Looking for gifts to get for your friend or family member who's just got their first camera? Or maybe you just received your first camera and are wondering what gear you might need to assist you in your photography? If you answered yes, or no to these questions, then this list is for you! Here are 5 different gift ideas perfect for the beginning photographer!
Camera Bag || AmazonBasics Backpack || $27
One thing that all photographers have in common, whether they have a lifetime of experience or are just starting out is that they all need some way to organize and transport their gear. Starting out, I swooned over the amazing camera bags with features galore, but there was no way I could afford one of these $100+ bags that I saw advertised. I needed something a little more basic, which is where the AmazonBasics Backpack came in.
The name says it all, this bag is basic, but when you've only got a small DSLR and maybe a couple of lenses, that's really all you need. The bag is small but has enough space for room to grow. It comes with adjustable inner compartments, two front pockets large enough to hold spare cables and up to a medium-sized tablet, as well as two quick access pockets and straps for holding a tripod on the outside. I have used this bag for years now and will continue to use it until I run it into the ground, which might be a while because it's held up exceptionally well.
Tripod || Ravelli Light Weight Aluminum Tripod || $26
Whether it's self-portraits, timelapse, or long exposure shots, photographers need a sturdy base to rest their camera as it captures the moment. This is where the tripod comes in. My first tripod and the one I personally use is the Ravelli Light Weight Aluminum Tripod and, while it might not be the fanciest option, it is light, easy to use, and has plenty of adjustment points that can help you get the shot. It even includes a universal smartphone mount as well!
Batteries are always a good gift for new photographers. There's nothing worse than having your battery die on you halfway through your shoot. Or showing up to shoot an event only to discover that the battery you thought was fully charged, was out of juice (had this happen, not fun). Well, to keep your loved ones from having to make a mad dash to the nearest tech store minutes before an important shoot, praying the whole way that they have the correct battery. Go ahead and pick them up one or two spare batteries for their camera model.
I use the Digipower BP-LPE6 for my Canon 80D and can say that it works great and even charges using the same battery charger that comes with the camera, but there's also this deal that gives you two batteries for just a bit more as well as free shipping with Amazone Prime, and although I have no personal experience using this brand, I've read good reviews on it and would use it in my own gear.
Let me also add that, in my experience, the best batteries will be the ones that are specific to your brand but they can be pretty pricey for just one battery. However, you can save a good bit of money by going for third party batteries that work for your camera model.
Prime Lens || Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens || $125
I always gravitated towards all of the different lenses as a new photographer. There were so many options that could be used for so many different photo roles, but I had no idea where to start. After a few bad lens purchases, I found my way to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens, otherwise known as the "Nifty Fifty." This is a prime lens, which means that it has a fixed focal length that utilizes a "walking zoom" technology. What that means is that if you want to zoom in, you simply... walk closer to your subject. This might sound like more of a hindrance but not having the variable focal length allows the lens to bring in more light, making it better for low light conditions and easier to get that blurry background in portraits that everybody loves. Not only that but the fixed focal length forces you to be more creative when capturing shots since staying put in one place is not really an option. Plus, the simplicity of this prime lens is what has made it my go-to lens 90% of the time, just grab and go.
Photo Editing Software || Adobe Lightroom CC || $9.99/mo
Something every aspiring photographer needs to have is a way to edit their photos, but the native Photos app and Instagram filters can only get you so far. Help your loved ones instantly step up their photo game by getting them Adobe Lightroom. Now, Adobe currently has a couple of different options out there now that they have released the new version of Creative Cloud. I won't go into too much detail about each one but to sum things up, the new Adobe Lightroom CC is more of a mobile-based platform while the Adobe Lightroom Classic CC is the desktop-based program that is more like the previous versions of Lightroom. So the editing workflow is most likely going to dictate which one to choose, but I will say that Lightroom CC appears to be a bit more user-friendly and also includes cloud storage for your photos. I personally use Lightroom Classic CC, but that's just my preference. Each of these programs is available from Adobe on a subscription basis as one of three different options and more info on it can be seen here.
The stand-alone Lightroom 6 software is still available as a one-time purchase, however, updates and support options from Adobe may be limited as time goes on.
Bonus: Camera Strap || TARION Camera Neck Strap || $8
The standard camera strap that comes with a DSLR is pretty boring and doesn't look very good. Not only that, but it usually has the brand and camera model plastered in large letters across the surface, which can catch the eye of those who may want to snatch that shiny new camera. A simple fix to both of these problems is to get a strap that looks good but keeps from standing out too much while out in the field. I use this strap by TARION, it looks nice and stands up to everyday use.
Now your new shutter bug will be set to head out and capture the world and you're looking like a hero for giving them tools to do so. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and if you would, please share this with your friends and follow me at any or all of the links below to keep up to date on more posts like this one!
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