4th Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 (Plus 4 More)

It’s that time of year again – and I’m starting to see holiday gift guides pop up around the web – which means it must be time for our annual photography gift list!  As for the other lists?  Well, there are a lot of really good ones out there – so swing on by here in the next couple of weeks – and I’ll try to cobble together a large list for ya’ll to check out.

As for this year – I’ve decided to mix it up a bit – and give myself some ground rules:

  • I really wanted 20 gifts under $100.  So – I gave myself “4 More” – just for fun to stretch the $100 budget.
  • No Scott Kelby or David duChemin…  OK – just kidding.  🙂   I could fill an entire Christmas list with only super cool stuff from both of these guys.

Christmas lights for blog-2The rule I really wanted to impose on myself this year– but just couldn’t:

I have tested, used, and love all of the gear on this list.

I tried (I really did) – but I just don’t buy that much gear in a year.  When I first tried to cobble together the list with that self-imposed rule – it included things like parachute cord just to keep the list up around 20 items (regardless – you should have some in the bottom of your bag for your next trip – seems innocuous until you really need it).  That said – I’ve actually used most of the gear here – but there’s some fun stuff on here I just haven’t had a chance to try yet.

So – in no particular order – here’s the 4th Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100:

  1. Cowboy Studio Radio Triggers.  If your favorite photographer is thinking about taking their hot shoe flash off camera – this is a great tool at a great price to get them started.
  2. Leatherman Squirt PS4.  On the very first list I had the P4.  But now there’s no reason to choose between pliers or scissors – they’re both on the PS4. 
  3. REI Sahara Tech shirt.  A great shirt at a pretty good price.  Works both in the (casual) office and while traveling.
  4. Diana F+ lens.  It’s plastic, inexpensive, and fun.  Just make sure to get both parts – the lens and the adapter to the correct camera brand.
  5. Timex Expedition watch.  I was looking for something in non-descript black that had an alarm and this watch has done very well in the field.
  6. Domke insert.  Turn a favorite messenger or backpack into a favorite camera bag.  I used one of these in Uganda (you can read my review here).
  7. Photojojo is always a place to go shopping for your favorite photographer.  This year they’ve added the Ring Flash Adapter.
  8. Lastolite TriGrip 1 Stop Diffuser. Great for those out-and-about portraits.
  9. Another Photojojo cool gift:  The 360 Spinner from those Lomo folks.
  10. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  OK – so it’s not a photography book – but it’s a great read for trains, planes, or automobChristmas lights for blog-1iles.  And it will probably do well in coffee shops or in that overstuffed chair next to the fire.  Highly recommended.
  11. Scott Kelby’s new book – Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It.  Working on my full review of this book now. 
  12. Hello Somebody watch.  OK – you can actually give this one to just about anybody on your list.  And while you’re stuffing your stockings with watches – you’re helping to feed kids in Africa.
  13. People Pictures by Chris Orwig.  If your photographer takes photos of people – even if it’s just at family birthday parties – this is a great book.
  14. Elements 10.  Is there a better value in photography software?
  15. Wacom Bamboo Capture Pen Tablet.  This is one of the new tablets from Wacom.  The Capture allows for both pen and multi-touch input – and it includes some cool software, too – all for under $100.
  16. BlackRapid.  What’s a list without BlackRapid?  Check out their new RS-Sport 2.  If they already have a BlackRapid strap and would like to make it more sporty – check out the Brad mod.
  17. A year in the Craft & Vision community.  A gift that simply keeps on giving.  Great member only blogs, a monthly ebook, and a discount on the rest of the Craft & Vision library.
  18. Cowboy hat.  Odd item?  Not if you’re going to get serious about shooting rodeos.
  19. Costco canvas.  If your favorite photographer hasn’t yet printed a photo on canvas – treat them to one.  Now a lot of folks print photos on canvas these days – but it’s tough to match the Costco value.
  20. Lowepro memory card wallet.  I can carry 4 compact flash cards with cases.   OK – so I modified it a bit by cutting out some parts – but it works great in the field for those big bit-burning days.
  21. The LomoKino.  If experimenting with silent analog movies is your photographer’s thing – here’s the tool.  If you want to learn more about this camera – check out the LomoKino Vimeo Channel.

4 more for just a bit more:

  1. The North Face Base Camp duffel.  From yaks to airplanes.  This is a great bag.  There are a few sizes and colors to choose from.  I like the medium and large versions for their versatility.
  2. Zoom H2 recorder.  This is a great little tool.
  3. Lensbaby Sweet 35.  The best Lensbaby optic yet?  Still working on my review.
  4. For $1200 you can buy a Canon tilt-lens or for just about 1/10 of the price you could just head on over to Photojojo and you could pick up this tilt-shift camera!

Item I wish I could have put on this list:

  1. F-Stop Loka.  Great pack – just too expensive to make the list.  You can find my review here.


Hope that helps – but if your photographer has all of this (or wants none of it) – get ‘em a Hawaiian shirt!



And if you’re looking for more ideas – here are the lists from the first 3 years:  1, 2, and 3.


(Disclosure:  Camera 47 is an Amazon.com affiliate.)

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