeling particularly strict if he denied you this.
Lensbaby control freak
Fancy recreating the tilt-shift effect but don't want to shell out for an expensive specialist lens? For a fraction of the price you can get the Lensbaby Control Freak which has the added, er, benefit of looking like a dalek has attacked your camera. Who could ask for more?
Likelihood rating: 70% - As long as you've been reasonably good this year then you should be able to get your hands on one of these. Make sure you emphasise just how much cheaper this is than a real tilt-shift lens...
Lo-fi Micro 4/3 lens
Sometimes sharp images just don't have that je nais ses quoi, and you long to get a little bit more arty with your photography. This manual focus lens from PhotoJojo is available for micro four thirds cameras such as the Olympus PEN E-P3 and the Panasonic GH3.
The resulting images are characterised by soft bokeh, vignetting, lens flares, low contrast and shallow depth of field for tilt-shift type photo effects. Cheap in comparison to other micro four thirds lens, this is one to really have fun with and unleash your creativity.
Likelihood rating: 80% - It's cheap, it's cheerful, but it is coming all the way from the States, so make sure you bear that in mind.
Flickr pro account
One of the most popular photo sharing sites on the web, a pro Flickr account gives the lucky recipient unlimited uploads and storage for a year along with ad-free browsing and sharing, HD playback for HD video downloads and lots of exciting stats about your account.
Likelihood rating: 95% - only the most badly behaved person could be denied something as cheap and useful as this, which works out to be only $2 a month.
Acme Bowler Bag
It's a sad fact that most camera bags are pretty dull and hardly a fashion statement. Given that their job is to protect your camera from knocks and scrapes, perhaps that's no big deal, but if you're bored of black and fancy something different, the Acme Made Bowler makes a great day bag.
Likelihood rating: 85% It's cheaper than a lot of camera bags out there, while still maintaining a good sense of style. As long as you've been well behaved most of the time you should be in line for something like this.
Ring flash adapter
Ring flashes are a great way to illuminate macro shots or give your portrait a unique, professional studio look but naturally they also come with a professional-level price tag. PhotoJojo has come up with an alternative which adapts your current flashgun instead for a fraction of the price.
Likelihood rating: 85% - As it's only $40, we think it's safe to say that only the naughtiest of photographers should strike this one from their Christmas wishlists - you might have to explain what it is though.
Nikon recently introduced its first rugged compact camera, and we've been impressed with its performance. Tough compacts can sometimes suffer from poor image quality, but the freezeproof, waterproof and dustproof AW100 delivers well, meaning you can concentrate on skiing, snorkelling, throwing yourself around in the mud or just plain clumsiness.
Read our Nikon AW100 Review
Likelihood rating: 50% - A tricky one to rate, it's far from the most expensive item on this list, but we still reckon you will have to have been pretty well behaved to be the lucky recipient of one of these on Christmas morning. A promise to take more fun holiday shots may help seal the deal.
Lomo Sprocket Rocket
You may get some odd looks when you whip this one out of your bag at the Christmas party, but at least you won't be shy of a talking point.
Lomo cameras are characterised by crazy light leaks, multiple exposures and other unpredictable effects. Any Lomo will allow you to get creative, but we like the Sprocket Rocket because of the beautiful panoramas it provides, complete with the sprocket holes on the sides of the image.
Read our Lomo Sprocket Rocket review
Likelihood rating: 75% - If Santa has a sense of humour, then if you ask for this you will surely receive. Though don't forget the price of film may push more miserly buyers over the edge.
Canon/Nikon Lens Mug
It's been a perennial Christmas stocking filler favourite for a couple of years now, but the old lens mug is a classic that should bring a smile to every photographer's face. Now available in Nikon branding too, just be careful you don't pour coffee into your real lenses.
Likelihood rating: 90% - If you haven't been good enough for one of these this year, you should probably discount the rest of the gift ideas too.
The gorgeous retro styling, the fixed focal length lens and the hybrid viewfinder has seen the Fujifilm X100 become extremely hot property. The camera isn't exactly cheap, but we'd put money on finding a photographer who wouldn't be happy to find this under the tree come December 25th.
Likelihood rating: 20% - It's one of the most lusted after gifts of the past year, so we think you'd have to have been almost saintly to receive one of these this year. Bob Geldof may be in luck though.
iPhone SLR Mount
The gadget that perhaps nobody was really expecting, the iPhone SLR Mount transforms the lowly, well really quite good actually, iPhone camera by allowing you to attach your DSLR lenses. Of course there are downsides, like you can't change the aperture, exposure or other manual settings, but, it's quite fun and used well you can get some interesting results.
Likelihood rating: 10% - There's something about the frivolity of this gift that we think Santa might disapprove of, especially if you've been a little naughty, so don't get your hopes up.
Polaroid has suffered thanks to the digital age making the once ubiquitous company seem obsolete. But it's back and keen to make a dent on today's youth market, starting with the Z340, a classically shaped digital camera with an inbuilt ZINK (zero ink) printer. The image quality isn't fantastic, but it never was with Polaroid was it?
Read our Hands on: Polaroid Z340 Review
Likelihood rating: 60% - It's fairly expensive for the quality, but we reckon the amount of fun you could have with this on Christmas days pretty much outweighs that, so you better hope Santa is feeling generous this year.
Liked this? Then check out Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand
Sign up for TechRadar's free Week in Tech newsletter
Get the top stories of the week, plus the most popular reviews delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up at http://www.techradar.com/register