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  • Writer's pictureTower View Media

Gift guide for the videographer/photographer in your life

It’s been a minute since we had the time to sit down and write a blog post!


With the festive period upon us we thought a little post recommending some of the gear we love to use might help someone find a gift for the creative in their life because sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not in the know.


Everything on this list is something we use day-to-day in the running of Tower View Media and hopefully there are some options for any budget!






Camera strap £10 - £50

Let’s start with something any photographer needs - a camera strap. Straps come in all shapes, sizes and colours but they’re a great gift to anyone you know with a camera… they are never not handy! Some take the weight off and some make handling a camera easier.


Traditional Camera Straps


Traditional camera straps are the all-rounders. They are cheap and come in loads of colours and styles. Generally these will cost between £10-15 so are perfect on a budget.


Wrist Camera Straps £10-15

Wrist camera straps are great for smaller cameras and are best for making sure that if you lose your grip, you don’t lose your camera! We love the minimalistic rope style wrist straps which can be found for around £10 on Amazon.



Hand camera straps


Hand camera straps will improve the ergonomics of your camera by making the handle more comfortable. These are great additions to any gear setup and we have some on our heavier video gear to make our lives easier. You can find these between £15 and £20 depending on the style - we think leather straps are the most comfortable and durable though!


Harness Straps


If you have ever been to a wedding you have probably seen a harness camera strap in action. Usually best for carrying two cameras all day, a harness strap is brilliant for spreading the weight of heavy gear across your back rather than on one shoulder. If you have a person in your life working all day long as a photographer and doesn’t have one of these, it might just be a great gift. Again, leather = cool. £50 starting on Amazon.


Camera Lens Coffee Mug £15

This is the easy gift for the creative in your life who likes a hot drink like we do. A camera lens mug is not only a standout in your mug collection but also is a pretty good thermal mug it turns out. There are a few to pick from but for £15 this is a no brainer.



Clamps £10-15

Clamps. Seems like a boring gift but if you want to find a more multi-purpose bit of gear you won’t! We use clamps on every shoot for multiple reasons. Need to hang a light off in a space you can’t put a light stand… clamp it to a curtain rail. Need to add a monitor/light/360 camera to your camera rig… clamp it. Tripod broke on set… clamp your second camera to a chair. Yes, all of those scenarios have happened, and all have been solved in a fix with a clamp head and a magic arm. Creative problem solving gear… who wouldn’t want to unwrap that. We recommend SmallRig as they are really durable for the price.




External Hard Drive £40 - £75

Taking great photos and videos takes up a lot of space. Megabytes on megabytes, gigabytes on gigabytes, terabytes on terabytes. Every creative needs a storage drive. Even if you’re super cool and use the cloud with gigabit internet for your storage… you’ll need a drive somewhere. You can get affordable 1TB mechanical HDD drives for £40 or super fast and lightweight 1TB SSD drives for £75. We recommend the Samsung T range of SSDs. Data. Is. Cool.




Small light £30 - £85

Better lighting makes better images, that’s true for photographers or videographers. That’s why a small light is always a good gift for the creative in your life. There are many lights from all sorts of reputable and non-reputable sellers alike. Some change colour, some don’t, some are rechargeable usb powered and some require batteries. There are two lights we recommend you consider as they are either a) always handy to have or b) give something creative to a lighting setup.


Light 1 - Aputure MC


Light 2 - Stick Light (many brands available)


Vintage lens £50 - £100

Yes, you can buy lenses on a budget. Remember film cameras? The old classics with the lenses on the front? Well, most of the cameras don’t work anymore but the lenses still knock about and are a great budget way to expand a lens range. As a gift you need to understand what mount the camera the person you are buying for is using as camera brands all have their own. Then you need to work out if the lens will be compatible with said brand. Google is your friend here but if you can get past this, a vintage lens is a really special gift. Not only are they getting harder to find but a lot of them still produce amazing results. We still carry a 1977 Pentax 50mm 1.7 on all sets we work on! The lens is beautifully sharp and the bokeh is comparable to a modern and more expensive lens. Generally we would recommend looking for lenses in the Canon FD, Pentax PK or M42 range. eBay or charity shops are the best places to find a great deal.

 
 

If you like the idea of a lens but don’t want the hassle of finding a vintage one, we suggest checking Amazon out and looking at the brands Meike and Yongnuo. You can get some lovely little cheap lenses for photographers and videographers just starting out. We recommend searching ‘Meike prime lens *insert camera brand of person you’re gifting for*'.


Camera bag £30 - £300

Everyone needs a bag to put their gear in and camera gear isn’t the cheapest so it’s important to keep it protected. Like camera straps, they come in all shapes and sizes but generally you can get satchel style bags and rucksack type bags.



Satchel bags are great for photographers. They are stylish and quick to access, making sure you will take your camera everywhere and be ready for anything. They range from £30 to £50 and are great gift.



Backpack style camera bags will carry more gear than a satchel are are better for carrying equipment all day. They come in everyday sizes to hiking sizes but the customisable interiors are great for any creative to take all they need for a day in. If you can afford one with wheels then do!



If you really want to spend the money and are looking for an extra special gift this year, check out Billingham camera bags. They are steeped in history and build quality alike and if looked after will last a lifetime. At £200-300 this isn’t a casual gift by any means but certainly one if you need to get in some good books!


We hope you have a great Christmas, whatever gifts you choose!





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