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Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

dryzone gear guide Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Lowepro Dryzone When Mike Wilkinson took this bag through its paces, it outperformed in the “keep your stuff dry” category. It was never meant to be submerged, but when he flipped his boat to test how much water it would keep out, the Dryzone held strong. If you have wanted to safely bring your gear out river rafting or canoeing, the Dryzone is the bag to take make sure you don’t have an unfortunate accident. [B&H]

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impact light banks gear guide Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Impact Ready Cool 2 Lamp Bank They may not be as sturdy as other constant light banks on the market, but at this price point, it doesn’t matter. In our preliminary studio tests, these banks performed magnificently, offering steady, bright daylight balanced bright light for video, or even that “Peter Hurley” look that many of you headshot photographers are trying to master. Seriously great deal for what you get. [B&H]

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rode videomic gear guide Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Rode Videomic When you can’t use a lav mic or don’t have the crew size to have a boom operator, the on-camera Rode Videomic is a solid option for on-location audio. Though they don’t have the most exceptional range, if you stay within a body length of your subject, you will get pretty crisp and clear audio. It’s just one more piece of gear in your kit that will help make sure your projects come together. [B&H]

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canon 50mm Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Canon 50mm f/1.8 II Build quality isn’t this lens’ strong suit as it’s mostly plastic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a spectacular lens. Bright, wide open aperture of f/1.8 will give any photographer great flexibility in both style and situation. It may not be its much more expensive cousin, but honestly it’s hard to tell the difference in pure lens quality (sure you can see it if you really look, but it’s still a great lens). Pick one up for that photographer in your life, and a second for yourself! [B&H]

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lightroom 5 gear guide Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Adobe Lightroom 5 Lightroom 5 is the most popular photo editing and workflow software out there, and for good reason. No other software allows the RAW and jpeg editing freedom that Lightroom does (in addition to allowing for unlimited presets from various third party sources) and also gives the type of workflow simplicity that is important to photographers with a lot of images in their library. It’s not as powerful as Photoshop, but it combines the greatness of Bridge with the necessary editing tools that gives photographers everything they need to work on images in post. [B&H]

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844969 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

PocketWizard Plus III If the photographer in your life uses off-camera flash, having a pair of PocketWizards makes all the difference. There are a lot of cheap knockoff brands out there, but if you want to show you care you’ll go for the real thing. You can also use them to remotely trigger the camera itself, so that’s great fun for photo booths or unusual angles. What’s good to remember is that you only really need two of these: one on the camera, and one on one of the lights. You can trigger the remaining lights using slave sensors. [B&H]

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759300 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Lensbaby Composer Pro Tilt shift lenses are expensive. Crazily expensive. Though the result isn’t quite the same, Lensbaby lenses give a similar feel to the images for a lot less investment. There are a lot of popular photographers who use these lenses, and they can work great for bridal portraits or engagement sessions. They are a little tricky to use, but once you get a handle on it, they’re great. [B&H]

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canon 40mm pancake gear guide Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Canon 40mm f/2.8 Pancake At first, the STM motor didn’t seem like something to be excited about, but since the release of the 70D, we can see the future of where Canon is going with their tech. The 40mm pancake might have questionable quality stopped down past f/10, but you won’t find yourself shooting that closed too often. It’s worth grabbing this ridiculously light lens now in preparation for the future, when Canon will likely introduce the STM motor in the 5D Mark IV. Plus it’s super handy for the traveling photographer who wants to stay light.[B&H]

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756879 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Lensbaby Sweet 35 Optic What’s really neat about Lensbaby products is that they are modular. Don’t like the way the lens shoots right now, or getting tired of it? Just slap a new optic on there and it’s like a brand new lens. The Sweet 35 is awesome, and has a great sweet spot of sharpness. Oh, and it’s much easier to change the aperture on this attachment than on the Composer Pro alone. [B&H]

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255742 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Voigtlander Viewfinder First off, this is technically $9 over budget, but it’s so close that I had to include it. So your friend has a shiny new mirrorless camera, but really doesn’t like how it only has an LCD viewfinder. Sometimes you want to see how the world really looks rather than how the camera perceives it. Well this guy fixes that problem. Attach it to the flash hotshoe, and you’ve got yourself an old-fashioned viewfinder that will make the photographer in your life give a sigh of contented relief. [B&H]

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urban reporter gear guide Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 If you, or any photographer you know, likes a sling, the Urban Reporter is a solid choice. It doesn’t necessarily look like a camera bag, which when you’re shooting in the city is a good thing. It has a ton of space, lots of pockets, and room for a laptop. Tough, well built, and doesn’t scream “I have a camera in me!” Again, that’s a good thing. [B&H]

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IMG 220912 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Tascam DR-40 Digital Recorder If your friend is starting his foray into video production, one of the first things you’ll notice is that no matter how pretty his video looks, nothing ruins a production faster than bad audio. Be the savior, and get him or her a high quality recorder- they’ll thank you for it later. [B&H]

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31Z7ApzUy4L Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Manfrotto 190XB w/ Micro Fluid Head Tripods are expensive, it’s a fact that many of us have had a hard time coming to terms with. That said, there are affordable options that still get the job done, like this tripod from Manfrotto. If the photographer in your life is still using that piece of junk tripod he bought at Best Buy four years ago, ease his suffering with a brand spanking new quality one. [B&H]

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51kOjkpHXPL. AA1280  Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

indiSystem 2ft Slider and Pistol Grip Sliders are awesome. They allow for some really high production value shots, but unfortunately the really nice ones tend to be jaw droppingly expensive. We all had to start somewhere, for me (Jaron), Pat and Lee, our first slider was the indiSystem slider. I still use mine. They are really inexpensive, simple, and can give videos a great look and feel. I can’t recommend this enough. [Amazon]

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217474 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Sennheiser ME 2 Omni-Directional Lav Mic I know, it’s just a mic right? Why so expensive? In this case, you’ll just have to trust me. Anyone shooting video would much rather focus on what they are shooting rather than fussing with a crummy microphone for thirty minutes. Just get something that works, and Sennheiser works. These kinds of mics are a MUST for interviews, lest you get a horrid tinny, echo in the video. Not fun to listen to. [B&H]

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magic arm super clamp 150x150 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Magic Arm / Super Clamp It is always nice to have a way to mount a camera or flash in a place that will give you a unique perspective. The Manfrotto Magic Arm and Super Clamp allow you to secure your camera so you can use it as a remote camera. These are popular with sports and wedding photographers when you often have to setup a camera and leave it hidden. Check out what sports and music photographer David Bergman did with his during our coverage of a Bon Jovi concert. [B&H Video]

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beautydish Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

The Beauty Dish Everyone always asks what makes a beauty dish different from a softbox. The answer really comes down to spill control and overall harshness. The beauty dish is a bit like a fine wine in that it’s results can be rather subtle to the untrained eye but there is a reason all the fashion and beauty photographers use them. It’s not always as soft as a med/small softbox but it does maintain a softish look while still giving you the direction of a small reflector. This is one of our favorite lights for sure. [B&H Video ]

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138243 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Photoflex LiteDome When you’re looking for a solid, high quality softbox, Photoflex is a good choice. Their stuff tends to be really high quality without the premium cost. We own a few of their softbox products, and the LiteDome is a great one. From portrait photographers to food or product, a softbox is a must for an even, controlled soft light. [B&H]

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827210 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Manfrotto Fluid Head Shooting stills is one thing, but if the photographer in your life is shooting video, he should have a fluid video head. With one of these, you avoid those irritating jerking, skidding stops that take you out of the video and throws your viewing mojo. Manfrotto makes the best ones out there, and they aren’t too expensive on their own. Grab one for your buddy if they already have a tripod they love. [B&H]

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820996 Holiday Gear Guide: Gifts Between $100 & $200

Westcott Apollo Orb Photographers around the world swear by these because they unfold like an umbrella, but give the lighting control of an octagonal soft box. Designed for speedlights, they’re made specifically for the photographer in the field. Not really the best option for a studio photographer, but are a great option for environmental portraiture. [B&H]

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