The Ultimate List for Gifts for Photographers

Camera Gear

As an avid photographer for more years than I can count, I love checking out the latest and greatest camera gear, especially during the holidays. But, in actuality, it is great to look for upgrades for your camera equipment all year round. Here is the ultimate list of gifts for photographers.

Camera Gear

DSLR Camera

My favorite camera, although a bit heavy to travel with, is my Canon 7D. I have had it for years, and it has been beaten up while traveling, but I still love the photos I can capture with my DSLR camera. If you are thinking of investing in a good camera, there are different brands to choose from. I would even say rent one for a weekend first to find out if you like the brand before you buy it.

Here are other DSLR camera options for you:

DSLR Camera Lens

When I purchased my camera, I only bought the body because I wanted to get the lenses that I wanted and not the kit one. Since then, I have added to my lens’ collection. I don’t think you can ever have too many. Here are some great gift ideas for camera lenses if you don’t already have them.

50 mm

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens has over 2,000 good reviews on Amazon, resulting in a 4.8/5 star rating. This is an excellent lens for low light situations, indoor photography, and zoos because of its 1.8 aperture and fixed focal length. This is one of those lenses that will provide you with fantastic quality photos that are far superior to the images your kit lens gives you.

Other considerations for 50mm lenses:

Wide Angle Camera Lens

A wide-angle lens has a shorter focal length (10-42mm) when compared to a standard lens. This helps you get a wider angle of view, which is great for landscapes, buildings, museums, street photography, group portraits, and the northern lights. The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens is a good choice, but there are other wide angles depending on your price point.

Other wide-angle lenses for consideration:

Telephoto Camera Lens

A telephoto lens can provide a narrow field of view with lengths between 100-800mm. These lenses are perfect for capturing wildlife, safaris, sports, theme parks, zoos, and action photos. You can capture subjects from hundreds of feet away with this length of a lens. The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 is II USM Lens is a nice choice for your Canon camera.

 Other telephoto lenses for your consideration:

Macro Lens

A macro lens is used for close-up photos and ‘macro’ photography with a range of 50-200mm focal length. These lenses are great for taking pictures of flowers, ice, butterflies, and insects. An excellent lens for the Canon camera is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens.

Other Macro camera lenses for your consideration:

Mirrorless Camera

Now, this is the next evolution of cameras that are lighter and easier to travel with. I like the full-frame image cameras, so I’ve been waiting for them to come out. Sony and, more recently, Canon and Nikon are producing their own mirrorless cameras. So, if you have a lens with one brand, they should be able to interchange with the mirrorless camera. Although then you are adding the weight back in. But, if you like the latest and greatest in gadgets, go ahead and check out these mirrorless cameras for you to use while traveling.

Point and Shoot Cameras

The most straightforward camera to take with you on your travels besides your phone is a point and shoot camera.

Lightweight Travel Tripod

Any good photographer knows they need to use a tripod to get those unique photos of waterfalls, sunsets, etc. As a travel photographer, it helps to have a lightweight tripod with you. Here are some lightweight travel tripod options for you.

I have tried out many of these tripods during my travels. My latest is one I have picked up on Kickstarter. And is now available for everyone. It is the lightest travel tripod I’ve used while being the sturdiest. The Peak Design Travel Tripod manipulates down to a size that I attach on the side of my backpack. This is by far the best tripod I’ve tried and I’ve tried a bunch.

Osmo Pocket

This is the latest gadget I want to get. The DJI Osmo Pocket is a lightweight gimbal stabilizer and 4K camera that you can take with you anywhere and capture videos. I can’t wait to get one of these and start making travel videos to share with you all.

Here are other options for video stabilizers:

Waterproof Action Camera

For the travelers that love to take photos underwater, here is a gift idea for a travel waterproof action camera.

Camera Backpack

I have multiple backpacks that I use when I’m hauling my camera gear around. It just depends on the occasion and how much I need to carry will determine which bag I use. Here are some of my favorites.

The Lowepro is a modular backpack where you can change the insides add to the outside, is weatherproof, and fits in the airline bins. Perfect for traveling photographers. Another Lowepro camera bag I like and use often is the Sling Bag. This is a fantastic bag for going on a day trip where you only need your camera and maybe another lens.
For those who are traveling and don’t want to take a camera bag, look at getting these protective flexible padded cubes for your camera and lenses. I have two of these in different sizes and have used them all year traveling around Europe and Asia.

Another protective sleeve I have used for my larger lens (600mm) is the Neoprene wrap. This works great, and I used this when I went on my Tanzania Safari.

Camera Strap

Having a long camera strap is a must while traveling and going on a photography day trip. When walking between photography sites, it is more comfortable having a camera strap holding your camera cross your body. A good strap to try is the Peak Design Leash Camera Strap.

External Flash

An external flash is helpful to photographers for providing more light in low light situations and can even help fill in light in bright light conditions. External flashes can also be beneficial in reducing the possibility of red eyes in portraits. One of the best external flashes for Canons is the Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash.

Other external camera flashes for your consideration:


One of the best reasons to geta remote is to capture awesome firework photos. It is an absolute must gear to have when you want to eliminate camera shake during long exposures. Currently, I have one that is wired connected. But, I’m planning on purchasing the Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Controller.

More remote shutters for cameras for you:


Filters are used to protect your lens during regular shooting. The clear glass does not affect your images. Some filters enhance or alter the colors in your photos, and some can correct the color temperature of the scene you are shooting. They can help ensure accurate exposure by blocking the light while shooting in bright sunlight or while shooting waterfalls. And they can enhance your photos by adding something extra to your images. Filters can come in multiple diameters or square.

Ultraviolet Filters

You can use an Ultraviolet filter to protect your lens from moisture, dirt, and scratches.

Circular Polarizing Filters

Polarizing filters have three main uses for color photography. It reduces or eliminates reflections and glare from smooth surfaces, keeps skies dark blue, and it increases color saturation.

Neutral Density Filters

Neutral Density filters reduce the amount of light that enters the lens but doesn’t affect the color of the image. This allows you to use a slower shutter speed without overexposing the image. These filters are suitable for flash, landscape, street, and shooting moving water (rivers and waterfalls).

Graduated Neutral Density Filter

A graduated filter is used to bring detail to the sky while keeping the ground in focus. The filter has a vertical transition between dark and clear that keeps the exposure balance from bright sunshine and a darker foreground. These filters are good to use while shooting during the golden hour.

Cokin Sunset Filter

The Cokin Sunset Filter adds extra orange in sunset photos.

Warm 81B Filter

The Warm 81B filter adds a slight orange hue to photos and deemphasizes the blue colors. This warming filter is good to use when photographing during the summer months at midday.

A830 Filter

The A830 filter is a diffusion filter that creates a soft-focus effect. It works well with sepia tones and wedding photography.

Vancolor Red Blue Filter

The Vancolor Red Blue filter is half red and half blue. This filter is good to use for lake and ocean sunsets.

Gradual B2 Filter

The Gradual B2 filter is half blue and half clear. Great for using at the beach because it adds extra blue for grey overcast skies.

Grey Card

Grey cards help you get your white balance right, so your exposure is always perfect.

Lens Cleaner Lit

Having a lens cleaner kit is essential for all photographers.

Extra Batteries

I travel with two additional batteries when I’m out photographing. Batteries can drain, and if you forget to charge them, that is where having extras can be helpful. If you happen to shoot videos with your DSLR camera, that can drain your battery quickly as well. Batteries to get for a Canon camera are the Canon LP-E6 LP E6N Battery.

Other batteries:

Extra Memory Cards

Having additional memory cards is an essential gear to have as photographers. Some photographers carry multiple cards and keep their photos on them and store the cards. I store photos on an external hard drive, but I do keep extra memory cards on hand if I’m shooting all day or taking videos.

Other memory card options for your consideration:

Memory Card Reader

And of course, you need something to read the memory cards to move the photos to your computer.

External Hard Drive

The answer to where to store your photographs is subjective. Everybody has a different system. Some like to store them on the cloud; others want to keep them on memory cards, while others keep them on their phones. I prefer to get them off my camera and phone to free up space and store them on external hard drives. I keep two 4TB hard drives (one is a back-up).

Power Bank

For when you need extra power, this portable charger allows you to charge up using a USB. I have been using Anker portable chargers for a few years and highly recommend them.


This all-encompassing guide has everything a photographer might need when going out shooting in a new city or taking photos at a holiday family event. Enjoy taking pictures and make sure you get out every day because practice makes perfect. Let me know if you see anything that I’ve missed or think I should add.

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Further Reading

If you are looking for more gifts, check out these posts for further inspiration:

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post that fund my travels at no extra cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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