2023’s Best Gifts for Photographers

2023's Best Gifts for Photographers

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Camera Gear for Photographers

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that photographers are always happy to get more gear. From the best cameras from Canon, Sony, or Nikon to new lenses, bags, or tripods, there’s no shortage of things a photographer would love. That makes it easy to buy gifts for them. If you need a little help finding the right thing, here are the best gifts for serious photographers in 2023.

But with so much choice of items from a huge number of brands to sift through, finding just the right gift to suit them isn’t always straightforward. To help you find the ideal gift for the photographer in your life (or yourself), we’ve rounded up our top picks of the best cameras, tripods, drones, action cameras, and photography accessories. Whether they’re a keen landscape photographer or a budding YouTuber, we’ve got gift ideas to fit all budgets.

Nikon Z50 – Best beginner mirrorless camera

Nikon’s Z50 packs a smaller APS-C sized image sensor into a small and lightweight body, which makes it excellent for chucking into a little backpack and heading out on your travels. Its 20.9-megapixel sensor takes good-looking images, with excellent detail and enough dynamic range in the raw files to pull back highlights or lift shadows. Priced at $947 on Amazon, it’s a great option for those just starting their photography journey.

Canon EOS R5 (body only) – Best 8K-capable camera

Canon’s EOS R5 has a slew of great features, including its amazing image stabilization, lightning-fast autofocus, and quick burst shooting. But the R5’s standout feature is its ability to shoot video in 8K resolution. While not everyone will need that many pixels, 8K can give a lot more scope for cropping and creative editing, making it a great choice for the dedicated videographer who’s looking for the best camera gear. It’s available on Amazon for $3,899.

ProGrade CFexpress Cobalt card – Best memory card for video shooters

With cameras like the Canon R5 capable of shooting incredibly detailed 8K video footage, you need a storage card that can keep up. Even shooting lots of bursts of still images can be taxing on your card. The ProGrade CFexpress Cobalt card is the perfect solution, offering reliable high-speed performance to ensure smooth and uninterrupted recording. It’s available on Amazon for $180.

GoPro Hero 10 Black – Best action camera for adventures

Although not the latest model, GoPro’s Hero 10 Black still offers up 120 frames per second footage at 4K resolution, which is great for slowing down the action. Its stabilization is superb, and the overall video quality looks glorious. But as it’s a previous-generation model, you can typically pick it up for a good deal less than the current Hero 11. Get it on Amazon for $219 for capturing all your adventurous moments.

Zhiyun Fiveray M40 – Best handheld LED light for photo and video

The Zhiyun Fiveray M40 LED light might be small, but it packs a punch. It puts out a huge 40 watts of light, which can be dimmed or changed in color temperature with the two dials on the side. It’s easy to handhold and put that light exactly where you want it, and it’s small enough to mount on your camera as a top light for those of you wanting to shoot video. Purchase it on Amazon for $99.

Godox AD100 Pro – A great handheld camera flash

If you prefer working with flash lighting rather than continuous LEDs, Godox’s AD100 Pro is a solid light to consider. It’s a tiny unit, easily handheld, but it puts out more light power than most typical on-camera flashguns. It’s off-camera only, requiring Godox’s X-Pro wireless controller (sold separately) to sit on your camera, but this makes the AD100 Pro a versatile lighting tool for portraits or weddings. Get it on Amazon for $299.

DJI Mini 2 – Best drone for beginners

DJI’s smallest drone can be squeezed comfortably into a jacket pocket, but its camera is capable of taking beautiful videos and photos thanks to its 4K resolution and ability to shoot still images in raw format. It’s very easy to fly too, making it a great option for beginners or more enthusiastic aerial photographers who want to travel as light as possible. You can get the DJI Mini 2 on B&H Photo-Video for $599.

DJI Mic – Best wireless microphone for YouTubers

Better known for its drones, DJI’s Mic setup is a superb wireless audio recording solution in a really neat package. The kit comes with a receiver that sits on your camera and two separate wireless mics—one for you, one for your friend, perhaps. In our experience, the connection is strong and stable, and the audio quality is superb, even in high wind thanks to the supplied windshields. Find it on Walmart for $494.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB – Best SD card for stills photographers

With cameras shooting stills and videos at ever-increasing resolutions, it’s easier than ever to run out of storage when you’re out in the field. Thankfully, storage doesn’t have to break the bank, and this 256GB SD card from SanDisk packs a huge amount of space for your files and comes with a very reasonable price tag attached. It’s an ideal option for beginners wanting one card they never need to worry about filling up, while being cheap enough for enthusiasts to buy several to make sure they can always keep on shooting. Grab it on Walmart for $49.

LowePro ProTactic 450 AW II – Best all-round photography backpack

LowePro has been a staple of the photography bag world for years, and with the ProTactic 450 AW II, it’s easy to see why. This rugged backpack opens fully from the back, although there are side and top quick-access points too. It provides a wealth of storage slots for a DSLR, multiple lenses, filters, batteries, and other accessories—I even stuffed a small drone in amongst my gear. Available at Target for $230, it’s a durable and versatile choice for any photographer.

Peak Design Travel Tripod – Best travel tripod

Peak Design’s Travel Tripod, as its name suggests, is best for traveling. It’s one of the best camera gear choices for those who want to travel light. The carbon fiber version weighs only 2.8 lbs (1.27kg) and packs down to only 15.4 inches (39.1cm) long, making it easy to chuck in a backpack or camera bag. The aluminum tripod model weighs 3.4 lbs (1.5kg). You can find it on Best Buy for $380.

PolarPro Helix MagLock filters – Best magnetic filters for photography

I’ve been impressed before now with PolarPro’s square filter system, but the new Helix range brings some huge time-saving tech to the table. The filters attach magnetically to mounting rings on your lens, meaning you can swap them out in mere seconds, rather than fiddling with fragile pieces of square glass. With a locking mechanism and strong magnets, they hold in place exceptionally well, and the robust build means these will put up with a rough and tumble photoshoot without issue. Get them on PolarPro for $230.

DJI OM 5 – Best gimbal stabilizer for smartphones

The iPhone 14 Pro, Pixel 7 Pro, and other top phones can shoot superb, professional-quality video, but if you want to take it to the next level, consider using a gimbal. Gimbals stabilize your handshakes or other movements to provide smooth-looking footage without any of the wobbliness that you might expect from amateur videos. The DJI OM 5 is the best choice in this category, priced at $131 on B&H Photo-Video.

3 Legged Thing Bucky – Best all-round tripod

The 3 Legged Thing Bucky is a super tripod for almost any photography situation. Its carbon fiber construction means it’s light enough to comfortably strap to a backpack, it packs down small, but its maximum height of over 6.2 feet (191cm) makes it extremely tall too. I’ve found it brilliant for landscape photography as it’s no trouble to carry out into the hills, but I can still shoot at eye level. Purchase it on B&H Photo-Video for $530.

With this comprehensive guide, you’ll have all the information you need to find the perfect camera gear for any photographer in your life. From beginner mirrorless cameras to action cameras, tripods, and accessories, there’s something for everyone. Happy shopping!