By Jon Canfield
Are you looking for gift ideas for the digital photographer on your list? Perhaps you're looking for ideas for yourself. Whether you're a dedicated pro, or take casual snapshots, there are plenty of options to choose from. I've rounded up a list of items I've either found useful, or have drooled over for myself. One word of advice though, if you're the drooling type, wear a bib!
Low cost options
Not everything digital is expensive, and not everything needed by a digital photographer has to be digital itself. In fact, some of the most useful items are sure to fit any budget. All the items listed in this category are $10 or less.
LensPen -- about $10
With a soft brush at one end and a cleaning pad at the other, the LensPen, shown in Figure A, will make quick work of dust and smudges on your lens without worrying about scratches.FIGURE A
The LenPen is a lens brush and cleaning pad all in one. (click for larger image)
Konica Minolta inkjet papers -- about $7
In Figure B, the new line of papers from Konica Minolta work equally well on dye or pigment ink jets, and come in satin or glossy finishes.FIGURE B
Konica Minolta's new line of papers work on many printers and come in a range of finishes. (click for larger image)
Tiffen UV filters -- starting around $10
Which would you rather replace a $10 filter or a $200 lens? The Tiffen UV filters shown in Figure C are cheap insurance for expensive lenses, and they help cut down on UV light.FIGURE C
A UV filter is much cheaper to replace than your expensive lens. (click for larger image)
Energizer Lithium batteries -- around $9
To paraphrase someone, you can never be too thin, too rich, or have enough batteries. If your digital uses replaceable batteries, the Energizer Lithium brand you see in Figure D will keep it going, and going, and going.FIGURE D
The Energizer Lithium series is designed to provide the high energy and long-lasting power cameras need. (click for larger image)
Moving on up.
If your budget has a little more room, say up to $100, these gift ideas will go over well.
Memory cards -- around $100
A year ago, I would have been recommending 128 MB or maybe 256 MB memory cards in this category. Thanks to prices that are sinking faster than the Titanic, that same $100 will buy you as much as 1 GB of Compact Flash or SD memory from SanDisk and Lexar, like in Figure E.FIGURE E
Last year's $100 will now buy this year's high capacity memory cards. (click for larger image)