The best gifts for serious photographers in 2021
Jump to Content:
Scroll for Your Story
Search MORE Story
→ Story You’re Creating or Missing . . .
Your Story here :
The incredible quality of cameras in phones like the iPhone 13 Pro or Pixel 6 Pro means that everyone is a photographer these days, but there are still plenty of passionate photographers among us who want to take their work beyond smartphone snaps. For those people, there are a wealth of camera options from compact mirrorless cameras to DSLRs, with endless options of accessories, tripods and bags.
To help you find the ideal gift for the photographer in your life — or yourself — this holiday season, we’ve rounded up our top picks of the best cameras, tripods, drones, action cameras and photography accessories. Whether they’re a keen landscape photographer or a budding vlogger, we’ve got gift ideas to fit all budgets.Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Canon’s EOS R5 has a slew of great features, including its amazing image stabilization, lightning-fast autofocus and quick burst shooting. But the R5’s standout feature is its ability to shoot video in 8K resolution. While not everyone will need that many pixels, 8K can give a lot more scope for cropping and creative editing, making it a great choice for the dedicated videographer.Canon
With a 24.1-megapixel sensor, a pop-up flash and a fairly compact size, Canon’s Rebel T7 (also known as the 2000D) is a great DSLR for those looking to take their first steps in photography. This kit comes with a great all-round 18-55mm lens, as well as a 75-300mm zoom lens, making it ready to tackle everything from sweeping landscapes to close-up wildlife images.
Read our Canon EOS Rebel T7 preview.
Sony’s vlogging-focused ZV-1 is small enough to fit into a pocket, packs a flip-out screen so you can see if you’re in the frame when you’re talking to your audience and can be bought with a handy grip that lets you easily start and stop recordings. The 4K video quality is great and while battery life could certainly be improved, we think keen YouTubers everywhere will appreciate adding this little thing to their production lineup.Lori Grunin/CNET
Mirrorless digital cameras are smaller and lighter than traditional DSLRs but still pack great technology that allow them to shoot beautiful images. Fujifilm’s X-S10 boasts a 26.1-megapixel sensor, image stabilisation and 4K video capabilities, all shoved into an easy-to-carry body. The wide selection of compatible lens options means that the X-S10 has a lot to offer the person who’s looking to step up their photography game from simple snaps to more artful imagery.Sarah Tew/CNET
This is a great camera choice for an experienced photographer who wants the photo and video quality that only a full frame camera can produce. It’s one generation old, but it’s relatively small, packs an awesome 24.2-megapixel sensor, 5-axis image stabilization and can be picked up for a price that shouldn’t be too out of reach for photography enthusiasts.
Read our Sony Alpha A7 II preview.
Canon’s entry-level EOS RP packs an excellent 26.2-megapixel, full-frame image sensor into an extremely compact body that makes it superb for both beginners and enthusiastic travel photographers alike. It’s easy to use, too, with a flip-out screen and convenient buttons while the increasingly broad range of Canon’s RF-mount lenses means it’s easy to find the right lens for your needs.
Read our Canon EOS RP preview.
With its 24.3-megapixel image sensor, its 4K video recording and its 5-axis in-camera image stabilization, the Nikon Z5 packs some impressive specs into a very compact, lightweight body. And it does it at a price that makes it a great option for the photographer looking to step up from a basic point-and-shoot and take photography a bit more seriously.Andrew Hoyle/CNET
I’ve never shot with film before, but even I was excited to get my hands on the Goodman Zone DIY kit. This medium format film camera arrives in a multitude of 3D-printed pieces, with instructions on how to build, customize and use your own camera. It’s a fairly straightforward process — and the feeling of going out to take images with a camera you’ve literally put together yourself is something quite special.
You’ll need to source your own lens and film (Dora Goodman’s website provides plenty of advice on this) but at $162 it’s a very affordable way to dip your toe into the world of medium-format film photography.Joshua Goldman/CNET
When moving at high speeds, nothing beats an action camera for sharing the most breathless moments. The latest version of this excellent little action cam can shoot video at up to 5.2k resolution at 50 frames per second or up to 120fps at 4K for some silky slow motion action. It has incredible stabilisation and the overall video quality is superb.
Read our GoPro Hero 10 Black hands on.
DJI’s smallest drone can be squeezed comfortably into a jacket pocket, but its camera is capable of taking beautiful videos and photos thanks to its 4K resolution and ability to shoot still images in raw format. It’s very easy to fly too, making it a great option for beginners, or more enthusiastic aerial photographers who want to travel as light possible. We’re linking to the Fly More Combo below, which includes extra batteries and other niceties, but you can save by buying the basic drone kit.Lori Grunin/CNET
The Lumix G9 can take great still images thanks to its 20.3-megapixel image sensor but is also able to shoot smooth 4K video with its in-body stabilization. That makes it great for photographers out there who want to get great stills on their next outdoor adventure, but also want to put lovely video together for their Instagram Reels or TikTok.
Read our Panasonic Lumix G9 preview.
Amazon/Screenshot by CNET
Rode’s VideoMicro might be small, but it’s capable of capture professional-level audio from the top of your camera, without needing any batteries or external power source, making it ideal for vlogging. It plugs directly into the microphone port on your camera (such as the one on the EOS M50 above) and can be bought with a cable that’s compatible with smartphones, if that’s more your thing. It comes with a sturdy shockmount as well as a big, fluffy windshield which will help you get crystal clear audio, even in difficult or windy conditions.Amazon/Screenshot by CNET
With cameras shooting stills and videos at ever-increasing resolutions, it’s easier than ever to run out of storage when you’re out in the field. Thankfully, storage doesn’t have to break the bank and this 256GB SD card from SanDisk packs a huge amount of space for your files and comes with a very reasonable price tag attached. It’s an ideal option for beginners wanting one card they never need to worry about filling up, while being cheap enough for enthusiasts to buy several to make sure they can always keep on shooting. Just make sure the camera it’s going in supports SD cards up to 256GB in size.Andrew Hoyle/CNET
LowePro has been a staple of the photography bag world for years and with the ProTactic 450 it’s easy to see why. This rugged backpack opens fully from the back, although there are side and top quick-access points too. It provides a wealth of storage slots for a DSLR, multiple lenses, filters, batteries and other accessories — I even stuffed a small drone in amongst my gear.
If you can’t quite fit everything inside, you can get additional accessory pouches that attach to the outside of the case, where you can also attach your tripod. It’s comfortable to carry thanks to both chest and hip straps, it’s made of durable materials and it has a zipped compartment for laptops up to 15 inches.
Best lightweight photography daypack
LowePro FreeLine BP 350 AWKatie Collins/CNET
Its compact size makes this backpack comfortable and light to take around the city as you hunt for the best coffee and street food, but its internal space offers lots of room for cameras, lenses and even compact drones. With dual side-access pockets, it’s easy to get to your camera when creativity strikes while the weatherproof material will keep your expensive gear safe if the rain starts to come down.Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Peak Design’s Travel Tripod, as it’s known, is best for exactly what its name suggests: traveling. The carbon fiber version weighs only 2.8 lbs (1.27kg) and packs down to only 15.4 inches (39.1cm) long, making it easy to chuck in a backpack or camera bag. The aluminum tripod model weighs 3.4 lbs (1.5kg).
Its ball head is quick and easy to use, it’s sturdy enough to hold a professional DSLR and it comes with its own grip so you can mount your phone on the tripod that tucks away inside the central column. It’s all extremely well thought-out and feels reassuringly sturdy.Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Photography filters come in all shapes and sizes, but few are as well thought-out or as high quality as Polar Pro’s. With aluminium frames, each filter is sturdy, easy to hold and convenient to slot into the filter holder. The landscape set comes with a circular polarizer, two neutral density filters and a graduated neutral density filter to help balance bright skies in your landscape photos. It’s an essential set for the keen landscape photographer in your life.Andrew Hoyle/CNET
The 3 Legged Thing Bucky is a super tripod for almost any photography situation. Its carbon fiber construction means it’s light enough to comfortably strap to a backpack, it packs down small but its maximum height of over 6.2 feet (191cm) makes it extremely tall too. I’ve found it brilliant for landscape photography as it’s no trouble to carry out into the hills, but I can still shoot at eye level.
Its ball head is secure enough to hold even the weightiest DSLRs with a big zoom lens attached, its legs can be detached to use as monopods, and its solid construction means you don’t need to worry about it taking a few knocks on the road. It doesn’t come cheap, but photography enthusiasts in any genre are well catered for here.
Originally published in 2019 and updated periodically as we review new products.
* Visit Content Source Link →