Gift Guide: Photography and videography gifts for iPhone users

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Gift Guide: Photography and videography gifts for iPhone users

Photo and video gifts are a great option for anyone who sees their iPhone as a camera first and a phone next. Many of the options are just as useful for those who also shoot with a mirrorless or DSLR camera.

Here are some ideas for gifts at all budget levels, from stocking to main gift …

Tripod

A tripod is the first accessory any photographer or videographer should buy. It may not be the most exciting stabilization tool available, but it is the most useful. For all the fun and exciting camera movements we might want to use, you only need to watch a movie or a TV show to see how much of it was tripod mounted.

Manfrotto Pixi with iPhone mount ($ 39)

For an iPhone, small size and portability are key. The whole point of an iPhone is that it is the camera you always have with you, so a tripod that is small and light enough to carry casually is ideal. It’s the one I take with me. In addition to being suitable for use on any flat surface, it also provides a more stable and comfortable way to record handheld video, although I recommend holding two hands instead of one.

Manfrotto Travel Befree with Video Head ($ 219 / $ 359)

If instead you are looking to buy a full size stand, the Manfrotto Travel Befree is an excellent option that combines portability with stability and flexibility in use. There are different models, and if it is for video use, be sure to get one with the video head, as this is necessary for smooth panning and tilting movements. The aluminum model is cheaper, while the carbon fiber model is significantly lighter. You can add a separate iPhone holder to it if required – but you might as well pay a little more and get the Pixi, above, as this one comes with a good quality for only about $ 13 more than the holder alone.


Gimbal

A gimbal is pretty much a must-have for video these days, allowing for the flexibility of handheld shooting, but without the shakes. Gimbals have also become amazingly affordable in the last few years.

Zhiyun Smooth X ($ 30-40)

This was incredible value as it first came out at almost double the price and is now an absolute bargain! It is a 2-axis gimbal, not a 3-axis, so no vertical stabilization. Still, if you’re looking for a gift for this kind of price level and the recipient doesn’t already have a compact gimbal, this is a winner with a built-in selfie stick, pocket size and unbeatable price.

DJI OM 5 ($ 140)

This is the gold standard for smartphone gimbals. 3-axis stabilization, magnetic attachment, selfie-stick and active tracking (tracking a person, for selfie videos), it’s still decently compact, and performance is great. The older OM 4 is still worth considering for longer-term use, as it has a more powerful battery that offers a battery life of 15 hours – but it is significantly larger.


Shooter

A slider is a really useful and flexible tool for recording video. Introducing slow and smooth single-axis motion in a shot can be a great way to add visual interest without distraction.

Neewer Slider ($ 55)

Neewer is a brand that offers decent quality equipment at affordable prices. It offers a range of sliders, and for my money, the 19.7-inch manual carbon fiber model is the sweet spot. It provides a good length and is light enough to carry outside, as well as for studio use. It’s only $ 10 more than the shorter aluminum, which weighs the same.

Moza Slypod Pro Motorized Slider ($ 589)

At the other end of the enthusiast budget level is the Moza Slypod Pro. It is expensive, but this is a super-flexible device that can be used vertically, horizontally or at any sloping angle (requires stand). It can also be used for push-in / pull-out dolly shots without the risk of the slide rails ending up in the shot. Check out my full review. The company also offers some simpler and cheaper options.


Storage

One thing you can guarantee: As soon as someone starts recording video, they will need plenty of storage space! There are a variety of items here that you can consider as gifts, from a flash drive to instant backup and storage to complete network storage options.

SanDisk 256GB iXpand Flash Drive ($ 70-80)

The perfect storage on the go for iPhone photographers, it has a Lightning connector on one end and a USB-C on the other. Transferring footage from an iPhone to a Mac could not be easier, and it also provides a great backup / extra storage option while you are mobile. Check out our full review.

SanDisk 1TB Portable SSD ($ 140)

You can never get fast external storage fast enough, and this SanDisk SSD is a great place to start. Of course, there are those available with higher capacity, but they are at more noticeable prices (2TB and 4TB).

LaCie d2 Professional 10TB External Hard Drive ($ 320)

When it comes to long-term storage, SSDs quickly become insanely expensive, so most of us still rely on rotating metal drives for desktop storage. The good news here is that high capacity drives are now very affordable and right now 10 TB seems to be the best place. These LaCie Pro drives offer great speeds and reliability combined with a stylish look.

Synology NAS ($ 210 to $ 300 +)

A large hard drive is a simple solution, but they cannot be upgraded and are only available locally. A more flexible storage option is a NAS system: Networked Attached Storage. You can then access the content over the Internet and upgrade the drives over time. A popular (and recommended) entry-level dual-bay option is the Synology DS220j. This comes without a drive, so you can add the internal 3.5-inch SATA drives of your choice. When you go up to the DS420j, you get four seats for about $ 100 more, and above that is the limit. Remember that you will need supplies for the drives themselves. A good starting point would be Seagate IronWolf Pro 4TB drives for around $ 140 each.


Photo printer

Although most photo viewing these days can be done on phones, tablets and laptops, there is still room for prints – whether it’s instant photos for fun or serious for gallery quality printing.

Kodak Dock Plus 4 × 6 ”Portable Instant Photo Printer ($ 140)

Polaroid instant cameras were a hit back in their time, and the modern equivalent is mini-photo printers designed to make fast prints from a smartphone. There are a whole lot of 2 × 3 ″, mostly in the $ 50- $ 100 range, but if you have the budget, it’s worth going up to a 4 × 6-inch to get something more than a sticker or a novelty.

Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 ($ 300-400)

This is a very popular and highly regarded mid-range photo printer that combines decent quality and affordable operating costs for sizes from 6 × 4-inch to 11 × 8.5-inch. Although primarily intended for photos, it is affordable enough to use for occasional general color and black and white printing and has USB and wireless connectivity.

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 ($ 900)

The Pro-300 is close to a thousand dollars, but if you want to throw out a generous gift for someone who appreciates photographic prints, this is without a doubt the ultimate enthusiast printer. It uses pigment instead of dye-based inks and produces amazing matte prints thanks to special matte black inks. It is just as good for black and white prints with true black and gray tones. It can print all sizes up to A3 or 13 × 19 inches.

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