All travel photographers – and other kinds of photographers to be honest – know that with the holiday season comes together with a great hope of maybe, perhaps, who knows… getting some new gear from your loved ones. If you have a person like me, a travel photographer, in your life this post might help you choose the best gifts for photographers on the go. And if you are a travel photographer, save this link and share it with your family and friends. You know, just by accident, without any hidden agenda behind it.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite products from 2016, all tested and approved only for your amusement and fun on your next trip. This is a list of gifts for photographers focused on travel photographers, amateurs and pros. But I’m sure any photographer will have a nice smile on their faces if they get something from this list.
Endless power for endless shootings
I don’t need to tell you that one of the most important things for any photographer on the go is power. So why not ad this to your list of gifts for photographers in your life? Goal Zero came up with 2 items that are necessary if you like to spend hours outside taking photos or shooting video.
The first one is just like an extra battery, the Venture 30, for your phone but with the differential that is water resistant. It comes with several USB ports and can charge your phone, camera and laptop if you need. I haven’t tested with the laptop because Apple demands an adapter to every single thing you want to do and I’m not willing to give more money to them. So I’ve only tested with our Action Cam, Canon Legria and with both of our iPhone 6+. It worked like a charm.
The second item Goal Zero have is a solar panel that can charge your stuff on the go, the Nomad 7. With the size of an iPad, this solar panel can be easily attached to your backpack, bike or purse and will secure endless charges for your devices and gear as long as you’re in the sun.
The test I’ve made was in the autumn – that looks more like winter – here in Berlin and it worked fine. I just need to give it a few hours of charge and then I can plug the iPhone or even the charger I’ve mentioned before. Soon I’ll be heading to Brazil and since over there it is summer, I’ll test in better weather conditions.
If you need to reach me talk to me on our Facebook group and I can give you “live” updates on that. But if something like that can deliver good results in the German Autumn, image what this can do with proper sun? Definitely an item you should keep on your list of possible gifts for photographers in your life – all kinds of photographers.
(ps: this post is from November/2016)
Be ready for occasional storms
If you are a professional or amateur photographer – and I’m not just talking to the travel photographers here – you know how frustrating is to get all ready for that amazing shoot and BOOOMMM…the sky falls on your head. The pot pourri of emotions is almost unbearable. “Where can I put my camera so it won’t get wet?”, “When will I have time to come back here to shoot this place again?”, “I wish my camera was at least a bit waterproof… Damn”.
And things get a lot worse if you’re in a special and hard to get place like the Faroe Islands for instance. I’m using this example because on our 3 or 4 days there, we missed one of the spots I wanted to visit the most because the storm was just too strong and I felt unsafe with my camera. Once water gets in you can pretty much start to cry.
The Holster is perfect for situations that involve water like rivers, waterfalls and seas. It is a waterproof safe heaven for your gear while you’re exploring the world.
The Rain Cover is what you’ve been looking for for situations like my Faroe Island epic failure. With it you can easily continue your shooting even if it is raining cats and dogs outside. It is a fantastic plastic cover for your camera with space for the lenses and for you to control your camera. All that in a completely water free mini heaven.
If you usually find yourself exploring the world outside, in nature or in an urban exploration trip, and want that extra layer of safety to your lovely camera gear, I suggest you to have a look on their website.
Time to go analog on this list of gifts for photographers
Recently Lomography – our newest partner – sent us some of their new instant cameras to test it. I have to say that I was impressed with how cool they are. On this list I’m showing you the Lomo Instant Wide version, but there are others.
I had a Polaroid when I was growing up and I remember that I had the time of my life with it but for a Brazilian, getting the film packs was a bit too expensive. Lomo fixed this problem by partnering with Fuji to use their film packs. You can buy 2 packs of 10 photos each for something like 8 or 9 euros. Some other special packs are 11 or 12 euros. For the Wide maybe it will be a bit more.
I don’t know if on the US the price is lower but I can imagine they can be and even though almost 0.50 cents is not suuuuper cheap, it is completely worth it. It is so much fun you can’t even imagine.
The Lomo Instant cameras are far more superior than the old Polaroids if we’re talking about the possibilities the camera gives you. The cameras are equipped with multi exposure, colorful flashes, split lenses (they allow you to shoot photos like these on the example here) and much more.
If you want to have a different memory from your travels this can be a nice add to your life. I wouldn’t recommend taking these cameras to hiking or bike trips, but if you’re exploring a city alone or with your friends, sometimes a more tangible memory is 1000 times more precious than a digital one.
Extra space for your photos
If you have an iPhone and usually gets pretty annoyed with the lack of space on your device, you are not alone. Since sometimes we don’t have the money or we just don’t know how much is enough space on an iPhone, I’ve lost count of how many people I know are unhappy with their choices. Deleting photos in the middle of a trip, having to choose between that cool video of you and your friends or that amazing footage you got on that special place since you 16 or 32 giga is just not enough. How awful is that?
Recently I’ve got on my mail the answer to your problems: Leef. Leef is a device that will fix your problems with low memory space. Just plug Leef on your iPhone and voilá: you’ll have 32 extra gigas for your photos, videos and more. They also have a version with 64 gigas for you.
And you can choose on the go if you want to save the photos on your device or on your Leef, so transferring files to your family and friends just got easier in situations without wi-fi. Or even between your iPad and iPhone if you want. I’ve only tested the Leef for Apple devices since I don’t own Android, but on their website they have some products for Android users too.
Canon keeps making it to my lists of best gear – this time Canon has 3 items on my top list of gifts for photographers
I know I’m super behind on the videos for Fotostrasse and there’s really no excuse for that. I have tons of materials and not enough time to edit them. I’m testing this camera for over a year now and every time I’m more certain that this is one of the best cameras for easy videos.
Some might argue that the fish-eye looks is a bit tiring and I won’t disagree with that 100%, but with a bit of patience on softwares like Light Room, you can easily fix this problem. And since the camera can film in high-resolution, if you need to crop a video it is ok.
I totally back this camera up for anybody that is starting with vlogging or wants a camera easier to stabilize with just your hands. since you hold the camera in your hand in horizontal, it is easier to reduce any shake on the image.
But if you’re still not convinced and what a camera that can deliver better quality of video, photo and it is portable as fuck, my other 2016 love was the PowerShot G7X.
As you may know, we are sponsored by Canon so we are always testing new gear and the PowerShot was with me for 2 months during this summer.
It is easy to handle, completely portable and has an impressive quality of video, photo and sound for a point-and-shoot.
All the videos I did for Slovenia, Vorarlberg, Düsseldorf and more were made with this lovely camera. Subscribe to our YouTube channel that eventually they will be there – I promise.
The third item from Canon is the lenses I reviewed here, the Canon EF 14/2.8L II USM. I will not repeat myself too much but I can guarantee you that if you’re looking to expand your travel lens collection, this is the best option.
Great, sharp and reliable fixed lenses are always a good addition every camera bag but how versatile this 14mm can be amazed me. I wish I could keep this lens forever but I couldn’t. So if you can, please do.
So those are my favorite products of 2016. I hope I could at least clear your mind about the Christmas gifts for photographers you need to ask or give. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate on getting in contact with us on twitter or by leaving a comment down below. I also want to tell you all that giveaways, discounts and more will be announced soon on our newsletter. If you want to be part of Fotostrasse family, please subscribe! We promise we only send 1 or 2 emails every month. I know how annoying is to be constantly bothered by emails, I wouldn’t do that to any of you.