Finding a cheap gift for photographers can be a challenge, as you might not know what type of camera they have, what lenses they might use, or what is a really good gift for their style of photography.
This article contains a list of the best gifts for photographers in 2021, but only contains gifts for photographers under $50. These are more generic gifts that should be suitable for all, and make excellent Christmas gifts for photographers.
These are all gifts that I would enjoy as a photographer, but you can also use this list as a starting point for your own research. If you want to get something really unique, then have a look at the list of gifts for beginner photographers, although you will have to up your budget in most cases.
Gifts for Photographers Under $50
Probably one of the most fun gifts for a photographer that you can buy, the KODAK Printomatic surprisingly comes in at just under $50 for a digital camera that prints photos as soon as you take them, with the finished photo popping out of the side of the camera within a few seconds.
This is like a modern Polaroid camera from the 80’s, but is much smaller and higher quality than you would expect, although obviously doesn’t match a mirrorless or DSLR camera in overall image quality.
This is a gift that pretty much anyone would enjoy, as it gives you instant printed photos that are something of a novelty in our digital-first world.
Every photographer needs a shutter remote, as this lets you not only take photos without imparting camera shake as you press the shutter, but also gives you lots of clever additional options, such as an intervalometer.
You can use the shutter remote to lock the shutter open for long exposures, create time lapses, and do many more things.
I find a shutter remote invaluable in my work as a landscape photographer, with the Vello ShutterBoss being one of the best models available, and also within most people’s budgets.
Note: There are separate versions available for Canon, Nikon and Sony.
For those photographers who are still continuing their learning (which should be pretty much everyone), then a digital photography course is a must. It can be difficult to choose a course from the many out there, but this book is an excellent catch-all, with a themed 20-week course that teaches you everything you need to know to get started in photography.
Every top photographer has started out with learning resources like these, with this book being particularly well laid out and an excellent introduction for new photographers to the hobby.
Avoiding camera shake is one of the photographers’ most important considerations. Wildlife and bird photographers in particular, along with anyone who uses long lenses, knows the problems with trying to get a sharp photo when hand-holding their cameras.
The Grizzly bean bag does away with this problem by providing a stable base that can be set up on the ground, over a fence, or in pretty much any location, letting you rest your camera and lens and getting you sharp shots, every time.
This comes particularly well recommended for wildlife photographers.
Those who shoot video, along with closeup or macro photography with their cameras know that a strong, stable light source is essential.
The Ulanzi video light attaches to your camera hot shoe, providing a consistent light for any recordings, and comes with multi-colored filters to change the light color.
Anyone who regularly makes videos indoors or in darker spaces will definitely appreciate this video light, which is compatible with any camera with a hot shoe.
Stability when taking landscape, or any, photos is a must, and that is where the Torjim tripod excels.
Usable with any camera, the Torjim gives you a solid base for your photography, along with the ability to maneuver your camera into pretty much any direction and angle, locking it in place for your photo.
For anyone without a tripod, the Torjim is the ideal first step, offering everything that more expensive model has, but at a much more budget friendly price.
For those recording selfie videos, or taking food or macro photos, a ring light is an invaluable addition to a photographer’s kit.
The ring light provides even, focused light around the lens, meaning that there are minimal shadows visible to the camera, and excellent light coverage.
Ring lights are used extensively in professional magazine and beauty photography, so being able to get one at such a good price that also delivers a good quality light, is fantastic.
Widely considered to be one of the best designs of camera strap available, this Peak Design model includes innovative connectors that attach to your camera without wearing away at the strap itself.
Although for non-photographers, a strap might not seen that important, for those in the know, a well-designed strap is invaluable to hold a camera safely and comfortably throughout the day, with Peak Design the brand of choice for most.
For any videographer or budding studio photographer, a decent studio lighting setup is very important.
These LED studio lights are small and compact, yet also powerful enough for pretty much any use. They come with filters to change the color, and are of a much higher quality that the price would suggest.
They make an excellent gift for anyone who wants to create their own home studio.
10. Joby GorillaPod
As the first, and still the best, mini tripod, the Joby GorillaPod has really proved its usefulness over the years.
The legs can be angled and positioned to hold onto fences and railings, as well as uneven ground, providing a stable base for photography in situations where a traditional tripod cannot be used.
Any photographer would find value in a GorillaPod, but those who regularly shoot outside in challenging conditions will benefit the most.
Gifts for Photographers Under $25
Giottos are well-known for making the original, and best, rocket air blasters, which are used to clean camera sensors, as well as lenses, eyepieces and accessories, of dust.
They are one of those invaluable, and cheap, camera accessories that every photographer should own, as they make it so much easier to keep all your equipment clean, and prevent those annoying dust spots on your photos, caused by dust on the camera sensor.
12. Photo Reflectors
A cheap set of photo reflectors is a staple part of most photographer’s kits, as it lets you change the color of light as well as reflect more or less light into a scene.
These are particularly well-used by studio photographers, but also come in very handy for food and portrait photographers, where they help to add fill light without using any expensive external flashes.
Keeping lenses clean can be a bit of a chore. Luckily the LensPen helps remove fingerprints and other muck from the glass element of every lens, and does so quickly, easily, and without the potential damage that other methods can cause.
Although many photographers might not know that they need this, once they have tried it out for the first time, very few will want to go back to the way things were.
If you know a photographer that is struggling to think of ideas for their photography projects, then these idea cards can be a life saver.
Each contains either a theme or idea for something to photograph, and each card has its own hashtag, meaning that you can share photos online and see those that others have taken from the same prompt.
This is an excellent way to inspire new photographers and to boost creativity.
15. Lens Coffee Mug
As a fun photography gift, you can’t go wrong with this lens-shaped coffee mug, which looks identical to a Canon lens.
It’s insulated, and can also be used for cold drinks, meaning that it doesn’t have to be used just for coffee.
16. Hot Shoe Bubble
If you want a stand-out eye-catching gift, then you can’t go wrong with this hot shoe bubble, compatible with any camera that has a hot shoe.
The bubble attaches to the top of the camera, then provides a visual guide to the camera’s balance so that you can align the camera perfectly with the horizon.
This is a real conversation starter, and is very useful for any landscape photographer.