Christmas Gift Guide: 12 gadget gifts for photographers

Spot-on gifts for happy-snapping camera fans

When it comes to camera kit it can be a real present-purchasing minefield. Don't know your prime from your telephoto? Baffled by bags? Confused by lens caps? Don't be.

Anything from this cracking compendium of trigger-happy tech will bring a smile to the face of photography fans - which, of course, they'll instantly be able to capture from several different angles, correctly exposed and beautifully-framed. 

Hey, who knows: maybe they'll do your next passport photo for free.

Pixelstick (S$595)

Given that it costs as much as some cameras, you’ll have to really love someone to buy them this. Assuming that a) you do and b) you’re feeling flush, Pixelstick is the perfect gift.

Don’t be deceived by the name - this is no selfie-shooting bit of tat. Rather, it’s a light-painting tool capable of conjuring up the most incredible of images.

It’s remarkably easy to use: just stick an SD card into the Pixelstick’s lightweight body and its 200 RGB LEDs will display the image of your choice. Then wave it around while your camera is set to long-exposure mode and prepare to be wowed.

Buy the Pixelstick here

Lensbaby Creative Mobile Kit (~S$126, exclusive of shipping cost)

Apple might have stuck its best ever camera on the iPhone 6, but sometimes you need to get physical to get funky. With two add-on lenses that create brilliantly blurry borders impossible to re-create digitally, this creative kit will take iSnappers from new age novices to pro kit photogs in less time than it takes to snap a selfie.

Brought to you with Lensbaby’s famed photo smarts, it can be used to make everything from motion blurred sports shots to kaleidoscopic landscapes – all with your iPhone 6 (and it’s coming to the new models soon).

Buy the Lensbaby Creative Mobile Kit here

ThinkTank Retrospective 5

Don’t be fooled by the Retrospective 5’s handsome old-fashioned looks – it’s every bit the modern camera bag. Able to accommodate a DSLR and one to three extra lenses, or a compact system camera and four to six lenses, it sports a hook-and-loop front flap that can be opened soundlessly: ideal for anyone shooting in places where noise isn’t wanted (concert halls or the outdoors when skittish animals are about). It also rocks a removeable rain cover, which’ll doubtless come in handy all the year round.

Manfrotto 190Cx Carbon Fibre Tripod

The Rolls-Royce of tripods, especially for anyone with an aversion to lugging around heavy gear, the 190Cx is constructed of carbon fibre – a super-strong but lightweight material best known for its use in Formula 1 cars. That means that despite being able to hold up to 5kg of camera, lens and flash, it weighs a mere 1.3kg.

Lomography La Sardina and Flash DIY Edition

Lomo’s sardine tin-shaped analogue camera offers a 22mm wide-angle lens and the company’s most powerful flash to date, and this special edition adds something a little more idiosyncratic to that: a look that can be customised by the owner. Write on the case with chalk or give it a new coat of paint, or decorate it with physical embellishments like stick-on rivets. It takes 35mm film and supports multiple exposures and a bulb setting.

Lens shot glasses

Based on Canon’s near-ubiquitous 28-135mm L lens, this pack of three shot glasses should prove a hit with anyone who appreciates (a) photography and (b) knocking back liquor. Nikon fanboys may be the exception, though...

Gerber Steady Tool

Military and outdoor specialist Gerber shows some love to shutterbugs with the Steady Tool, a multi-tool that features a tripod alongside the usual selection of stainless steel blades, screwdrivers, pliers and a bottle opener. The tripod works with compact digital cameras (up to 340g) and smartphones (up to 170g).

Personalised camera strap

Nothing says, “I’ve put more than the usual amount of consideration into your present” than having something personalised, and Ukraine-based Etsy seller Viveo has the perfect item for camera enthusiasts: a fetching hand-cut leather camera strap that can be personalised with up to five letters. The strap should fit most DSLRs, CSCs and rangefinder models, but you can get in touch to check if you’re not sure.

Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35

Lensbaby’s selective focus lenses allow DSLR and CSC users to take dream-like shots, with only a portion of the frame in sharp focus and the other areas diffracting into beautiful blurry bokeh. It’s an effect you won’t be able to replicate in Photoshop, and Lensbaby’s solution – available for most types of lens mount – is far cheaper than buying a real tilt-shift lens.

Genesis by Sebastiao Salgado

A coffee table book that will inspire your friend to get out into the great wide open and start shooting, Salgado’s collection of jaw-dropping black and white landscape shots shows just why the Brazilian is today’s answer to Ansel Adams.

Book Depository

Goo.ey Skins

Allowing you to turn any smooth surface into a solid – but temporary – mount for your phone or tablet, Goo.ey’s skins stick fast thanks to a polyurethane epoxy coating. But they’re smart enough that won’t stick inside your pockets or anything like that. Anyway, they make a nice, quick alternative to a tripod (as long as there’s a smooth surface nearby) and come in useful in lots of other ways too. Available for most Apple iOS and Samsung Galaxy devices.