These gift ideas are mostly on the inexpensive side (under $100). A few of them (like software upgrades) may be a bit more. These are nifty gadgets that any photographer will love and perhaps find indispensable.

Recommended photo gear shopping sites –

B&H Photo & Video
You may find cheaper prices elsewhere, but always start here. The sweetness of a low price is short lived, while the bitter aftertaste of poor service can last a long time.

Flash Modifier

Google ‘flash modifier’ or ‘flash diffuser’ and check out the many different designs that are available. Stofen, Gary Fong, Harbour Digital are brands worth checking out. You can even DIY. I’m looking for this one in my stocking this year.

GPS Photo Logger

Geotagging your Photos is loads of fun. Sites like Flickr and Picassa will place your tagged photos on a map. It’s really fun to see who else took photos nearby. Lots of choices here too – check the selection at Semsons. My personal favorite is the AMOD AGL 3080. You can read my thoughts about it HERE. Don’t forget the software you’ll need (it’s free) – GeoSetter

Bubble Level

Just a block of plastic with 2 or 3 spirit levels in it. Just slide it into your hotshoe for level shots. Photo Jojo has them.

Battery Pack

In my experience with Canon DSLRs and Battery Packs, 2 batteries are enough. If the camera uses AA batteries you might think about a rechargeable kit like the Sanyo Eneloop. These new batteries have one outstanding feature – they don’t discharge when you aren’t using them. They even come fully charged!

Memory Card

A fast memory card is really nice when you are downloading images to your PC. I really like the Sandisk Extreme series. Stick with the name brand here – it matters. If your camera uses SD cards you may be interested in a Eye-Fi card. It’s a combination memory card and Wifi Adapter.

Lens Mug

I got one of these earlier this year and I love it. They come in Canon or Nikon models and look like the real thing. Available at Photo JoJo (check out their store for other great Photo Toys)

Compact Tripod

Gorilla Pods come in a great variety of styles that will work for a Compact P&S or a full sized DSLR. They have magnetic models and even one that is designed to support a flash.

Software Upgrade

Upgrade your photog’s favorite Photo Mangler to the latest version

Flickr Pro Membership

The Flickr Pro membership allows you to have unlimited photo storage.

Small MagLite for Camera Bag

A small, bright flashlight is a requirement IMHO. Try to get a split ring and attach a snap hook so it’s always available clipped to your bag.

Cable Release

A basic version (even the name brands) are just a switch on a short wire. There are also a wide range of inexpensive wireless models too as well as some that can shoot at intervals (for time-lapse).

Camera Strap

This is a great upgrade for any camera rig. I love my Optech strap.

Grey Card

An 18% grey card is the perfect tool for determining the correct exposure in difficult situations.

Collapsible Reflector

A reflective surface supported by a springy metal ring. A hand held reflector can give your shots that professional look. These often serve double duty by acting as a manual white balance target.

Camera Bag or Backpack

Look at LowePro Bags for ideas. Lots of other brands are equally nice.

Lens Hood

The current thought about using UV filters on your lenses for protection is – Don’t! There are some good reasons for this, but you do lose a measure of protection. A stiff lens hood makes a decent substitute as it fulfills its real purpose. I have one for each of my lenses (every lens has a different model hood). You store them by reversing the hood and leaving it on the lens.

Sensor Cleaning Kit

This is not for the faint of heart. Much research is needed before this should be attempted. They come in different sizes that match your camera’s sensor. I’ve used ones from American Recorder with some success.

Rocket Blaster

It looks like something from Buck Rodgers, but is really a simple blower for removing dust.

Microfiber Lens Cloth

These are special cloths that are designed to remove foreign material from your lenses with scratch the glass or coatings. Avoid the ‘kits’ with lots of useless junk and fluids. You might want to look at a Lenspen for something a bit more high tech that accomplishes the same thing.

Printing Supplies

How about a set of replacement Ink Cartridges? Shop around for a set (all colors in a pack) as they are a bit cheaper than individual cartridges (NewEgg offers these). Alternatively how about some nice paper stock? I love the heavy papers from Red River, but there other choices like card stock or even a few reams of regular inkjet paper.


  1. Jim says:

    Don’t ever ever ever use an ink carteridge from any one than the
    company that made your printer. They may cost more, they won’t
    damage your printer.

  2. admin says:

    Good advice Jim – just to be clear, always buy the same brand (I updated the post to make my point a bit more clear). You don’t need to buy it from the manufacturer, just make sure it’s the official OEM version. I did try to use a Bulk Ink solution for almost a year, but finally had to give it up. The plastic cartridge replacements never worked like they should (wouldn’t draw ink from the tanks reliably). You can read about my Bulk Ink odyssey here –
    I just wish the printer manufacturers would make more models with larger ink cartridges.

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