Gifts under $100 for photographers

The Gorillapod that features a ballhead and spirit bubble will be very handy for just about anyone who loves photography.

If you had $100 to spend on your favorite photographer, what could you get them?

If you know them well, it sure helps.

Let’s face it, if they are into wildlife photography, you might have to spend more.

Maybe in that instance, you can research and find a bird  sanctuary such as the Bolsa Chica Conservancy,  drive them, be their caddy, fix and pack a picnic lunch and keep them company.


  • extension tubes
  • a cable release
  • off-camera sync cord for their external flash.


  • polarizing filter
  • graduated neutral density filter

Memory Cards & Camera Batteries

The safe bets are always more memory cards and extra camera batteries.

There is a caveat on those two items.

You do need to know what kind of memory cards their camera uses.

Currently there are two kinds in wide use based on their form factor: Secure Digital and Compact Flash card.

In my previous post, I mentioned the Eye-Fi Pro.

It’s definitely worth looking into if who you’re shopping for has a camera which uses SD cards.

And when it comes to memory cards, you should buy either San Disk or Lexar.

They cost more, but they are the more reliable ones with lifetime warranty.

As for camera batteries, you need the exact model and make of the cameras, then head to any of the online photo websites like DPReview to check the specifications.

Batteries are very camera specific, so for a Canon 5D Mark II for example, the one you’re looking for is the Canon LP-E6.

There are 3rd party manufacturer who sell batteries for those but generally speaking the OEM original equipment manufacturers’ batteries cost more but they hold their charge and have longer useful lives.

For the Do-It-Yourselfers

If your photographer is a tinkerer and not afraid to get their hands dirty, why not spring for a sensor cleaner like the Arctic Butterfly.

It costs about the price of a one-time cleaning if you send your camera in to the local camera store.


Free software

If you have access to your photographer’s computer and you know they have the full version of Photoshop, you could install a suite of plug-ins that are free.

Photo Tools 2.5 compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS2, CS3 , CS4 and CS5

Or you can install this free Lexar Image recovery software.

Now understand that this software is not 100% fool proof.

I’ve used it with mixed success. I tried it mostly out of curiosity.

The more robust ones are the ones that come bundled with your memory cards like those from San Disk, that’s why you’re  paying more for those cards.

Good luck shopping everyone. If $100 is too much, you can always get a gift certificate for and pay for a month of training at $25.

Learn it all. Learn it fast. Learn it now.

Free 24 hour pass to

If you have suggestions and I would be surprised if you don’t, do share them as comments.

4 thoughts on “Gifts under $100 for photographers”

  1. …or, for only 3,99, you can get him the brand new manual: How To Shoot A Reportage, brutally practical tips and tricks.
    Sorry guys, I couldn’t resist promoting my new book 🙂
    The preview is on my blog
    What do you think of it??
    By the way, if you own a BUSY photography blog, ask me for a free copy to review.

  2. $50 really doesn’t get you much.

    Maybe cards and batteries (the Nikon EN-EL3a is under 50) and if you’re not worried about the super sized cards, you can get those for under 50 as well.

    I’d rather have a lot of smaller cards, than one big one. The old saying “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” holds true for digital cards.

  3. Paul,
    My intention when I started the post was to set a limit of $50. Well, guess what? $50 doesn’t buy “us” much.

    So I found I had to raise the limit.

    Those memory cards are solid state so they are very hardy. I’ve washed one or two accidentally forgetting to take them out of my pants. They survived the wash and dryer without any problems whatsoever. But I wouldn’t push my luck.

  4. Great write up Peter.

    Nice tips for what to get the aspiring, broken pro, for the holidays.

    I’m getting a Gorrilapod. I used one the other day and it worked great. Not too well with the bigger telephotos, but great with the lighter lenses. I think it’d be great to have one for hiking or backpacking.

    And great tip on the memory cards. I speak from experience. Don’t go cheap. Lexar of Sandisk are equally good cards. I have a friend who went cheap and dropped his card. It broke and he lost an entire shoot. Also, I know both work in extreme weather.

    I shot the Winter X-Games when it was -10 w/o the wind chill factor kicked in. Dropped a Lexar CF in the snow but didn’t know for a few minutes until I notice it missing from my card case. I looked down and saw it in the snow. Picked it, brushed it off, put it in my pocket and downloaded the images. They’re great cards.

    Thank again Peter and have a great weekend.

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