Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer
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Dade Freeman's blog page for all the latest photographic news.

Christmas gifts for photographers

With Christmas right around the corner, you may be struggling what to get the photographer in your life. Photography gear is vast and everyone's needs vary, as do budgets. So I thought I would put together a quick guide to buying photographic gear this holiday season. 

Click the photograph next to the item for links to the appropriate websites to purchase.

Under £50

Understanding Exposure

You can never have enough education. In terms of photography teaching you can't go far wrong with Bryan Peterson.

A renowned photographer and author he has produced possibly the best book on the market for understanding exposure and how to get the most from it.

His easy-to-understand writing and teaching style breaks down the complex and often confusing aspects of photography, translating them into what his students routinely describe as "aha" moments. 

This is a 'must have' for any photographers library.

£8 - £16 (depending on store)

 

This 5-in-1 multi purpose reflector disc measures 43" (110cm) when expanded, and collapsed is just 15" (35cm), making it very portable.

The 5-in-1 reflector comes with different sleeves; silver (for contrast), gold (for warn tones), black (blocks out unwanted light), white (produces neutral colour) and translucent (for softer lighting / becomes a diffuser).

These most popular types of reflectors in the industry and a must for studio and outdoor photography.

£10.95

 

Bokeh is that beautiful out of focus blur that appears when your lens is set to a shallow depth of field. The Bokeh Kit actually turns those out of focus lights into any shape you place over your lens. 

Just attach the Bokeh filter over your digital or film SLR lens, then slip any 1 of 21 shapes into the slot in the filter to create wonderful shaped light.

The shape will appear anywhere bright points of light are out of focus (such as decorative lights at night or the sun shining through leaves) in an image. These are perfect for the more creative photographer who wants to make something unusual.

$25 (around £17)

 

You know that Photoshop whiz kid friend of yours? The one that plays his keyboard like a Steinway as he dodges and burns his way to photographic perfection?

That could be you.

Designed specifically for the programs photographers use most - Photoshop and Lightroom.

Never forget those shortcut keys again! 

$30 (around £20)

 

If you know photographers, you know we get through batteries as if they were going out of fashion. With the amount to tech gear we use, we constantly need good, high-quality, long lasting batteries. These professional 3rd Generation Sanyo eneloop XX rechargeable batteries represent the latest refinement in low self discharge NiMH technology, making them ideal for the working photographer.

This AA battery has a typical capacity of 2550mAh (min 2450mAh) and now retains up to 85% of its charge after one year of storage. 3rd generation eneloop XX batteries have been specifically designed for professional use and are popular with photographers and battery connoisseurs in general.

£24

 

TriggerTrap

Triggertrap creates the world's best camera remotes for iPhone and Android. It offers a ton of creative and interesting ways of triggering your camera. These wonderful devices take your camera remote release to a whole other level.

Buy the appropriate Triggertrap cable for your camera model, then download the free app to your mobile and anyway you go.

Here are some of the features this will add to your camera - 

  • Standard Remote Release mode 
  • 3 different long exposure modes (timed remote, press-and-hold, press to start and press to stop)
  • 5 different Timelapse modes
  • 13-exposure HDR mode
  • Sound trigger
  • Motion trigger (iOS only)
  • And much, much more.

Triggertrap is the perfect stocking filler present for any photographer.

£29.99

 

Around £100

Transcend 2TB Hard Drive

After batteries the next thing photographers go through is hard drive space. It is worth considering this little beauty for the christmas stocking.

The StoreJet 25M3 portable hard drive is equipped with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface that provides transfer speeds at least 3x faster than USB 2.0 models. Thanks to the improved bandwidth of USB 3.0, the StoreJet 25M3 makes file sharing easy and quick with transfer speeds of up to 90 MB/s.

Compact, durable and reliable, the StoreJet 25M3 is shielded by an advanced 3-stage shock protection system to withstand even the toughest environment. The outer shell is made of a slip-resistant silicone material, reinforced by a hard casing and an internal hard drive suspension damper - all designed to reduce forces of impact and provide maximum shock-absorption.

£80

 

Designed for professional photographers and videographers. The premium Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC UHS-I card leverages UHS-I technology to deliver professional-level, high-speed performance and reliability, with 2000x (300MB/s) minimum guaranteed read transfer speed.

This 64GB high-capacity card is the ideal choice for capturing high-quality images and 1080p HD video with your SDHC-compatible camera. 

Image Rescue 4 is available for free download with purchase of this card. This provides reliable recovery of most photo and video files, even if they've been erased or the card has been corrupted. 

£85

 

Using With PB960 power pack, it takes only one second to charge Canon 580exII, Nikon SB900 and Sony F58AM flashes at the maximum power, and 1800 times of flashes in full brightness is supported, which greatly improve your shooting efficiency and reduce working time.

In the meantime, the product offers versatile compatibility, so that you can charge flashes and other products of different brands simply by replacing the plug-in connector cable.

£125

 

The MeFoto RoadTrip A1350Q1B in blue is a compact aluminium alloy tripod with precision matched ball head capable of supporting a maximum load of 8000 g.

The RoadTrip is no ordinary tripod, by removing the centre column and removable leg you can easily convert this tripod into a fully sized monopod (max height 162 cm). When being used as a tripod the RoadTrip extends to 156.5 cm (with centre column extended) and closes down to a quarter of its extended size at just 39 cm, making it small enough to fit in your shoulder bag or backpack.

The RoadTrip comes equipped with a Q series ball head with Arca-Swiss-style compatible QR plate, integral bubble level, separate head and pan locks and 360° pan index. The MeFOTO RoadTrip tripod kit comes with its own carrying case for transport and protection.

£160

 

Over £250

Go Pro Hero4

Capture your world in an all-new way with HERO4 Silver, the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling the camera, framing shots and playing back content is now ultra convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. HERO4 Silver captures 1080p60 and 720p120 video with lifelike clarity, plus 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second.

Waterproof to 131-feet (40-meters), HERO4 Silver combines versatility and pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.

£250

 

The Think Tank Airport International rolling case is thoughtfully designed for the international traveler to take the maximum amount of gear possible as legal carry-on baggage.

The smooth-rolling wheels get you quickly through the airport, while a security cable and lock insure that your gear will stay with you.

Interior and front-pocket organizers make this case business friendly, as well. features: international carry-on size security combination lock security cable holds 300 f/2.8 and other large lenses inside organizer replaceable wheels front stretch pocket business card holder/top pocket bottom handle front pocket organizer compatible with the optional ai low divider set and the artificial intelligence 15" and 17" laptop cases. includes seam-sealed rain cover.

£289

 

The X100S has the ability to capture high resolution images, comparable to those taken on full-frame sensors. This is down to a combination of its newly-developed 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II. Clear images with minimal graininess, even at high ISO settings, can also be produced, thanks to the removal of the optical low pass filter and the introduction of a more powerful processor.

This is a pre-owned camera, that is a bargain when bought from MPB.com. A brand new FujiFilm X100s will set you back around £800.

£449

 

Elinchrom's most portable, compact and versatile outdoor flash unit ever. Location Lighting has Evolved. Specifically designed for photographers who travel light whilst packing enough power to overpower the sun, the ELB 400 builds on the Elinchrom Quadra experience.

The built-in Skyport system enables seamless synchronization between your camera and the ELB 400. The OLED display features a rich and quick access to all features.

Offers a choice of three different heads for every type of photography; Quadra Pro head for general photography, Quadra Action head to freeze your motion, Quadra HS head to enable Hi-speed sync ideal for sports photography.

Around £1,800

 

Most Wanted

And finally. This years hot ticket item for photographers, are camera drones.

These are set to sell faster than Star Wars tickets.

The current market leader is the DGI Phantom which comes in at around £600 - £1200 depending on model.

But you had better not be on Santa's naughty list if you want to get one of those ;)