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Best Gifts for Serious Photographers in 2022

This story is part of Gift Guideour year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

Now that most smartphones come with a decent camera, photography is becoming a somewhat misunderstood art form. Sure, anyone can take a nice sunset photo and post it on their social media, but nothing compares to being a serious photographer who knows what they’re doing. Therefore, there will always be a need for professional photographers to capture important events such as weddings and studies. But with a huge ecosystem of gear, shopping for a photographer in your life can be quite intimidating.

Various camera options are available, from compact mirrorless cameras to digital SLR cameras, with an endless selection of accessories, tripods and bags. To help you find the perfect gift for the photographer in your life (or for you), we’ve put together our top picks of the best cameras, tripods, drones, sports cameras and photo accessories. Whether he is an avid landscape photographer or a novice vlogger, we have gift ideas for all budgets.

Andrzej Hoyle / topwatchbest

The Canon EOS R5 is packed with great features, including amazing image stabilization, lightning-fast autofocus and fast burst shooting. But the distinguishing feature of the R5 is the ability to record video in 8K resolution. While not everyone will need as many pixels, 8K can offer many more options for cropping and creative editing, making it a great choice for a dedicated filmmaker looking for the best photography gear.

Canon

With a 24.1 megapixel sensor, a retractable flash and a fairly compact size, the Canon Rebel T7 (also known as 2000D) is a great DSLR for those who want to take their first steps in photography. This kit includes a great all-round 18-55mm lens, as well as a 75-300mm zoom lens and a carrying safe, making it the ultimate entry-level photography gear to handle anything from expansive landscapes to close-up shots of wildlife .

Lori Grunin / topwatchbest

The Sony ZV-1 focused on vlogging is small enough to fit in your pocket, has a retractable screen so you can see if you are in the frame when you talk to your audience, and can be purchased with a handy handle, easy to start and stop recordings. 4K video quality is great, and while battery life could certainly be improved, we think avid YouTubers around the world will appreciate adding this little detail to their production line.

Sara Tew / topwatchbest

It is one of the best photography equipment options for a seasoned photographer who wants to have photo and video quality that only a full-frame camera can provide. It has one generation but is relatively small, has an amazing 24.2MP sensor, five-axis image stabilization, and can be purchased at a price that shouldn’t be too out of the reach of photography enthusiasts.

Read our Sony A7 III announcement.

Aloysius Niski / topwatchbest

Canon’s entry-level EOS RP model incorporates an excellent 26.2MP full-frame sensor in an extremely compact body, making it perfect for both novice and enthusiastic travel photographers. It’s also easy to use with its tilt screen and convenient buttons, and Canon’s growing range of RF-mount lenses means it’s easy to find the right lens for your needs.

Read our Canon EOS RP preview.

Nikon

With a 24.3-megapixel sensor, 4K video recording and 5-axis image stabilization in the Nikon Z5 camera, it packs impressive specifications in a very compact, lightweight body. And it does so at a price that makes it a great option for a photographer looking to deviate from the basic point and take photography and take photography a bit more seriously.

Joshua Goldman / topwatchbest

When moving at high speed, nothing beats a sports camera that allows you to share the most breathtaking moments. The latest version of this great little action camera can shoot video up to 5.2K at 50fps or up to 120fps in 4K for silky slow-motion action. It has amazing stabilization and the overall video quality is excellent.

Read our GoPro Hero 10 Black hands.

The smallest DJI drone can fit comfortably in a jacket pocket, but its camera is capable of capturing beautiful videos and photos thanks to its 4K resolution and the ability to take pictures in raw format. Flying is also very easy, making it a great option for beginners or more enthusiastic aerial photographers looking to travel as light as possible. We link to the Fly More Combo Kit below, which includes extra batteries and other little things, but you can save by purchasing basic drone kit.

Lori Grunin / topwatchbest

The Lumix G9 can take great photos thanks to the 20.3MP image sensor, but is also able to record smooth 4K video thanks to the stabilization in the body. This makes it the perfect solution for photographers who want to take great photos of their next outdoor adventure, but also want to put together beautiful videos for their Instagram Reels or TikTok.

Read our Panasonic Lumix G9 announcement.

Amazon / Screenshot by topwatchbest

The Rode VideoMicro may be small, but is capable of capturing professional-level audio from the top of the camera without needing a battery or external power source, making it ideal for vlogging. In fact, it’s one of the best photography gear options for vloggers. It plugs directly into your camera’s microphone port (like the one on the EOS M50 above) and can be purchased with a smartphone compatible cable if you like it more. It comes with a sturdy anti-shock mount as well as a large, fluffy windshield to help you get crystal clear sound, even in rough or windy conditions.

Amazon / Screenshot by topwatchbest

Thanks to cameras that record photos and videos in ever-higher resolution, it is easier than ever to run out of space in the field for data. Luckily, storage doesn’t have to break the bank, and this 256GB SD card from SanDisk gives you a huge amount of storage space and comes at a very reasonable price. This is the perfect option for beginners who want one card that never needs to fill up, while being cheap enough for enthusiasts to buy a few to make sure they can always shoot. Just make sure the camera you insert into supports SD cards up to 256GB in size.

Andrzej Hoyle / topwatchbest

The LowePro has been a staple in the world of photo bags for years, and with the ProTactic 450 it’s easy to see why. This durable backpack opens completely from the rear, although there are side and top quick-access points as well. It provides tons of storage space for a DSLR, lots of lenses, filters, batteries and other accessories – I even threw a small drone into my gear.

If you can’t quite fit everything inside, you can get additional pouches for accessories that attach to the outside of the case, to which you can also attach a tripod. It is comfortable to wear thanks to the chest and hip straps, is made of durable materials and has a zipped compartment for laptops up to 15 ”.

Katie Collins / topwatchbest

The compact size makes this backpack comfortable and light to take with you around town while hunting for the best coffee and street food, but its internal space provides plenty of room for cameras, lenses and even compact drones. Thanks to the two side pockets, it’s easy to get into the camera when it’s creative, and the weather-resistant material will protect your expensive gear when it starts raining.

Andrzej Hoyle / topwatchbest

As you know, the Peak Design travel tripod is best suited for exactly what its name suggests: traveling. This is one of the best photography equipment choices for those looking to travel with light luggage. The carbon fiber version weighs only 2.8 lb (1.27 kg) and packs to just 15.4 inches (39.1 cm), making it easy to carry in a backpack or camera bag. The aluminum tripod model weighs 3.4 lb (1.5 kg).

Its ball head is quick and easy to use, is tough enough to hold a professional DSLR camera, and has its own holder so you can mount your phone on a tripod that hides in a central column. It is all very well thought out and ensures that it is solid.

Andrzej Hoyle / topwatchbest

Photo filters come in all shapes and sizes, but few are as thoughtful and as high-quality as Polar Pro filters. Thanks to the aluminum frames, each filter is sturdy, easy to hold and convenient to place in the filter holder. The landscape kit comes with a circular polarizer, two neutral density filters and a graded neutral density filter to help balance out the bright skies in landscape photos. This is a must-have kit for the avid landscape photographer in your life.

Andrzej Hoyle / topwatchbest

3 Legged Thing Bucky is a great tripod for almost any photographic situation. Its carbon fiber construction means it is light enough to attach comfortably to your backpack, it is small but its maximum height is over 191 cm which also makes it extremely tall. I find it great for landscape photography as it has no problem getting to the hills but I can still shoot at eye level.

The ball head is safe enough to accommodate even the heaviest DSLRs with a large zoom lens attached, its feet can be detached and used as a monopod, and the sturdy design means you don’t have to worry about it taking a few hits on the road. It’s not cheap, but photography enthusiasts of any genre are well prepared here.

Andrzej Hoyle / topwatchbest

I’d never shot a movie with a movie before, but even I was excited to get my hands on the Goodman Zone DIY Kit. This medium format film camera comes in multiple 3D printed copies with instructions on how to build, customize and use your own camera. It’s a fairly simple process – and the feeling of taking pictures with a camera you’ve literally put together is something special.

You’ll need to stock up on your own lens and film (Dora Goodman’s website has plenty of advice on this), but at $ 105 it’s a very affordable way to immerse yourself in the world of medium-format film photography with the best photography equipment that’s budget-friendly. Unfortunately, it is currently not available for purchase, but if you have access to 3D printeryou can download open source files and print your own for free.

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